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SRK as Leonadro Di Caprio

Bollywood is excited that the patch-up between Shah Rukh Khan and Vishal Bhardwaj (after years!) has led to the possibility of a remake of Martin Scorsese's super hit The Departed.

That SRK and Bhardwaj will do a film is certain, and if it is the official remake of Scorsese's film, then the actor will most certainly do Di Caprio's role. Which is that of a cop! The last time Shah Rukh played a cop was 10 years ago in the average action drama One 2 Ka 4 co-starring Jackie Shroff.

Apparently, both SRK and Bhardwaj are keen on a joint production and in the meeting that they last had, they were eager to remake The Departed. The consent and rights have to be got from the international production house post which they can embark upon their ambitious film. For Matt Damon's role in the Hollywood film, the two will have to sit down and think about which other big Bollywood star to cast.

However, at the time both SRK and Bhardwaj are busy with current projects, and this remake will not take off before 2011. The Bollywood Badshah is working on Ra.One and Don 2, the former being his home production for which SRK will look into everything from marketing to promotions. He apparently has kept three months away from all other work for Ra.One. Actor SRK, meanwhile, is busy going through a gruelling schedule in freezing Berlin for Don 2. Thus, he has no time to sit with Bhardwaj and discuss their project.

Bhardwaj has dedicated all his time for Saat Khoon Maaf and his ambitious next film Dream Sequence which is still going through casting issues. Hence, the project with SRK is also not on his mind. They will only meet early next year to have a fresh discussion on The Departed remake. In case, it is too difficult for them to work out this project given the rights that have to be taken, they might discuss doing something else. But they will work together next year, that's a guarantee.

Who's the Supercop?

Interestingly, the two other Khans — Aamir and Salman — are also playing cops in movies slated for 2011. While Salman will again play the lovable Robin Hood-ish Chulbul Pandey in the sequel to Dabangg, Aamir is playing the cop after 12 years in Reema Kagti's film. He last played a police officer in the hit Sarfarosh.

Vidya Balan A Sex Symbol ?

Vidya Balan will represent Indian sensuality at its best in 'A Dirty Picture' where she will revive the sex-appeal of Silk Smitha.

Vidya Balan's performance prowess needs no corroboration. But when you learn that she will be playing a character loosely based on the South sex-symbol Silk Smitha (who featured in string of soft-porn films in the 80s and early 90s), it certainly generates a lot of curiosity. While a formulaic filmmaker would have thought of casting someone like today's sex-symbol Mallika Sherawat to portray the character of a yesteryear sex-symbol, director Milan Luthria chooses Vidya Balan for the role in his film A Dirty Picture . "I wanted the casting to arouse interest. At the same time I wanted a process of discovery to happen with the film and lend a new dimension to Vidya Balan", says Milan.

While Vidya Balan has largely restricted herself to the girl-next-door image, she displayed a hint of her sensual side in Ishqiya . Will she take it a step further in A Dirty Picture ? "Everything from sex, sleaze and exposure will essentially be a part of the character", assures Milan clarifying in the same breath, "But I am not an exploitative filmmaker. I want to capture the dramatic and moving side of the story. For that I wanted an ambassador who would not only add sex-appeal to the character but also bring a certain element of emotion and class".

So can we expect to see Vidya Balan at her sexiest best in A Dirty Picture ? "Definitely! Vidya will have a complete image makeover with this film. She will represent Indian sensuality at its best" claims Milan. And how does he plan to achieve that? Milan puts forth his point giving references, "Every actress from Waheeda Rehman, Hema Malini, Sridevi to Madhuri Dixit have, at some point of time in their career, exhibited a very sensual side of theirs. We will try to capture that sensual side of Vidya with this film". Concurrently he emphasizes that painting a dirty picture is no easy job and it's very important to get the right shade. "There will be a certain level of rawness to the sensuality but at the same time it has to be captured very tastefully. We need to strike a balance and ensure that it does not look cheap".

Reportedly Vidya had reservations about the role and also laid her conditions before signing on the dotted line. Milan doesn't deny. "Vidya had reservations regarding a lot of things and not just skin-show. When an actor plays an actor onscreen there is a tendency to get too absorbed in the character. Also Vidya wanted to understand the entire emotional graph of the character. The so-called reservations were more of questions that she had about her character and its portrayal which were answered. Having said that let me tell you that there will be no compromise on the portrayal of the character in any way."

