The Tribune - Spectrum

Sunday, April 22, 2001

Power struggle in the world of glamour

IT pioneered the afternoon television concept in India. And even today, the appeal of Shanti shows no signs of abating. In fact, its producers claim that the soap has a fan following of over 200 million viewers across the country.

Shanti.... The appeal shows no signs of abatingWhich could be true as there is a growing trend among channels to pick up soaps and serials which have had successful first time runs elsewhere and are available at throwaway prices for afternoon and late-night slots. As is the case with Shanti which is being aired once again — this time on Star Plus from Monday to Friday at 3 p.m.

Set amidst a fierce power struggle in the world of glamour, cameras and movie moghuls, Shanti traces the story of one woman’s fight for justice in this artificial and heartless world where a person’s worth is measured by the weight of his wallet.

This woman wages a war against big showbiz money, muscle power, just and empires built on dreams and fantasies. She also makes two megalomanical film producers pay for a long forgotten crime.

Like any typical soap it is about romance and heartbreak, power and glory laughter and tears, love and lust. Just almost everything to keep the viewer hooked. The only trouble is that most viewers may already have seen it. And with so many soaps doing the afternoon rounds, it could lose out to the fast-paced, slickly-produced newer stuff.

Something to smile about
April 15, 2001
The mainstay of Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki
April 1, 2001
The goddess from Bengal
March 25, 2001

In search of greener pastures abroad
March 18, 2001

Another soap about trials of family life
March 4, 2001

The fine art of murder
February 25, 2001

A predictable but absorbing tale
February 18, 2001

The longest-running comedy is a winner
February 11, 2001
Woman power to the fore
February 4, 2001
Another run-of-the-mill serial
January 28,2001
An engrossing tale of relationships
January 21,2001
A familiar, predictable family drama
January 14,2001

Mistress of the mind
January 7,2001

Guardian angel

It’s an undisputed fact that there’s a romantic hidden in all of us. Most kids dream of meeting a fairy. And so do many adults. But how many of these dreams turn to reality and how many die a premature death is not known.

Neena Gupta’s Pari... Creative fare for children.Pari, every Wednesday at 8 p.m. on Star Plus is all about dreams. The serial takes adults back to childhood and kids into the world of fairies and fantasies. The colourful serial revolves around the emotional bonding between a fairy and two motherless kids.

Neena Gupta, known more for her adult, sob-sob themes tackles this kiddie serial with a certain sensitivity and creativity, not associated with her as far as serials for the young are concerned. There is a fusion of fantasy and reality which makes it comical and a reasonably watchable show.

Moral of the story

Themes of communal harmony are alive and kicking. And, chances are they seem to have some sort of dedicated viewership as well. If that were not the case why would serials like Kaise Kahoon be aired?

Kaise Kahoon: Pedantic affairIt is patriotism and social awareness all rolled into one. Aired every Thursday, at 3.30 p.m. on Zee, Kaise Kahoon tackles two issues — one a lesson on how people of different communities can live together peacefully and second about the role of women in society.

It is the story of two close friends Zahir Ahmed and Sudhir Sinha. Despite their trust and respect for each other, there are people who resent their friendship and want to drive a wedge between them.

The only redeeming feature of this otherwise complete ho-hum affair is a star-packed cast which includes Reema Lagoo, Mohan Joshi, Sudha Chandran, Arun Govil and Rahul Roy — who makes his debut on TV.

But despite the starry affair, the serial draws a virtual blank as far as the storyline is concerned. Were it a movie, it would have sunk without a trace

Making of Hrithik

Ever since he danced into the hearts of millions, his fans haven’t stopped saying Kaho Na Pyar Hai Here’s your chance to meet the young man the world can’t get enough of.

Even if you missed the first part of the Sony Entertainment Television two-part event Hrithik — The Man Behind The Star on April 16, go ahead and see the second part on April 23, at 8 p.m. Produced by Hrithik’s sister-in-law, Farah Khan, the series provides a rare glimpse into the motivation, the drive, the people, the dreams and the grind that went into the making of Hrithik Roshan, the superstar.

It is a story that goes all the way back to his childhood, his family, his friends, school, adolescence, college days, friends and the grind of getting ready for Kaho Na Pyar Hai. Then there’s the success, the glory, the pain, anxiety and happiness that followed the film. Says Farah Khan, "This series is on Hrithik’s life. From his childhood to the awards he got for KNPH. I did the series over a whole year simply to tell the world that Hrithik is not an overnight success — he had a weakness that he worked hard to surmount. I hope this series inspires a lot of people to live their dreams and follow their hearts. Because that’s what Hrithik is all about." So don’t forget to tune in. Surprises never cease!

Gimmicky thriller

At times virtually unheard of movies can translate into a hours of pure entertainment especially in the thriller genre. Guarding Tess on HBO, on Sunday April 22, 9 p.m. is one such gimmicky button-pusher that holds your attention from the word go.

Nicholas Cage in Guarding Tess: Racy stuffOscar-winner Nicholas Cage is a by-the-book secret service agent, Doug Chesnic, who has just been given the toughest assignment of his career — to guard Tess Carlisle (Shirley Maclaine) the widow of a former U.S. President, whom many people may want dead for different reasons.

What follows are some hilarious adventures resulting in a moving and unforgettable friendship between two very unlikely people. Racy, fast-paced movies that will keep you glued to your TV sets right from the word go thanks to great performances by the two lead stars — Cage and the versatile Maclaine.

Claws of death

The fierce cat is ready for its check-up in Sabretooth, a gripping paleo-detective story that uncovers the biology and behaviour of the most successful killing machine of its time.

Wildlife researchers have long known that sabretooth was an efficient killer — the question is, just how did it do it? Whereas a normal cat can only open its jaws to an angle of 60 degrees, the sabretooth could open it 100 degrees — a necessary feat to dig its 17-cm canines into anything.

Heavier than a lion, more ferocious than a tiger, flat-footed and muscular with a tightly bobbed tail, the now extinct species called Smilodon Fatalis was no pussycat.

Three-dimensional computer animators bring this formidable predator back to life by applying the latest technology. The time when they lunged at big mammals, snapping powerful jaws and slitting their victims’ throats killing them within a matter of seconds.

Were these incredible teeth an evolutionary advantage or were they the fatal flaw that led to the creature’s extinction 10,000 years ago? Sink your teeth to this one-hour special on April 23, 7 p.m., to find the answers.

— Mukesh Khosla

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