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Tusshar Kapoor in pursuit of versatility (INTERVIEW)
New Delhi, April 3 After being labelled a comic
actor, Tusshar Kapoor was looking for variety and a chance to
prove his versatility. And now he is happy that his forthcoming
films will present him in various new avatars.
"I don't want to be typecast. I don't want people to say that he
was a good comedian or a good romantic hero. I want people to
remember me as a good actor. I want them to say that I could do
all kinds of roles," Tusshar told IANS.
To prove his talent he signed Apoorva Lakhia's crime thriller
"Shootout at Lokhandwala", Ashwin Chaudhary's romantic comedy
"Good Boy, Bad Boy" and Anant Mahadevan's thriller "Agar".
Right now he is eagerly looking forward to the release of Lovely
Singh's "Kya Love Story Hai", opening May 25.
"I am really excited about it because it is directed by my
friend. It's a triangular love story. I play a boy called Arjun
who is laid back and doesn't like doing anything. His parents
have left enough money for him. Then he falls in love and things
change in his life."
Tusshar, who was understandably bored with his current screen
image, readily accepted the role of a hit man in "Shootout at
Lokhandwala" and underwent special training for flawless
delivery. The film is based on a true incident that took place
in Mumbai 1991.
"I attended a small workshop to prepare for the role. My friend
Prakash Bhardwaj arranged the workshop and conditioned me for
the role. I met Prakash while working in 'Good Boy Bad Boy'."
Talking about "Agar", he said: "In 'Agar' I play a media person
who loses his mental balance due to an incident. He gets cured
after some time and tries to put his life back on track but his
past keeps following him."
So far Tusshar, who debuted with "Mujhe Kucch Kehna Hain" in
2001, hasn't made a permanent pairing with anybody on screen and
admits that there is a dearth of new faces in filmdom.
"People thought that Kareena Kapoor and I look good on screen.
But we didn't do too many films together. Right now there isn't
any particular actress with whom I have formed a good on screen
"Of course, there is a dearth of new faces. People are scared of
experimenting with new faces. They prefer working with
established faces only."
About venturing into direction, he said: "No, I don't have any
plans of getting into direction. Acting is such a time consuming
job that I can't think about anything else. I just want to
concentrate on my acting. I do help my sister but that's it ...
nothing beyond that."
Most actors say they don't give much importance to critics'
views but Tusshar thinks otherwise.
"We all know where we have goofed up. We are aware of our
shortcomings. I don't read all the reviews. I pick four or five
of them and while reading I try to analyse how honestly critics
have assessed my performance. Of course, I have learned from
their criticisms. But sometimes I don't find them convincing.
"I also give importance to a film's performance. If I feel that
it is doing well and producers are happy with the profit, I feel
'Khanna & Iyer' music fare unappealing (MUSIC REVIEW)
By Meghna Menon,
Album: "Khanna & Iyer"; Music Director: Tabun Sutradhar;
Singers; Kunal Ganjawala, Shreya Ghoshal, Jojo, Suzanne, Sudesh
Bhonsle, Madushree, Sukhwinder Singh;
One would expect at least a few interesting numbers from an
interesting title like this but all you get is disappointment in
Music composer Tabun Sutradhar and lyricist Rajesh Johri don't
seem to have put in much effort to this soundtrack comprising
Kunal Ganjawala and Shreya Ghoshal flag off the album with "Rootho
na", a romantic track. It makes you wonder when was the last
time you heard such a typically mushy and lovey-dovey song. It's
an okay number.
"Raasta pyaar ka" plays next with Jojo and Suzanne crooning to
lyrics written by Sunil Jha. Honestly, nothing much can be
written about it as it is just another average track that you
wouldn't want to listen to again.
Ganjawala teams up with Sudesh Bhonsle in "Boom boom boom". The
song is nothing close to being a hit campus number. Jha has
penned the lyrics for this soon-to-be-forgotten number too.
Sukhwinder Singh croons to another forgettable number "Meri
jindari" along with Madhushree. Despite being fused with bhangra
elements, the song fails in its effort. Rajesh Johri's lyrics
Usually, the music plays a major role in bringing audiences to
see the movie in theatres. In this case the music disappoints
Fan to build Mohammad Rafi memorial in Birmingham
London, April 3 Singer Mohammad Rafi will soon be
immortalised in the city centre in Birmingham as an architect
fan is building a shrine with the idea of making the late singer
Tasawar Bashir, 39, is a former film producer and is also the
festival curator for the Mirage Film Festival 2007 in
Birmingham. He is keen to build a modern day memorial to one of
the stalwarts of Indian film industry.
