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Not To Be Missed: Khaas Baat picks the 10 best movies of 2006

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)

�Bas Ek Pal�


�Dhoom 2�



Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna
�Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna�

�Khosla Ka Ghosla�

�Lage Raho Munnabhai�


�Rang De Basanti�


Hema Malini, Amitabh Bachchan, Rani Mukherjee and Salman Khan are all smiles in �Baabul.�

�Baabul�: Starring Amitabh Bachchan, Hema Malini, Salman Khan, Rani Mukherjee, John Abraham, Om Puri; directed by Ravi Chopra; music by Aadesh Shrivastava.

After the popular �Bhagban,� Ravi Chopra returns with another family drama. Amitabh Bachchan plays Balraj Kapoor, a rich businessman who values family and culture but has a modern outlook on life. Hema Malini plays his supporting wife and Salman Khan his loving son, Avinash.

After completing studies abroad, Avinash comes home to his parents, meets Millie, played by Rani Mukherjee, gets married to her, and they soon have a child. Meanwhile, John Abraham is Rajat, a close friend of Millie�s who has never revealed his true feelings to her. After seeing her happily settled, he moves to Europe to pursue his musical career. In a tragic twist, Millie loses Avinash in a fatal accident.

Balraj and his wife seek solace through their grandson but after seeing Millie�s heartbreaking condition, he makes a bold decision. He wants to find Rajat and ask him to marry Millie. Even though Balraj�s wife and elder brother don�t support his intentions and despite society�s reaction, he hopes to succeed in his efforts as Baabul.

Govinda and Akshay Kumar team up for laughs in �Bhagam Bhag.�
�Bhagam Bhag�: Starring Govinda, Akshay Kumar, Paresh Rawal, Lara Dutta, Jackie Shroff, Suniel Shetty; directed by Priyadarshan; music by Pritam.

This comic caper stars Paresh Rawal as Champak Chaturved, the owner of a traveling Indian theatre group. Sharing screen space for the first time are Akshay Kumar and Govinda who are Bunty and Babla, two actors in Champak�s troupe. Both guys are fun-loving, never missing a chance to flirt with the girls, even their cast mates. The group travels to England after being offered the chance to perform several shows there. Unfortunately, the heroine of their play has quit because of Bunty�s misbehavior.

With the help of a local taxi driver played by Rajpal Yadav, they search for their new actress. After several mishaps and misunderstandings, they find a girl with amnesia, Lara Dutta, to fill the role and Bunty starts to fall in love with her. But when her memory returns, more chaos follows, including a murdered husband and major conspiracy! Said to be a remake of a hit Malayalam comedy, expect surefire laughs and excitement from the director of �Hera Pheri.�

Abhishek Bachchan is Guru in �Guru.�
�Guru�: Starring Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai, Madhavan, Vidya Balan, Mithun Chakravarty, Arya Babbar; directed by Mani Ratnam; music by A.R. Rahman.

Abhishek Bachchan plays the title role in this film reportedly based on the life of India�s business tycoon and Reliance founder, Dhirubhai Ambani. As he displayed in �Yuva,� director Mani Ratnam brings out the best in his artists, and Abhishek�s performance as Guru Kant Desai is sure to mark another leap in his career. Aishwarya Rai stars opposite him and Madavan plays his rival Shyam Saxena. Watch for Mithun Chakravarthy and Vidya Balan in pivotal roles.

Only character sketches of the film have been released so far. In the words of Guru, �There�s a saying in our village, if people say bad things about you, you must be doing something good. Sounds good, doesn�t it.� From Shyam, �It�s not just that he is evil but he awakens the evil in everyone. Profit and share price were the only two parameters that mattered to him. Right and wrong, just and unjust were incidental.� Not to be missed is the enchanting music by A.R. Rahman, who seems to reserve his finest for Mani Ratnam.

Jyothi Venkatesh
Bollywood Buzz


Meet Chachu, the dwarf!

Salman Khan gets into a role with which he can easily identify in producer Sajid Nadiadwala�s �Jaan-E-Mann,� set to release this Diwali. He plays a cool dude, a college stud called Suhaan, who is a charming womanizer. He is a longhaired rock singer and a wannabe star. He�s immature, full of himself and his dreams. Only when he is on the verge of losing everything does finally wakes up to what really matters in life.

