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RGV clears out doubts on Phoonk and Raksha

Ram Gopal Varma known for churning out the best of horror flicks chilled our spines with his recent film 'Phoonk'. Of course, audiences shot up with adrenaline had their statements, 'Ae Ramu Ka Asli Show' and it urged Ram Gopal Varma to think about its sequel. In the interim, the Telugu version of Phoonk titled 'Raksha' had hit the screens last Friday. Witnessing its grand success, Ram Gopal Varma clears out the doubts prevailing amongst many that 'Raksha' is not a dubbed version of Phoonk and it's an original remake starring Jagpathy Babu and Kalyani in lead roles.

"Many changes have been made between both the versions and Raksha is more emotional centering on family bonding" said Ramu whose dubbed version of Phoonk in Telugu has been released just in Hyderabad. Well, he is happy that Raksha directed by debutant Vanshi is doing extremely well at the box-office. The Telugu version of Phoonk will be dubbed into Tamil soon and Ram Gopal Varma is on the pursuit of apt title.
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Genelia in same role as originalAdd to hotlist

Genelia D’souza has a rare achievement. She debuted in Bollywood with 'Tujhe Meri Kasam' few years back but couldn't bag any film after that. She then moved southwards and did many southern flicks most of them were hits. She came back to Bollywood with two films back to back 'Mere Baap Pehle Aap' and the breezy hit 'Jaane Tu Ya jaane Na'. Suddenly she is every director's choice.

Anees Bazme who is remaking Telugu hit Bomarilu in Hindi is so impressed with Genelia’s natural performance in the film that he plans to retain her in the remake opposite Harman Baweja.
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Biggest war film planned?

So, you thought J.P. Dutta's Border or L.O.C. was biggest ever war film made in Indian Cinema? Check this one.

Sanjay Dutt is planning to co-produce biggest ever war film with Bunty Walia to be helmed by Rohit Jugraj. The film will be a historical going to early 1900s when a Sikh regiment comprising 21 sikhs of British Army had to fight whole of Afghan army. The film will have 21 leading actors out of which Sanjay Dutt is confirmed and shooting will commence only in later half of 2009.

Surely this one is going to battle of sorts on screen.
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Abhisek, Aishwarya and Vikram in Love triangle

Mani Ratnam's projects are always a well-guarded secret.

In fact, those associated with the film are sworn to secrecy. Right from the star cast to the subject, everything about the film is kept under wraps, away from the prying eyes of the media.

There's talk in the industry circles that Mani is making a costume drama, but that's far from true.

The truth is, the film is a love triangle and will star the GURU team of Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan with the top actor from South, Vikram. The shooting is expected to commence shortly.
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Steamy scene with Mori embarrassed Hrithik

Rakesh Roshan is always known for his patient behavior and polite attitude. Then what happened that he was asked to leave the sets of Anurag Basu’s ‘Kites’.

It was not that Rakesh Roshan had created a scene on the sets, but it was that his son, Hrithik Roshan could not give a scene before his dad. The scene was a seducing and a steamy one between Hrithik and Barbara Mori.

Now, Hrithik had no problem in doing the scene, but he was not comfortable in doing it in front of his dad. As a result, Anurag Basu had to request Rakesh Roshan to leave the sets, so that the scene could be completed.

We wonder how Hrithik’s wife would have reacted to it, if she would have been in Rakesh Roshan’s place. Anyways, Rakesh Roshan left the sets and the scene was completed.
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Katrina to pair with SRK despite brawl with Salman

Yash Chopra is coming back to direction after a gap of four years with his yet untitled romantic next. The filming for which begins in 2009 January. He has managed a casting coup of sorts with this one.

If sources are to be believed, he has got together Amitabh Bachchan along with son Abhishek Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan and Katrina Kaif. Industrywalas have been left stumped with this get together of actors under one roof.

The reported cold war between the Bachchans and the King Khan and the also the famous Salman Khan v/s Shah Rukh brawl at Katrina's birthday bash is still fresh in everyone's mind. Then how has Yash Chopra managed the impossible?

A Bollywood trade analyst added, "When Yashji summons you never say No! Amitabh was given a new lease of life by him with Mohabbatein (2000) at the time when all his come back films were flopping left-right-centre.

Abhishek was given a career boost with Dhoom (2004). This Yash Raj film was Abhi's first certified hit in his career. Shah Rukh Khan is family for the Chopras.

Katrina is amongst today's top actresses. She is a thorough professional and plus which actress would say no to a film produced by Yash Raj the biggest Bollywood banner and that too a film directed by Yash Chopra himself!"

What remains to be seen is how will Salman react to his girlfriend out to align with his arch enemy SRK, even if its on screen!
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Drona will make you cry: Goldie Behl

Very few filmmakers decide to swim against the tide and go for unconventional subjects; Goldie Behl is one of them.

His second directorial venture Drona is a fantasy adventure (a genre rarely attempted in Bollywood) complete with never before seen special effects and some mind-blowing action.

