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Jyothi Venkatesh


After “Kaho Na Pyar Hai,” “Fiza,” “Mission Kashmir,” “Yaadein,” “Na Tum Jaano Na Hum,” “Aap Mujhe Achchey Lagne Lage,” “Mujhse Dosti Karoge,” “Main Prem Ki Deewani Hoon,” “Lakshya,” “Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham” and “Koi Mil Gaya,” “Krissh” will be Hrithik Roshan’s 12th film as an actor. Roshan is perhaps going through the most exciting phase of his life as well as career as of now. Besides the fact that his next ambitious release – “Krissh” is being readied for an early release -- he is thrilled with his new role as the father of the bonny boy Rehan.

Among the three back-to-back films that he is having up his sleeves as of now are Sanjay Gadhvi’s “Dhoom II” in which he has been teamed in a role which has negative shades opposite Aishwarya Rai; Ashutosh Gowarikar’s period film “Jodha Akbar;” and Farhan Akhtar’s sister Zoya Akhtar’s maiden venture as a director.

Roshan admits that his mission as an actor is to take cinema to the next level. “Though we projected ‘Koi Mil Gaya’ as a big Indian sci-fi film, it is a fact that ‘Koi Mil Gaya’ took just a small step ahead,” he says. “I assure you that ‘Krissh’ will be a giant lead. In fact, the bitter truth is that working in ‘Krissh’ has been the most grueling experience of my career as an actor till date. Today, in this day of globalization, it would not take us a long time to get noticed on a global platform. If the Chinese can do this with their films, which reek of nativity, why cannot we in India too accomplish this feat?”

Roshan asserts that he didn’t lose weight to get into the skin of the character that he is playing in “Dhoom II,” though for Krissh he admits to having gained almost 12 pounds of muscle because he had to project a strong look. However, Roshan doesn’t mind admitting that a lot of change had been brought in as far as his looks are concerned for “Dhoom II,” including his hair and wardrobe.


Roshan denies categorically the rumors that “Krissh” is a rehash of Superman. “ ‘Krissh’ has not been adapted from any foreign film that you have ever seen. What sets apart ‘Krissh,’ which is a labor of love as far as my dad is concerned, is the fact that though it has all the major elements of a super hero film, it isn’t at all a super hero film, because what the protagonist in Krissh sets out to do makes him look like a super hero”.

He states that if he were granted one wish, it would be for a 48- hour-long day! “It takes me so much time to prepare for my films,” he says. “I invest a lot of time and effort in my clothes, my dialogues, and the scenes. I have so little time left for my family, for things that I like to do. If I had 48 hours, I would be able to do everything my heart desired! For the sake of my son Rehan, I have to keep time aside.”


Roshan remembers that at school, he was a shy kid. “I was every teacher's pet. I never did anything wrong. I didn't have fun. At Sydenham College, however, I was just the reverse! I hardly attended class. I would sit and cram just before the exams. But I did better in college than I did in school! Though Roshan does not remember whether he had a crush on any of his school teachers, he feels that even if he did have one, it couldn't have been bad! His fantasy woman, he admits, has always been Gabriela Anwar. “I had a huge crush on her for so long. And Jessica Rabbit from ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit?’ I thought she was really hot!”

Jyothi Venkatesh, a veteran film journalist and friend of Khaas Baat, is based in Mumbai, India.

Bollywood Buzz

Shahid Kapur and Amrita Rao

Akshay Kumar, Ajay Devgan and Suneil Shetty have become too old to play pranks on their co-stars now. That Shahid Kapur is the latest prankster to take over the mantle from them is evident when you saunter in on the sets of Sooraj Barjatya’s “Vivah.” But the latest news about Kapur is that the he actually tried to scare the daylights out of Amrita Rao on the outdoor shoot.

At night, the make-up man of Shahid sauntered into Rao with his face made up with glow-paint. But no sooner did Rao see the make-up man than she screamed, “Shahid… I know it is you.” The latest we hear from a team member is that the best prank Kapur played was when one day, he made everyone wait for him to play another smart prank, and simply sat like a good boy with a cute grin making every one wait! “Now, we really waited and waited and indeed missed his pranks that day,” sighs a unit member!


Kareena Kapoor
Kareena Kapoor is looking sexy, svelte and stunning these days. After dazzling on the screen in “36 China Town” and having shed all those extra pounds, she is surely looking fitter and hotter. Kapoor is currently touring for the Rock Stars concerts in USA, UK and Canada. “I love the hustle and bustle of World Tours where one has to work at a frenetic pace, keeping up with costume changes, dance steps and just the sheer energy that goes into traveling from one place to another gives me a high. The end result is most satisfying because when you get on that stage and you come face to face with the milling fans you know that everything was worth it! The love and affection that we get is humbling and you just want to put your heart and soul into your performance.” Kapoor is sure going to be a traffic stopper wherever she goes, especially after her next release, Priyadarshan’s “Chup Chupke!”


