Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sunday Gossip!

It's day two of my EPIC MOVE and I'm already ready to throw out all my stuff and sleep in a sleeping bag on the floor in my new apartment.


Oh well, I'd miss my DVDs eventually!

Let's hit the gossip!

* Shahrukh and Aishwarya are
not doing a Yash Raj film together.

* Speaking of the divine Miss Rai - it seems like the
Aishwarya Rai Women's College isn't happening after all. Did the Bachchan Bahu upset her father-in-law or was the promise made in bad faith?

* And Shahrukh has joined his non-YRF co-star in dropping out of

Hrithik's pit stains make more news than the less exciting by the day IIFA Awards.

* This just in: Most celebrities think pretty highly of themselves and enjoy
social networking but are ACTOR BLOGS DESTROYING EVERYTHING?!

Consider how Khan used this brahmastra to handle media debate over his decision to run with the Beijing Games Olympic torch, discounting appeals of pro-Tibetan groups. Khan posted a statement on his blog saying the Games belonged to the world, neatly sidestepping uncomfortable questions of whether his endorsement of Coke (a Games sponsor) was a reason for not staying away from the torch run.

What should have been a dialogue effectively became a monologue; brand image must be protected at all cost. Being in public space is desirable, but not the slightest scrutiny so integral to the idea of public space. To occupy the public realm as a privatised space is the hallmark of power in our times.

I would question if the ever-so-polite Bollywood press would have actually challenged him on this anyway. I would also say that actor blogs dominating public conversation says more about the lack of quality journalism than anything else.

(And a warning - the article features a picture of Aamir Khan and his eye lift.)

T bole to bole to Twitter! Sanjay Dutt has signed up for Twitter to promote Lamhaa! He's @duttsanjay if you want to look him up.

* John Abraham is
getting into character for his upcoming police drama by talking with undercover cops. The article also helpfully brings up how John didn't want to be seen in the uniform for the entire film.

* And
this article is an excuse for the author to get a dig in at Arshad's (and I quote) "the reported emotional vacuum in his life."


Does UNF cover it?

And lookie who was at Sushmita Sen's
I Am She beauty pageant?!

You know they were out for a smoke break when the paps caught them!

Bebo main Bebo looking fab, as always!

*sends air kisses her way*

I still don't understand how she dates this... At least put a shirt on, Saif! It kind of cracks me up that he is operating under some bizarre notion that women find this attractive. Just see his recent magazine covers to see what I mean...

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Saturday Gossip!

Moving Weekend day one... just a quick gossip update for you!

* Top story today - Southern Stars are
boycotting IIFA. A lot of celebrities were going to miss it anyways, including Aish and Abhi.

* Read a
profile/interview with Prakhash Jha.

Looking back, one is tempted to pinpoint Gangajal, a film loosely inspired by the Bhagalpur blindings, as his turning point, but Jha has a different view. “You say the change began with Gangajal, but I think that it was Mrityudand that really set the ball rolling. It was with that film that I experimented a lot, took chances,” says Jha. “Gangajal was far more sure-footed. After that, Apaharan, a bigger step in that direction and now Rajneeti. All of these have been my attempts to make socially relevant films.”

* Katrina Kaif was spotted in
Ajmer praying for good luck for Rajneeti.

* Manisha Koirala has taken Southern actress
Hansika under her wing on the sets of the Tamil film Mappillai.

Khatron ke Khiladi 3 has run into trouble. I don't know how this show would work without Akshay in the role of host. Does Priyanka know anything about stunts? I guess she just has to read the script but still...

* The
New York Times profiles Bikram Singh.

Of the stars in North America who perform Bhangra fusion — an urban take on traditional Punjabi music — Mr. Singh is “absolutely the most famous,” said Rekha Malhotra, the producer of a popular Bhangra series at the Manhattan nightclub SOB’s.

As for Mr. Singh’s fans, they don’t fully know who he is, either: Nowhere on his official site is there any reference to, for example, the work he does through Volunteer Lawyer for a Day, a state-financed program that provides people in housing court with legal aid.

* This just in: Kalki Koechlin is

IF you got to pick your dream ensemble for a film, it would be...