Starring Abhishek Bachchan and Priyanka Chopra in lead roles, this film is among the most looked forward to films of this year. Close on the heels of the release of Drona, we caught up with Goldie and got chatting with him on his experiences filming Drona, his equation with AB Jr. and much more.

Goldie, you are back with your second film Drona which is releasing 7 years after your directorial debut Bas Itna Sa Khwaab Hai. First things first…why such a long gap?
Well…couple of reasons. One of them being I had taken failure to my heart, which I have learnt not to (laughs). I hope not to take success to my head as well. Most importantly my sister and I both thought that we first needed to get a strong hold into production which we did when we started our television software.

I think we are a reasonably established name as far television goes. Then we decided to shift our focus towards films. However, the time when we made our first movie 7 years back, we felt that we were misfits in this industry (ironical as we are from a filmy family) and we felt that we didn't know the ways of working.

But today the atmosphere is different, the working system is different. Today a producer and director can just do what they are supposed to be doing and not worry about distribution, finance and exhibition which is not really our area of expertise. So these were some of the reasons why it took so long for my second film.

However, the most important reason is that I didn't get the right kind of subject to inspire me to go against all odds and make it.

There has been a lot of speculation about Drona. Some people say Drona is a superhero film, some say it's a supernatural film, some say it's a fantasy film, while some say it's an adventure drama. Why don't you clear the air once and for all on what the film is all about?
The movie is a coming of age drama and it is made and presented in a larger than life format. However, if you want to label it in any one particular genre you could say it's a fantasy adventure. But in the soul of it, it is a very simple story of a boy realizing his destiny and his true calling so to speak.

You had said in an interview that Abhishek and you had this fake swordfight during your childhood days and that's when you decided you would make an action film with Abhishek when you grow up. Is that where the idea of making Drona come from?
Yeah…that was part of where the idea came from (laughs). We were young kids then and we decided that when we would grow up, we would make an action-oriented film. I would direct it and Abhishek would act in it. Now we have grown up and I even have a son but we still decided to re-visit that side of ours and make a film on that.

Everybody knows that Abhishek and you are best buddies. Is that, why you cast him in the lead role in Drona?
I have been really fortunate enough to know him very closely. It's but natural for anyone to discuss an idea with their close friends first and that's what I did too when the idea of making Drona came up. I discussed the idea with Abhishek and am glad that something in the story inspired him to say yes to this film. He is truly a great actor.

Could you tell us a little more about Abhishek's character in the film? Is he a super-hero? Does he have super-natural powers?
Well…he's completely human and has got all the weaknesses of a human being (be it emotional or physical weaknesses). That's the fun part of it because you have all these defects and still you emerge as a strong hero (smiles).

What role does Priyanka Chopra play in the film?
Priyanka plays a royal guard, and her duty is to serve and be by the side of the King of the Vir Bhadra Dynasty (the dynasty to which Abhishek's character belongs).

The film also has Kay Kay playing the menacing villain Ritz Raizada. He is touted to be the most expensive villain ever. Is it true?
Yes, he is indeed evil and menacing. He plays a wizard in the movie and is absolutely unpredictable. He has all the trappings of an evil wizard.

As for him being the most expensive villain ever seen on the Hindi film scene, I don't know about the exact figures. That you will have to ask the producers (laughs). But jokes apart, we have put in a lot of effort to try and create the world in which he lives.

Drona also has Jaya Bachchan in a pivotal role? How easy or difficult was it convincing her to act in this film?
I think getting Jayaji on board was the simplest. I just told her that I'm making a movie and I would like you to be in it and she immediately said yes. I was taken aback and asked “Don't you want to hear the script and know what your role is?”

She replied “No need… you are my son and it's your responsibility to take care of me.” It just put more pressure on me to live up to her expectations.

Could you share any funny/ interesting / unforgettable moments which took place during the shoot?
We had hailstorms in Bikaner which is quite unheard of. It made me run out of my actor dates and gave me quite a scare. We also had a dust storm in Namibia while shooting on a train for 13 days. We had snow in Prague. We shot through all of that. So there have been a lot of unforgettable moments like these (laughs).

The audio release sparked off a controversy over some statements made by Jayaji…Do you think what happened was uncalled for?
Whatever happened was absolutely uncalled for and I am glad that it's over now (smiles).

Drona clashes with yet another biggie - Kidnap on Oct 2. Would you have opted for a solo week or do these things really don't matter?
To be honest it's not really my call. It's the producers and the distributors who decide on a suitable release date. My job is to finish the film on time and deliver the quality that I promised.

On a parting note, give us 3 good reasons to watch Drona.
It's got great performances; you will see the same actors but in a very different kind of world and environment.

It's got never before seen stunts and visual effects And what is really the surprise factor, is that the film is very emotional and will make you cry. Abhishek is simply brilliant in this movie.
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How does she know what Bhajji and I were doing in the room

"I have been in the industry for 3 years now and have seen and been a part of some really nasty reporting. But this one just reaches the ultimate depth.

It is horrific to read something like this when all you wish to do is move on further in your career", one finds Geeta Basra in an inconsolable mood as she fumes. Reason?

