The Tribune - Spectrum

Sunday, November 17, 2002
Lead Article

Celluloid chitchat
Shabana as the winsome witch

MUSIC composer-turned director Vishal Bharadwaj has been smitten by actress Shabana Azmi, ever since the two came together for his directorial debut Makdee (Spider).

Bharadwaj who has given lilting tunes in Gulzar's Maachis and Hu Tu Tu, was also applauded for his score in Satya and Godmother (won a National Award). The composer who got close to the actress while working on the sets of Godmother, says that on hearing the story of Makdee, Shabana immediately consented to play the role of the witch in this chronicle for children.

Vishal was well-versed with Shabana's reputation of being a no-nonsense actress and someone who despised make-up. But Bharadwaj was pleasantly surprised when the lady endured hours of trial and error sessions with the brush, till the perfect look was achieved. Also the actress known for her kathai ( brown) eyes, sportingly agreed to don hideously coloured lenses. The blue-toned complexion, which Shabana as a witch had to portray, also took hours of toil. The debuting director says that not only was Azmi, an epitome of co-operation, but the gracious lady has charged no renumeration for her act. Sure Bharadwaj will always be grateful to this witch who played fairy to him.


Manisha is now a CNN star

Manisha is one gutsy gal. Be it controversy (regarding her film Ek Chotisi Love Story), be it animal animosity (a dog having got too close to her for comfort), or be it an upsetting set-accident, nothing can confine Manisha. The Nepali maiden, who is no novice to the spotlight, is all charged about being covered by the CNN, Fox News, for her fiery take in Escape From Taliban, and the changing face of Indian cinema. The actress in this Ujjal Chattopadhayay's film has enacted the real-life traumas of a woman who married an Afghan and who was persecuted by the Taliban for it. So impressed have been the American educational institutions by the lady's spunk, that she has been invited by Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Tufts and Boston University to address students in an interactive session. The girl for whom spontaneity is the buzzword, says that she has not rehearsed for the talk which she will be conducting there. Rather it will be quintessentially straight-from-the-heart. With the CNN filming Manisha as an international celebrity, its now bouquet time for the only recently brickbats-levied actress.

Akshaye's love

Guess what brings that twinkle in Akshaye Khanna's eyes? It's no pretty damsel. This eligible bachelor is still very much single. Akshaye spends his free time not with any girl, but with his LCD player. The guy is a film freak and watches films the whole day, whenever he is not shooting. Akshaye says, 'I just adore films. I can watch them the whole day long. I catch the latest from around the world.'

Besides films, what manages to hold Akshaye's attention is a game of squash and reading. But 'nothing to beat my love for films,' says the star, who has widened his fan base with the recent release of thrillers like Humraaz and Deewangee.


is on the way for Fardeen

Fardeen Khan's career may not have enjoyed an upswing but his star presence is undeniable. In fact, the cocaine controversy seems to have added to his wild charisma.

Though Anupam Kher's Om Jai Jagdish, may have not done much for the actor, the Khan prince is positive about his role in Boney Kapoor's Khushi. The film which is a remake of the South hit, similarly titled, is directed by S.J. Surya and co-stars the formidable Kareena Kapoor. Fardeen, confident that the film which is, 'a love story with a difference,' vouches that it will be a trendsetter with its novel theme. The no-villain film has only the egos of the madly-in-love lead players providing dramatic conflict. Known to have a soft-corner for his heroines, Fardeen says working with Kareena was, 'a cherishable experience.'

Rekha idolises Sophia Loren

The ageless role model of women, the original spice girl of Hindi cinema, Rekha, idolises Hollywood legend Sophia Loren. With a wee bit of journalistic investigation, we could read the parallels between the foreign and desi icons.

Like Sophia, who was chided for her too-broad hips and too-wide-a mouth, Rekha also was dismissed as dark, fat and ugly in her initial days. Like Sophia, who came from an Italian background, had a problem with English, Rekha too who was a product of the South, had a problem with Hindi.

Both persevered to enhance and rectify their features with corrective make-up techniques and gave sensuality a new definition. Topping this with improvised acting, both became the stuff of fantasies. The two women are known to have shared obsessive love for their mothers and the men in their lives, men who helped them shed layers of crass and shine through with sophistication. If Carlo Ponti discovered the subtle Sophia, Rekha has unabashedly declared the electric influence of Amitabh Bachchan on her life and art. Despite mega glamour and fame, both the women remained essentially true to their roots. Sophia continued to do Italian films and never gave up her girl-from-Naples accent. Rekha too has been protective about her Kanjeevaram sarees, gold chunks and gardens-in-her hair appearance.

Above all, the femme fatales have lived life according to their own rules, similar in their pro-love stance and intriguing in their elusiveness.

Leisure media News