Vishal Bharadwaj, Irrfan Khan, it will have Tabu and Priyanka Chopra. (Lost for a bit thinking up some male actors, we remind Kalki that it’s a ‘dream ensemble’ so she could pick anyone from Bollywood or Hollywood.) Oh, then I will definitely pick Daniel Day Lewis (she excitedly adds.)

Friday, May 28, 2010

Kangana Ranaut in Hi Blitz!

Gorgeous Kangana Ranaut poses up a storm for Hi Blitz magazine. She is doing a tribute to famous women in Indian history!

Hi Blitz has the best photo spreads out of all the Indian glamour mags, I think. (Although
Verve is still my favorite...)

This one is my favorite of the batch - I love how fierce she looks with just a hint of fear. Even when she is just posing, Kangana doesn't have that bland look some of the other starlets default to.

To go from that to the steely nerve of this pose - the feminine trappings disguise it somewhat but look at her eyes.

And the peaceful exterior of this one hides inner turmoil. You can just tell.

Three little letters... UNF.

Is it any wonder I love her so?

Kangana, darling, you are divine!

Photo Credit: Jatin Kampani
Kangana's Blog, where you can read her little write-up on the shoot!

What We Should Learn from Kites...

There have been four major films that have tried to cross the Hollywood/Bollywood boundary in the last couple of years. The British-made Slumdog Millionaire won over critics on both sides along with the Western box office while the Hindi-dubbed version (Slumdog Crorepati) failed to win over the Indian audience. Hot on its heels was Chandni Chowk to China, which pleased nobody (except me - I think I am one of 5 people who liked it). This year has given us My Name is Khan and Kites - both films are set in the United States and both had two versions and both have had mixed responses. Critics on both sides mostly savaged MNIK for it's casual racism and hokey plot but the film caught on with the NRI and Muslim-world audiences. On the other hand, Western film critics have loved Kites and the Western box office was decent but Indian critics and audiences have given the film the cold shoulder.

As the flow of money between the two industries increases, for better or worse it's very likely we'll be seeing more crossover films between the two industries. I'd like to give my two cents on how they can make this new partnership work. (Consider this my audition to be a consultant!)

It's all about knowing your audiences...

Lessons for Indian producers:

Don't hype your films as being "like Hollywood."

This strategy is not only disingenuous, since I can guarantee you that your films are almost certainly pretty Bollywood in tone, but it also alienates your base audience. Neither the
aam junta nor the NRI crowds are going to turn out for a film if they think wasn't made for them - it doesn't matter if the hero is usually a guaranteed draw like Hrithik Roshan or Akshay Kumar.

Actually, don't over-hype your films in general. I think the media saturation ahead of
Kites and CC2C helped kill audience anticipation by crossing over into audience fatigue. If we feel like we've already seen the film before it comes out, we won't bother showing up.

Don't ignore your non-English speaking audiences.

While the multiplex viewers in Mumbai may be able to speak English pretty well, most people don't like to read subtitles. If you are making a film that has a lot of English dialogues, make a version dubbed entirely in Hindi for use in the home markets. This is without a doubt the thing that killed
Kites for Indian audiences.

Or better yet, don't include a lot of English dialogues if you can help it.
Kites kind of wrote itself into a corner with the English-Spanish cross cultural communication emphasis but with a little tweaking, the script could have worked with a Hindi-Spanish communication emphasis.

Let me tell you something, if you are aiming at popular audiences in either market - they will NOT read subtitles. They won't. Don't make people work harder than they have to.

Don't apologize for Bollywood tropes.

Any Westerner who wanders into a Bollywood film is going to expect certain things - namely songs and dances. So, give it to them - but be smart about it. You will need to get a music director who can do modern sounding fusiony songs (like A.R. Rahman) and make sure that the picturizations are tied directly to the narrative. Lip sync is okay but if you are going to do a fantasy Switzerland sequence, make sure that audiences know that it is a dream/daydream of a character. Western audiences will need to be handheld through the song sequences but the extra effort will pay off.

Think Rajkumar Hirani-style song sequences instead of Rajkumar Santoshi-style song sequences.

Lessons for Hollywood producers and distributors looking to get in on the action:

Mainstream America does not want Bollywood.

No matter how much you try, mainstream America is just not willing to accept Bollywood - just like they don't accept anime or Korean pop music. It's just too weird for them.