After a couple of attempts being made by a section of media to link her up with cricketer Harbhajan Singh, a leading tabloid in yesterday's edition went to the extent of creating a news around both, which as per Geeta was truly malicious.

"How could this journalist write something on the tune of 'Geeta spotted entering Harbhajan's room in a hotel'? Didn't she see other people around me? Did she peek into the room to see what these individuals were doing?

Sorry, you can be naughty but certainly not cheesy! And if you ask me, this is downright cheap", says Geeta in a bitter tone.

Wasn't she informed about such an article coming out? "In fact I was and that surprises me even more", reacts Geeta, "When she called me to know the truth behind me seen entering Bhajji's room, I told her that he was a friend and we do meet on a number of occasions.

Also, I asked her to check out the entire group of friends that I was with along with my family members too. However, the worst part is that she not just conveniently ignored everyone other than me and Bhajji, she also chose to ignore whatever I had quoted on the records.

Come on, you can't be making stories spicy at the cost of other person's reputation and image."

Talking about the chat that she had immediately after the incident, Geeta admits that Bhajji wanted her to chill without worrying too much about the write-up, "He said that such things just come and go and it hardly matters to people who are close to you and understand you.

Though he was relaxed about it, I can't get something like this over my mind."

"I may come from UK and be forward thinking but this doesn't mean that my upbringing and attitude should be taken an advantage of. If I had a boyfriend, I won't hide him in a closet. But such below the belt maligning doesn't fly at all", Geeta gives warning signals here.

Making her displeasure loud and clear, she adds on a parting note, "Just because you have a pen and a paper in your hands doesn't mean you can go round writing whatever you wish.

That's irresponsible on the part of this journalist. And I am not blaming the media here since it isn't as if everyone has suddenly planned to gang up against me. However, when one or two individuals like these threaten to take the things too far, I am bound to react."
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Munnabhai (Sanju) gets adventurous!

B–town's MunnaBhai is all set to take his fans for an adventurous ride!!

Before you get puzzled, allow us to be more specific, actually Sanjay Dutt aka MunnaBhai is gearing up to turn producer and start films under his own banner, Sanjay Dutt Productions. And the very first film which he wishes to make is on adventure sports. For that matter Sanju has signed in KAAL fame director Soham Shah. Sanjay, who is already working in Soham's upcoming flick LUCK, was so impressed with Soham's style of working that he instantaneously decided to rope in Soham for his first production venture. According to Sanjay Soham is the perfect director to direct the film on adventure sports.

If the reports are to be believed than this maiden venture of Sanjay Dutt won't be based on a single sport; instead it would be a mix of several sports.

The film is still under scripting stage and expected to hit the floors early next year.

Meanwhile, Sanjay is busy promoting his much–awaited film KIDNAP which hits the screens on 2nd October.
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Bipasha spells her 'jaadu and nasha' again...!

Bipasha Basu aka Bips is all set to cast her ''jaadu and nasha'' on screen once again!

And this time it is in Sanjay Gupta's PANKH directed by Sudipto Chattopadhyay. Interestingly, Bipasha is a mere fantasy of the 20–year–old protagonist Jerry (Maradona Rebello) and does not actually exist in the film.

Explaining the complexity of the story director Chattopadhyay said, ''Bipasha is Jerry's fantasy who exists only in his mind. She is his alter–ego and loves to provoke him at a drop of her hat.'' Sudipto further explains, ''The character of Jerry is very complex. The film shows him as a famous child artiste who crossed dressed as a girl. Thus he is confused about his identity. There's a song, Jiya na Jala, sung by Sunidhi Chauhan, where he fantasizes Bipasha seducing him, creating confusion in his mind about his real identity whether he is a man, woman or an eunuch. But Bipasha seduces him completely and is his sexual fantasy. Bipasha is his only solace from the ugly reality of life.''

The director reveals that he and designers Rocky S and Gavin Miguel worked hard on Bipasha's look in the film. ''We wanted Bipasha to look like a Diva a la Sophia Loren and Liza Minelli in Cabaret. Also we had lengthy discussions over the scenes. And during the shoot Bipasha got so in with her character that as if she was visible only to Jerry and completely unaware of the actor's presence on the sets. Her whole attitude and behaviour while playing the character made the entire experience very interesting.''

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Saif watches as Kareena marries Sharman!

Please have faith in our headline because that is exactly what happened yesterday (Tuesday). While boyfriend Saif Ali Khan watched from a distance, not doing anything, Kareena Kapoor married Sharman Joshi!

Time for some clarifications now. Just yesterday we had told you that the unit of Raju Hirani's 3 IDIOTS was likely to reach the Himachal Pradesh capital Shimla at the first available opportunity. And that is how it has happened. The venue was Shimla's Hotel Woodville Palace (where Amitabh's BLACK was also shot) and the scene being canned was that of Sharman Joshi and Kareena Kapoor taking the seven 'pheras', as per proper Hindu marriage rituals. While the wedding sequence was being shot, Saif Ali Khan was seen hanging around the sets.