Rafi was born at Kotla Sultan Singh, near Amritsar, on Dec 24,
1924, and died on July 31, 1980, leaving behind several haunting
melodies in various Indian languages, including in Marathi and
Reports from Birmingham say that the Indian high commission is
supporting the project that is set to first appear at
Birmingham's Festival of Extreme Building in the
Bashir, a student at the Birmingham Institute of Art and Design,
told the Birmingham Evening Mail: "Millions of people across
India and the world loved to listen to Rafi ... so when he died
Bombay (Mumbai) hosted the biggest ever procession for a
"He was a cross between Frank Sinatra and Engelbert Humperdinck
and I think he deserves to be a saint.
"There is no official way of making someone a saint in Hindu or
Muslim religions but if I can get enough people to see the
shrine then he could be immortalised."
The project is expected to cost over 20,000 pounds and will
involve building the structure on Fazeley Street in the
Birmingham city centre by June.
'Provoked' - an acid test for Aishwarya (PREVIEW)
New Delhi, April 3 Aishwarya Rai's much-awaited film
"Provoked", based on the true story of a battered NRI wife
Kiranjit Ahluwalia who kills her abusive husband, is finally
The film, which was screened at the Cannes Film Festival last
year and opened the International Indian Film Academy 2006 in
Dubai, didn't get a good response from the people who were
involved in Kiranjit's case.
The Southall Black Sisters, an organisation that helped Kiranjit,
panned it saying it has "factual and legal inaccuracies". And
Pragna Patel and Rahila Gupta, whose characters have been merged
into one person and is played by Nandita Das in the film,
alleged that it had taken a lot of artistic liberties.
Rahila, who co-wrote the book "Circle of Light" that chronicles
Kiranjit's awful journey from a wife to a murderer and her fight
to get justice, said it is a one-dimensional story.
Directed by Jagmohan Mundhra, the film revolves around Kiranjit
(Aishwarya Rai) who moves to Britain after marrying Deepak
Ahluwalia (Naveen Andrews). She is constantly
abused and raped by her husband who is an alcoholic. After
bearing his atrocities for 10 years, one fine day she kills him.
Charged with murder, she is sentenced to life imprisonment.
While in the jail, she meets a wealthy white woman named
Veronica Scott (Miranda Richardson). They become friends and
when Kiranjit tells her story, Veronica is so moved that she
asks her step-brother, Edward Foster (Robbie Coltrane), a highly
respected Queen's Counsel, to file
a fresh appeal in the court.
Her case grabs the attention of a group of South Asian social
workers running an organisation called Southall Black Sisters.
They also join the crusade and hold rallies to get public
support and media attention to bring justice to Kiranjit.
Finally, Kiranjit is freed in a landmark case called Regina vs.
Ahluwalia, that redefined the word 'provocation' in the case of
a battered woman. She is reunited with her two children and also
given an award for her crusade against domestic violence.
Except "Dhoom 2", for which the credit went to her co-stars and
breathtaking action sequences, Aishwarya hasn't delivered a
single hit in the last one year.
If she manages to impresses her fans with her portrayal of a
battered wife in "Provoked", it will certainly put her in a
different league. In short, Aishwarya's career hinges on the
film's success at the Indian box office.
Percept believes in making films for the right reason
New Delhi, April 3 From reality based "Traffic
Signal" to comical "Malaamal Weekly", from social film "Dor" to
issue based "Phir Milenge" and "Corporate", Percept Picture
Company (PPC) is certainly living up to its motto of producing
innovative and quality films.
"Our philosophy at PPC is that if you've got a big idea make a
movie. If you don't have a big idea then don't make movies. We
strongly feel that one shouldn't make movies for wrong reasons -
we shouldn't make a movie because we know the stars well or to
be in the entertainment business," said Shailendra Singh, joint
managing director of PPC.
After "Traffic Signal", the production house is gearing up to
bombard the audience with variety cinema.
"We made a lot of movies last year. This year almost nine
negatives are ready. We have 21 films on floor that encompasses
directors like David Dhawan, Priyadarshan, Nagesh Kukunoor....
It's a long list of intelligent directors. The idea is to cater
to all genres of audiences.
"We don't make movies for everybody. For instance 'Traffic
Signal' was for a very niche intelligent audience. It must have
appealed to someone looking for out of the box entertainment.
Our intention is to create a niche through our products in the
entertainment market, which is quite huge," added Singh.
Singh says that audiences' perception is changing.
"The concept of typical buffet entertainment - everything for
everybody - is changing now. Audiences want to be challenged
with the entertainment and such products are finding larger
And the script surely gets priority.
"Since the star phenomenon is changing, audiences want to watch
a good story well told. We don't follow the star line because if
you have noticed ... recently we had four big releases and all
bombed. I don't want to name them but they had the biggest stars
India could produce. So if you make a movie and it has a good
story people are going to watch it. Stars, music are frills and
they don't carry a movie too far."