That shouldn't discourage you from bringing over Bollywood films, though, because there is a certain section of America who would
love Bollywood if they got a chance to see it. The people who made hits of pulpy films like Night Watch and The Host are who you want to aim at - and they all go to art house cinemas.

Wired Magazine not USA Today.

You need to educate American journalists about whatever film it is you are trying to bring over.

Part of the problem with these films coming over is that the journalists writing about them for the mainstream press do a really terrible job. They don't understand the conventions of Bollywood and try to compare everything to
Slumdog Millionaire. It's hard to whip up audience enthusiasm for a film when the review in the local paper calls it "Slumdog Millionaire but with better looking people."

An easy solution would be to have a Bollywood expert from the US write the promotional material rather than trusting the Indian team to do the job. Provide your American reviewers with talking points they can use in their reviews instead of leaving them to their own uninformed devices.

Get the music industry on board.

Want some free promotion for your film? Work with the music wing of your company to get a popular act on the soundtrack. Not only will it bring you soundtrack sales but you also get a video to air on whichever MTV offshoot airs videos and a hook for entertainment journalists writing stories.

While Britney Spears is probably too expensive, try thinking outside the box - maybe an indie band would be excited to be onscreen playing while a dance number happens at a club. Or maybe a B or C list American actress is willing to get up and lip-sync a song like they do in Bollywood. Either way, it's a great opportunity. Just look at how well the
Twilight soundtracks have sold.

Cross-marketing is good for everybody.

Friday Gossip!

I'm moving house this weekend, so updates may be patchy for the next week until my sister and I figure out Internet at our new place.

This month has been so crazy, with me getting sick and going to New York and... moving. Hopefully starting in June, I'll be able to pick back up on some on-going series (
Dhoom 2!) and start up some new fun posting topics.

Okay! What is happening today?

Kites: The Remix - Brett Ratner hits his target audience.

Kites is funny (sometimes intentionally, other times not), frenetic and, in its own way, absolutely charming. (I couldn't think of another 'f' word.) It also dares to dress up Roshan in a Three Amigos outfit and play it absolutely straight. If only for that, Kites: The Remix deserves to be seen by as many people who paid to watch Transformers 2.

* Most of the stories that have come out about
Anjaana Anjaani involve either ice skating or Katrina Kaif sneaking to New York to visit Ranbir. Now, director Siddharth Anand is talking about the actual film.

"I did my first film Salaam Namaste in 2005. If I'm doing another romantic film it better be even cooler and more contemporary. Anjaana Anjaani is the riskiest film ever. I've experimented with the style and performances. If audiences believe in the couple they'll come back repeatedly to watch them. If they don't they'll reject them completely. It's so character-driven. If their performances don't work, the film doesn't."

* Imran Khan plucked his eyebrows for
I Hate Luv Storys... to mixed reviews.

* In case you didn't catch it - Shahid Kapoor is
in SCOTLAND! And Scotland is thrilled to have him!

The Edinburgh paper even found an Indian person to interview about it:

"He's very popular, and of course, he is making this movie with his father, who is a very revered actor, but less commercially successful. Shahid's films are very popular, and I hear he has even grown a beard to keep himself in disguise.

"Some friends have been trying to find Indian staff at the city's five-star hotels as they will definitely recognise him."

* Read a profile of
Zoya Akhtar that uses a short friend of mine's least favorite descriptor ever... 'pint-sized.'

* Kareena Kapoor is being lobbied to play Paro in Sudhir Mishra's
Devdas adaptation.

* Kunal Khemu takes up


Saif on the cover of
Blender - I really want somebody to tell him to just stop trying to look cool because it's not working. He's turning into Tim Robbin's character from High Fidelity and it's not pretty.

Also, that American review who called Hrithik Roshan India's answer to Fabio needs to see this...

Golmaal, golmaal everything's gonna be golmaal!

Golmaal 3 pictures courtesy of Bebo's official fan club!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Thursday Gossip!

Good mornings! I woke up a bit late this morning, so we'll keep it quick and dirty today...

Rajneeti has had to go under the the censor's knife - Katrina and Arjun's lovemaking scene has been axed along with some English profanity.

