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Monday, 14 May 2012

Katrina Kaif possessive about the three Khans

Mumbai: Katrina Kaif is currently working with Bollywood's three leading Khans - Aamir, Shah Rukh and Salman in three different projects. So posessive is the actress about them that given the chance, she won't let anyone else work with them.

But she was reticent on who her favourite Khan was. "This doesn't make sense to me. It is unfair," Katrina told reporters here when asked to pick her favourite Khan.

"If suppose if you will ask them to choose one of the actresses, even I will feel bad. Everyone is different. All three of them are icons and legends in their own way. I am fortunate enough to work with them. It's been great so far.

"If I had the chance, I would not allow anyone to work with them. But that is not possible as you cannot stop anyone from working with them," she added.

The 27-year-old was speaking at the unveiling of Nakshatra's new logo. Katrina is indeed at the peak of her career. She is working with Salman in 'Ek Tha Tiger', Shah Rukh in an untitled project directed by Yash Chopra and with Aamir in 'Dhoom 3'.

"With Salman, I am working for the third time and I had an amazing time. With Shah Rukh the shooting is going on and I h­ad fun. It was good working with him," she said.

Katrina is excited at shooting an item song for her soon-to-be-released 'Ek Tha Tiger' and said: "I don't know what you call an item number. It is a very interesting song. I will shoot for it tomorrow (Tuesday)," Katrina said.

Jaipur: A Rajasthan minister has hit out at Bollywood star Aamir Khan for sensationalising female foeticide cases in the state, saying the government was already working on the issue before the actor's campaign.

Minister of State for Health, Rajkumar Sharma said that it was not right on the part of Aamir to highlight Rajasthan as the only state where the cases of female foeticide are rampant. "There was an impression that the government has swung into action after Aamir Khan's campaign but to clarify, I would like to highlight that the government is already working for the same. Budget announcements to check foeticide are there and several other steps are being taken," Sharma told PTI.

"The government took up the issue much before Aamir Khan's programme. It is not because of him that the government is working against female foeticide." Sharma said that the actor needs to work on ground level to prove his commitment to the issue. "He (Aamir) himself has said that he is an entertainer and cannot work longer on one topic, that simply means what he is doing is for monetary gains. If he really wants to work on this issue then I welcome him to work here on ground," Sharma said.

Khan took up the issue in the first episode of his TV show 'Satyamev Jayate' aired on May 6 and also met Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot to request him to form a fast track court to expedite cases related to the issue.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Filmmaker Mrinal Sen turns 90, says he has not yet retired

Kolkata: Far from calling it quits, legendary filmmaker Mrinal Sen on his 90th birthday today said that he might just come up with another new film. "Everyday I feel like making a new film. Ideas pop up out of my head. Let's see when I can act on them," Sen, who along with Satyajit Ray and Ritwik Ghatak changed the profile of Indian cinema in the eyes of the world, said.

Starring actress Nandita Das, his last film 'Aamaar Bhuvan' (This, My Land) was released in 2002. "I haven't so far made any more films. But, to assure you, I do not think that I have retired," he told PTI in an interview here.

With his films full of direct political statement, social analysis and psychological drama, the Left-leaning director is regarded as a pioneer of the alternative cinema movement in India and is often compared with his contemporary Satyajit Ray. Besides bagging four National Film Awards as the best director for works like 'Khandhar' (1984) and 'Bhuvan Shome' (1969), he was also awarded the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, India's highest award in filmmaking, in 2005.

Recently he got a call from a leading private bank offering him money to make films. "Money is not a problem for me. The bank said we can fund projects worth upwards of Rs 5 crore. I told them I can make six films with Rs 5 crore," Sen said.

When asked about his birthday party plans, the nonagenarian said he doesn't celebrate birthdays. "Birth or death, it is not my business to celebrate. My friends and relatives and others who think of me are there to celebrate if they will. Not me," Sen said.

One thing which seems to disturb him in his old age is the poor health of his film prints, many of which are regarded as classics today. "Most of them are in a pretty bad condition. All because of an unfriendly climate and, of course, for unhealthy storage," the maestro said. Under the monitoring of the National Film Archives of India in Pune, private labs in Mumbai are now working on digitalizing and restoring two of his films - 'Antareen' (The Confined) and 'Ek Din Pratidin' (And Quite Rolls the Dawn).

"There are plenty of films, not only mine but others also, which need restoration. Considering the expenses involved in the restoration, I had suggested them to consider only 15 films of mine for restoration," Sen said. In 2010 when his film 'Khandahar' (The Ruins) was invited for the Cannes festival, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh had personally intervened to get the film print restored in time for the screening.

"I have now gathered that the central government had since then been going ahead with the restoration work for various other films including mine," the director said. Having started his career as a director with 'Raat Bhor' in 1951, he went on to make 28 feature films and four documentaries in languages varying from Bengali to Oriya, Hindi and Telugu.