Singh takes pride in offering a platform to enthusiastic
"I think PPC is the only brand that has been supporting
newcomers in all fields of filmmaking. We are making a movie
with Shoojit Sircar, who made 'Yahan', for the second time. We
are also making a movie with Robby Grewal who did 'Samay'. His
second film is called 'MP3 - Mera Pehla Pehla Pyaar' and it
" 'MP3' is very simple and entertaining. It is about the first
kiss, first love and I think everybody is going to relate to it
because all of us at some point of time have experienced a first
kiss or a first love. It's a simple universal subject."
Bringing freshness on screen is important, Singh stressed.
"If you survey the international market, you have practically
four films a month targeted to this age group (youth). We don't
make cinema for this age group at all. That's why, instead of
Shah Rukh Khan carrying a backpack in a university we have
actually allowed an actor to play his age in 'MP3'. His name is
Ruslan Khan and he was actually 17-years-old when he did it."
According to Singh, survey plays an important role in the making
of a film at PPC.
"We are not putting pressures on ourselves ... we are focusing
on our consumers. We do full on survey. Every year you will have
films for children. We plan to build the PPC brand so that after
two years people would say it's a PPC film not a Bhandarkar
Apart from "MP3", the production house's forthcoming releases
are "Ru-ba-ru", "Kabootar" and "Dhol".
"We have spotted a formula. We have built an in-house marketing
team called P9. It is doing a great job. We have in-house
distribution capability. Then we have a very smart balance of
Kukunoor and Bhandarkar. We are able to experiment because we
have A+ filmmakers. In case I have a flop with a newcomer, I can
back it up with these A+ directors."
Arshad plays terrifying prank on director in London
By Subhash K. Jha,
London, April 3 Arshad Warsi pulled a terrifying
April Fool's prank on director Vivek Agnihotri during the
shooting of "Goal" in London, hiring two actors to play cops and
tell him that an actress in the unit had been booked for
possession of drus.
Well-ensconced in his cosy apartment in London, Arshad narrates
the incident amidst bouts of guffaws.
"I wanted our April Fool's in London to be a memorable
experience. So I hired two actors to play cops and told them my
simple but scary plan to shake up our director. All they had to
do was go up to him during shooting and tell him that an Afghan
actress, Nadia, in our unit has been booked and arrested for
possession of drugs and narcotics," Arshad told IANS.
Arshad's prank just scared the daylights out of Agnihotri. John
Abraham, Bipasha Basu and Boman Irani, who are playing important
roles in the film, were Arshad's partners in crime.
"At the appointed time on Sunday, the two cops played their
roles to perfection. They walked up to the unsuspecting Vivek
and announced, 'Sir we've to take you in for questioning.'
"All of us in unit - John, Bipasha, Boman included - were
playing along giving the best performances of our lives. Poor
Vivek. He was shitting bricks. He looked around helplessly. We
all shrugged and acted helpless. Vivek could've died there and
then if we hadn't burst out laughing eventually when he was
actually being led away."
On the same day, at the Zee awards function in Malaysia, Arshad
was named bext comic actor for "Lage Raho Munna Bhai". Arshad
chuckles, this time with less amusement.
"This is my first round of awards, and I'm not at any of them to
receive the trophy. This is god's way of letting me know that he
gives with one hand and also takes away with the other. Anyway,
can't complain since I'm having the time of my life here."
Kolkata designer to dress up Abhishek for wedding day
By Sujoy Dhar,
Kolkata, April 3 Abhishek Bachchan will exchange
wedding wows with Aishwarya Rai wearing an outfit designed by
Sharbari Datta, the well known revivalist menswear designer
It was Ash's mother Brinda Rai's wish that the Bachchan men wear
clothes by Datta, India's "only woman designer" who dresses up
"only men" in traditional attires.
"I've despatched about 30 pieces of classical Indian dresses for
the marriage after Brinda Rai said that I should design the
clothes for Abhishek and the menfolk of the Bachchan family. I
have reasons to hope that Amitabh Bachchan would also wear my
collection on the day," Datta told IANS in an exclusive
"They are various cuts and styles in maroon, off-white, electric
blue and rust which I have used keeping in mind the 6ft 3in
height and medium complexion of Abhishek," said Datta who for
decades has reigned supreme in the men's fashion world, weaving
magic on otherwise bland pieces of kurtas and achkans.
"Brinda Rai had met me way back in 2003 when Aishwarya was
shooting for Rituparno Ghosh's "Chokher Bali" in Kolkata and
bought two shawls for Ash. Now she came back to me for the Ash-Abhishek's
wedding. It is a nice feeling considering that I'm not into the
ramp circuit and the occasion is one that every designer would
have loved to be a part of," said Datta who brought a gust of
sartorial freshness to the orthodox world of male fashion a
decade before the word "metrosexual" was coined.
Sharbari is a designer who gate crashed to only dress up men in
ethnic chic and herald the re-arrival of designer kurtas and
coloured dhotis in a throwback to the rich old sartorial
traditions of the country.