So can we expect Vidya Balan to revive the sex-appeal of Silk Smitha? "Why just Silk Smitha", questions Milan. "My film is based on an entire generation of actresses who were bold enough and carved their own way in life. We have taken references of many such soft-porn stars of the era and added fiction to the narrative. So the story is a mix of several things relating to the character and time and is not just based on one person's life."

That lifts our expectations more. Seems like Vidya Balan is all set to revive an era and redefine the term sex-symbol with her oomph and sex-appeal!

Akki to romance Sonakshi!

Akshay Kumar is getting into the fourth gear of his promotions for Tees Maar Khan that is releasing worldwide on December 24.

Simultaneously his banner Hari Om Productions, that has given us entertainers like Singh is Kinng, De Dana Dan, Khatta Meetha, Waqt — A Race against Time, and Farah Khan's Three is Company have signed Bollywood's youngest girl Sonakshi Sinha for Shirish Kunder's Joker.

Shirish says, "Joker will be India's first 3-D magnum opus. And the reason why I've signed Sonakshi is because she is ideally suited for the role. Also, Akshay has acted with almost every heroine on the scene. Sonakshi and he are a fresh pair; the casting is already creating ripples.'' Says the Khiladi himself, "Joker is not a super-hero film. It is not about me wearing some clown's clothes or being part of a circus. Why it is called Joker is something you'll have to wait to know. However, I can tell you, it is going to be one of the most technically advanced movies made in India. Children and adults are going to love it. The story moves from a village to NASA and well after that there's some suspense involved.''

Even as he gears up to romance the Dabangg hottie, Akshay says that 2011 will be as action packed as any other year in his career. Says he, "I have Patiala House, Thank You, Joker, my international film — Rob Lowe's Break-Away (in which I have just done a music video), and we may try and bring Joker for Christmas in 2011. But then, tell me one year in which I don't have four films coming.'' Shirish and Farah Khan are also working on the Tees Maar Khan sequel. "That is for 2012,'' Akki says. "Right now the three of us are putting all our energies into Joker."

Naturally Sonakshi is also excited about her second big break. "I got to work with one superstar in Dabangg and now I'm getting an opportunity to work with the second one,'' she says. "Very few people get a break such as this. The fact that Joker will be in 3-D is taking my excitement to a whole new level." Adds Farah, "We have had a happy collaboration on TMK.

We have made a good entertaining film in the budget we were allotted. The synergy has been really good. So Akki, Shirish and I decided to make one more film." Farah says the script of Joker lends itself to a 3-D format quite nicely. "Joker is not a love story,'' she says. "It's more of a human drama and a very visual film.''

Big B turns farmer for a day

Big B turns farmer for a day

Finally, Big B ban gaye farmer. Amitabh Bachchan, who was in Lucknow with wife Jaya for the wedding in the Sahara family, devoted Wednesday morning to some farming.

Some time back, TOI had reported about the 15 acres of land that Amitabh Bachchan had bought in Kakori, near Lucknow. With the onset of winters when the sowing of the wheat crop begins, Amitabh Bachchan took a day trip to his farm for the same purpose.

Amitabh and Jaya, along with their cousin Bivender Kaur and her family (from Lucknow) went to the farm. Bivendra is Amitabh's masi's daughter. As Rajindra Singh, Bivender's husband, tells us, "Before coming to Lucknow, Amitabh had given me a call and said that he wanted to visit his farm with Jaya and his family, as now is a time for sowing, which he wanted to oversee. He was quite excited about the whole thing."

According to Singh, Amitabh had a try at driving the tractor too. "He drove the tractor for 15 minutes in all possible directions, and let me tell you, he enjoyed every bit of this drive," laughs Singh. In fact, Bachchan himself posted on a micro-blogging site: "In Lucknow for a wedding .. visited my farm and .. and .. plowed my land .. drove my tractor, which digs and levels before sowing .."

And after Bachchan Senior, Abhishek and bahu Aishwarya too may be making a trip to the same farm in Kakori which is also in their name, lets in Singh.