Made during the seventies, his trilogy on Kolkata, 'Interview', 'Calcutta 71' and 'Padatik', is regarded as one of the most sensitive and realistic portrayal of the social, economic and political unrest of that period. The iconic director now lives with his wife Gita, a fine actress herself and who acted in many of her films including the Golden Bear winning 'Akaler Sandhane', at a flat in south Kolkata while his only son Kunal works in Chicago.

'Rowdy Rathore' is the perfect comeback | Akshay Kumar

Mumbai: 'Rowdy Rathore' will be Akshay Kumar's comeback film into the realm of action and he feels that this might be the perfect opportunity. "I think this is the perfect comeback. What is better than the guy who wanted such a good action film, is not directing 'Rowdy Rathore'. Prabhu has action and more action. His mind is full of action and he choreographs action," he said Saturday, referring to the film's director Prabhu Deva.

Both Akshay Kumar and his co-star Sonakshi Sinha said that they would love to ride auto-rickshaws on the streets of Mumbai.

At a promotional event, the stars were made to travel in a vehicle next to an auto rickshaw race organised by the team.

"I was asked to stand in the jeep. Whatever has been told to me I will do. When I was sitting in the jeep I said many times that give me also the auto rickshaw to ride.

Maybe the reason was that I don't even have a license to drive an auto. You have to follow the rules," Akshay Kumar told reporters.

The film is all set to release on June 1.

Talking about the stress 'Rowdy Rathore' has put on him, Akshay Kumar optimistically said: "Every actor is worried about his film. A little stress is always there. But if it doesn't work, the next film will come."

Dressed in a purple top and shocking pink jeans, Akshay looked more rowdy than ever.

"It's not only pink but yellow, red all are rowdy. When I got these clothes for the first time, I was shocked but then I got used to it. A lot of people like to wear such clothes. This is just a character and I would love to play it," he said.

Talking about his 'Dabangg' co-star, Akshay was full of praise for Sonakshi.

"Sonakshi is a very simple girl, she works and goes home. She comes on time and goes home. She is very professional. She has never bullied or played pranks on people," he added.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Telugu Review | 'Gabbar Singh' is average

Cast: Pawan Kalyan, Shruti Haasan, Abhimanyu Singh

Director: Harish Shankar

Dance, drama and action, an old school formula for a Masala entertainer you'd say, but it got the audience hooting and how! Gabbar Singh , the Telugu re-make of Salman Khan starrer runaway hit Dabangg, opened to full houses on its first day.

Pawan Kalyan, also popularly known as 'Power star', comes close to filling the big boots of Chulbul Pandey. Director Harish Shankar provides the perfect platform for Pawan Kalyan to dole out 'punch' dialogues and of course the pelvic thrusts in every song, enough to get the audience rooting for their hero .. or is it the 'villain'?

Gabbar Singh, is a cop, who ironically proclaims himself as Gabbar, after the immortal role of Sholay that he fancies. The director has stayed close to the original plot and screenplay but has gone a few extra miles to customize the humour.

Comic actors Brahmanandam and Ali bring their usual selves to the characters. While Brahmanandam is an EMI collector, who by the way, in a stroke of genius, is the one who gets to wear Ray-Ban on the collar behind; Ali is a constable lovingly named Samba, by who else?!

While abundant action sequences are on expected lines, including slow-mo flips and kicks, it's really the wit that's a pleasant surprise (and breather!). Be it the kabbadi sequence or goons made to play Antakshari by Gabbar Singh in his police station, the fact that the film included spoof snippets on Pawan Kalyan's earlier films & songs, is a refreshing change.

After a string of flops, Gabbar Singh might well be the magic potion for Pawan Kalyan's plummeting career. Will it work its magic for his co-star Shruti Haasan a la Sonakshi Sinha? Given the length and depth of her character, vis-a-vis the original, the answer is Maybe Not! For one, Gabbar Singh is a one-man show and Shruthi Hasan has barely anything more to do than look pretty. It's almost as if she cautioned the director, "Dancing se darr nahi lagta sahib, acting se lagta hai."

Abhimanyu Singh (previously also seen in RGV's Rakhta Charithra) comfortably essays the role of Cheddi Singh with copious amounts of eye-bulging and muscle flexing.

A little more strength to the screenplay and depth to characters apart from that of Gabbar Singh may have supported the film better. But then again, watching Pawan Kalyan ride on a horse (slow-mo) following a band of dacoits in a barren land, to the background score of music director Devi Sri Prasad (of Dhinka Chika fame), who cares about anything else?!

As one of his dialogues in the film goes , "Nenu Cheppina Okate, naa fans cheppina Okkate" (what my fans say is as good as me saying it)… and if truth comes close to that, then Gabbar Singh may have reasons to smile or even better, laugh his famous evil laugh!

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