From Jagjit Singh, Vijay Mallya and Russi Modi to Leander Paes,
Kapil Dev, Imran Khan, M.F. Hussain, Baichung Bhutia and Sourav
Ganguly - none could resist the elegantly intricate designs by
"I am not divulging every detail of the attires because there
should be an element of surprise that all brides and bridegrooms
love to unveil," said Datta.
"I have only avoided using black because that is not considered
auspicious for Indian functions," Datta added.
"I can dress up Abhishek and not Ash because you know I only
design for men. But from what I have heard, the bride would be
wearing a benarasi sari. They have bought a large number of
saris from Varanasi," said the designer.
Sharbari Datta is the daughter of celebrated Bengali poet Ajit
Datta. She grew up to the rhythms of poetry on the one hand and
dance and music on the other, imbibing the essence of culture
deeply. She did her graduation from Presidency College and took
her Master's Degree in Philosophy from Calcutta University. Yet,
arts remained an enduring love.
"It was a bleak world of stripes and checks that I gate crashed
into. A drab world, where the most daring sartorial adventure
man could imagine was a silk tie that has, over the years,
managed to shift from diagonal bands to paisleys and floral
motifs. Or a dhoti with a border and a kurta with modest
embroidery at the neck and shoulders," recalled Sharbari.
"The traditional cuts and styles that you have seen in period
films found a social place in my works. I am a revivalist
designer. When I started it was a new concept. They said it was
effeminate but I changed all those notions," said the designer
Shah Rukh Khan joins Tussauds' India gallery
London, April 3 Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan
became the latest Indian to be featured in the Madame Tussauds
museum when his life-size wax statue was unveiled here Tuesday
Shah Rukh is the third Indian actor to figure in the popular
tourist attraction - the other two are Amitabh Bachchan and
Aishwarya Rai. The actor was present with his family when his
statue was unveiled.
The decision to have a wax model of King Khan was based on
feedback received from thousands of visitors and tourists who
visit the museum featuring prominent personalities every year.
A spokesman of the museum said that Shah Rukh's statue reflected
the growing popularity of Indian films in Britain, which are now
watched not only by British Asians but others too.
Guests will be allowed to stand next to Shah Rukh's duplicate
and take pictures. The backdrop of the statue could be changed -
to one from the star's latest hit "Don", the spokesman added.
Other Indians featuring in the museum include former Prime
Ministers Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi.
Naveen Andrews upset over not knowing Hindi
Los Angeles, April 3 British Indian actor Naveen
Andrews, who plays Aishwarya Rai's abusive husband in
"Provoked", calls himself a fraud because he can't speak Hindi.
Andrews' parents migrated to Britain in 1965 and endured all
kinds of hardship and racism before his birth.
Now, the "Lost" star is ashamed of himself and feels bad for his
parents who might be disappointed in him because he can neither
speak their mother tongue nor does he
have any interest in discovering his roots, reports
"As I get older I appreciate what my parents had to go
through... They had to endure a lot of what I would've found
unendurable," he said.
"Life was very hard for them and yet they had this kid (Andrews)
growing up in the 1970s speaking differently, acting
differently, moving differently. It must've been very
distressing to them. I'm a complete fraud. I go to India and I
can't even speak my own language. They laugh at me."
Sanjaya's MySpace blogger quits hunger strike
Los Angeles, April 3 Sanjaya Malakar, the
Indian-American contestant on "American Idol", had an obsessed
MySpace blogger "J" who has finally quit her hunger strike after
The blogger, who had gone without food for so long as a protest
against Sanjaya's continuing appearance on "American Idol",
finally began eating again only because a doctor told her to do
so, reports www.hollywood.tv.
She wrote in her blog that she will continue to fight to get
Sanjaya booted off the show, but from now on she will do it the
same way as everyone else by casting her vote for any contestant
other than him.
She also asked those who have gone on hunger strike to stop and
to stay tuned for a "voting strategy" for the coming weeks.
Anand Jon wins freedom
Los Angeles, April 3 Indian fashion designer Anand
Jon, who was charged last month with multiple counts of rape,
has been released from an immigration court.
Jon was freed April 2, although www.hollywood.tv reports that he
was originally released March 26 from the Los Angeles County
He was being held in lieu of $1.3 million bail, but attorney
Ronald Richards was able to win his freedom after claiming that
a detention hold on his client by the Immigration and Customs
Enforcement agency was improper.
The fashion designer's attorney had retained the law offices of
Jaehoh Suh to represent his client in connection with the
"Mr. Suh successfully convinced the government to terminate all
immigration proceedings and Mr. Jon was released from custody at
approximately 8.30 p.m. today (Monday)," Richards said.
Jon will be appearing in person in Division One of Beverly Hills
Superior Court Wednesday morning.