Akshay Kumar
While he is the perfect guy to fall in lust with � Akshay Kumar who plays an intelligent guy called Agastya � is a nerd and a geek who cannot even communicate with a girl properly, forget about dating. Preity Zinta plays Piya, a college beauty, who is the princess whom every guy wants to fall in love with. Unlike �Mujhse Shaadi Karoge,� where he played a live- wire stud, in �Jaan E Mann,� Kumar portrays the role of a bespectacled, simple guy who gets tongue tied whenever he sees the woman he loves. The film also stars Anupam Kher, who will be seen in a path-breaking role as a happy-go-lucky, suit-clad dwarf, who is a successful lawyer friend, philosopher and guide to Khan. Kher says his character Chachu was challenging physically and mentally but notwithstanding the physical pain, he wanted to evolve as an actor by taking on challenging tasks.

�Main Hoon Don!�

Shah Rukh Khana and Priyanka Chopra
Though Kalyanji Anandji had composed the evergreen songs of the original �Don� starring Amitabh Bachchan, Zeenat Aman and Helen, and directed by Chandra Barot, the new version directed by Farhan Akhtar and starring Shah Rukh Khan, Priyanka Chopra and Kareena Kapoor in the pivotal roles has Shankar Mahadevan-Ehsaan and Loy as the composers. Only two hit songs from the original sound track have been retained, �Yeh Mera Dil Pyar Ka Deewana� and �Khaike Paan Banaraswala.� Kapoor gyrates to the number done originally by Helen. According to SRK, who plays a double role in the film, like Amitabh Bachchan did in the original, it is his way of paying a big tribute to Big B who he has always looked upon for guidance as an actor. Khan, however is worried that there may be an attempt to compare him with the Shahenshah of acting. �I am interpreting the character of Don, which has been made more contemporary and precise in my own way. Let me reiterate that in no way can I stand up to the original performance in the earlier version.�

The race for Diwali releases

Aishwarya Rai
�Umrao Jaan� starring Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai and �Dhoom Part II� were slated for release during the auspicious occasion of Diwali. The release of both films has now been postponed. In the rat race to release their films, only two producers have succeeded. They are Farhan Akhtar and Sajid Nadiadwala, who will be releasing �Don� and �Jaan-E-Mann� respectively on Oct. 20 to coincide with the Diwali celebrations all over the world. While �Umrao Jaan� will now be released on Nov. 3, Sanjay Gadhvi�s �Dhoom Part II� produced by Yash Chopra and starring Hrithik Roshan, Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai in key roles will see the light of the day on Nov. 24. Rajshri Productions� latest venture �Vivah� starring Shahid Kapoor and Amrita Rao and directed by Sooraj Barjatya will be released on Nov. 10 while the release of �Babul� starring Amitabh Bachchan, Salman Khan, John Abraham and Rani Mukherjee in pivotal roles and produced and directed by Ravi Chopra has been pushed to December.

Shah Rukh Khan speaks his mind

Shah Rukh Khan
Shah Rukh Khan is an actor who does not mince words and known for his stance for calling a spade a spade. "As an actor, I have slightly become tranquil. Experience teaches you a lot. You learn from your experiences whether good or bad and try to grow as a human being. I made it a point to learn from my various directors. Barry John who had taught me acting while I was in Delhi also has been instrumental in shaping me as an actor. I owe whatever I am today solely to him. I realize that if one wants to be a somebody, one cannot afford to sit idle. One has got to pursue one�s goal. Or else one cannot become a Sachin Tendulkar or M.F. Husain or for that matter a Lata Mangeshkar easily."

Talking about his penchant to do maximum number of endorsements, Khan continues, "I believe in the maxim Make Money However And Whenever You Can As Long As You Don�t Sell Your Body. No other actor I think has endorsed or will be endorsing so many products like I have done or I will be doing.

"To me acting is like a job for which I do get paid. I think your work is what life is all about. Ultimately, it is only work with which you are left. I look forward to whatever work I am doing. I like the process of work though I do not necessarily care about the final product, which in any case isn�t in my hands."

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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