Jiah Khan signs a two film deal with UTV Motion Pictures

Super-duper hit ‘Ghajini’ has given a push to Jiah Khan’s career who was missing from the scene after ‘Nishabd’. Now, Jiah has signed a two film deal with UTV Motion Pictures.

Jiah confirmed the news saying, “UTV has signed me for two of their future films to be started later this year.” Ram Mirchandani, CEO, UTV Rampage Motion Pictures, added, “Jiah is a wonderful actor with some amazing talent. We have signed her for our next projects and really look forward to working with her.”

There were rumors that Jiah had been dropped out of UTV’s last project ‘Yahoo’, but the actress clarified the rumor saying, “After the changes they made in the script, I felt that I don’t suit the character.”

UTV has also clarified that Jiah left “Yahoo” after creative changes were made to the script.

“Speculations in the industry about Jiah Khan being dropped out of Ken Ghosh’s project are completely erroneous. It was a mutual decision whereby Jiah opted out of the project seeing a misfit between the character and Jiah,” Mirchandani said.

Directed by Ken Ghosh, “Yahoo” features Shahid Kapur in the male lead.

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Priyanka Chopra released from hospital

Priyanka Chopra has faced two health scares over the period of one week. Just a week back, she fainted on the sets of director Ashutosh Gowarikar’s film ‘What’s Your Raashi’ due to fatigue and exhaustion and now, this Saturday, she was admitted to a hospital after feeling acute stomach pain and physical exhaustion. A number of tests were conducted and the lady was advised complete bed rest for a few days.

Priyanka has now been discharged from Kokilaben Hospital in Andheri, Mumbai late afternoon on Monday, April 13. However, the actress still looked very weak.

Her father, Dr. Ashok Chorpa said, “She had fever and had been unwell for some time. We advised her to take a battery of tests and so she has been kept under observation. Though all her test reports are normal, she has been advised to take rest and to slow down her work schedule.”

He further added, “We are leaving for a long family vacation, but Priyanka first wants to complete Ashutosh Gowariker’s film (first week of May).”

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Sonam Kapoor magazine scans for April 2009

Sonam Kapoor’s first two movies, ‘Saawariyan’ and ‘Delhi 6’, both bombed at the box office, but the girl managed to get rave reviews for her perfect beuty and flawless features. Sonam, who played a homely desi girl in her last two films, is now all set to go to image make over in upcoming movie “Ayesha” which will be the home production movie for her.

This month she adorns the pages of two highly popular magazines. Here are some scans from the latest edition of Filmfare Magazine where she looks stunning in red gown which she wears. She looks equally gorgeous as she graces the cover of Hi! Blitz magazine.

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‘Roshan’ is now titled ‘Vaada Raha’

Samir Karnik’s next directorial venture (after the mutli-starrer ‘Heroes’) is all set for release but with a different name though. The film, which was earlier titled ‘Roshan’, has now been named as ‘Vaada Raha’. This family-oriented film stars Bobby Deol as a doctor, Kangana Ranaut, Atul Agnihotri and Dwij Yadav.

Samir confirmed the news saying, “Yes the film is now called Vaada Raha. The name change is a decision taken by the makers Eros International who thought Vaada Raha would be a better title. They plan to release the film sometime in May provided the strike and other issues are taken care of.”

Samir is at present busy scripting his next big venture ‘Formula No.44’.

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Katrina Kaif flaunts her tattoos on chest and arm

After Saif Ali Khan’s tattoo ‘Kareena’ on his arm (Oh! That is pretty stale now), Deepika Padukone getting a RK tattoo on the back of her neck, Akshay Kumar getting the tattoo of his son’s name, and many more, the latest person in Bollywood to be inked is none other than the gorgeous damsel Katrina Kaif. Recently, she was spotted with a tattoo on her chest and another on her arm at Rajkumar Santoshi’s wrap up party for the film, ‘Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani.’ The party was held on Sunday night at producer Ramesh Taurani’s home and all crew members attended, including Katrina Kaif’s co-star in the film, Ranbir Kapoor.

The story unfolded later that the lady got inked for a photo shoot and that the tattoos are not permanent. However, she liked the tattoos so much that she chose not to remove them immediately and flaunted them at the party creating a lot of buzz, rumors and speculation.

Well, there’s more to the story. Katrina and was seen laughing and talking the whole time with Ranbir fanning the rumors of her hidden affair with the lovely guy.

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Prachi Desai to play a Muslim girl for Ekta Kapoor

Prachi Desai has been signed for Ekta Kapoor’s Balaji Films to play the role of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim’s soul mate Mehjabeen in Milan Luthria’s ‘Once Upon A Time In Mumbai’.

Prachi will be playing a Muslim working class girl in 1975 who gets involved with a don. Prachi has done a lot of research on the role and says, “This character is from a time that existed before me. Yes I’ve done plenty of reading on my character. I want to look and feel like Mehjabeen. And it’s such a challenge. And doing a film with Balaji is like coming home. Shobha Aunty, Jeetu Uncle and Ekta are like family. I remained connected with them when I did Rock On because it was directed by Ekta’s cousin Gattu (Abhishek Kapoor). My second film Life Partner has Ekta’s brother Tusshar Kapoor as my co-star. And now I’m finally doing a Balaji production.”

Ekta and Prachi are going through all the available video footage on the lady. In fact they have been hunting through all over the Muslim localities of Mumbai last month including Haji Ali to pick up authentic salwar-kameez.

Says Prachi, “That’s true. I didn’t want to get into yet another wife’s role after Rock On and Life Partner. Come on, yaar! I’m so young. I want to have fun and I keep getting these serious roles. But playing the don’s life partner in Once Upon A Time … was a challenge that I couldn’t resist.”

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Harry Potter - Hits the theaters 2 days before time

Harry Potter along with his school buddies heads back to class ahead of scheduled time.

As told by Dan Fellman “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” by Warner Bros is now opening on Wednesday, July 15; two days prior to its previous release date.

