DELIGHTFULLY dusky, with those inviting brown eyes and the devastating smile, Nandita Das is a terrific, talented actress. Nandita has just done away with all doubts about her being "overrated" (sic) by bagging the Best Actress Award at the Santa Monica Film Festival, USA, for her searing performance in Jagmohan Mundhra’s Bhawandar (Sandstorm)!
Perhaps, one of the most exciting actresses of contemporary, realistic Hindi cinema, Nandita plays the role of a low caste woman (based on a true story) — Sanwari — working for the Rajasthan Government’s women development programme called Saathin. Ironically, she is gang-raped by upper caste men in her own village! Instead of hanging her head in shame (as she is expected to do), Sanwari seeks justice for the brutal injustice done to her.
And this is where the real rape of her soul begins, as she’s made to run from pillar to post by a judicial system corrupted by chauvinism, sexism, feudalism and political opportunism.
Wherever Bhawandar has been shown, it has earned rave reviews. Das’ portrayal has been hailed as "uncomfortingly realistic", "amazingly riveting", "courageous beyond description" and so on. Jagmohan has created a social twister; will it reach the theatre in India without censor cuts...?
motion picture also stars Deepti Naval, Raghuvir Yadav, Rahul Khanna,
Laila Rouass, Govind Namdeo and Gulshan Grover.
From the sublime to the ridiculous. Govinda, sensibly sensing that his rating on the popularity charts is crashing constantly, has decided to do a film which features him in seven different roles! Now whether he’s trying to do a ditto of Naya Din Nayi Raat (in which the late Sanjeev Kumar played nine characters) is a moot point... but I can say for sure that Chi Chi is likely to make a moron of himself seven times over......! Help!
The awards fever is on once more. Any film magazine or paper that can land itself a moneybags sponsor (sic) is out to host lavish extravaganzas to "honour" cine celebs with tinselflakes and fireworks and (long) boring speeches! Not to mention the "special attractions" (eeks!) of magicians pulling pantyhose out of their hats on stage or the stars doing a live, ludicrous dance item — off beat and without lip synch!
But the guests and VIP invitees still love it and lap it up. They’re least interested whether it’s Hrithik Roshan or Karisma Kapoor or Kareena Kapoor or Amitabh Bachchan walking away with the (prized) trophies. For them, all that matters is staying awake till 3 am and watching, beagle-eyed, the cine celebs in one sprawling venue or the other.
Long live film awards....!
Going by the current trend, at least a dozen (or more) newcomers are poised to stake their claim to stardom in 2001. Are they going to make it?
Frankly, I’d say most of them have every chance of emphasising their screen presence in their debut movies. These revved-up youngsters belong to the Generation Next where their aggressive attitudes are their prized assets. They refuse to take a "no" for an answer.
So, as far as I can foretell, many senior stars are going to be (unceremoniously) knocked off their pedestals by the new ones... very soon!
Heard of filmmakers Bala and Kanika... of Bharat Bala Productions? Never mind; the duo has just earned (another) distinction for making a magnificent movie for the (much hyped) Indian Navy’s International Fleet Review, titled Jaya He!
Kanika has, in the process, created a record of sorts by becoming the first woman to ever stay on an Indian Navy warship for five whole days (and nights) — sailing 2000 nautical miles into the high seas along with a fleet of five warships, two speakings, two helicopters, four sea harriers... and a submarine.
Jaya He is unique in other ways, too. The film has captured the modernity and the youthful spirit of the Indian Navy and depicts the immaculate white ‘n’ blue defence force as it is today: With an attitude of eternal victory. And everlasting triumph.........
Catch it on your cable TV channels.
Set to strike!
Suneel Khosla, the young filmmaker, has an uncanny knack for doing things in his own inimitable way, believe me. Whether it’s (crisp) scripting, making (hot) music videos or producing ‘n’ directing a (crackling) movie: the guy really knows where it’s at!
And now Khosla is highly upbeat about readying his new film for an early release. It’s titled Mumbaai Masti (the double ‘AA’ is deliberate, mind it) and has the good looking Panini Raaj Kumar finally making his screen debut with an attitude!!!
Panini is absolutely thrilled with the film, his own role ... and the music of the movie, which he exclaims is "simply mind-blowing". To quote: "You gotta experience the sheer youthfulness, the tempo and the electricity that zaps you — it’s like touching a livewire! As for my role, well, I can’t divulge much at this stage, but I can assure you that I don’t believe in cliched love stories. And that’s where Suneel came to my rescue by creating something very special for me. Together, we’re confident of taking the Hindi film industry by storm with Mumbaai Masti. So watch out, peoples!"
Produced under the banner of Siddham Arts, this film is a Satyam Entertainment Pvt Ltd and Rajesh Aggarwal presentation, and boasts of a wholly new (but talented) cast ‘n’ crew. More on this maha masti soon, guys.
Preity to wed?
Look, I’m not making any claims about having got it from the mare’s mouth. But indications are that Preity Zinta may actually be tying the marital knot in the (very) near future!
Indications that have apparently come from the horse’s (read Marc Robinson, please) mouth! During an out of town fashion show, Robinson inadvertently seems to have confided to a colleague that preparations are now on for the big day, so Marc is rushing through his live shows and choreography assignments.
Like, believe it or nuts!
Is Sunil Shetty getting out of his mind? I should think so, if I’m to belive his latest fancy (or should that read fantasy?) of trying to become the Dolph Lundgren of desi cinema. I’m told that, in one of his new movies, he wants the ground to tremble, shake ‘n’ shatter whenever he takes a fall during his action scenes!
In other words, he wants Mother Earth to split wide open and (huge) crators to be formed as and when he bites the dust — literally!
I can’t recollect precisely, but there was one Hollywood film which had exactly similar shots of the hero getting into fights and, everytime he was hit (hard) by his opponent, he’d fall to the ground with a big (amplified) "thud" and an enormous crator would be the result! Awesome, what?)
Looks to me that Shri Shetty is taking his hulk too seriously.
Hop, skip Sanju
Reminds me of another Bollywood stud — Sanjay Dutt. This guy, who must be nudging 42 plus now, is behaving like a springy teenager with ants in his pants!
Can you imagine, the guy is so busy springing from one film shoot to another, that he manages to reach home only after 3 a.m. or so! What a wonderfully blissful family life he’s leading is obvious! Even wifey Rhea has been heard cribbing of late, about her having to attend most invites solo... since no boutique or shopping mall can hold its inaugural ribbon-snipping (way) past midnight!
As for hop, skip ‘’n’ jump Sanju, well, he says he’s having the time of his life by being involved in work, work and more work. "It’s like a totally new high... something I could never experience even with drugs. Whether it’s Munich, Manchester or Mumbai, I’ve become a total workalcoholic. Cheers!"
Rumour has it:
*that Jackie Shroff’s Grahan is a total b.o. eclipse!
*that Esha Deol is all set to give her rivals a real retreat!
*that Jeetendra is going to produce a
frothy film for darling daughter Ekta!