* Sonam Kapoor has
turned down Paki, the one with Vivek Oberoi. What is up with this film? First the heroine resigns (or is booted off because she looks too old) and then Genelia is rumored for the part and now Sonam turns it down?

Something is going on...

* Divya Dutta is a doing a
black and white film! The noir throwback is called Chehre and also stars Manisha Koirala!

* Suriya's new film is opening on 30 screens in the
United States - I wish that Southern films were subtitled for us non-Tamil/Telugu/Kannada/etc. speaking folks who would like to maybe see Suriya kick ass in the theater...

* Anil Kapoor wants to remake
FREAKY FRIDAY! Yay! Of course, he's going to cast Sonam but I hope he casts a very talented actress as the mother... like SRIDEVI!

* Govinda is on
Twitter? Did I know this?

Govinda has so far garnered only 600-odd followers making him the only Bollywood hero to have such a miniscule number of followers. He wrote on his Twitter account. “There are many other account regarding Govinda who have more followers than me but I want to say that I am happy with my followers list,” he tweets. Forget about the grammar and the language because he’s Govinda.

Aw! Let's show
@chichigovinda some love!

* I was reading somewhere that Twitter is going to start charging for use of tweets in news stories and things, which means articles like this one might disappear soon: Shahrukh Khan misses working with
Juhi Chawla - and we miss her, too.

* Karan Johar is okay with
I Hate Luv Storys taking potshots at his films.

Karan admits that the film takes potshots at him and his cinema. He says, “But that’s okay. A new generation of directors like Puneet Malhotra who directs I Hate Luv Storys, have come in. They’ve their own take on love. And somewhere what I did in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai may seem outdated now.”

KKHH will never be outdated to me, KJo!

* I don't know how much of this I believe but
Aishwarya, Bebo, and Preity are the names being tossed around for Sanjay Leela Bhansali's film set in the red light district of Lahore.

* Speaking of the divine Miss Bebo, she has finally agreed to shoot for
Milenge Milenge.

* Ranbir and Imtiaz Ali are location scouting in
Delhi if you happen to be in the area...

Check out a new poster for

I can't wait!!

And here is the trailer for that Divya Dutta-Manisha Koirala film!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Bollywood Gossip! Wednesday Edition!

Good mornings, all!

It's a bright, sunny day out and my poor laptop hates the heat... but I love it!

Let's hit the gossip train!

* Director Kaizad Gustad was convicted of
murder but probably won't go to jail.

Miss Khan, a 26-year-old film and media studies graduate from Ilford, East London, was killed on her first day as an assistant director on the set of Gustad’s film Bombay Central at Mahalaxmi station in south Mumbai.

She was hit by a train while standing on the busy number four railway line at the station, waiting to give actors their cues. Railway officials said the director only had permission to film on the much quieter number one line.

And the victim's family is not
happy about the result.

* Anees Bazme had his bag stolen in Canada and is blaming the
Canadian crew.

* Akshay talks
Action Replayy!

“It’s a very special film for me for many reasons. This is my tribute to the 1970s that was the greatest retro era. I was kicked with the idea because I’m entering the time in cinema where my father-in-law was a superstar.”

* The Abhishek-Bipasha starrer
Dum Maaro Dum will be out in 2011.

* Vidya Balan is allegedly playing a
pregnant widow.

* After
Break Ke Baad, Kunal Kohli is working with Saif Ali Khan again. I have to say - if there is any director who can get me liking Deepika, it will be Kunal Kohli.

* Atif Aslam is releasing a
third album!

* Some brave soul got a quote from Prakash Raaj's
ex-wife about his upcoming marriage.

Prakash Raj’s ex-wife Lalitha Kumari has said that she is aware of his relationship with choreographer Pony Varma. Speaking further on this issue, she said that she wishes that Prakash remains happy with Pony forever.

* Divya Dutta gives an
interview - apparently she is playing gay in an upcoming film called Monica.

* Shahid Kapoor is in

* Ranbir Kapoor is atttempting to make
Rajneeti seem youth-friendly by being upbeat at press events.

Says the friend, "He knows Raajneeti is poles apart from Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani. But he wants the audience to know it's a very entertaining and watch-able drama. Ranbir's strategy sometimes goes against Prakash Jha's sales-pitch. The director has been trying to focus on the political content rather than the stars. Ranbir's antics during the recent press conferences (hiding from TV cameras behind Katrina, sketching funny pics during a press conference, telling the curious media humorous anecdotes about Raajneeti) countermand the director's attempts to highlight the theme of present-day politics."