Fellman says, “Every day the kids are out of school in summer is just like an extra Saturday.” That presents the movie a head-start on the weekend through what’s determined to be a highly competitive summer time for Hollywood, which has major franchise films releasing virtually every week.

Warner Bros. also launched the franchise’s latest release, “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” on a Wednesday in July 2007.

This is the sixth installment in the adventures of the boy wizard and has gone for the change of release date for the second time. “Half-Blood Prince” had been listed for screening last fall until the studio bumped it to this July to take benefit of an open weekend in the eventful summer lineup.

The movie stars Daniel Radcliffe as Harry, alongwith Rupert Grint and Emma Watson as his best buddies at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

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Akshay pips King Khan as Bollywood’s No.1 Taxpayer

Singh is definitely king. At least for the tax man. Film star Akshay Kumar has emerged as the top taxpayer in Bollywood for 2008-09, narrowly pipping Shah Rukh Khan (SRK) to the next position. Kumar paid a total advance tax of Rs 31 crore in the financial year against Rs 12.5 crore in 2007-08, a whopping 148% more than what he paid in the previous financial year, thanks to his recent box office hits. That means Kumar’s total earnings for the period were a tad above Rs 100 crore, On the other hand, King Khan’s tax payout declined marginally — by 1.69% — to Rs 30.9 crore in 2008-09 compared to Rs 31.5 crore in the fiscal before. Together, Kumar and Khan account for nearly 60% of the total Rs 107 crore forked out by Bollywood’s top 10 advance taxpayers.

However, the biggest fall was Big B’s. Amitabh Bachchan made it to the bottom of the top 10 advance tax payers list, with a modest Rs 1.25 crore, sliding 74.77% from the previous financial year. His daughter-in-law, was 6th on the list, paying more advance tax than both the Bachchans. While she handed over Rs 4.75 crore in advance tax (10.46% more than 2007-08), Abhishek Bachchan paid Rs 3.2 crore in 2008-09, marking a decline of 42.86%.

Salman Khan’s earnings saw the second-highest growth after Kumar in terms of percentage — 107.41% more than last year. But in terms of the actual amount, he made it only to third place with a total advance tax payout of Rs 14 crore.

Saif Ali Khan and his lady love Kareena Kapoor also figure in the list of top 10 Bollywood taxpayers. Khan paid Rs 8.63 crore (an impressive 64% more than last year) while Kapoor — the only other female film star to make it to the list besides Rai-Bachchan — forked out Rs 3.7 crore, nearly 2.78% more than last year.

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Angelina Jolie defeats Freida Pinto

The 24-year-old Indian beauty, Freida Pinto, surprised veryone when she made to the list of 19 most beautiful women contestants from all over the globe in a poll made by magazine ‘Vanity Fair’ defeating Hollywood superstars like Charlize Theron and Nicole Kidman and our desi beauty Aishwarya Rai.

However, the crown of the most beautiful woman went to 33 year old Angelina Jolie who defeated all her rivals with a whopping 58 percent votes. The competition wasn’t even close, as supermodel Gisele Bundchen, who ranked second, got just 9 per cent of the total votes. Oscar-winning star Halle Berry ranked third with 4 per cent.

‘Slumdog Millionaire’ actress Pinto, who was the only Indian to feature in the list, garnered 2 per cent of the total votes along with actress Cate Blanchette and popstar Beyonce. Pinto, however, was ahead of France’s first lady Carla Bruni, actress Gwyneth Paltrow, Elle Macpherson, Kerry Washington and Kate Moss, who got only 1 per cent of the total votes.

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Katrina Kaif has reportedly severed her relations with Salman Khan

Their relations have suffered badly during the last one year. It is said that they are no longer on talking terms. The couple who had a rocking relationship for the last six years seem to be going through a rough patch.

There can’t be smoke without fire. So, you have a reason to listen to rumours too. And here is the latest gossip in Bollywood. Lovebirds Katrina Kaif and Salman Khan managed to keep their relationship intact in spite of the rumours that they were splitting. However, the true colour is slowly but surely coming out. The news is spreading like wild fire that Katrina is disappointed with boyfriend Salman. She has not forgiven him for his rowdy behavior and his verbal attack on Shah Rukh Khan in her birthday party. She is blaming Salman for the controversy, as she thinks he should have behaved well as the host of the party. What hurt the actress even more was that he didn’t listen to her request to offer an apology to Shahrukh.

Everyone knows that initially Katrina Kaif got many of the roles due to her beau Salman Khan who sort of forced many directors who were desirous to cast him in their films. Salman’s presence almost ensures the success of films. Even if some of his films may not be super hits at box office but they always give a decent return to producers. Initially filmmakers were at first hesitant to sign her because of her linguistic shortcomings. Katrina saw success with the 2005 film Sarkar where she played the brief role of Abhishek Bachchan’s love interest. Her next release was Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya, where in she was paired opposite Salman Khan.

Katrina Kaif then appeared in a series of box office hits that include Apne, Partner and Welcome. 2008 saw her play a negative role for the first time in Abbas-Mustan’s super hit action thriller Race. She played the role of Saif Ali Khan’s secretary who is secretly in love with him. She appeared next in Anees Bazmee’s box office blockbuster Singh Is Kinng alongside Akshay Kumar for the fourth time.

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Prachi Desai at Marks & Spencer Store Launch

The journey of the 19-year old girl, Prachi Desai, from the small screen’s favorite Bahu, Bani, to the silver screen’s confident wife in ‘Rock On’ has been a dream come true. Prachi has seen success in both the screens. She also holds Best Actress award for her film ‘Rock On’ during a ‘Dabur Vatika Anandalok Puraskar 2008? in Kolkata. How far she maintains this success is yet to be seen. The young actress will be seen next in ‘Life Partner’ and ‘Once Upon A Time In Mumbai’.

She was recently spotted at the launch of Marks & Spencer Store in Ghatkopar, Mumbai. Check out her pics from the event.

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Neil Nitin Mukesh does a nude scene for ‘Jail’

Our Censor Board is going to face critical dilemma when they have to pass this scene. Yes, we are talking about Madhur Bhandarkar’s next ‘Jail’ where we have Neil Nitin Mukesh in a frontal nude for a very critical scene.