With Mirza Brothers’s latest film “Jaana,” Zeenat Aman is all set to stage a grand comeback in Bollywood. Mirza Brothers and HMV released the music of “Jaana-Lets Fall In Love” at Infinity Mall, Mumbai. On this occasion, singer Shaan crooned a melodious song from the film, on which the film’s lead pair, debutante Rehan Khan, who happens to be the son of the producer-director Sharukh Mirza, and Anjana, who had earlier made her debut with the flop “Hum Dum,” danced with gay abandon. With this film, Rajesh Khanna also will make a comeback. Rajesh Khanna and Aman had been paired together 30 years ago in “Ajnabee.” Khanna was conspicuous by his absence as he was out of Mumbai. Aman graced the occasion and released the film cassette and CD. The film is written by Mirza brothers, produced by Tess Mirza and directed by Sharukh-Farhan.


Sri and Jayaprada may have left their indelible mark on the marquee, but now, Sada (original name – Sadaf Sayyed) from down South is here to stay. After having acted in more than 16 films in Tamil and Telugu down south and fetching a Filmfare Award for her super hit debut film “Jayam,” Sada is here with the Hindi dubbed version of the Shankar blockbuster “Anniyan.” In the film titled “Aparichit,” Sada proves not only her histrionics, but also comfortably executes traditional, classical, western and folk dance forms with ease in the haute numbers. From the looks of what we see in “Aparichit,” Sada is here to stay.

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

Bollywood Previews

Aamir Khan and Kajol are paired together for the first time in “Fanaa.”
“Fanaa”: Starring Aamir Khan, Kajol; directed by Kunal Kohli; music by Jatin-Lalit.

After the superhit “Hum Tum,” director Kunal Kohli and Yash Raj Films follow up with a casting coup in one of the most anticipated movies of the year. Set in the Kashmir valley and Delhi, Kajol, making a comeback after the birth of her daughter, plays Zooni, a blind girl, who wants to live a full life cherishing the beauty of her motherland. She sets out on her own after receiving the following advice from her father: “What defines one’s life is the choice between the greater of two goods or the lesser of two evils.” Aamir Khan plays Rehan Qadri, a traveling tour guide who is a charmer and flirt by nature.

Rehan is fascinated by Zooni. Choosing to ignore warnings from her friends, Zooni feels he is the one who can show her what she wants in life. However, there are facets to Rehan’s character that Zooni is not aware of. These secrets when uncovered will change her life and lead to the decision once mentioned by her father. This film was extensively shot in Poland, Kulu Manali and Kashmir and pairs Kajol and Aamir Khan together for the first time.

“36 China Town”: Starring Akshaye Khanna, Kareena Kapoor, Shahid Kapur, Isha Koppikar, Paresh Rawal, Johnny Lever; directed by Abbas-Mastan; music by Himesh Reshammiya.

Kareena Kapoor and Shahid Kapur are on the run in “36 China Town.”

Famous for exciting entertainers such as “Baazigar,” “Ajnabee” and “Soldier,” the directing duo Abbas-Mastan stick to their successful genre with “36 China Town.” A wealthy Bangkok casino owner named Madam Sushmita is distraught after her young son disappears. She offers a huge reward for his return. Two strangers, Raj and Priya, played by Shahid Kapur and Kareena Kapoor, struggling to make a living, find the child, become friends and decide to split the reward money.

When they reach Madam Sushmita’s mansion to return the child, they find her dead. They flee the premises, leaving their suitcases behind. Soon they are prime suspects in the murder and Inspector Akshay, played by Akshaye Khanna, discovers there are more suspects and motives in this complicated case, including the proverbial house butler played by Paresh Rawal. What follows is a series of unexpected turns and twists with Raj and Priya on the run in this romantic thriller.

“Water”: Starring Seema Biswas, John Abraham, Lisa Ray, Sarala; directed by Deepa Mehta; music by A.R. Rahman.

Lisa Ray and John Abraham star in Deepa Mehta’s controversial “Water.”
After seven years in the making with much controversy, U.S. audiences will now have the chance to see “Water,” the final film in provocative director Deepa Mehta’s trilogy on the elements, after “Fire” and “Earth.” The story unfolds in 1938 India after 8-year-old Chuyia, played by Sarala, has just been widowed.

Observing the requirements of ancient customs, her father sends her away to a widow ashram where the rest of her life is to be spent in renunciation. However, the feisty, disbelieving Chuyia affects the lives of the other residents with her rebellious spark, especially Kalyani, played by Lisa Ray and the devout Shakuntala, played by Seema Biswas. Encouraged by Chuyia, Kalyani meets Narayan, played by John Abraham, an alluring Gandhi nationalist. Despite the taboo, Kalyani falls in love. What happens next forces the widows to question their future and faith. “Water” made its debut as the opening film at the 2005 Toronto Film Festival.


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