As per our unit sources, Kareena had arrived in Shimla (from Ladakh) with Saif and after the shooting was over, they were together throughout the day, enjoying the now clear Shimla weather.
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Minissha Lamba miffed with Sanjay GadhviAdd to hotlist

This is nothing new, whenever a big film is scheduled for release one of the principal artists gets miffed with the maker for not promoting them. Only last week we reported about Priyanka Chopra getting annoyed with the makers of 'Drona'. Now we have the buzz that Minissha Lamba is not happy with Sanjay Gadhvi the director of 'Kidnap' for not giving her importance in the promos of the film. Her absence from the press conference and photo shoot of the film corroborates the same.

'Kidnap' is pitted against 'Drona' on October 2 and call it a coincidence that leading ladies of both the films are miffed with their respective makers.
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Shoot On Sight is banned in Pakistan

It is now filmmaker Jagmohan Mundra's latest film on terrorism 'Shoot On Sight', which has been banned there. Mundra says he is not surprised. "Yes my film 'Shoot On Sight' has been banned in Pakistan because Pakistani actor Mikaal Zulfikar who plays Zaheer, a closet -terrorist is shown to be from there".

Pakistan has objected not only to the actor but also to the character of the terrorist being from Pakistan. Mundra is quite amused. "In a dialogue between Naseeruddin Shah and Om Puri, it is revealed that the character Zaheer is from Pakistan. The Pakistanis didn't like it," added Mundra.

What puzzles Jagmohan is that even after facing several problems, 'Khuda Kay Liye' released in Pakistan. "'Khuda Kay Liye' had Pakistani actors in Pakistan playing fundamentalists. The only thing is, they didn't show any terrorism related violence. They only showed fundamentalism. But, 'Shoot On Sight' doesn't spare the audience. It shows the violent underbelly of fundamentalism. The Pakistanis didn't like that," said Mundra.
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Naseeruddin Shah once again replaces Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan

After Jagmohan Mundhra’s ‘Shoot On Sight’, thespian Naseeruddin Shah has once again replaced Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan in the comic thriller ‘Maharathi’, a film inspired by a hit Gujarati play starring Paresh Rawal.“He (Amitabh) opted out because the role had shades of grey,” Paresh, who also directed the play, told IANS.

“Amitji explained his point of view in detail to me. And I agreed with him. So my dear friend Naseer, who was supposed to do another role in the screen adaptation, stepped into the role.”

Amitabh opted out of “Shoot On Sight”, based on the July 2007 London bombings, because he found it too controversial for his liking.In the film, Naseer finally played the role of Tariq Ali, a Muslim police officer at Scotland Yard, who is asked to track down suspected suicide bombers involved in the bombings.

Roping in Naseer is not the only change “Maharathi” underwent - originally Vikram Bhatt was to direct it, but he was replaced by Shivum Nair.

Paresh says he avoided directing the movie because he could not remove theatre from his sensibility.

“I’ve often been asked why I haven’t directed the film myself. The truth is the play is still fresh in my mind. But I didn’t want the grammar of the stage to be applied to the film version. Then what is the point doing a film? My mind is filled with the play. I couldn’t have detached myself from the stage.

“I needed a fresh cinematic vision to improve on the play. After doing plays for 21 years, I can’t remove theatre from my sensibility.”

All in place, Paresh is now just waiting to wrap up the shooting and see the end result on the big screen.

“It’s been a while since I felt this way about any film of mine. ‘Maharathi’ is based on my own play. When I did the play, I had to hunt around for backers for more than two years. We went on stage with the play in 1987.

“I did more than 700 shows. History repeated itself for the film when I had to hardsell my script for almost three years. Finally, I found a producer in Shree Ashtavinayak Cine Vision Ltd.,” he said.

“Now I’m doing the work that I’d talk about, like ‘Maharathi’. It is a very classy comic thriller. And I got to work with actors I really respect, like Naseer, Om Puri, Boman Irani. It’s a healthy commercial film. I’m sick of doing the unhealthy kind. I enjoy doing a film that takes me back to my roots and to work with the people I wanted to work with.”

Paresh himself plays the same role in the film that he did in the play.

“I play a driver who accidentally meets Naseer’s character. ‘Maharathi’ doesn’t sacrifice logic for suspense. The script is watertight. Everyone and everything are in place.”

Paresh hopes to repeat the success of the play.

“We used to have audiences coming repeatedly for the play although the suspense was out during the first performance. We had to revive it thrice on public demand. I hope to see the same success for the film.”
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Aamir Khan warns forces against dividing India

Bollywood star Aamir Khan Monday cautioned people to stay away from the political leaders who try to divide the country on the basis of religion, caste or community.

Responding to a query on the recent controversy between Raj Thackeray and Jaya Bachchan, Aamir said: “People should stay away from politicians and leaders who try to divide the masses on the basis of religion, caste or community.”

“It is harmful to the country and does no good to anyone. Any leader who tries to divide people on that line does that for his own personal gain and people should understand his intentions and stay away from him.”

“People should not vote them to power as that will be harmful for everyone,” the actor-turned-director said without naming any politician.

Aamir was addressing a press conference, for the promotion for his film “Taare Zameen Par” that has been selected as the Indian official entry to the Oscars.

