Topics : Art
Culture - Fashion
& Hot Bollywood Film News : *
News - Hindi Cinema Reviews - Previews - Music Chart -
Urmila shoots 'Mehbooba' song with Bachchans
By Subhash K. Jha,
Mumbai, April 15 After Aishwarya Rai in the
chart-busting "Kajra re" number, it is Urmila's turn to share
sizzling screen space with Amitabh and Abhishek Bachchan for the
"Mehbooba" song in the new "Sholay".
Director Ram Gopal Varma canned the song for his "Sholay" in
"It was like sharing an experience with two legends (Amitabh and
Helen)," said Urmila.
"I've always been a huge fan of Helenji. I know all her dances
by heart, 'Mehbooba' being my favourite. And of course, I'm a
huge fan of Amitabh. Though he didn't dance with me, Abhishek
did. To have done the legendary song as a homage to two living
legends is quite something," Urmila told IANS.
The actress is virtually living out of suitcases these days.
"I have recently returned from an event in Malaysia. The best
thing was that Shabana Azmi was also at the same event.
Shabanaji and I get along like a house on fire. So, I had a
NRI marriages through Bollywood lens (SPECIAL)
By Kul Bhushan
"As a realistic depiction of Asian life in Britain, 'Namastey
London' made us feel proud as NRIs," said Chaman Lal Chaman, a
well-known radio presenter and an Asian cultural leader in
London. The Bollywood film deals effectively with the generation
gap and the problems of Asian parents and has been popular in
Britain because it uses laughter and satire to drive home its
points, added Chaman.
The upper-class mannerism of the English snobs and ill-informed
colonial types still living in the past are shown and put in
their place by the 'Punjabi Puttar' hero. No wonder British
Asians have been lining up in the foyers of over 40 cinemas in
many cities of the UK, particularly London, to watch it. And
they chuckle, cheer and shout lustily when the hero lists the
achievements of India.
An NRI girl, played by Katrina Kaif, meets a rustic Indian boy
enacted by Akshay Kumar. In real life, Katrina was born to an
NRI father and a British mother and brought up in London. This
theme has been a hit since "Purab Aur Pachhim" back in 1970 with
Saira Banu as the hotshot westernised girl and Manoj Kumar as
the patriotic Bharat.
In fact, the hero mentions "Purab Aur Pachhim" in "Namastey
London" to drive home his point with Katrina.
In another box office blockbuster that tackled the same NRI
romancing with an Indian theme in 1995, Shah Rukh Khan chased
Kajol all over Europe and got battered in India before he could
say "Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge". And - would you believe it?
- it is still running in Mumbai in one cinema and had its 600th
In recent years, there have been many Indian films aimed at the
NRI communities in the UK but "Namastey London" pushed the
envelope further for NRIs in the UK and gives a new twist to the
old storyline. This film explores some subtle quandaries in NRI
households in the UK. It realistically portrays a real clash of
cultures - at home, Indians, especially women, are supposed to
behave as Indians and outside they try hard to behave as
Westerners. One can see them smoking and drinking in the pubs
with their Western office colleagues. When the Indian boys go
out with white girls, the Indian girls want to show them that
they can also play the same game by going out - and even
marrying! - white boys as in this film.
But many NRIs still prefer to 'arrange' marriages in India for
their children, particularly daughters. Some of these nuptials
turn into 'forced marriages'. But NRI parents are not so strict
if their sons marry white women even as they take exception to
their daughters bringing in white sons-in-law.
"Times, however, are changing. 'Inter marriages' are
decreasingly frowned upon as compared with several decades ago.
I have seen many English women, wives of Punjabis, wearing
Punjabi suits, complete with dupattas or headscarves shopping in
Southall or visiting the temple. In the temples, they try very
hard to converse in their own brand of Punjabi with their
elderly NRI in-laws. Decades ago, many Indian men would marry
white women only to obtain British citizenship but today in
majority of cases, the situation is different as the NRIs are
here to stay as a community in their own right," comments
Shamlal Puri, an author and a journalist from London.
"The British government is addressing the issue of forced
marriages among ethnic communities and working to ensure no
Asian girl is forced into a marriage against her will," Puri
says. "The white Brits still have a chip on their shoulder of
looking down upon India and Indians with the tinted glasses of
the British Raj era. Some of them still need to come out from
the old shell and be educated that modern India is heading for
the position of being a major global economy and may well leave
the UK behind. This movie goes some way in quelling
misinformation on India."
After its box office bonanza in the UK, it's same story in North
America. "The film has grossed $1.1 million in its first three
weeks in North America, said Gitesh Pandya, editor of
BoxOfficeGuru.com. "So far the film has done well in the US and
it must be doing even better in the UK given the subject
It has strong results in Australia and other NRI markets too. In
India, it has emerged as a hit for this year that has been
lacklustre except for "Guru".