Neil says that it was difficult to get over his inhibitions for the scene but then he had to do it for it was a crucial part of the film. Here is what the newcomer had to say about the scene.

“I was doing a realistic film. Before doing bold cinema, one does have certain inhibitions. I had to first understand the character graph. We are shooting the film in chronological order. Jail is about a subject that the common man isn’t exposed to. We didn’t want to show things that seemed artificial. My character is being frisked and it’s important to portray it as real as possible. I didn’t want to do it as part of any gimmick or as a publicity thing for the film. This scene forms the crux of the film. The humiliation of a convict when he is stripped, is akin to a man being raped. Madhur has shot it very nicely so that the viewers are not scandalized. As an actor, I don’t think any man should be inhibited. More than the shame of shooting such a scene, it was the trauma of the character that’s shameful. After getting comfortable with the surroundings, I was okay because I knew the scene was being well shot.”

There is also a scene yet to be shot which will be a bath sequence with 40 inmates where Neil will be shown wearing just his bare essentials. Talking about the scene, Neil says, “I don’t see any problem if it’s picturised correctly. Why should people not accept the truth? This is real cinema. People are not aware of life behind bars. Had I not done this film, I would never have known about these disturbing facts in a convict’s life. Shooting such a scene won’t be a problem for me.”

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Slumdog Millionaire child star Rubina’s fame retailed by her father

In a sensational sting operation by newsoftheworld, the father of rubina ali child star of an oscar winning movie Slumdog Millionaire tries to encash her daughter’s popularity by availing her for adoption in lieu of £200000.
According to the trusted sources rubina’s father puts her adoption by a sheikh who in his eyes can afford better prospects for rubina’s future.
As reported by the IBN Live news channel rubina’s father denies the deal and told he was paid 1.5 lac rupees from Slumdog Millionaire. He also revealed that he did not get the dues promised to him from the film Slumdog Millionaire (an apartment)
Nevertheless, question remains that plight of her girl child borned in slum will ever see an improvement?

Image and news source: newsoftheworld.co.uk

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'Harrassed' by Jawans, Celina finally finds some justice!

A fortnight back, Celina Jaitley had a harrowing experience with the airport authorities in New Delhi during a security check for her flight to Mumbai.

While her iPod and Blackberry were damaged, the worst was yet to come as the cops who were apparently responsible for it were found smiling even as Celina was complaining against them. Hurt and disappointed, she spoke her mind out in full public view.

Her words did find listeners as CISF came into action and began an enquiry into the matter. This resulted in the highest placed authorities at CISF waking up to this fact and assuring Celina that all would be done to prevent such an incident from happening again.

Says a source close to Celina, "Mr. Bannerji, who is the Director General CISF, Delhi, has taken special action that this kind of thing doesn't happen again.

In fact action has also been taken against the jawans present on the day of the incident. Even Mumbai has acted quickly on this matter with Mr. Sanjay Prakash, CISF Chief, Mumbai taking special measures.

When the biggest of the matters are swept under the carpet, it seems quite commendable that a quick action has been taken in such a small time period.

"This is what thrills me most. I really truly appreciate the measure taken and I thank Mr. Bannerji and Mr. Sanjay Prakash. They have apprised me about their plans going forward.

After interacting with them, I am sure that our security is under the leadership of ace officers. Kudos to them", says a visibly thrilled Celina who is happy that her point of view has been appreciated.

Apparently, there are also some radical changes that are being made in the training curriculum for CISF jawaans. Going forward there would be added emphasis on dealing with women, especially senior citizens.

"I have been told about this as well", says Celina hours before packing her bags for the shooting schedule of her next film, "I am glad that the people at the top have been responsive to the issue and at least tried to understand my grievance.

Of course, as I stated earlier as well, they are there for our own security so passengers too should do their bit and cooperate completely with them."

She is gladdened with all the media support that came her way in her fight against the issue, which resulted in quick turnaround time for issue resolution.

"As a citizen journalist I raised my voice and from there on media ensured that it reaches out to all the concerned stakeholders. I sincerely thank media for standing by me", concludes Celina.

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I've no plan to enter IPL: Kareena Kapoor

Bollywood beauties Preity Zinta, Juhi Chawla and Shilpa Shetty are trying their luck in the business of cricket through the Indian Premier League (IPL), but Kareena Kapoor says she has no such plan as she doesn't have a business sense.

Asked if she planned to enter IPL like other actresses, Kareena said: "I have no idea about business. I only know how to act. As for business, I will think about it five years later."

Kareena, who was last seen with superstar Shah Rukh Khan in a song in Billu, is busy working for forthcoming films like Kambakth Ishq, Main Aur Mrs. Khanna, Three Idiots and an untitled Renzil D'Silva project.

While Preity co-owns IPL team Kings XI Punjab, Juhi is part owner of Shah Rukh's Kolkata Knight Riders and Shilpa Shetty joined the cricket bandwagon this year with beau Raj Kundra by buying a stake in Rajasthan Royals.

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Katrina splurges money on spot boys

Katrina Kaif is enjoying a good phase in her career and can afford to spend as much as she can. On herself of course.

But the actress just decided to spurge on the unit members of Rajkumar Santoshi's ‘Ajab Prem Ki Gajab Kahani’.

The buzz is that while shooting at Film City, Kat distributed as much as Rs 5 lakh among the unit members which included the technicians and spot boys.

A source reveals, "After wrapping up the schedule, Katrina went into her vanity van and came out with bundles of notes and started distributing them among the unit members. She was in a happy mood and wanted to share her happiness with everyone."

Katrina has reportedly acted on her instincts and while handing the money also thanked everyone personally.

It’s being said that she was showing appreciation for the long hours, sometimes 16 hours at a stretch that the unit had put in and her way of saying thanks to as many as 300 people was calling them by their names and handing out the cash to each one personally.

The director Santoshi was also reportedly caught by surprise as people don’t usually do what she did.

Reportedly Kat doesn’t wish to publicize this whole thing much.

