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Anupam Kher and Urmila Matondkar star in �Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Mara.�
�Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Mara�: Starring Anupam Kher, Urmila Matondkar, Waheeda Rehman, Prem Chopra, Boman Irani; directed by Jahnu Barua; music by Bappi Lahiri.

Directed by national award winner Jahnu Barua, known for Assamese cinema, this film tells the story of a retired man, Professor Uttam Chaudhary, played by Anupam Kher, who lives with his grown daughter and young son. He suffers from periods of forgetfulness and memory loss. As he loses touch with the present, a childhood trauma haunts him � a memory of being accused of murdering Gandhi. Prof. Chaudhary can�t find peace anywhere. He finds himself accused and taunted at every turn. Soon, even his house feels like a prison, and his family the captors. Urmila Matondkar plays the daughter struggling to save her father from the world his mind has created. The narrative tells a simple story of a man�s illness and his daughter�s love and commitment to find a treatment while overcoming obstacles through faith and determination. The film connects this family�s story to the assassination of the father of the nation, Mohandas K. Gandhi. Though the professor repeats, �Maine Gandhi ko nahin mara,� someone killed the man, but his truth survives� he lives as long as his ideals live within us. The film conveys a message on the relevance of Gandhiji in present-day India.

�Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena�: Starring Fardeen Khan, Koena Mitra, Rohit Roy, Kay Kay, Sharad Kapoor, Feroz Khan; directed by Suparn Verma; music by Preetam.

In this stylized crime caper, Fardeen Khan plays Arjun Verma, a cool, self-described super conman. Koena Mitra portrays his seeming partner in crime, Natasha who has plans of her own. Feroz Khan is Jahangir Khan, a smooth talking power broker who rules the Asian continent. Life brings the three protagonists together as Arjun must accomplish the con of his life to save his life. While he makes the big decisions, friends and partners organize the details, fake currency, passports, credits cards. They must match wits with Sikandar, king of the underworld played by Gulshan Grover, a man who rules the city. The makers call it the year's most incorrigible film where everyone outsmarts the other. If you want to match your wits against the best, go for it, they say. Debutant director Suparn Verma considers the movie his homage to every filmmaker who is a conman, magician and hustler rolled into one.


Amitabh Bachchan and Sharmila Tagore are husband-wife in �Viruddh.�
�Viruddh�: Starring Amitabh Bachchan, Sharmila Tagore, John Abraham, Sanjay Dutt, Anusha Dhandekar, Prem Chopra, Sachin Khedekar; directed by Mahesh Majrekar; music by Anand Raj Anand, Ashit Desai.

Reunited on screen after many years, Amitabh Bachchan and Sharmila Tagore play Vidyadhar and Sumitra Patwardhan, a 60-plus couple with one son who lives abroad. The camaraderie between Vidyadhar and Sumitra presents two loving, caring people. John Abraham plays son Amar, who comes to India for a visit and brings along his foreign girlfriend, Jenny. She is readily welcomed into the family but their happiness is short-lived when tragedy strikes. Amar witnesses a crime and gets killed as he tries to intervene. The police arrive and label him a criminal killed during a gang fight in order to hush up the matter. The devastated couple tries to cope with their loss and deal with the stigma of their only son falsely being branded a gangster. They choose to fight the system and a corrupt cop to regain their family honor. Sanjay Dutt plays a former criminal-turned neighborhood car mechanic who comes to their aid. Bachchan and Tagore prove their talents with powerful, poignant performances.

Bollywood releases last month

By Shephali J. Rele

Salaam Namaste
�Salaam Namaste�: Starring Saif Ali Khan, Preity Zinta, Arshad Warsi; directed by Siddharth Anand; music by Vishal-Shekar.

This romantic comedy produced by Yash-Raj Films takes place in Melbourne, Australia. Saif Ali Khan plays Nick, a carefree guy who lives life to the fullest. He works as a chef in a restaurant and his passions are cooking and partying. Preity Zinta plays Ambar, a cheerful girl who arrives from Bangalore to study medicine. Her part-time job as a radio jockey for a station called Salaam Namaste has her interviewing Indians in Melbourne. When Chef Nick oversleeps and misses a scheduled interview, Ambar decides to teach him a lesson. The two are drawn to each other despite their opposing views on many matters. Not wanting to rush things between them, they instead decide to share an apartment with separate rooms as they get to know each other. Slowly, minor quarrels and rising tempers interrupt their happy moments. So, are they made for each other? The makers say �Salaam Namaste� offers a quirky take on life, love, and relationships. Debutante director Siddharth Anand assisted during the making of �Hum Tum,� another successful, colorful film about a cool, young pair.

�Chocolate�: Starring Anil Kapoor, Suniel Shetty, Arshad Warsi, Emraan Hashmi, Irfan Khan, Tanushree Dutta, Sushma Reddy; directed by Vivek Agnihotri; music by Pritam.

This unusually titled thriller tells the tale of seven strangers in a foreign land and a crime that brings them together. It�s Christmas time in London when a series of bizarre incidents shatter the celebrations of peace and joy. Some out-of-luck Indians are brought into custody by the police. But are they just scapegoats and is there a mastermind behind these events? Several subplots reveal the various characters that cross paths. Anil Kapoor plays Krish a debonair, egotistical lawyer with sharp skills ready for any challenge. Suniel Shetty is Rocker, a strong-willed man who never lets anything get in his way. Irfan Khan is Pipi, a thinker, who believes in following the right path. Tanushree Dutta plays Sim, a temptress with a suspicious past. Sushma Reddy plays a journalist going through hard times. Do these ordinary people have any dark secrets? The film�s tagline says, �Sometimes, it�s best not to ask too many questions.�


�Film Star�: Starring Mahima Chaudhury, Priyanshu Chatterjee, Vasundhara Das, Aryan Vaid; directed by Tanuja Chandra; music by Jatin-Lalit.

Set against the backdrop of Hollywood, this film features Mahima Chaudhury as Hiram Pundit an arrogant actress who thrives on public adoration. When her films aren�t successful and her popularity wanes, she can�t bear it. She runs into Digambar, played by Priyanshu Chatterjee, an old college friend she hasn�t seen in years. He�s now an out-of- work lawyer and alcoholic, who sings in a club to make a living. Digambar criticizes Hira, saying her acting has become predictable and she needs to reinvent herself onscreen. This chance reunion begins a series of life-changing events. Hira finds a real-life drama involving a traditional wife, the murder of her rich husband, and a powerful father-in-law. She hopes this true story will put her back on the A-list.

Vasundhara Das plays Leela, the woman in jail for murder, who Hira begins to sympathize with and resolves to help. Director Tanuja Chandra is known for her strong women-oriented films, including �Dushman� with Kajol, �Sangharsh� with Preity Zinta, and �Sur� with Gauri Karnik.


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