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  HINDI MOVIE RELEASES EXPECTED THIS MONTH
By SHEPHALI J. RELE



A scene from "Aryan"
“Aryan”: Starring Sohail Khan, Sneha Ullal, Puneet Issar, Inder Kumar, Farida Jalal, Satish Shah; directed by Abhishek Kapoor; music by Anand Raj Anand.

Sohail Khan plays the title role in this drama about the life of a boxer. From a young age, Aryan has always been interested in boxing. In college, under the guidance of his coach, Ranveer Singh, played by Puneet Issar, Aryan dreams of winning the national championships. Sneha Ullal plays Neha, Aryan’s other love. At every step, Neha is around as a constant source of support and inspiration. But situations arise such that Aryan must choose between his two passions. He gives up his dreams to marry Neha and settle down. He takes a job as a sports commentator and eventually realizes his heart is still in the boxing ring. His personal and professional life is slowly spiraling downward when one day his former coach asks him to return to boxing. With intense training Aryan can achieve the physical skills but without the moral support from Neha, who has now left him, will he be able to reach his lifelong dream?



A scene from "Maalamaal"
“Malamaal Weekly”: Starring Paresh Rawal, Om Puri, Riteish Deshmukh, Rima Sen, Arbaaz Khan, Rajpal Yadav; directed by Priyadarshan; music by Uttank V. Vora.

After a serious turn with last year’s “Kyon Ki,” the director of “Hera Pheri” is back with what he’s most popular for, comedy. This one is about the struggles of small town folk dealing with poverty, poor harvests, and a mean moneylender named Karamkali. Paresh Rawal plays Lilaram, who earns a meager income selling Malamaal Weekly lottery tickets. Watching television one day, Lilaram learns he has sold a one crore rupee winning ticket. Knowing most of the villagers don’t have a TV, Lilaram keeps the news to himself and hatches a plan to scoop the jackpot. He sells his only asset, his wife’s beloved goat, to throw a lavish party for his customers. The one condition, they must bring their recently bought lottery ticket as an invite. Everyone turns up except one, Anthony, the village drunkard. Lilaram pays him a visit and finds him dead with the winning ticket still in hand. The makers say what follows is a rollercoaster ride of laughter and riot with surprising twists and turns to reveal the winners or losers! Look for an ensemble cast of talented actors.





Jyothi Venkatesh
Bollywood Buzz
By JYOTHI VENKATESH

Khaas Baat is kicking off a new entertainment column by Jyothi Venkatesh, a veteran film journalist, friend and former colleague based in Mumbai. We have known this seasoned journalist for more than two decades. Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Rani Mukherjee, Kajol, Aamir Khan. You name the film star. Venkatesh is on first-name basis with each one of them and innumerable others. We are excited to have Venkatesh as part of the Khaas Baat team.



Nafeesa Memon
Here’s Nafeesa!

After all, the late filmmaker Guru Dutt’s blood does run in the veins of his grand-daughter. Isn’t it? Nafeesa Memon, the 17-year-old grand daughter of Guru Dutt and Geeta Dutt, makes her acting debut in a video album, “Pal.” Dedicated to Guru Dutt and Geeta Dutt, the album has Geeta Dutt's songs sung by their daughter Nina, Nafeesa’s mother. One of the songs, the evergreen “Mera Naam Chin Chin Choo,” will be filmed on the budding model-actress Nafeesa. A home science student in Pune, Nafeesa is already a leading model. She did her modeling course with Bunty & Prashant, a leading modeling agency in Pune, and is now being trained in dancing by Shiamak Davar and groomed for a career in acting in films. With an aunt such as Kalpana G. Lajmi and uncle like Shyam Benegal, it should be smooth sailing as far as her goal of acting in films is concerned for young Nafeesa.



Amisha Patel
Amisha, ‘the period’ film actress

Ever since Amisha Patel paid her tribute to the ethereal beauty Madhubala at the International Film Festival of India in Goa, she is being inundated with offers to work in 'period' films, which incidentally she seems to a specialist what with “Gadar” and “Mangal Pandey-The Rising.” That her act of the pristine beauty has won accolades from all quarters is not at all surprising because apart from Ashiwarya, Amisha is one actress who has got the best skin and also a face that looks good without make-up, among her contemporaries. Considering that Bollywood is on a remake mode for classics to be made for the new generation, Amisha is seriously thinking of saying yes to some of the feelers to re-enact the 'period' look and is all set to work with some good Bengali filmmakers who are foraying into the Hindi film scenario and thus queuing up for her dates.



Celina Jaitley
Celina hits a triple ‘Whammy’

Soon after the news of her signing with Ananth Mahadevan’s next film after “Aksar,” Celina Jaitley has been signed for Vikram Bhatt's next film to be produced by Horse Shoe Production, who had earlier made “Mr Ya Miss.” Celina seems to be the flavor of the season, what with films like Deepak Tijori’s “Tom, Dick & Harry”, Sangeet Sivan’s “Apna Sapna Money Money,” etc. on the anvil. In fact, sources tell us that Celina is being considered for not one or two films but a triple 'Whammy' with the showman banner. Indeed, Celina’s cup is overflowing with the Kalaakar Award for “No Entry,” the big Rs. 2 crore endorsement and a slew of releases slated this year. If insiders are to be believed, Feroz Khan is also toying with the idea of asking Celina to do the role, which Zeenat Aman had essayed in the original version of his “Qurbani”, now that he is planning to launch its remake with Fardeen Khan and Saif Ali Khan in place of himself and Vinod Khanna. Way to go, Celina!



