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  Bollywood Preview | Bollywood Watch


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.

Anusha Kuchibhotla stars in �Chains.�
By NITISH S. RELE - [email protected]

Meet Madan Bellam, a former engineer who founded Maaya Corporation, a software company in the Silicon Valley, and now is director-producer of an Indo-American thriller �Chains.� The California resident is gearing up to send the 108-minute movie starring Eric Roberts, Anusha Kuchibhotla, Jacob Narayan, Rashmi Rustogi and Ann Russell to film festivals after private screenings.

Shot in San Francisco, the film is about two friends, Meera and Susan, from different lands whose bonds transcend nationalities, until Susan mistakes Meera�s marriage as abusive. Bellam is quite open about the influence and inspiration behind the story, which he co-wrote.

�I wanted to show the subtleties of domestic abuse by weaving it into a story that will inform and entertain,� says the 40-year-old who spent $250,000 to make �Chains� in less than a year. �I was influenced by the wonderful integration of the Indian culture into Western culture in �Bend It Like Beckham� and have attempted to present a realistic and non-stereotypical point of view.�

Bellam is working on his next project, a film that will be shot in Telugu and Hindi in India. �The film�s roots are based on �The Godfather� by Coppola,� he reveals. �I will shoot it in Cuddapah village in Andhra Pradesh, where I was born.�

For more information on Bellam�s film, click on


The Kronos Quartet poses with Asha Bhosle, second from left.
By NITISH S. RELE - [email protected]

Kronos Quartet deserves a pat on the back. Make that two. After all, how many string quartets would dedicate an album in honor of one of Bollywood's favorite musical directors R.D. Burman?

The soon-to-be-released CD, "You�ve Stolen My Heart: Songs from R D Burman�s Bollywood" is produced by the California-based group, which is made up of David Harrington, John Sherba (violins), Hank Dutt (viola) and Jennifer Culp (cello).

It�s the first time that Kronos Quartet, founded by Harrington about 32 years ago, has produced an album. It also is a first collaboration for the group with a Bollywood personality - Asha Bhosle. Harrington explains in detail how the CD came about: �I�ve known R D Burman�s music for 15 years,� he says.

�My collection of Indian film soundtrack is probably the largest of any kind that I have. As I listened to the collection, I began to realize that quite a few were either composed or sung by Burman. And the female singer was Asha Bhosle.�

The Kronos Quartet
More than a decade ago, a friend handed Harrington "Aaj Ki Raat" - Asha Bhosle�s album. In 1999, the Quartet recorded a solo version of Aaj Ki Raat with tabla maestro Zakir Hussain. It didn�t take long for Bhosle to hear about Kronos� work.

�Since 2000, I began to go back to Burman�s music and finally it seemed like the right time to make an album,� says Harrington. Soon, he got in touch with Bhosle and within a few months, recording for the album was completed.

�I wanted to use original recordings like in Western classical music,� he says. �In the spirit of Burman�s musical polyglotism, Wu Man�s pipa was substituted for the santoor and sarod. And because rhythmicality is an essential ingredient in Burman�s music, we brought in Zakir Hussain.� v Kronos itself augmented its acoustic sound with keyboards, percussion etc.

Of the 12 tracks on the album, Bhosle has sung eight, including the ever-popular Dum Maro dum (Hare Rama Hare Krishna), Chura Liya hai, (Yaadon Ki Baraat), Piya Tu ab to aaja, (Caravan), Mera Kuchh Saaman, (Ijaazat), and two Bengali songs.

�Asha Bhosle is not just a great singer but also a great musician. Her voice is an instrument in itself,� says Harrington. Each member of Kronos also has contributed a solo with the cello, violin and viola

"You�ve Stolen My Heart: Songs from R D Burman�s Bollywood," will be released this month in the U.S. Harrington hopes that it will be released in India some day also.

�Burman was an amazing creative composer and I feel inspired, better and refreshed after wrapping up the album,� says Harrington.

�I hope an audience is out there that will become acquainted with the genius of R D Burman and the unbelievable mastery of Asha Bhosle.�

By Nitish S. Rele

Three Indian movies recently made it to Time magazine�s list of 100 all-time favourite films.

Satyajit Ray�s "The Apu Trilogy" (Pather Panchali, Apur Sansar, Aparajito), Mani Ratnam�s "Nayakan" and Guru Dutt�s "Pyaasa" are part of the unranked but alphabetically listed names compiled by the magazine�s critics, Richard Schickel and Richard Corliss. The two critics each picked 100 films, out of which 40-50 titles made both the lists.

Schickel had this to say about "The Apu Trilogy: �� Ray�s filmmaking is direct in manner, simple in its means and profound in its impact. It is, as another great master, Akira Kurosawa, said, �The kind of cinema that flows with the serenity and nobility of a big river� � the river of life as it is ordinarily lived.�

Ratnam gets commended by Corliss in the following words: �He has no such difficulty blending melodrama and music, violence and comedy, realism and delirium, into a two-and-a-half-hour demonstration that, when a gangster�s miseries are mounting, the most natural solution is to go singin� in the rain.�

And on the classic "Pyaasa," Corliss remarks: �The writer-producer-director-star paints a glamorous portrait of an artist�s isolation through dappled imagery and the sensitive picturising of S D Burman�s famous songs. And Rehman, in her screen debut, is sultry, radiant � a woman to bring out the poet in any man, on screen or in the audience.�

Among the other films making the list were "ET," "The Godfather � Part I and II", "Kandahar," "Schindler�s List," "Psycho" and "On The Waterfront."

Missing on the list was the classic "Gone with the Wind."

Apparently, Schickel and Corliss �don�t give a damn� for the film.


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