“India (has) several languages and people should respect each one of them. One should respect the local language as it is also an integral part of any culture,” he said.
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Harri Puttar wins case against Warner Bros’ Harry Porter

Delhi High Court Monday dismissed Hollywood studio Warner Bros’ petition for injunction against Mirchi Movies’ forthcoming film ‘Hari Puttar - A Comedy of Terrors’ for alleged copyright violation.

Warner Bros filed the case against the movie as the title “Hari Puttar…” is similar to “Harry Potter”, Warner’s franchise of J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” book series, and, therefore, borders on infringement of its intellectual property rights.

But Mirchi Movies contended that “Hari puttar…” is an Indian name, meaning god’s son. Senior advocate Arun Jaitley was hired to fight the case in the court on behalf of Mirchi Movies.

“Hari Puttar…”, about a lonely kids adventure, was earlier slated to release Sep 19, but was deferred to a Sep 26 release due to the ongoing case proceedings.

Directed by Lucky Kohli and Rajesh Bajaj, the film stars Sarika, Jackie Shroff, Zain Khan, Swini Khara, Saurabh Shukla, Vijay Raaj and Lilette Dubey.

The movie will now release Sep 26.
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Chandni Chowk To China

Chandni Chowk To China, the first ever Bollywood Kungfu comedy takes you on a madcap Journey from the by- lanes of Chandni Chowk in Delhi, to Shanghai, the Great Wall and rural China, marrying in its wake hilarious gags, breathtaking action, spectacular locations, and heart stirring emotions.

Our protagonist Sidhu (Akshay Kumar) is the lowest on the totem pole, cutting vegetables at a roadside food stall in Chandni Chowk in Delhi.

He longs to escape his dreary existence and looks for shortcuts- with astrologers, tarot readers and fake fakirs - believing anything except himself, despite his father figure Dada's (Mithun Chakraborty) best efforts.

His redeeming moment arrives when two strangers from China claim him as a reincarnation of a war hero in the past and takes him to China. Sidhu now dreams of wine, women, and a princely existence in foreign lands.

Thanks to the devious translator, a conman by the name Chopstick (Ranvir Shorey), little does he know that he is being taken to the Promised Land to rid the Chinese village of the vicious smuggler Hojo (Gordon Liu)!

Therefore, Sidhu blissfully sets forth to China with Chopstick who instigates dreams of a delicious future and forgets to reveal the perils, which await him.

Along the way, he meets Sakhi (Deepika Padukone), Ms. Tele Shoppers Media (Ms. TSM) who has embarked on a journey to pay homage to the land of her birth and her dead father and twin.

Initially, Sidhu through a series of lucky coincidences manages to sidestep being beaten by Hojo's men but finally Hojo catches up with him and exposes him as the country buffoon that he really is. Sidhu has the fire of revenge in his belly and finds the one man who will make him a Kungfu expert and set the village free.

Armed with his Sifu (master), faith in himself and the love of the fair Sakhi, Sidhu sets forth to conquer all!
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I have no wish to join any reality show: Sonu Nigam

Sonu Nigam has traversed a long in his career winning hearts of millions of people both in his country and abroad. The singing king is back to India with his new achievements in the form of experience as well as love of audience from his Birmingham symphony. Here is a brief of conversation with Sonu regarding his journey to the Birmingham…

Q. You have represented Md. Rafi’s voice at the Birmingham. How is the experience?
A. It is fare well. At the same time I am amased with the love and appreciation they offered me with. I would like to tell you about an interesting incident.

Normally you should find very suited-booted kinda sophisticated audience in any symphony. They appreciate songs with almost inaudible claps. But Indians are always Indians. They simply cannot enjoy any concert without screaming and proving their presence aloud.

But the conductor of the show, Michael, was very shocked with the sight. Michael had previously doubt of my presence as a singer also; but then he believed my fame when girls went frantic with my name.

Q. Which kind of songs of Md. Rafi did they enjoy the most?
A. Rafi sahab has fans at every corner of this world. As far as India is concerned, most of the fans are in the age bracket of more than fifty. One can rarely hear out the old melodies on radio here.

There are merely ten songs that one can hear on most of the channels in India. But things are quite different in abroad. They like to hear out old melodies, irrespective of any age group.

The radio stations do telecast all the old songs and ghazals quite regularly. They know even about those songs by Rafi sahab that we have hardly heard about. But they really appreciated all the songs.

Q. Was there any foreigner amongst the Indian audience?
A. Yeah, there were few Pakistanis, Afghanis and few British people also. I think Indians bought all the tickets before British people came to know about the concert. You must know about our specialty i.e. we either don’t buy tickets or we buy it before anyone else can go for it.

Q. What do think is the reason that Md. Rafi enjoyed so much fan-following?
A. There are two things that matter most. First and foremost is the X-factor which is very tough to be defined. Kishor Kumar had it in his appearance. Md. Rafi had it in his voice.

He started his career and became famous only because of his voice and nothing else. I think that he never thought about his X-factor and that turned to be his most appreciative part.