Juhi Chawla
Juhi-Gurdaas team up again

Juhi Chawla and Divya Dutta will now star together with Gurdaas Maan in his production venture titled “Waris Shah-Ishq Daa Waaris,” a historical film based on the life of the Sufi poet Waris Shah who had written great epics of his time like Heer Raanjha. The film will be produced by Gurdaas Maan's actress-wife Manjeet Maan and Kashmir Gill with Manoj Punj as the director. Incidentally, Gurdaas's earlier film “Des Hoyaa Pardes” made in Punjabi and English had even won the National Award. The film was launched with a recording in January. Confirming the news, Gurdaas Maan says that it will be a musical with Jaydev Kumar as the music director. Rashid Rangrez, art director of the film, is erecting a huge set of a township of the 18th century at a place near Chandigar where shooting will continue until late March.



Rajiv Tara
Look out for Rajiv Tara in ‘Eight’

Another star is in the making, this time it is veteran music director Jaikishan of the Shankar-Jaikishan duo fame, relative Rajiv Tara. This actor already seems to have gained a lot of appreciation from his director during the film. Rajiv will debut in Karan Razdan's latest venture “Eight.” This film is a supernatural flick starring Padmini Kolhapure, Meghna Naidu and legendary actor Late Raaj Kumar's daughter Vastavikta. "I play this character named Raj who is gifted with this connection with the third world. That is, he is can see spirits," says Rajiv, who is quite confidant about his role in the film. Ask him about making his debut in a supernatural thriller, he promptly replies, "Basically, everyone goes for a mushy love story. But the idea here was to be different and also there is a lot of scope as an actor to perform and prove himself." With "Eight" releasing soon, Rajiv is all set to captivate the audiences with a powerful performance. Talking about his future projects, he comments, "I want to be quite selective about my roles as I believe in doing good and quality work."



HINDI MOVIE RELEASES PREVIOUS MONTH
By SHEPHALI J. RELE



Sushmita Sen and Anuj Sawhney appear together in “Chingaari.”
“Chingaari”: Starring Sushmita Sen, Mithun Chakraborty, Anuj Sawhney; directed by Kalpana Lajmi; music by Aadesh Srivastava.

The trials and tribulations of women in Indian society have long been a central point in director Kalpana Lajmi’s films. She has directed “Ek Pal” with Shabana Azmi, “Darmiyaan” with Tabu and “Daman” with Raveena Tandon. Based on a short story by noted Assamese signer Bhupen Hazarika, “Chingaari” tackles the issues of illiteracy, religious double standards and the resulting exploitation of women. Set along the Bhutan-Assam border, this film is based on three characters. Sushmita Sen plays Basanti, a prostitute who falls in love with a young postman played by Anuj Sawhney but is not allowed to dream of a relationship with him. Mithun Chakraborty plays a village priest named Bhuvan Panda who misuses his powers and happens to fall in love with Basanti. Basanti revolts against her circumstances and this creates the spark that is “Chingaari.”



Dino Morea and Onjolee Nair join hands in “Holiday.”
“Holiday”: Starring Dino Morea, Onjolee Nair, Gulshan Grover, Nauheed Cyrusi, Anahita Uberoi; directed by Pooja Bhatt; music by Ranjeet Barot.

Reminiscent of the 80s American hit, “Dirty Dancing,” Holiday is a coming of age story of an ordinary young girl. Newcomer Onjolee Nair stars as Muskaan, a college student, who goes on a month long family vacation to Goa. With her are father Dr. Daksh Suri played by Gulshan Grover, mother and sister Samara. Muskaan's holiday is uneventful until she sees a mesmerizing dance performance at the hotel one night. Dino Morea plays trained dance performer, Dino who lives in Goa and leads a happy carefree life. Dino is the dance instructor at the holiday resort where Muskaan and her family are vacationing. Muskaan is fascinated by this unique and rebellious dance, and finds herself drawn to Dino’s free spirited lifestyle. Dino helps Muskaan realize confidence and self-esteem through dance. Morea reportedly trained in Latin American dance for eight months for this role.



Urmila Matondkar stars in “Banaras.”
“Banaras - A Mystic Love Story”: Starring Urmila Matondkar, Ashmit Patel, Naseeruddin Shah, Dimple Kapadia, Raj Babbar; directed by Pankuj Parashar; music by Himesh Reshammiya.

This film deals with religion, family and love set in the historical town of Banares. Urmila Matondkar plays Swetambari, the bright daughter of rich Brahmin parents who studies at the local university. She falls in love with a university music teacher, Soham, played by Ashmit Patel who is an avid follower of Buddhism and his guru Babaji, played by Naseeruddin Shah. Because of caste differences their young love sparks outrage in the town causing a clash of society uprights. Swetambari’s powerful parents chose to support their daughter. Despite that, destiny forces her to make a difficult choice and leave her beloved home. She becomes a successful philosophy professor and, years later, is called back to Banaras by her dying father. Will the chaos resurface and destroy Swetambari’s life?



Not To Be Missed: Khaas Baat picks the 12 best movies of 2005.
By Shephali J. Rele

Each of these films presented something special to the audience, whether it was sheer entertainment, unique storytelling, inspiring performances or a combination of these qualities along with memorable music. (listed alphabetically)

“Black”

“Bunty aur Babli”

“Dus”

“Hazaaron Kwaishein Aisi”

“Iqbal”

“Morning Raga”

“My Brother Nikhil”

“My Wife’s Murder”

“Page 3”

“Paheli”

“Parineeta”

“Sarkar”



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