But the same cannot be said of "The Namesake" that is doing
roaring business in the US with $6.8 million from mainstream
audiences but not with NRIs. After all its hype, previews and
promotion, it did not pull in the ordinary NRI crowd except for
After Easter holidays and now for Baisakhi celebrations, "Namastey
London" is all set to become a super hit with the NRIs. It beats
the big bhangra drum for India.
(A media consultant to a UN Agency, Kul Bhushan previously
worked abroad as a newspaper editor and has travelled to over 55
countries. He lives in New Delhi and can be contacted at:
Pritam's 'In dino' tops the charts
New Delhi, April 15 Pritam's "In dino" has finally
made its way to the top slot and A.R. Rahman's "Tere Bina" is
pushed to number two this week.
The top 10 songs for the week are:
1. "In dino" - Film: "Metro"; Music Director: Pritam; Singer:
Soham. A soft, romantic rock number, it showcases Pritam's
creativity. The beautiful song entered at number seven and has
finally landed at number one.
2. "Tere bina" - Film: "Guru"; Music Director: A.R. Rahman;
Singer: A.R. Rahman and Chinmayee. The love song is a mix of
Indian classical and Sufi and is doing well.
3. "Maula" - Film: "Anwar"; Music Director: Mithoon; Singer:
Roop Kumar Rathod. The film sank without a trace but this unique
romantic song is hugely appreciated by the numbers and is back
on the chart once again.
4. "Ta ra rum pum" - Film: Ta Ra Rum Pum"; Music Director:
Vishal Shekhar; Singers: Shaan and Mahalakshmi Iyer. It is a
lively and peppy number and is doing well on the music charts.
5. "Chakna" - Film: "Namastey London"; Music Director: Himesh
Reshammiya; Singer: Himesh Reshammiya. A dance number already
doing the rounds in discotheques, the song is doing pretty well
6. "Tere" - Film: "Delhii Heights"; Music Director: Rabbi
Shergill; Singer: Rabbi Shergill. Though the film has been
criticised, music lovers are lapping up this love song.
7. "Aayo ri sakhi" - Film: "Water"; Music Director: A.R. Rahman;
Singer: Sukhwinder Singh. A semi-classical song, it shows singer
Sukhwinder's versatility and gels with the film's mood.
8. "Sajanaji vaari" - Film: "Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd"; Music:
Vishal-Shekhar; Singers: Sunidhi Chauhan and Shekhar Ravjiani.
It's a great track with a folk touch. Sunidhi is at her best in
the song, which has amazing dance vibes.
9. "Saiyaan re" - Film: "Salaam-e-Ishq"; Music Director:
Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy; Singers: Shilpa, Shankar Mahadevan and Loy
Mendonsa. A fusion of Indian and Western music, the track with a
qawalli touch is a treat to hear and watch.
10. "Thaare vaaste" - Film: "Shakalaka Boom Boom"; Music
Director: Himesh Reshammiya; Singers: Shaan and Sunidhi Chauhan.
A fast and peppy number, it is quite popular in the music
circles right now.
(Source: The Music Shop, Khan Market, New Delhi)
What is the secret of Sanjaya's survival on 'American Idol'?
Los Angeles, April 15 Everyone is puzzled as to why
India-American contestant Sanjaya Malakar has stayed this long
on "American Idol" since he can't carry a tune in a bucket
except that one time when he gave a rendition of Jennifer Lopez'
Sanjaya's rendition had Lopez gushing and judge Simon Cowell
choking on his acid tongue while he had to admit that he had
done a good job.
The Los Angeles Times editorial says that the secret of his
survivability on the show is his good spirit, reports
The editorial went on to explain: "Although all 'Idol'
contestants must suffer public judgment with a smile, Sanjaya's
grin seems to be that of an ingenuous, bewildered kid instead of
a well-coached contestant. His flamboyance - such as that
surprise Trojan-helmet-like ponyhawk hairstyle - is tempered by
a timidity rarely seen on national TV.
"And because he cannot be derided like obviously talentless
former contestant William Hung, it's hard not to sympathise with
him as a young man who is simply out of his league.
"Malakar may win nothing more than a hair-product endorsement.
But he will have shown that even in a genre dependent on
egomaniacs who display highly scripted humility, a plain old
good sport can survive for a while."
Bollywood's angry young men down the years
By Priyanka Khanna,
New Delhi, April 15 The angry young man, a character
type immortalised by Amitabh Bachchan in "Zanjeer" way back in
the 1970s, continues to be one of Bollywood filmmakers'
favourite ploys that continues to be socially relevant as well.
The latest archetypical masala Bollywood flick to pay homage to
the original -"Big Brother" - may not have garnered favourable
reviews and may not rake in big bucks at the box-office, but it
does reiterate the relevance of portraying the anguish of the
suppressed even in times when India seems poised and shinning
from certain looking glasses.
The film starring Sunny Deol as an angry young man and Priyanka
Chopra as his muse marks the end of filmmaker Guddu Dhanoa's
long hiatus. The film features Farida Jalal as Sunny's typical
Bollywood screen mother. Others seen after a gap are Sayaji
Shinde, Danny Denzongpa and Govind Namdeo.