Q. What would you like to say about the singers from the reality shows?
A. They are good because they are not corrupted. But they also can be corrupted once they come to know about how anyone and everyone can be a singer today.

From 14 to 22 of their age they have the will to become good singer but till they reach 25, they lose their intention as because they come to know that they don’t need to sing better to become a good singer.

Q. Music directors are even singing these days. What do you say about that?
A. (Smiling) What would I say? Let all be happy. Who am I to say something? But again, I would like to say that if you will do better then people will appreciate it otherwise people will definitely laugh at you.

Q. But S D Burman, R D Burman and Hemant Kumar were well known as singer cum actor besides their fame as music director.
A. But they never made fool of themselves. I am not saying that there is anything wrong with acting and singing for a music director, but the most important part is that you have to be prepared enough for those roles. Those legends cannot be compared with today’s music directors.

Q. When will you be back into acting?
A. Back in 2001 I hardly had any knowledge about films. Acting doesn’t mean that you always wait for your director to tell you about the expressions. I did the same and now I can understand how it was my mistake.

Now I know that co-starts are also very important in a film. I have also noticed how stories look better but they become something else after going through the shooting and editing stages. I didn’t have any idea about how Jaani Dusman will look like after the post production stage

. I just thought that Akshay, Suniel, Sunny, Manisha, Aftab and Arshad are signing the film so it has to be something better. Now I am decided that I will do only those films that my audience will love to watch. I know that they cannot accept me in any kind of character.

I have many offers but I cannot accept anything and everything. I have to think twice before signing a film. For the time being I am interested in the genre of Vishal Bhardwaj.

Q. What about the reality shows?
A. For the time being I have no wish to join any reality show. I know they offer good amount but I have no wish to break glasses and scream out at people anymore. Even if I have to go for television, I will do something else. - Rajnee Gupta.
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One-Night stands for me is ridiculing your entire personality: Neetu Chandra

Q. What kind of man do you dig?
A. personality driven man is what I like. He should be a man of substance. He should be intelligent and educated.

Q. Should he be from Bollywood?
A. If I have to fall in love, he can be from anywhere.

Q. You crave for internal or external beauty?
A. My man should have a good and pure heart.

Q. Your ideal romantic getaway would be?
A. Having a candlelight dinner on a cruise in the deep sea, with beautiful music playing. There should be no one else present on the cruise.

Q. Which man inspires you the most?
A. There's an imaginary person who inspires me a lot. He comes to me in my dreams and tells me to do a lot of good things in life.

Q. Do you believe in one-night stands?
A. One-night stands for me is ridiculing your entire personality.

Q. Your take on the institution of marriage from the point of view of a single woman?
A. I think marriage is a very beautiful thing that can happen to anyone's life. I completely believe in it. I like rituals —mehndi and other things associated with marriage which I have been seeing from my childhood.

Q. What would you do if your man turns out to be a gay?
A. I will set him free. Love cannot be forced upon. I would be happy and let him be happy.

Q. Is a sense of humour very important?
A. Very much. I talk a lot. Listening to me he should at least laugh. I pray to God, he should be able to also crack jokes like me. It's important to keep laughing and smiling.
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Why everyone is so concerned about my skin show: Gul Panag

Gul, the beautiful dimple, was seen last in Summer 2007, though for a little while as the film didn’t work well at the box office. Now the babe is ready to knock at the theatre doors with her three upcoming projects. Here is a scrap of conversation between Rajnee Gupta and the versatile actress…

Q. Please tell us about your character in Hello...
A. I play Priyanka – a girl who is very glam, and aware of the power of her good looks. She has shades of grey that makes her very real and relatable.

Q. The film is based on a novel. How did you feel giving life to such a character especially while you know that people know about the character?
A. I tried to play the character with utmost honestly and sincerity. I also had lots of discussions with Chetan Bhagat about playing Priyanka. Lastly, I left myself completely in the hands of Atul.

Q. Have you ever read the book?
A. Three times before meeting Atul for the first time. Twice again while filming.

Q. Atul Agnihotri as a director... tell about a good thing and a bad thing...
A. He is a very gentle person, and finds it difficult to be tough with people, which I suppose could be a bad thing. And because he's been an actor, he's fabulous with actors, which is a great thing.

Q. How was the experience of working with actors, especially Isha? You are doing Hello Darling with her and it's because of her that the shoot got delayed all the time...
A. Eesha is extremely talented and hardworking. I got along well with her during Hello and got even closer during Hello Darling. Shoot's get delayed for lots of reasons, but I can assure you not on account of her. She is too professional for that.

Q. Salman and Katrina are also there in this flick. Do you have any scene with them?
A. No. I shot the promo song with Salman, though, and it was a great experience.

Q. Summer 2007 flopped. What do you expect from this film?
A. So? So did many other big films. One can't stop being part of good cinema on the basis of their box office future. As for this film, it is a good film and very well made. Expectations? I never think about things that are out of my control! When a good film does well it shows that the audience has good taste.