A source said, "Katrina is not comfortable talking about it but yes, she did give away Rs 5 lakh to the entire unit. While handing out the cash, she personally commended everyone on his job.

Also though stars and technicians often get credit for their work most unit people neither get appreciation nor credit. Katrina just felt it was the right thing to do and she did it."

Well, that’s what her handlers say, but in a way by not talking about it, she’s publicizing it already. Much like every other Bollywood star who wishes to show off his/ her charitable side.

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I'm the only girl Saif wants now: Kareena Kapoor

Bebo sure is flying high with her career.

But she literally wanted to do so in real life as an airhostes.

She’s said, “I wanted to be an air hostess and fly the world, but my father was very against that. Then came the lawyer phase, where I went to Govt. Law College for six months and ran away because of the books.”

Though she’s not traveling the world as an actress, she’s doing it as an actress and that’s amazing for sure.

And she’s equally satisfied, happy and content in her personal life as with her professional life.

She adds, “The fact that I am not the heroine of his first production just goes to show that we have our complete different zones when we work.

Saif Ali Khan is actually the guy who has wanted to be single all his life, run away from relationships, run away from commitment, but he always tells me ‘you are actually the only girl that I really wanted to commit to’ But he’s supportive and understands that she is at “a stage which every girl would want to be at in their career” and for that, I love him even more.”

And even though people like to believe, she’s not holding grudges either, not with Bips who she reportedly called ‘kaali billi’ once upon a time and not with Abhishek, her first hero.

She adds, “I did get launched with Abhishek, irrespective of whatever issues are there today.”

Well, some people are born blessed! Bebo sure is one of them.

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No kidding, Katrina Kaif is looking to win a national award

After a slew of out and out comedies like "Namastey London", "Partner" and "Singh Is Kinng", Katrina Kaif is now working on two "difficult" films - Prakash Jha's political drama "Rajneeti" and Rajkumar Santoshi's romantic comedy "Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani"- and the actress wants to devote extra time and thought to the projects.

"This year I would like to allocate time to big films. The kind of films I am doing - 'Rajneeti' and 'Ajab Prem...' are a little more difficult. They need time and also a little more thought process, " Katrina told. The films are slated for release this year.

In "Ajab Prem..." Katrina shares screen space with Ranbir Kapoor and Upen Patel, while in "Rajneeti" she stars alongside a bevy of actors including Ranbir, Ajay Devgan, Arjun Rampal, Nana Patekar and Manoj Bajpai.

Katrina says that Santoshi's dedication and "knack for making his actors win national awards" is something that makes her want to work hard for his film.

"'Ajab Prem...' is a very different film. Raj-ji is a taskmaster on the sets and the results of that are visible. I need to dedicate enough time and attention to this film because I think the movie is going to be very special and very important for me. It's nothing like I have done before, " said the 24-year-old actress.

Katrina shares similar sentiments for Jha, who has helmed films like "Gangaajal" and "Apaharan" in the past.

"Prakash Jha is highly intelligent and highly interested in his project. A film like 'Rajneeti' is not something where I can just jump and say - 'Sir, my hair is done, my costume is done and I'm ready', something I can do in most films that are comic capers.

"For films like his, one has to research clothes. I can't decide on my own what I want to wear or what I would prefer. I have to follow the character I am playing. 'Rajneeti' is a very grounded, a very rooted film, and so I am going to be dedicating a little more time as the project requires it, " she said.

In "Rajneeti" Katrina sports a simple and de-glamourized look in a crisp cotton sari and with her hair neatly tied in a ponytail. Though the look bears a resemblance to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, the director has denied that her role has anything to do with the senior leader.

Though Katrina has mostly starred in comedies like "Namastey London" and "Singh Is Kinng" (Vipul Shah), "Partner" (David Dhawan) and "Welcome" (Anees Bazmee) in her over five-year-old career, she says she "might not be doing another comedy, fun, masti film very dedicatedly any time soon".

Apart from "Rajneeti" and "Ajab Prem...", Katrina has Yash Raj Film's "New York", Anthony D'Souza's "Blue" and also a two-film deal with production house UTV in her kitty.

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Shocking: Freida Pinto is earning more than Ash, Bebo and Katrina

No one saw it coming. Freida Pinto has leaped ahead of her Indian rivals to become the highest paid actress in Bollywood, a news report said.

Following the success of Slumdog, which took home eight Oscars and whose worldwide box office receipts so far are estimated at over $ 270 million, the Indian model-turned-actress has landed a series of lucrative roles with top directors, including Woody Allen and Julian Schnabel.

According to a report in the Daily Telegraph, she has pushed ahead of her colleagues Kareena Kapoor , Katrina Kaif and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, to become the highest paid actress in India.

Freida is currently in Israel to shoot for a new film that focuses on the interwoven lives of a Israeli and Palestinian women from the early years of the state through the early 1990s.

The British daily, quoting sources close to the Indian star, said her earnings have now topped 2 million pounds.

'Freida is fast reaching the top status in the international arena. The actress' projects with big filmmakers like Woody Allen have helped her join a league which no other Indian actress has achieved so far,' said a film analyst.

'Freida can't be compared to Aishwarya because we're not pitching her as an Indian girl in international films. Freida is a true global face,' Anirban Das, CEO of her management company, was quoted as saying in the report.

The 'Slumdog' star is not only seen as a threat in Bollywood. A lot of Hollywood hotties are worried about her meteoric rise as well.

Oscar winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow is scared that Freida Pinto will steal her 1 million pounds-a-year contract with Estee Lauder.

Paltrow replaced Elizabeth Hurley in 2005 as the younger and fresher face of Estee Lauder cosmetics. She is now afraid that Pinto will upstage her.

A source said: "Gwyneth makes millions through her sponsorship deals and it's her commercial work that's keeping her rich. The news that Estee Lauder is in talks with Freida caught her by complete surprise.

Losing the Estee Lauder deal would be a huge blow to Gwyneth. She's waiting for an exact outline of what Freida will be doing for the brand and hoping she won't be sidelined."