Amitabh, who met his sister Bivender after a long time, spent some quality moments chatting with her at the farm house. Later, the family headed back to Bivender's house in Lucknow where Amitabh feasted on his favourite dishes – makke di roti te sarso da saag – for lunch. "He just loves Punjabi food," informed a family member.

Rakta Charitra(Telugu) - 2010 - Review

Film: Rakta Charitra
Rating: 3.5/5
Banner: Cinergy productions

Cast: Vivek Oberoi, Abhimanyu Singh, Shatrughan Sinha, Kota, Radhika Apte, Zareena Wahab, Sushant Singh, Tanikella, Subhalekha Sudhakar, Vishwajeet Pradhan, Rajendra Gupta, Ashish Vidyarthi, Kitty and others
Dialogues: Nageswara Rao
Music: Dharam- Sandeep
DOP: Amol Rathod
Editing: Bhanodaya, Nipun Ashok Gupta
Story, screenplay, direction: Ram Gopal Varma
Producers: Madhu Mantena, Sheetal Vinod Talwar, Chinna Vasudeva Reddy, Rajkumar
Release Date: 22nd Oct 2010

Ram Gopal Varma is back after a long hiatus into the Telugu circuit and he chose his favorite genre of violence, intensity and bloodshed. Let us see how far RGV is successful in convincing audiences. Let us peep into good and bad in the movie:

Noted MLA Narasimha Reddy (Kitty) has got a trusted aide in the form of Veerabhadriah (Rajendra Gupta) in Anandapuram area.

However, Narasimha’s relative Nagamani Reddy (Kota) is unable to take this for reasons of caste and losing his presence. He plants a seed of friction and in no time, Narasimha Reddy gets Veerabhadriah killed. This enrages Veerabhadriah’s elder son Shankar Ravi (Sushant) and he gets into a killing spree and operates from forests.

Veerabhadriah’s younger son Pratap Ravi (Vivek) who is away from all this gets to know of this and before he realizes, Shankar Ravi also gets killed. He vows revenge on his father and brother’s killers and in this process, Narasimha Reddy, Nagamani Reddy and others are brutally killed. Nagamani Reddy’s son Bukka Reddy (Abhimanyu) who is insane to the core is unable to take this and he becomes Pratap’s main enemy.

Meanwhile, the rise of Pratap as opposite force to Bukka Reddy is noticed by Shivaji Rao (Shatrughan) who sets a new party and he decides to lift Pratap to put an end to Bukka Reddy. What happens after that forms the rest of the story.

Vivek Oberoi is an apt choice, his eyes deliver the sufficient emotion of revenge and his body language is intense. He has done full justice to his role.

Abhimanyu Singh is a complete show stealer. His menacing looks and his cold blooded performance will give some spine chilling moments.

Shatrughan Sinha was contained and it must be said that traces of real life N T Rama Rao are quite prominent in his gestures and dialogue delivery.

Kota was perfect, Radhika was naturally appealing, Zarina was neat, Tanikella was impressive and he made his presence felt, Rajendra Gupta was adequate, Sushant was brief, Ashish Vidyarthi was alright, Subhalekha Sudhakar was standard, Subrat Dutta was good, the others did their bit as required and added value.

Symbolism shots with respect to showing a cycle in Shivaji Rao (Shatrugan Sinha)’s place (recalling TDP and NTR), usage of left had, addressing as ‘brother' are impressive.

Showing a dog barking after the death of Naga Mani Reddy (Kota) depicts ‘kukka chaavu'..That’s impressive.

Ram Moorthy (Tanikella) saying to Pratap Ravi ‘to shave beard as a politician should look clean at face although dirty at heart'

Bukka Reddy’s introduction scene

RGV’s voice over is overflowing. It’s not a radio drama to explain everything with a voice over. Whatever RGV is saying in voice, is being conveyed visually! It disturbed the mood to some extent.

Pratap Ravi stays in forest as per the dialogue. But he stays in a dusty hill area that hardly looks like a forest. It may sound trivial, but when such observations linger in mind, some audience gets distracted from the mood.

Why Dabbunnoda song? The context is not convincing.

