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  Bollywood Previews

Sanjay Dutt and Arshad Warsi star in “Anthony Kaun Hai.”
“Anthony Kaun Hai”: Starring Sanjay Dutt, Arshad Warsi, Anusha Dandekar, Minissha Lamba; directed by Raj Kaushal; music by Himesh Reshammiya.

This comic thriller shot extensively in Thailand brings the successful “Munnabhai” jodi together but this time they are not friends, rather enemies. Sanjay Dutt plays Master Madan, a sophisticated ruthless hit man, a master in his profession, who also happens to love Bollywood films. Arshad Warsi plays Champ, a conman who is Madan’s target. Champ’s specialty is deceiving people and he uses many disguises to evade Madan. Add a magician with a beautiful daughter to the mix and Champ’s girlfriend Rosa played by Anusha Dandekar. In the middle of this chaos arrives a no-nonsense police detective Suraj Singh, played by Gulshan Grover. He’s supposed to be the smartest cop on the force, but can he outsmart these men. Part suspense, comedy and thriller, but who will answer the question, “Anthony Kaun Hai.”

“Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna”: Starring Shah Rukh Khan, Rani Mukherjee, Preity Zinta, Abhishek Bachchan, Amitabh Bachchan, Kirron Kher ; directed by Karan Johar; music by Shankar, Ehsaan, Loy.

Shah Rukh Khan, Preity Zinta, Abhishek Bachchan and Rani Mukherjee pair up in “Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna.”

One of the most anticipated movies of the year boasts a stellar star cast. Karan Johar’s directorial follow-up to “Kabhi Kushi Kabhi Gham,” tells the story of two contemporary families. Shah Rukh Khan plays Dev Saran and Preity Zinta plays his wife, Rhea, a confident working woman. A young son completes their happy family. But Dev’s personality changes after his promising career is cut short by an unfortunate accident. After a chance encounter with Maya, played by Rani Mukherjee, a strong connection develops between the two, soon leading to romance and causing complications in their married lives. Abhishek Bachchan plays Rishi, Maya’s husband, who is already struggling with other issues in their marriage. How all of these characters and their elders come to terms with these events forms the heart of “Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna.” Watch out for the catchy, refreshing music, sure to rule the charts for the coming months.

“Pyar Ke Side Effects”: Starring Rahul Bose, Mallika Sherawat, Suchitra Pillai, Sophie Chaudhary; directed by Saket Chaudhary; music by Pritam Chakraborty.

Mallika Sherawat plays an outgoing woman who pursues Rahul Bose in “Pyar Ke Side Effects.”
The title of this film gives the genre away. This lighthearted comedy brings together an unlikely combination. Usually known for his serious roles, Rahul Bose plays a witty, popular disc jockey, who is smitten but cannot commit to a life-long relationship. Known for playing the seductress, Mallika Sherawat plays the strong, outspoken, independent woman who pursues Bose. The makers say, “They are in love... They are different... They are a recipe for disaster... Watch love crash in this season.” Bose has said the film is full of humor and fun and takes a fresh look at youthful romance. The soundtrack boasts a foot-tapping score sure to be heard on the dance floor.

Bollywood Buzz


Though critics have been going over board that Karan Johar's forthcoming ambitious flick “Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna” is an unabashed remake of Yash Johar's “Silsila,” Johar asserts that “Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna” is his original idea and he refutes the claims that his story and screenplay is similar to Yash Chopra's “Silsila” or the Hollywoood Closer (film). On the contrary, Johar says that it was Sanjay Leela Bhansali's “Black” that inspired him to make “Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna.” The story revolves around the budding romance between Dev, played by Shahrukh Shah, and Maya, portrayed by Rani Mukerji. They are both married to different people and think they are content with their marriages. Dev is married to Priya (Preity Zinta) and Maya is married to Rishi (Abhishek Bachchan). However, when Dev and Maya meet, they realize that they are perfect for each other and thus they begin to question the validity of their respective married lives. The film explores how the strong feelings that Dev and Maya have for each other affect not only their lives but also of those around them.


In “Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna,” it is now Rani Mukerji who plays the role that was originally written with Kajol in mind. Mukerji was to play Preity Zinta's role before Kajol declined to do the film. Kajol declined the offer though she is close to Karan because she wanted to spend more quality time with her daughter Nysa and husband Ajay Devgan and was ready to act in the film only if Johar could shoot it in Mumbai. When Kajol declined, Rani Mukerji got her role and Preity Zinta signed up for Mukerji's former role. The original cast Johar had in mind was, Shahrukh Khan, Kajol Devgan and Mukerji.


Though John Abraham had been approached by Johar to act in one of the key cameo roles in the film, Abraham was not comfortable to play the fourth fiddle to Shahrukh Khan, Amitabh Bachchan and Abhsihek Bachchan and hence refused to accept the offer politely, citing dates’ problem as an excuse. Arjun Rampal, who has now come closer to Shahrukh Khan after doing a cameo role in Farhan Akhtar's “Don,” was more than eager to replace John Abraham.


Johar has written the story and screenplay of this movie along with Shibani Bathija, who incidentally also was the writer of “Fanaa.” Like all previous movies written by Johar (“Kuch Kuch Hota Hai,” “Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham,” “Kal Ho Naa Ho” and “Kaal”), this one also has a four-word-title and starts with a "K". This movie was shot in New York City, Westchester, New Jersey, New Haven, Philadelphia and East Hartford, Connecticut from September through December 2005 and the remaining shoots were completed in Mumbai from January 2006 onward. It is Johar's second production after “Kal Ho Naa Ho” to be shot extensively in the United States.


Though the movie was originally slated for release in May-June 2006, the release date was pushed to August 2006 because of Amitabh Bachchan's illness. Johar has stated that for the first time, the film explores the darker side of human relationships, and each of his characters has grey shades, unlike the previous goody-two-shoes characters in previous feature films. Johar has added one more song and filmed it with the entire cast in July and added to the film. The shoot was held when it was raining cats and dogs in Mumbai at the newly constructed state-of-the-art Yashraj Studio.


Dharma Productions showed a two-minute trailer with the film “Fanaa” when it was released in May 2006. Sony has acquired the rights for the music. Though she could not oblige Johar when he had asked her to do a full-fledged role in “Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna,” Kajol will be seen in a guest appearance in a song involving the entire cast. Can you beat it? In the song, which was filmed in July, Kajol will be seen for four seconds.

Jyothi Venkatesh is a veteran film journalist, friend and former colleague of Khaas Baat. He is based in Mumbai, the cradle of Bollywood.


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