Q. You entered Bollywood from a glamour world of beauty contest but accepted non-glamorous roles. Then after all these years suddenly you got entangled in a controversy of skin showing. Do you intend to change your image with that or have some other intention?
A. I am fortunate that I have the image of a "good" and "credible" actor. And I would not want to change that. Actors take years trying to get that.

As for glamour or the lack of it, I have to say it's a complete non issue for me when choosing my roles. And just because I've done de glam roles in the past doesn't make Gul, the person, de glam. I am what I am – someone who is versatile enough to be able to carry off everything.

And about controversy, I am not aware of any!! And skin show?? Please!! When have I ever been the demure one in a sari or salwar kameez off screen??

Not more than a few times and that, too, for maintaining the sanctity of an occasion. I have always dressed in my own way –whether it's short dresses or deep necks there's nothing new or different and certainly no 'intention'.

Q. Your forthcoming projects...
A. Right now I am engaged to three projects, namely Hello, Hello Darling and Straight. In Hello I am working with Sohail Khan, Sharman Joshi, Ishaa Kopikar, Amrita Arora and Sharod Saxena.

In Straight you can watch me with Vinay Pathak and in Hello Darling I am screened with Celina Jaitly, Ishaa Kopikar, Javed Jaffrey and Chunky Pandey.
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The secret of Katrina's hot quotient!

Finally revealed the secret of why Katrina is so super hot. Literally at that! A close friend of the actress reveals, "Katrina has shot in the most extreme weather conditions with temperatures as hot as a burning furnace

. But never once has she complained about it." Giving an example the friend added, "The Singh is King's song shot in Egypt, it was burning hot that time. The entire cast and crew were perspiring profusely except for Katrina.

She looked absolutely chilled out. In fact the hot weather only added to her energies as she went about doing her work calmly. The entire stood surprised." It is the cold weather that leaves Katrina absolutely cold.

"While shooting for Ajay Prem Ki Ghazab Kahaani in Ooty, Katrina had wrapped herself in layers of blankets.

In fact it made quite a funny sight where unit members including Ranbir began teasing her saying, "We now know that most apt gift to give you on any occasion—shawls and sweaters.

Guess success has not turned Katrina thick-skinned!
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Drona is my biggest, my best: Abhishek Bachchan

The countdown has begun for the two biggies that are slated for release this Idd: DRONA and KIDNAP. A lot is riding on these two films.

In terms of economics, both are expensive films. Plus, the careers of Abhishek Bachchan (DRONA) and Imran Khan (post JAANE TU… YA JAANE NA) are at stake. Will DRONA live up to the humungous expectations?

"It's my biggest and best film so far," Abhishek Bachchan tells me. He's supremely confident this time. "I don't speak like this, do I? But DRONA is different. It's the most expensive film I am associated with. Besides, Goldie (Behl; the director) has executed the subject remarkably," he states.

Abhishek and Goldie have got together after more than seven years (BAS ITNA SA KHWAB HAI was released in July 2001).

In between, in 2006, Goldie had plans of making a thriller with Abhishek, but decided on making an adventure fare instead. "Goldie was disheartened after his debut film failed. Later, he diversified into television; he wanted to make his company secure before he announced his next film," Abhishek reminisces.

Abhishek credits his directors for the (sterling) performances he has delivered in films like YUVA and GURU (Mani Ratnam) as also SARKAR and SARKAR RAJ (RGV).

"If at all DRONA works -- and I hope it does -- Goldie should get the credit for it. He has worked very, very hard. I am sure, the Indian audiences haven't seen an adventure film like DRONA before," he says confidently.

Abhishek has worked in the DHOOM series as also SARKAR and its sequel. There's talk that a sequel to DRONA is in the offing.

"Oh yes! Goldie has written so much in the intervening period that he's ready to take the DRONA series forward. In fact, the possibility of a sequel can easily be explored," he adds.
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Final verdict of ROCK ON is still awaited - Ritesh Sidhwani

'While ROCK ON is a clear Hit, it is still too early to arrive at the final verdict. The film has long legs and I expect it to continue doing good business for 4–5 more weeks at the least'', says Ritesh Sidhwani who along with Farhan Akhtar has now delivered yet another success in the form of ROCK ON.

For a film which is approximately budgeted at 10 crores, ROCK ON has done quite some roaring business for itself already, isn't it?

''Correction, there are all sorts of speculations that are going around for ROCK ON but let me say it on record that it is much higher than 10 crores. And I am not just talking about adding print and publicity cost.''

In that case, are the collections still good enough? ''Yes, we are very happy with the collections'', smiles Ritesh, ''Just from theatrical business we should be making good profits. Add to that all the satellite/home video rights and overseas collections and it turns out to be a neat number.''

Current numbers indicate around 22 crores from 3 weeks for ROCK ON. ''But that's not all because from so many smaller centers, it takes time to get the final number. Moreover, there are quite a few digital prints floating around and their collections have to be added up as well. I am not surprised if 22 crores is the reported number because in the final run when the balance sheet is prepared for a movie, the numbers always tend to be a little more due to additional information coming on'', explains Ritesh.