The subject chosen is quite hard hitting so one needs to have some background information before actually connecting to the film.

Facing criticism with respect to Shivai Rao’s (a replica of NTR) characterization and converting it into publicity element.

Facing criticism and questions with respect to ‘pedda sir' (implying YSR) and again converting it into a publicity element

Mood is suddenly dropping down at the conclusion point of the movie. Waiting till Part-2 to get completeness in feeling is a challenge for audience and it’s challenge for maker to sustain interest for 1 month till Part-2 release.

“Goodness or badness can never be anyone’s property. They are situational.
If a man is hunger free, he showers only goodness. But if any sort of hunger (be it lust, power craving or greed or vengeance) hits him, he spells badness'.

Rakta Charitra is a fiction based on historical facts.
It’s rather powerful to say that it’s a true depiction of human emotions.
It’s a tour to extreme human beings.

Ramayan or Mahabharat or any chronicled history in dramatic form depicts the extremities of emotions in every character. For example if Karna is known for generosity, its shown with eccentricity of chopping off his own armored skin to offer for a beggar. If Bheeshma is known for sacrifice, its shown in extreme point of choosing life time celibacy to keep himself and his legacy far from kingship. Any drama holds grip only when the characterizations are strong. This fact was known for dramatists right from Veda Vyasa and Valmiki. Similar path is now chosen by Ram Gopal Varma is depicting a historical fact in dramatic form.

He has shown Bukka Reddy as a determined rapist (!) and dedicated murderer (!).The incidents canned around this characterization are extreme in imagination. Pratap Ravi is shown as a bad guy, but for a true reason (since he is chosen to be the hero of the plot).

Ram Gopal Varma is a master of movie making and an expert storyteller. This is seen here yet again. As such, the storyline can be understood in few words and there is nothing unpredictable about it but then it is the way Ramu takes off with each scene and how he gets the viewer into the film which counts.

His screenplay techniques and shot compositions are one of those dexterities he possesses. Perhaps a layman might find the visual appeal to be dim but then there are few flashes of his brilliance which are seen on and off. The focus was more on the emotion of the protagonist and the villain so that is a challenge to handle for more than two hours.

On the other hand, it is not a typical Varma characterization where most of the actors give hard expressions, talk less and convey more. Here the characters speak sufficient and sometimes little verbose!! But still there is a rhythm in their performance and it connects to the regular audience.

On a whole it’s a movie about the raise of a leader.

Bottom-line: For the lovers of realistic violence

Movie Review: Guzaarish

Bollywood appears to be inclined towards exploring rare illnesses/disorders/disabilities, with directors casting megastars in characters to raise awareness about the lesser-known ailments. In GHAJINI, Aamir Khan had short-term memory loss [Anterograde Amnesia]. In PAA, Amitabh Bachchan played a child afflicted with Progeria. In MY NAME IS KHAN, SRK was shown suffering from Asperger Syndrome. In TAARE ZAMEEN PAR, Aamir Khan portrayed problems of Dyslexic children. In BLACK, Amitabh Bachchan was shown succumbing to Alzheimer's. In KARTHIK CALLING KARTHIK, Farhan Akhtar portrayed a Schizophrenic.

This is not the first time that master film-maker Sanjay Leela Bhansali has attempted a movie that has the protagonist suffering from a serious disability. In GUZAARISH, Hrithik Roshan suffers from Paraplegia, a complete paralysis of the lower half of the body, including both legs, usually caused by damage/injury to the spinal cord.

Bhansali has always been known for two things. The first thing is, of course, the visual splendour in his films [which was quite evident in HUM DIL DE CHUKE SANAM, DEVDAS and SAAWARIYA] and the second thing that he takes inspiration from various stories. The critically acclaimed BLACK was inspired from THE MIRACLE WORKER [a 1962 film] and SAAWARIYA from 'White Nights', a Russian short story.

There's talk that GUZAARISH is a remake of Christopher Nolan's Hollywood movie THE PRESTIGE, which, let me clarify, it is not. GUZAARISH brings back memories of two films, which may be coincidental: The Spanish Oscar and Golden Globe winning film MAR ADENTRO aka THE SEA INSIDE [2004], which, in turn, was based on a real-life story of Ramon Sampedro and WHOSE LIFE IS IT ANYWAY?, a television play which was later adapted into a play [theatre] and much later into a film [1981].