Maybe he can keep everyone distracted from the film's problems with the
censor board.

* Monday morning quarterbacking of
Kites is still going on - some think it failed to take off in India because of the language issues.

Ravi Niranjan, a marketing professional, too feels that it’s almost impossible for him to watch a film with subtitles.

“It’s just so distracting. I keep looking at the subtitles, forgetting about the movie I’m supposed to be watching. I would definitely not like to watch a mainstream Bollywood film with Hrithik Roshan in the lead with English subtitles. Why should I?” he asks.

That actually is probably a valid argument - if you are not used to watching a subtitled film, then it can be distracting. Especially if the subtitles are in English and it's not your first language. They probably should have done an entirely dubbed Hindi version for the home market.

Some of the distributers are
mad about the language issue.

Gopal Bhartiya confirmed the news and said, “I am in a state of shock. I am just back from Mumbai where I met the CEO of Big Pictures (co-producer) Kamal Gyanchandani and Rakesh Roshan. I clearly told them that what they did is not right. When most people in Bihar do not understand English, how are they supposed to understand Spanish? I will file a case against them. "

Well, at least
Kites has won them some new fans in North America where it has done moderately well. That is more than can be said for Prince of Perisa - which has tanked in the non-US markets. Possibly because Jake Gyllenhaal speaks in the worst British accent ever - along with him not being, you know, even remotely PERSIAN looking. It's an interesting day when Rakesh Roshan is more committed to casting with an eye towards reality than Hollywood is.

And finally! I just started watching Jimmy Fallon, after my favorite magazine (
Entertainment Weekly!) gave him a nice plug and I have to say... Monday's show turned out to be pretty funny. He had on a Pakistani stand-up comedian!

Check out Kumail Nanjiani!

I can't decide if my favorite part is the audience not really getting that Urdu and Arabic are different languages or when he discusses the usual habits of ghosts.

Either way, the man is funny!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tananam Tananam: A Lovely Lovely Film!

This is a re-post of a review I did way back in the dark ages of 2009! I still totally recommend this film... although this isn't really a review as much as it's a nice collection of screencaps and a recommendation to watch the film. I write much better now.

Now, somebody who considers
American Beauty to be the height of filmmaking probably won’t appreciate the over-the-top Southern masala of Tananam Tananam. However, those of you who enjoy a classic masala mix of improbable medicine, copious item numbers, wedding drama, and tacky comedy will love this movie as much as I did.

Tananam Tananam is the story of Shankar (Tamil hero Shaam). What he wants more than anything else is to learn to play the violin. Shankar’s mother talks her brother – a violin teacher – in, despite the fact that Uncle-ji has not taught violin in years and refuses to pick up the instrument.

Not only that, Shankar has his obnoxious cousin – the adorable Ramya – to deal with.

Ramya is childish but full of life and personality! She develops a huge crush on Shankar and is thrilled when her parents seem willing to match the two up.

Enter the drop-dead gorgeous Rakshitha.

She’s the lead actress in a traveling troupe of actors and Shankar falls head over heels for her – for obvious reasons.

So, that’s the set-up.

Tananam Tananam plays with the idea of fan behavior much like Guddi - except with genders reversed. Shankar thinks that he’s in love but really he doesn’t know Rakshitha at all. And playing against type, even though Rakshitha is a beautiful and desirable actress, she is not a bad person. The movie goes out of it’s way to show that she’s caring, kind, and intelligent. She doesn’t lead Shankar on – in fact – she doesn’t know he exists!

How could she when they only interact in his dream sequences?

When Shankar proposes marriage – Rakshitha turns him down flat. And yet again, she’s not demonized. He’s the one who doesn’t understand that she’s married to her job more or less.

And like a mixed up Devdas, Shankar descends into alcoholism and not-shaving. So, what happens when he wanders down the middle of the road dead drunk one night?

The man blinded by his crush and his lust becomes
literally blind when hit by a truck!

(Obviously the best way to figuratively express his blind pain is with back-up dancers in black hoodies…)

Who will Shankar pick?! Betty or Veronica?! You have to watch to find out!!