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Thanks to boyfriend, Kangana is out of work

Kangana Ranaut is hardly having any films on hand apart from the recently completed Hritik Roshan starrer Kites. Despite having scored a solo hit this year with Raaz 2, not many makers are rushing to sign her. The reason we found left us stumped.

Producer who go to sign are told by her to sign her boyfriend Adhyayan Suman as her co-star as she feels she shares the best on screen chemistry with him.

But she fails to understand that though the guy is not that bad an actor he does not have the kind of market that Bollywood producers want to target.

Not everyone is as good as the Bhatts to generate a lot of hype for their film without spending money. After all everyone cannot hire Mahesh Bhatt as their spokesperson for free.

Their first film Raaz –2 was a big box office success and Kangana believes that all the films with Adhyayan in the lead will bring in many more successes.

She has clearly told directors to now come to her only if they have a script good enough to cast Adhyayan in the lead role. Only big filmmakers and big production houses are exempt from this clause. If you want Kangana in the lead and can sign on Adhyayan, you know what to do.

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Everyone knows how Salman is: Asin

Asin says she’s had great fun shooting for “London Dreams’. She calls it a one of a kind experience.

There were numerous pranks, rambling tongue twisters, mugging up of one liners and so on…

She says she has learnt some interesting new things and Salman and especially Ajay Devgan made it even more interesting.

She’s said, “Ajay used to come up with some funny one-liners and tongue twisters which I got to learn from him. It’s one of my best shooting experiences. But I am not in a position to judge but yes as costars I feel they all are fabulous to work with. Both are very different actors and different people.”

Ajay actually seems to have impressed the Southern dame quite a bit.

She’s added, “Everyone knows that Salman is very chilled out but for Ajay, I thought he is a very serious and reserved person. But he is a complete surprise package. He is a complete entertainment channel on the sets.

Ajay is a prankster and I wasn’t aware of that. He actually tried playing a prank on me but it didn’t work so Ajay now has to think of something tougher.”

After coping up with somber Aamir Khan and his perfectionist ways, this sure would like a vacation for Asin. Not bad at all.

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Mallika Sherawat for Playboy?

She came, she saw (or is it 'showed'), she conquered! We are indeed talking about the one and only Mallika Sherawat.

After having won everyone's hearts alike with her superlative performance in Murder, Mallika went onto become one of Bollywood's most prized and desirable possession, a tag that she carries with her till today, with elan!

She took full advantage of the international attention she got after the small role in Jackie Chan’s ‘The Myth’. She tried to change her image with ‘Pyar Ke Side Effects’ and succeeded to an extent. But that was it.

Two of her more recent movies ‘Ugly aur Pagli’ and ‘Maan Gaye Mughal-e-Azam’ failed badly. But she’s not ready to give up yet.

Actresses she considers competition like Ash are still going strong. Plus there’s the rise of upstarts like Freida Pinto who came out of no where and getting loads of attention and money, thanks to ‘Slumdog Millionaire’. We can sense Madame M fuming with jealousy.

But for those who feel that Mallika has done the great vanishing trick after her last release Welcome, here's some news that will actually act as some fragrance!

Well, the news is that the international brand 'Playboy' (not the magazine, but the perfume) has been rumored to have roped in Madame Mallika for its launch in India, which should happen anytime mid-April.

Although it's not clear as to whether she will be endorsing the brand or be merely inaugurating the launch party, one thing is for sure, that not just the 'Playboy' perfume will be a huge sellout, but also will garner lots of bunny points for itself. What say, Mallika!

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Amrita Rao takes Shortkut, gets sexy

The already rising temperatures of summer are going to trouble us more further as Amrita Rao is all set to unleash her sexy avatar with her upcoming summer release flick Shortkut.

The Vivaah actress is all set to shed her inhibitions on the big screen and look as sexy and glamorous as a girl of her age should look like. Shortkut is a Anil Kapoor production co-starring Akshaye Khanna and Arshad Warsi and is being directed by Neeraj Vora.

Bringing the transformation in her styling is none other than designer guru, Manish Malhotra. Manish has been giving such kind of makeovers to almost all the heroines of the industry, starting with Urmila Matondkar in Rangeela, Karisma Kapoor on Raja Hindustani to name a few. Likewise, Amrita will flaunt her abs and legs in skimpy clothes for Shortkut.

States Amrita in this regards, "Till now most of my characters in the films that have done have been conservative and that is why I have had to dress the part.

In Vivaah, the character was so traditional that the attire had to support her beliefs. But Shortkut is a different film and I am wearing clothes accordingly. And all I can say that Manish has done a fabulous job and I feel I am looking great."

Shortkut was earlier scheduled for a March release but the Indian Premiere League's earlier schedule postponed it ahead. The film now may release in end of May.

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I respect Aishwarya for what she is: Katrina Kaif

Katrina has climbed one step higher on the pedestal of success. Representing the Barbie doll in India and walking the ramp in the Barbie clothes has been an iconic moment for Katrina who has now made it to the top.

Katrina has replaced Aishwarya Rai in most of the campaigns and since there was a buzz that Aishwarya Rai was going to the iconic figure for Barbie, Katrina being selected for the same came as a surprise.

“I know nothing about that. My association was with Mattel Company. They approached me and I took it up. As far as Aishwarya Rai is concerned she is a talented actress and is an iconic figure not only in India but all over the world. I respect Aishwarya for what she is” says Katrina.

“I feel lucky and privileged and to have things offered to me on a platter. Everything I have worked for in life has been fulfilled. My whole journey has been wonderful. It has come at the right time and I have worked hard for it.

I feel blessed and fortunate that god has answered everything. I am trying to give my best shot every time I try something new” she further adds.

Dressing up as a Barbie girl must be every girl’s dream, we tell her. “Yes, dressing up as a Barbie girl certainly brought back childhood memories.

It was a great occasion and they were moments I could relate to in real life like how I strutted around in my clothes as a young child.

These are moments which you capture in your heart so that when you grow old you can sit and cherish them. I am certainly happy and joyous. I enjoyed every bit of it” says Katrina.

So how did the association come about at the last moment we ask her.