Bhansali has worked himself to the grind and his presence is felt in every frame of GUZAARISH. There is an inimitable intellect that Bhansali brings to his movies. Bhansali is also known to extract the best performances from his actors. In a light-hearted vein, I would go to the extent of saying that Bhansali has the ability to make a dumb man speak and a sightless man see. His devotion and dedication towards his craft is truly inspirational and motivating. In GUZAARISH, Bhansali puts behind all the glitter and glamour and comes up with yet another unique and sensitive story told through a series of flashbacks.

Final word? GUZAARISH is special in more ways than one. In my individualistic opinion, it easily ranks amongst Bhansali's best works so far. Just don't miss this one!

Set in Goa, it tells the story of an accomplished magician Ethan Mascarenhas [Hrithik Roshan]. Ethan suffers serious injuries when one of his magical trick goes horribly wrong, turning him to a Paraplegic. Confined to a wheel chair, Ethan becomes a Radio Jockey at an FM Station called Radio Zindagi. His show talks of hope, laughter and sunshine and it's difficult to imagine that the man behind it has been immobilized with a spinal injury for the last fourteen years of his life. Sofia [Aishwarya Rai Bachchan], a nurse, takes good care of him; they share a silent love.

Ethan files a petition in court for mercy killing. This decision of Ethan leaves Sofia stunned. Ethan takes the help of friend-lawyer Devyani [Shernaz Patel] to support his appeal. Even Ethan's mother Isabel [Nafisa Ali] supports him in his petition, although Ethan is persuaded by his physician Dr. Nayak [Suhel Seth] to retract his case. Alongside all this, Omar [Aditya Roy Kapur] enters Ethan's life with the aim of learning magic from him. Impressed by Omar's love for magic, Ethan agrees to pass on his legacy to him.

Only a sensitive raconteur can do absolute justice to a challenging subject like the one in GUZAARISH and Bhansali seems the right candidate for an extremely tricky theme like mercy killing/Euthanasia. The story is complex and can only be narrated by a storyteller who has the art of telling stories most convincingly. Sure, the protagonist in GUZAARISH wants to end his existence, but that doesn't mean the film is disheartening or unsettling. Clearly, the writing [screenplay: Bhavani Iyer and Bhansali] is smart, taut and absorbing.

GUZAARISH has a number of sequences that bear the unmistakable stamp of a genius. Sample these…

* The courtroom sequence and Aishwarya's outburst towards the end of it.

* The hearing of the petition at Hrithik's house.

* Hrithik's act going wrong and the near-fatal accident.

* The finale.

Any negatives? The generous usage of English in the narrative. The language is sure to act as a barrier in the hinterland specially. Agreed, the film is set in Goa, they are bound to speak that language, but despite everything, Hindi is a must for a pan-India appeal.

Irrespective of how his films fare at the box-office, Bhansali's films have always been embellished with rich and cherished music. The songs continue to linger in the hearts of the listeners with their dulcet and soothing tunes. After legendary Satyajit Ray and Vishal Bhardwaj, Bhansali is the next accomplished film-maker who has himself created the music of his film. The songs in GUZAARISH are more inclined towards poetry that's earthy and contemporary. However, it does take some time for the listeners to sense the pulse of the music. 'Tera Zikr Hai Ya Itra Hai' is a limerick to exquisiteness, 'Sau Gram Zindagi', with its philosophical tone, leaves a lasting impression, the title track 'Guzaarish' casts a spell on you and 'Udi' is, of course, memorable.

GUZAARISH has been magnificently shot. The indoors as well as outdoors [the gorgeous panorama] add so much to the film. There's no refuting that cinematographer Sudeep K. Chatterjee has created some really alluring and enthralling visuals. The very effective and subtle background score [Tubby and Parik] of GUZAARISH is its very backbone. The feelings of intrigue, anxiety, anguish and romance come across so well. In fact, for the very first time, I felt that I was not hearing the background score, I was feeling it. Dialogue [Bhavani Iyer and Vibhu Puri] belong to high standards that touch your soul. Costumes [Sabyasachi] are absolutely wonderful; they gel well with the setting and mood of the film.