The film comes at a time when talking about ills affecting
India, like the highest number of malnourished children and
maternal deaths in the world, has become old-fashioned.
In the 1970s Bachchan was introduced as the bold new face of a
disillusioned generation. Much like the title, "Zanjeer"
signified the unshackling of chains that were holding anger from
Bachchan (Vijay) was angry and, consumed with anger, he let us
watch him set things right with a flourish and super-power-like
fighting abilities. Rumours had it that Mohammed Ali got nervous
to fight his exhibition match in India, because he said he
couldn't match Bachchan's on-screen prowess of being a super
The film had come at the right time. It was the time when the
first generation of young Indians had grown out of the "Desh Ki
Dharti" syndrome and were out looking for jobs. Prices of food
and other essential commodities were sky-rocketing and the then
prime minister had clamped emergency. Vietnam had left its
lasting memories and Naxalism had gobbled up entire families in
On the big screen, the reigning hero Rajesh Khanna was losing
his steam and people were losing interest. In came a man with
his fight against corruption, one of the earliest instances of
the same in Indian cinema.
Interestingly, British cinema had its share of angry young man
cultural movement in the 1950s. In 1956, John Osborne's play
"Look Back in Anger" (filmed 1959) introduced a bold new voice
into not just the theatre but English culture in general.
Critics labelled this and similar works by Osborne's
contemporaries as being part of the 'angry young man'
generation, taking its name from the title of Leslie Allen
Paul's autobiography (1951).
The label was also applied to Kingsley Amis ("Lucky Jim", 1953,
filmed 1957), John Braine ("Room at the Top", 1957, filmed
1958), Shelagh Delaney ("A Taste of Honey", 1957, filmed 1961),
Alan Sillitoe ("The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner",
1959, filmed 1962), Keith Waterhouse ("Billy Liar", 1959, filmed
1963), Ted Hughes, Philip Larkin, John Wain, Colin Wilson and
Although not an organised and ideologically coherent artistic
movement as such, the work of the 'angry young men' was
characterised by outspoken dissatisfaction with the status quo,
particularly with the so-called Establishment.
Reacting against stifling class distinctions, their work
championed the working classes, with Osborne's Jimmy Porter
becoming a figurehead: an intelligent, articulate,
university-educated man denied opportunities through being the
'wrong' social class. These opinions were usually expressed in
direct, straightforward language, rejecting the self-conscious
experimentation of the immediate pre-war years. The angry young
man film in British cinema flourished quickly and burned out
just as fast in the early 1960s.
Along with Bachchan, Shashi Kapoor stroked the embers and thus
began an era of angry young man films in Hindi cinema. A trend
that resurfaced with Anil Kapoor taking up the baton in "Tezaab",
which was set in the boiling underbelly of suburban Mumbai, with
local goons not allowing ordinary people to earn an honest
Anil, however, was not keen on carrying forward the mantel of
angry young man and preferred to diversify.
Sunny Deol, son of Dharmendra, began as a romantic hero but soon
progressed to roles of unemployed angry young man out to get
justice. He gave the blockbuster
"Ghayal" and delivered acclaimed performances in movies like "Damini",
"Arjun" and "Jeet". The actor, however, has still not being able
to win over the title from Bachchan.
There have been other contenders as well. Starting from Aamir
Khan to Abhishek Bachchan to Akshay Kumar to Akshaye Khanna.
Among the reigning stars, Ajay Devgan has displayed the similar
kind of intensity in his eyes as Amitabh.
The many years of struggling to get into the top reckoning in
Bollywood has made Ajay an insightful actor who can speak with
his eyes. In "Gangaajal", he came more close to clinging the
crown of angry young man than any other actor.
On the other hand, films like "Rang De Basanti", "Munnabhai MBBS"
and "Lage Raho Munnabhai" have shown that to make a difference
anger need not be the only means. Last year when many young
Indians took a stand for causes like the Jessica Lal murder case
and the Priyadarshini Mattoo rape and murder case, they gave a
new dimension to the angry young man.
The angry young man lives on whether in the form of someone who
smashes fists into the enemy's face or who goes the "Gandhigiri"
Finding oneself was the theme for other multiplex cinema release
of the week -"Life Mein Kabhie Kabhie" - with struggling actors
like Dino Morea, Aftab Shivdasani, Sammir Dattani, Anjori Alagh,
Nauheed Cyrusi, Annuj Sawhnney, Koel Puri.
The Vikram Bhatt film is not a remake and tells the tale of
trials and tribulations of youth in search for illusive
This is Vikram's second film this year. His previous release
"Red" sank without a trace.
The consecutive flops have led film folks to worry. It seems
that after raking in big bucks in 2006, Bollywood has hit a lean
patch, with a long list of letdowns at the box-office in the
first quarter of 2007. Even India's first-round exit from the
cricket World Cup hasn't helped bring much cheer. All eyes are
on the next big release - "Tara Rum Pam.