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Saturday, July 24, 2021

Upsetting the Balance

ALTHOUGH she says she wants to balance her offbeat film assignments with mainstream masala fare, Tabu doesn’t seem to practice that. Fi...

July 28, 2002

ALTHOUGH she says she wants to balance her offbeat film assignments with mainstream masala fare, Tabu doesn’t seem to practice that. First she walked out of Om Jai Jagadish, then she said no to aunt Honey Irani’s directorial debut which Gracy Singh has now stepped into. To say that she makes often weird choices, is an understatement. She’ll go ahead and star with a battery of has-beens including Govinda, Juhi Chawla and Chandrachur Singh in Aamdani Atthani Kharcha Rupaiyya, and then she’ll adjust all her dates so she can accommodate M F Husain for Meenaxi: A Tale of Three Cities. And now, of all things in the world, she’s getting excited about her next film Zindagi Khoobsurat Hai in which she stars with Gurdas Mann. Good lord, whatever goes on in that girl’s head?

A Ghost from Papa’s Past

AFTER all those casting hiccups, Ramgopal Varma finally began filming Bhooth at Filmistan Studios in Mumbai last week. The cameras rolled with Urmila Matondkar and Victor Banerjee enacting the first scene; in following weeks, Ajay Devgan and Rekha will join the filming process. There is some gupshup in Bollywood about why Abhishek Bachchan turned down Varma’s offer to star in this film. Apparently, the young actor claimed he’d be a tad uncomfortable working in the same film as Rekha. Varma denies the rumour and says he himself chose Devgan over Bachchan Jr because he felt he needed an older and more mature actor for the part. Meanwhile, he’s still committed to directing a film for AB Corp with Abhishek in the lead.

Good Things in Small Packages?

ON the one hand they say this is the best time for small films with new actors, and on the other there are these horrifying stories of such films not finding distributors. In Bollywood, filmwalas are gossiping about Maine Dil Tujhko Diya, which has been directed by and stars Sohail Khan. Opposite Salman Khan’s youngest brother is Sameera Reddy. Despite encouraging music sales, the producers are finding it difficult to obtain their kind of price from distributors. So the film’s release date has been postponed repeatedly, and now older brothers Salman Khan and Arbaaz Khan have been roped in to make an appearance in the film’s promos. Considering Salman and Arbaaz themselves aren’t at the peak of their careers, one wonders what help they can provide…?

Aiming for the Bull’s Eye

AFTER all the rave reviews and the encouraging box-office response to his first film Dil Chahta Hai, filmmaker Farhan Akhtar has announced his next, Lakshya, a war film starring Amitabh Bachchan, Hrithik Roshan and Preity Zinta. If the grapevine is to be believed, the young director was keen to make another film, with Shah Rukh Khan and Hrithik Roshan in lead roles. However, Shah Rukh turned down the offer and Farhan abandoned that project and decided to direct Lakshya instead. Now it has been learnt that Shah Rukh has been turning down all offers to star with Hrithik Roshan. Although Farah Khan says Hrithik had no dates to give her for her directorial debut which co-stars Shah Rukh, insiders say producer-star Shah Rukh himself discouraged Farah from casting Hrithik. Could it be insecurity on Shah Rukh’s part?

Nagging Doubt

Kaante has six 40-plus male stars and no heroines. Could actresses become redundant in Bollywood?

Tusshar Kapoor: ‘‘Our industry is full of copycats. I’m sure there will be many more all-hero films if Kaante does well. But there can never be such a time when there will be no heroine in films. There are audiences for men and women.’’

Archana Puran Singh: ‘‘I think we are very close to the day when there will be all-hero films. And Kaante can start the trend. It will be fun.

Nikki Aneja: ‘‘No way, there can never be a time when films will have no heroines. It’s impossible. And being an actress, I pray that it doesn’t happen.’’

Sushma Reddy: ‘‘Kaante might work as an experiment, but it can’t change the face of Bollywood. Hindi films thrive on song-and-dance, and this won’t be possible without a heroine. There will never be a time when heroines will become dispensable to Bollywood.’’

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