Ritesh has good expectations from the final total of the film and keeping his fingers crossed. Meanwhile, the production company has plans of launching many more films in next few weeks to come. Stay tuned!
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Arjan Bajwa flattered by female fan following

If enjoying the company of three beautiful women – Priyanka Chopra, Kangana and Mugdha Godse – was not good enough for Arjan Bajwa in FASHION, here is more for him. To his pleasant surprise, he recently discovered that he has quite a fan following for himself, especially from females. He realized this from the countless messaged and invites which he received the moment he started exploring his 'Facebook' account. Though most of the messages were cute and flattering, some of them were a little naughty as well, something which Arjan didn't really mind.

Arjan opens up after an initial hesitation here, 'Come on, this could happen to any guy, be it from the film world or outside it. Anyways, it was quite a pleasant surprise to see young females talking about me. It was quite flattering though a few of them were seemingly swooning during their compliments.'

Does he care to divulge any details?

'Hey, it would be unfair to any of them if I start giving out details', Arjan becomes a little protective here, 'The only thing I can say is that it is nice to see yourself being an object of affection for someone. I know there are lots of females out there who have very good expectations from me in FASHION. I just hope that I have done good enough work to be able to meet their expectations. A fan base can be truly enjoyed only if you give them back some good performance as well.'

As Priyanka's love interest in FASHION, Arjan is not new to the world of glitz and glamour. Making his debut 4 years back with a love story WOH TERA NAAM THA, Arjan was noticed first for his controlled performance in GURU. Earlier this year, he was also seen in SUMMER 2007 and in a month's time, he would be seen in his biggest project till date, FASHION, which is directed by Madhur Bhandarkar.

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Why sons and daughters not a hit in film

When Abhishek Bachchan had married Aishwarya Rai there was a salivating anticipation among the media planners that the whole family would be a huge brand and there was a great synergy in using them in combination for promoting a brand. However no campaign has been rolled so far, in which even the couples have been featured together, what to talk about the family as a whole.

It indeed is an interesting value proposition that the film star families, where both husband and wives are celebrities are not featured in an ad on a regular basis, though it happens in sports on a regular basis. Could it be owing to the fact that when in a family of sports star appears in a campaign as he is the sole celebrity the campaign uses him or her as the foci and builds up the copy around him, while this maxim is difficult nay impossible to operate in case of film stars as one cannot be excluded at the cost of the other for promoting a brand.

Could this also be the reason that we see a Hema Malini being featured along with Esha and Aahana in an ad campaign as the quotient of halo around Hema Malini is of a higher magnitude when compared with Esha and Aahana. Is it also the same reason that Sharmila Tagore appeared in ad with Soha Ali but has not featured with Saif Ali Khan in a campaign so far?

The celebrity couples are in large numbers but they seldom appear together in a campaign. Amitabh Bachchan for record had appeared with Abhishek Bachchan in a campaign for Maruti Versa but after that there was no follow up. Ajay Devgun had also appeared along with Kajol in few ads but now it is Kajol who is going solo, while Ajay has dropped out.

Is it owing to the fact that the campaign designers still see each of the stars as individual entities and do not go into account the metamorphosis that has undergone into their relationships or do not try to change the relationship in the mind of the consumers through designing a campaign in such a manner. LG who has Abhishek Bachchan as the brand manager tried to do it once, but did not follow it up.

Advertisement after all, is innovation so why not innovate. A beginning could be made with DRONA where Abhishek Bachchan and Jaya Bachchan are appearing together and an ad campaign could be built around it. Or for that matter in the next series of “What an Idea Campaign', Big B could be roped in. Possibilities are endless, only deconstruction in the approach is required.
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SORRY BHAI is a happy film - Onir

''MY BROTHER NIKHIL and BAS EK PAL formed a certain perception about me amongst audience as well as media. I hope it changes with the release of SORRY BHAI'', smiles Onir who has now taken a light hearted route after his earlier attempts that mainly explored dark themes.

'''Dark theme' – I guess this tag attached to me would break with SORRY BHAI'', laughs Onir who got quite some critical acclaim for MY BROTHER NIKHIL and to an extent BAS EK PAL. However, box office success evades him.

''I am sure SORRY BHAI would certainly do the trick'', says Onir whose film stars Sanjay Suri, Sharman Joshi and Chitrangada Singh in a love triangle, ''It is being presented by Vashu Bhagnani. Now from the man who has made quite a few entertainers over the years, you don't expect a serious film coming out, isn't it?''

The film is currently in its post production phase and is eyeing an early 2009 release. Meanwhile Onir continues to have fond memories about his Mauritus shoot which concluded a few months back.

''Working with Shabana Azmi was a dream come true while Boman Irani was one of us youngsters out here. We all became kids; I guess it was the beach affect'', recollects Onir, ''In fact I remember that there was this scene in the film where Sharman is required to step into the sea and play saxophone. Once I called 'cut', it was irresistible for me not to enter into the sea myself. I spent quite some time fooling around the beach even though pack up was announced.''

SORRY BHAI is a relationship based light hearted entertainer which sees two brothers (Sanjay Suri, Sharman Joshi) who fall in love with the same woman (Chitrangada).
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