Hrithik and Aishwarya are seen in a lackluster facade and that's what makes the characters so plausible. While Hrithik is seen sporting a beard and has even put on weight, Aishwarya is seen in sober outfits. In fact, the two actors have gone through a drastic appearance change and both pressurize you to believe that they are indeed Ethan and Sofia. It must be said that Hrithik and Aishwarya exude a certain dignity and elegance, much needed for a sensitive film of this magnitude and caliber.

It must have been an arduous task for Hrithik to carry off the Paraplegic character of Ethan Mascarenhas, but he depicts the part with flourish. It's a great risk in filmy norms to have the hero of the film almost entirely on a wheel chair, but Hrithik has never hesitated or been irresolute in putting himself to adverse conditions, in order to achieve excellence, in whatever character he chooses to depict. Kudos to Hrithik for accepting a role that's truly opposite to his larger-than-life image and portraying it with elan.

Aishwarya, as Ethan's nurse who is the epicenter of his world, has approached this role with rare understanding, not going overboard even once. So effective is she that she not only influences you but also compels you to believe that their love is solid in its quiet strength and also spirited in their verbal sparring. The sensational chemistry, which sizzled the silver screen in DHOOM 2 and JODHAA AKBAR and won hearts all over, sizzles yet again, but this time in a distinctive aspect.

Aditya Roy Kapur is truly outstanding in a pivotal character. Shernaz Patel is exceptional. Nafisa Ali makes her presence felt in a small but significant role. Suhel Seth is in terrific form. Moni Kangana Dutta is okay. Vijay Crishna [judge] is effective. Rajit Kapoor does complete justice to his role. Makarand Deshpande leaves an impression. Ash Chandler and Achint Kaur lend good support.

On the whole, GUZAARISH is an invigorating tale. Bhansali, as a film-maker, has scaled several notches above his past accomplishments to create a near-perfect cinematic experience. The highpoint of the motion picture is the magnificently penned story of an incapacitated and debilitated man who desires to end his being with dignity. The film seduces the viewer with a strong emotional quotient, soulful music and of course, the crackling and wonderful onscreen chemistry between Hrithik and Aishwarya. Without doubt, GUZAARISH is one of the most profound, insightful and enriching dramas of the year.

Upcoming Movies - Release Dates

The below-mentioned release dates have been given by the producers and distributors of these films. At times, the films get postponed for various reasons, hence the list is updated every week. All releases are subject to Censor Certification. The Latest movies of 2010 and 2011 also the most awaited movies.

Nov 5, 2010 --------------- Action Replayy, Golmaal 3
Nov 12, 2010 --------------- A Flat, Allah Ke Banday, Diwangi Ne Had Kar Di, Dunno Y Na Jaane Kyun..., Ramaa - The Saviour, The Social Network
Nov 19, 2010 --------------- Guzaarish, Rakht Charitra - 2, Shahrukh Bola Khoobsurat Hai Tu, 332 Mumbai To India
Nov 26, 2010 --------------- Break Ke Baad, Payback, Phas Gaye Re Obama
Dec 3, 2010 --------------- Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey
Dec 10, 2010 --------------- Band Baaja Baraat, Impatient Vivek, No Problem
Dec 17, 2010 --------------- Toonpur Ka Superhero
Dec 24, 2010 --------------- Happi, Tees Maar Khan
December 2010 -------------- Run Bhola Run
Jan 7, 2011 --------------- No One Killed Jessica
Jan 14, 2011 --------------- Yamla Pagla Deewana
Jan 21, 2011 --------------- Dil Toh Bachcha Hai Ji, Game, Saat Khoon Maaf
January 2011 --------------- Delhi Belly, It'S My Life
Feb 4, 2011 --------------- Dum Maaro Dum
Feb 11, 2011 --------------- Patiala House
Feb 25, 2011 --------------- Dhobi Ghat
Apr 8, 2011 --------------- Thank You
May 2011 --------------- Agent Vinod
June 2011 --------------- Ra. One, Rockstar, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara
Dec 23, 2011 --------------- Don 2
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