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Jyothi Venkatesh
Bollywood Buzz


Meet Chachu, the dwarf!

Salman Khan gets into a role with which he can easily identify in producer Sajid Nadiadwala’s “Jaan-E-Mann,” set to release this Diwali. He plays a cool dude, a college stud called Suhaan, who is a charming womanizer. He is a longhaired rock singer and a wannabe star. He’s immature, full of himself and his dreams. Only when he is on the verge of losing everything does finally wakes up to what really matters in life.

Akshay Kumar
While he is the perfect guy to fall in lust with – Akshay Kumar who plays an intelligent guy called Agastya – is a nerd and a geek who cannot even communicate with a girl properly, forget about dating. Preity Zinta plays Piya, a college beauty, who is the princess whom every guy wants to fall in love with. Unlike “Mujhse Shaadi Karoge,” where he played a live- wire stud, in “Jaan E Mann,” Kumar portrays the role of a bespectacled, simple guy who gets tongue tied whenever he sees the woman he loves. The film also stars Anupam Kher, who will be seen in a path-breaking role as a happy-go-lucky, suit-clad dwarf, who is a successful lawyer friend, philosopher and guide to Khan. Kher says his character Chachu was challenging physically and mentally but notwithstanding the physical pain, he wanted to evolve as an actor by taking on challenging tasks.

“Main Hoon Don!”

Shah Rukh Khana and Priyanka Chopra
Though Kalyanji Anandji had composed the evergreen songs of the original “Don” starring Amitabh Bachchan, Zeenat Aman and Helen, and directed by Chandra Barot, the new version directed by Farhan Akhtar and starring Shah Rukh Khan, Priyanka Chopra and Kareena Kapoor in the pivotal roles has Shankar Mahadevan-Ehsaan and Loy as the composers. Only two hit songs from the original sound track have been retained, “Yeh Mera Dil Pyar Ka Deewana” and “Khaike Paan Banaraswala.” Kapoor gyrates to the number done originally by Helen. According to SRK, who plays a double role in the film, like Amitabh Bachchan did in the original, it is his way of paying a big tribute to Big B who he has always looked upon for guidance as an actor. Khan, however is worried that there may be an attempt to compare him with the Shahenshah of acting. “I am interpreting the character of Don, which has been made more contemporary and precise in my own way. Let me reiterate that in no way can I stand up to the original performance in the earlier version.”

The race for Diwali releases

Aishwarya Rai
“Umrao Jaan” starring Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai and “Dhoom Part II” were slated for release during the auspicious occasion of Diwali. The release of both films has now been postponed. In the rat race to release their films, only two producers have succeeded. They are Farhan Akhtar and Sajid Nadiadwala, who will be releasing “Don” and “Jaan-E-Mann” respectively on Oct. 20 to coincide with the Diwali celebrations all over the world. While “Umrao Jaan” will now be released on Nov. 3, Sanjay Gadhvi’s “Dhoom Part II” produced by Yash Chopra and starring Hrithik Roshan, Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai in key roles will see the light of the day on Nov. 24. Rajshri Productions’ latest venture “Vivah” starring Shahid Kapoor and Amrita Rao and directed by Sooraj Barjatya will be released on Nov. 10 while the release of “Babul” starring Amitabh Bachchan, Salman Khan, John Abraham and Rani Mukherjee in pivotal roles and produced and directed by Ravi Chopra has been pushed to December.

Shah Rukh Khan speaks his mind

Shah Rukh Khan
Shah Rukh Khan is an actor who does not mince words and known for his stance for calling a spade a spade. "As an actor, I have slightly become tranquil. Experience teaches you a lot. You learn from your experiences whether good or bad and try to grow as a human being. I made it a point to learn from my various directors. Barry John who had taught me acting while I was in Delhi also has been instrumental in shaping me as an actor. I owe whatever I am today solely to him. I realize that if one wants to be a somebody, one cannot afford to sit idle. One has got to pursue one’s goal. Or else one cannot become a Sachin Tendulkar or M.F. Husain or for that matter a Lata Mangeshkar easily."