“Mattel wanted to do something on the 50 years of Barbie. They have already got stars to endorse for Barbie in New York and London and they wanted some one in India. I was game for it.

For me it was flattering since it was for the first time in India. But I want to clear it out that this will be just a collective item for the Barbie stores. It is not for sale” reveals Katrina.

Katrina Kaif has been applauded as a youth icon but now the actress has found a new place for self among her little fans.

“It is one thing to be an iconic figure but I would like to tell all my little fans that don’t bother what size you are just aspire in life and make the most of your ability. Have fun and make the most of being a woman in life. Live your life the best” she says.

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Is the Salman – Katrina affair finally over?

Gossip mills are running rapidly again in industry circles claiming that Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif have finally headed towards a split.

Just when the news is out the couple is seen together at events again there have also been reports that Salman Khan’s over possessive nature has widened the gap between the two.

The couple has never openly spoken about their relationship but yet stood strongly besides each other in the hour of need.

Everyone in the industry knows that Salman helped Katrina at a time when she was new to the industry.

Her debut venture Boom in 2003 was a box office disaster and Salman was his peak of success with films like Baaghban and Mujhse Shaadi Karoge had just been released.

That is when Salman Khan was introduced to this new comer who had nobody in the industry and was all set to try her luck with good looks and anglicized accent.

Apart from a few commercials Katrina Kaif had not signed any film. That is when Salman Khan came to her resuce as her knight in shining armour.

His family accepted her graciously and she became a part of the entire Khandaan.

They went on do films together like Maine Pyaar Kyon Kiya in 2005 which failed to appeal the audiences. Their next David Dhawan’s Partner was a hit but they were not paired opposite each other.

Their latest offering Subhash Ghai went to become another box office failure. Though they have been accepted as an offscreen couple they still haven’t managed to create the same magic on screen.

Katrina in the mean time went on to do films with other heroes and churned out one hit after the other. Slowly and steadily she climbed the ladder of success finally conquering the pedestal of the number one position.

Be it films; commercials or endorsements the Katrina has made her place secure everywhere.

Yet she humbly states, “I feel lucky and privileged and have been bless that God has answered all my prayers. I am trying to give my best and am working hard. The whole journey has been wonderful. What more can I say.”

Today their positions are reversed. Salman has had a series of flops to his credit at the box office amongst them the recent ones being God Tussi Great Ho, Yuvraaj.

Quiz Katrina about it and she once again supports her hero, “For me Salman is an icon. His stardom can never be affected. He will always be iconic whether his films are successful or not successful.”

Successful or not only time will tell whether Salman and Katrina will ever appeal to the audiences as an onscreen couple.

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Kangana: I think two actresses fighting is very unfashionable

For her show on 5 April for Femina Kangana paid a tribute to two screen queens Madhuri Dixit and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan.

And when she got to know that Priyanka Chopra too will be performing Kangana gladly gave over the Fashion songs to her colleague and friend.

Says Kangana, “When I got to know that Priyanka is performing I asked her about her songs. When she said she was doing the Fashion songs I happily decided to do the tribute to Aishwarya and Madhuri.

I’ll danced to tracks like Madhuri’s Mera piya ghar aaya and Aishwarya’s Nimbooda. This gave me a chance to try out my Kathak which I’ve been learning for three years.”

So much for the belief that two actresses can never get along together. Ironically Abhishek Bachchan and Priyanka Chopra couldn’t agree over the allotting of songs from Dostana during the Filmfare awards.

Priyanka had ultimately opted out.

Says Kangana, “I think girl bonding is very cool. I can’t say Priyanka and I are best friends. I think two actresses fighting is very unfashionable. After Fashion there’s a comfort level. And if we can share a platform without getting in one another’s way then isn’t that just great?”

Non-stop dancing for two back-to-back shows has taken its toll on Kangana Ranaut’s legs.

On Friday when she was scheduled to perform for an FM channel (98.5) Kangana’s legs could barely move.

Wincing in pain Kangana recounted her horror.“On Thursday I kept rehearsing non-stop for two shows for six hours. I never realized what I was putting myself through until the next morning when I woke up with swollen legs.”

Kangana somehow managed to drag herself to the show where she danced to her Fashion tracks.

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Priyanka: Which girl doesn’t want to be called the sexiest

Priyanka says she loves being the centre of the male gaze.

“I love the attention I get. Which girl doesn’t? To be considered hot is …cool! To be called the sexiest, the most desirable, etc in magazine and website polls is very flattering. I take it in my stride.

Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder and I’m glad a lot of men behold me. There’s no special man to make me feel special. Between my family and career there’s no room for for anyone else.”

Priyanka Chopra is busy playing a dozen desirable divas in the same frame. She has 12 roles to play Ashutosh Gowariker’s What’s Your Raashee.

But it was Hurman Baweja who slogged his butt off in the 3-day schedule of the film in Chicago.

Priyanka spent her time with her cousins in Chicago.

Sighs Priyanka, “It was more masti than work. We chose this time to shoot in Chicago because the script needed snow. And we got it in plenty.

I loooooove the snow. And since I’ve a lot of in family in America I called them over to Chicago. It was more fun than work really.”

Priyanka loves shooting in the US. “I love going to America. I’ve so much family there. Earlier during Dostana in Philadelphia I had a ball.

Now in Chicago 1-15 people including my Naani, my aunts and my cousins would be on the sets to visit me. And luckily there was very little work for me. It was Hurman’s character which is from Chicago.”

Priyanka was glad to have this chance to unwind. “I let Hurman do all the slogging. Raashee is a very taxing film for me.

This kind of role has never been done. For the first time in my career I plan to take a two-week holiday after Raashee.”

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John 'drives' me crazy, Bipasha hits back

It’s not for a film. Not this time. Starting this week, Bipasha Basu is taking a month off to fulfil one of her long- cherished dreams.

“This month-long holiday fell into my lap when the Lamhaa schedule got postponed by a month. I’m now using this time to do what I always wanted to. I’m learning…bellydancing”.