Talking about his penchant to do maximum number of endorsements, Khan continues, "I believe in the maxim Make Money However And Whenever You Can As Long As You Don’t Sell Your Body. No other actor I think has endorsed or will be endorsing so many products like I have done or I will be doing.

"To me acting is like a job for which I do get paid. I think your work is what life is all about. Ultimately, it is only work with which you are left. I look forward to whatever work I am doing. I like the process of work though I do not necessarily care about the final product, which in any case isn’t in my hands."

Jyothi Venkatesh is a veteran film journalist, friend and former colleague of Khaas Baat. He is based in Mumbai, the cradle of Bollywood.

Bollywood Previews

Sanjay Dutt and Arshad Warsi star in “Lage Raho Munnabhai.”
“Lage Raho Munnabhai”: Starring Sanjay Dutt, Arshad Warsi, Boman Irani, Vidya Balan, Jimmy Shergill, Dia Mirza; directed by Rajkumar Hirani; music by Shantanu Moitra.

The loveable hero Munnabhai played by Sanjay Dutt is back with his trusty sidekick Circuit, played by Arshad Warsi. This sequel to “Munnabhai MBBS” promises to be a heart-warming entertainer full of laughs. Vidya Balan joins the cast as Jhanvi, a radio jockey with a daily show, who Munna falls for before even meeting. Of course, nothing is simple, Jhanvi believes Munna to be a history professor. A situation arises where Munna must deliver a history lecture and the unexpected happens. Munna comes face to face with Gandhiji! What happens when a bhai meets a reformer … they work together for a common goal, that’s what. Booman Irani plays Lucky Singh, the adversary, who is a rich builder and Dia Mirza plays his daughter who favors values over wealth. Jimmy Shergill is Victor D’Souza, a young man trying to make it big fighting a losing battle.

Sanjay Suri and Urmila Matondkar party in “Bas Ek Pal.”
“Bas Ek Pal”: Starring Sanjay Suri, Urmila Matondkar, Juhi Chawla, Jimmy Shergill, Rehaan Engineer; directed by Onir; music by Vivek Phillip, Mithoon, and Pritam.

By the director of “My Brother Nikhil,” this film explores modern relationships. Set in Mumbai, it tells the story of five people tied by an irrevocable incident. Sanjay Suri plays Nikhil Kapoor, a flamboyant, witty, single guy. Among his friends is Rahul, played by Jimmy Shergill, a sensitive introvert in charge of the family business. Juhi Chawla, portrays Ira Malhotra, a former Miss India who gave up the life of glamour to marry the man she loves and now finds herself wanting out. Urmila Matondkar is Anamika, an ambitious engineer who is aware of her good looks and believes in having fun. One night, Anamika meets Nikhil at a club, the attraction is instant but she disappears without telling her name. Nikhil frequents the place hoping to meet her again. Days later, he returns with friends when Anamika appears. A dispute occurs, which leads to a scuffle and a shot is fired. Suddenly, Nikhil realizes he is holding the gun. Everyone has a secret that changes everything. Watch out for the refreshing contemporary soundtrack.

Anupam Kher plays a father of three grown children in the comedy/drama “Khosla Ka Ghosla.”
“Khosla Ka Ghosla”: Starring Anupam Kher, Boman Irani, Parvin Dabbas, Tara Sharma; directed by Dibakar Banerjee; music by Bapi-Tutul, Druv Dhalla.

Filmed in Delhi, this comedy/drama focuses on relationships and has Anupam Kher playing Kamal Khosla, a father of three grown children, a simple man with simple desires. His life’s dream is build his own house on a plot of land he intends to buy for his family’s “ghosla.” He spends years saving up for this land. Unfortunately, that very plot has been reserved by a land shark played by Boman Irani who is willing to part with it only for a very large sum. Khosla tries various ploys to regain the plot and his colleagues also try to help him. Khosla sees his dream destroyed even further when his computer whiz son wants to settle abroad to pursue his career. Will Khosla ever be able to build his dream home and live with his family intact? Debutante director Dibakar Banerjee’s film was screened at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, where it was appreciated by audiences.


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