Bellydancing? Is it for a movie? “No no it’s something I wanted to learn for a long time. I wanted to indulge in a dancing skill that didn’t require too much pressure on my knees which are not doing too well. So salsa and other dance forms were out.”

So is this for a film. Or for private performance with John Abraham?

“Neither, ” Bipasha chortles. “I’m learning belly dancing for myself. I love dancing. I don’t have really fantastic knees. And I did’t want to learn any dancing that would put pressure on my knees. Of course I’d love to do belly dancing on screen too.And I’ll incorporate it into my roles for sure.”

Earlier this week Bipasha woke up her business manager in the middle of the night to look for a belly dancing school. “The impulse just came on me. She located a proper institute which I’m enrolling into.”

Belly-dancing is not all that Bipasha is learning. “I’m also learning swimming and driving in this month-long unexpected holiday. Swimming is something I learnt a bit for Dhoom 2. For Dhoom no swimming skills, only the body was required. So I pulled it off. But I really don’t know swimming and I’m finally learning it. For Goa’s sake.”

Bipasha explains, “Goa is my favourite holiday spot. When I get into the water in Goa I just float. Now I want to swim in the Goan waters. Not just for fun. But because it’s a very good exercize. And swimming brings so much grace to your body language.”

As for driving, it’s more of a challenge that Bipasha has taken up to prove her boyfriend John wrong.

“As we talk I’m in the fourth day of my driving lessons. I can drive straight left and right. But I can’t reverse yet. So now I can look convincing when driving. In almost all my films I’m shown driving. But I’ve never actually know how to drive.”

Learning driving is Bipasha’s way of self-empowerment. “I don’t want to be dependent on others to drive me around. I want to drive myself to the gym. And if there’s a medical emergency in the night I can drive my way to the hospital.”

Bipasha’s boyfriend thinks women make terrible drivers. “All these years John has been cribbing about women drivers. He feels they can’t drive well. I had warned him he’d have to zip up the day I learnt to drive. No more cribbing about women drivers.”

Laughs Bipasha, “When I tell my friends I’m learning so many things in the next one month they think I’m gone mad. But I’ve this unexpected month off. And I want to surprise myself.”

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Salman dumped Katrina for Asin? Asin denies...

There’s a bit of worry for gorgeous Katrina as the rumours doing the rounds is that Asin and Salman Khan’s off-screen chemistry is really working very well.

It’s been said that Asin’s room is full of Sallu’s poster so that she can see his face, the first thing in the morning. Not only this, recently a Mumbai based tabloid reported that Salman has gifted a flat to Asin in Mumbai suburbs, Lokhandwala, so that Asin could have a permanent residence in the city of Bollywood.

The duo is working in London Dreams and it seems that their closeness would surely be bringing horrible dreams to Kat baby. But again Sallu Mia is known for his generosity so it can be that it is his yet another generous gesture towards the southern star.

But the Ghajini girl rubbishes all the speculation. She says that it’s nothing more than a professional relationship. She has clearly said that Salman didn’t enter her room, as reported by the tabloids.

She said, ''No one has access to my room.''

She tried her best to clear the air about the Bollywood bad boy: ''I am working with Salman in a film. Nothing more or nothing less than that."

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Nandana Sen refuses to go topless

After the controversial nude scenes in Ketan Mehta's Rang Rasiya, Nandana Sen got another highly-prestigious offer that required her to go topless.

Italian filmmaker Italo Spinelli offered Nandana the lead of a tribal woman who's surreptitiously shot nude by a photographer.

The film is based on Bengali litterateur Mahashweta Devi's provocative and controversial story Choli Ke Peeche. The role offered to Nandana was pivotal tempting and challenging.

Nandana was sorely tempted. But doing a full-on topless sequence which is a crucial part of the narrative, so soon after Rang Rasiya, was just not on Nandana's agenda.

She has reluctantly and after much deliberation said No, throwing the whole project to be started later this year, into back gear.

Nandana explains, "It's a good project directed by Italo Spinelli, produced by RAI, shot by Blasco Giurardo, the cinematographer of Cinema Paradiso.

It's a powerful story and although I support it fully, I feel the subject matter is such that the tribal girl's nudity cannot avoid becoming unintentionally voyeuristic and eroticised even though that is definitely not the objective.

If you remember, previously too I passed on various other international projects because of a similar concern."

Nandana made an exception with Ketan Mehta's film. "Rang Rasiya focuses on the increasing critical topic of censorship of art. Remember what happened in Jehangir art gallery last month?

Ketan's film deals entirely with the freedom to paint the human figure in its natural beauty.

The emotional drama as well as the political message of the film revolve around one critical and excessively talked- about scene of Sugandha, the muse, having the courage to break the rules of the time to pose for Ravi Varma (Randeep Hooda) and create a masterpiece of art together."

But having said this, Nandana says no to nudity, no matter how aesthetic. Could the fact that she intends to tie the knot with steady boyfriend Madhu Mantena have something to do with her decision to forego such a plum assignment?

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The Myth of Ash and Kareena's blockbuster story

Kareena Kapoor and Aishwarya Rai are perfect examples of being famous for their flops.

Kareena Kapoor has had it easy, literally. It hasn’t exactly been a rough ride for the Kapoor babe from Day One itself.

Even though she left the blockbuster role of female lead in Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai against macho Hrithik Roshan to Ameesha Patel, she managed to garner much more publicity for her flop debut, Refugee, than what Ameesha did for her superhit starter.

And that was the beginning of a new mantra to market a diva — hit or no hit, the Brand has to hit the headlines.

And it was this very marketing mantra which saw the rise, rise and only rise for Kareena Kapoor.

Even after a spate of flops like Asoka, Yaadein, Mujhse Dosti Karoge!, Jeena Sirf Tere Liya, etc the youngest Kapoor kid saw all the big names from Karan Johar to Yash Chopra to Mani Ratnam and Boney Kapoor vying for her attention.

Film after film flopped, but nothing changed much for Bebo. She continued to demand very high rates, which paradoxically kept rising with each flop!

And following in her footsteps closely was none other than our very own grey-green eyed goddess, Aishwarya Rai who, in spite of not having given a single hit in the start of her career for very long hit the jackpot with Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam and is the most ‘sought-after’ Bollywood actress today.

So, this is the Bebo-Ash blockbuster story. What is it that makes the two divas eligible for the big league which otherwise has names like Rani Mukherjee, Preity Zinta and Priyanka Chopra who, by now, must have lost count of their hit films?

“Both Ash and Bebo have class. I know them closely. They have talent as well as beauty, and I guess this combination is more than enough to please the audience.

At the same time, one must not forget that Ash is a big international star, ” asserts Showman Subhash Ghai who has earlier directed Ash in Taal and has done as many as three films with Kareena.

Film critic Indu Mirani punches in a more logical explanation to this unique phenomenon. “I think Aishwarya and Kareena are totally different girls as far as personality and presentation go.

But their careers are similar in the sense that they have got all the good stuff in spite of not having hit films. I think it’s because there are very few actually hot leading ladies in the industry today. Rani, Preity and Priyanka cannot take up all the roles, right?

There are very few A-grade heroines. And these two girls know how to present themselves. They are also very media-savvy and hence it has been easy for them, ” she says.

But why isn’t it easy for other talented good-looking girls too as, say, Lara Dutta? Why hasn’t she matched up to this grade?

“Kareena, of course, is a pedigreed girl. She has been lucky as she belongs to the Kapoor Khaandaan. She also had her sister Karisma, a superstar in her own right. For Ash, I think it’s more of media hype with her scintillating beauty helping in a big way.” explains Mirani.

And if we throw back a look, this trend doesn’t seem to be very new. There are examples in the past also where artistes, even though they hadn’t given a single hit, had dozens of movies in their kitty.

For example, in the 80s, the pinup girl of that time, Sonam, had close to 40 films in her kitty even before her first film was out for review!

Similar was the case with Chunky Panday who, apart from Aankhen with Govinda, has no film to be remember him by. But he was one of the hottest dial-a-quote stars of late 80s.

Production designer Bindiya Dutta, wife of filmmaker JP Dutta, and herself hyped as a Hema Malini clone in her heyday, has had the experience of working with Ash and Bebo; and sums it up.

“For us, hits and flops are inconsequential. We are only here to do good work and definitely we choose our leading ladies according to what they suit best. Like Refugee wouldn’t have been the same without Kareena and Umrao Jaan without Ash was unimaginable.”

What a hit explanation! Branding, anyone?

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Dashavtar - Movie Review

Starring Kamal Haasan, Kamal Haasan, Kamal Haasan & Some More Kamal Haasan. Also Starring Mallika Sherawat, Asin, Jaya Pradha & Others
Directed by K Ravi Kumar
Rating: dunno!

12 hours after I saw the amazing camera chameleon Kamal Haasan transform into ten utterly different characters my head is still reeling

“Is that also him?” my daughter kept asking about every character, man woman or child who popped up in this action- reaction drama on the dynamics of destiny, karma, religion, politics and global terrorism.

Matrix meets maya in thunder land would be an apt description to this film which very honestly, defies allotting.

Phew! Got that? No? Well, you still have to see Dashavtar to know what the astounding Kamal Sir has attempted and failed to achieve in this woefully ambitious tale of greed and lust for life…and I don’t only mean the emotions that motivate the characters.

The actor who’s also the screenwriter of this flamboyant tale of rebellious warriors, international gangs and parochial accents, is also motivated by a lust and ambition for more more and more of himself on screen. He doesn’t just hog footage. He wallows it up without a burp.

On-screen megalomania is not a good thing for the well being of a film. When the actor becomes several sizes larger than the vehicles invented to accommodate his restless talents, it’s time for the actor to slow down and consider why cinema flourished as an art-form in the first place.

Was it so that one day an actor of Kamal Haasan’s stature could monopolize screen time to the detriment of all narrative equilibrium?

Indeed the actor’s audacity takes your breath away. Right before our stunned eyes Kamal Haasan transforms into characters ranging from an old cantankerous woman to George Bush.

The funniest of them all is an impersonation of a pompous parochial Bengali government agent (whose ringtone is R.D Burman’s Jaane-e-jaan tu kahan main yahan in Bengali), assigned to bring an global terrorist (played with snarling lip smacking relish by, who else, Kamal The Chameleon) to book.

They case one another on land and in space. They create mayhem but no pace or space for the narration to breathe in any semblance of grace.

This is an epic that loses control over its resources. A Tamil maestro of the performing arts, doing a Bengali accent is as outrageous as Jaya Prada playing the wife of a cancer-stricken Punjabi Bhangra-pop singer.

Oh, didn’t I tell you? Kamalji also does a Punjabi. And why not? Dashavtar is an ode to Indianess in all its gory glory. It starts several centuries ago and ends in in 2004 with the Tsunami waters creating a havoc and catastrophe (impressively staged) far more containable than what what this film has achieved.

Dashavtar is one chaotic messy and exasperating mass of mammoth ambitions gone awry.

An ongoing theme in all of Kamal Haasan’s cinema is the opposition between religion and cynicism. As in real life in this film the actor (in one of his dus avatars) or is an agnostic who ironically has to run around with a Krishna status that has a deadly vial secreted in its clay body. Wow, God meets the NASA!

For company the agnostic has the hysterical Asin screeching and fretting like Kajol on drugs.

Then poor Mallika Sherawat appears to perform a snazzy cabaret to an indeterminate Himesh Reshammiya tune and gets impaled to the nearest wall like a comic book amazon who forgot to let us know she could and would go from oomphy to grisly without bothering about the strange range of moods that this bizarre film covers.

Don’t blame her. It’s the atmosphere of constant hyper-activity that Kamal Haasan with some help from director Ravi Kumar creates. Some of the aerial action sequences are no doubt breathtaking.

And a couple of Kamal Hassan’s avatars specially the Japanese samurai and the wizened senile woman looking for her long-lost son are outright awesome.

By the time the old lady thinks she has found her son, the director has lost the plot. Completely.

This film is more a triumph of prosthetic excesses than creative passion.

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