(And watch one of Shankar’s dream sequences to get a taste of the film!)

You can also read an
interview with the director, Kavitha Lankesh. Apparently, the two leading ladies do not get along!

Tuesday Gossip!

Welcome to Tuesday!

And guess what?
Kites is still making news...

* Did it disappoint
at the box office? At the Indian box office? Apparently. It didn't disappoint me, though! I have a feeling that like Dil Se, Kites will find its audience eventually...

* Sonali Kulkarni just got married for
the second time!

* Confirming that I will not be seeing
Don 2, Lara Dutta has joined the cast.

* Anil and Sonam are doing a film
together. Maybe he can help her with her acting...

* Shahrukh Khan shot an ad for toothpaste despite being

* Karan Johar can't decide on when to release

* Saif Ali Khan is teaming up with Vishal Bhardwaj
on an undetermined film.

Also, Saif needs to stop writing articles and submitting them under different names because this article about how he is wearing
no make up in Agent Vinod is clearly not written by an objective journalist.

Bollywood nawaab Saif Ali Khan who is renowned for his rugged patent look in long hair and beard is all set to go off make up in his upcoming home production Agent Vinod.

While most of the B-town super stars apply the make up to hide their age and look younger, Saif thinks differently for his movie that also stars her beloved Kareena Kapoor.

The film is expected to hit the screens in March 2011.

This is the same 'rugged' Saif who indulged in hair plugs, botox, and an eye lift for
Love Aaj Kal...

* Ram Gopal Verma has decided that Vivek Oberoi is safe to work with again and is making
Rakta Charitra with the actor.

* Ashutosh Gowarikar got 3700 auditions for
Buddha - this is the film he is making with an English crew, in English. Um... I can't help but want to refer Ashutosh to the experience of the Roshans before committing to the English thing.

* Ekta Kapoor knows what she is all about, though - she's hired
Shobba De as a media consultant.

* The music for
I Hate Luv Storys was leaked.

* Ranbir's top secret
Rockstar look will apparently be:

Ranbir and Imtiaz finally decided that his character will sport shoulder length hair as rock stars are often seen sporting long hair while performing live on stage. Imitiaz felt that Ranbir could carry this look very well and looks like a real rock star.

* Akshay Kumar loves his
Dimple Kapadia! (Because he has excellent taste!)

And have a video on the making of

Monday, May 24, 2010

Monday Gossip - 500th Post Edition!

Yes, it's my 500th post on this blog! I feel like confetti should come streaming from the ceiling or something. Anyways, I'll take this opportunity to bid a fond farewell to one of my favorite thinkers of the last 100 years - Martin Gardner, who passed away this past weekend. He was a mathematician, author, and lover of logic. He edited the giant Annotated Alice in Wonderland and wrote many books puncturing the arguments of pseudoscientists and creationists.

Scientific American republished a nice tribute in honor of his life.

"If the present trend continues," Gardner concludes, "we can expect a wide variety of these men, with theories yet unimaginable, to put in their appearance in the years immediately ahead. They will write impressive books, give inspiring lectures, organize exciting cults. They may achieve a following of one—or one million. In any case, it will be well for ourselves and for society if we are on our guard against them." So we still are, Martin. That is what skeptics do, and in tribute for all you have done, we shall continue to honor your founding command.

But moving on to topics a heck of a lot sillier...

* ... like a
review of Bipasha Basu's workout DVD! I kind of want this... not that I'm under any illusion that I'll look like Bipasha after using it.

* Imran Khan wants to make clear that
I Hate Luv Storys is being made in the spirit of fun.

"The story itself belongs to the kind that we always make. It is not a great original screenplay but the idea is to pick the same story and make it into something which is very interesting. The film itself is a classic romcom which has all the ingredients that we like in a romcom," said Imran.

Do you know what he does hate?
The spelling of the title.

Why the weird spelling for the title?
I tried... I tried hard... I tried my best to have it changed...

It doesn't have anything to do with the script?

NO! I don't know, maybe it's a number thing, I don't know why exactly. I've begged Karan ever since the day he told me the story. I even tried to convince him to put the 'luv storys' part in quotes. I hate 'luv storys', so its like you are making fun of love story or something like that.

Bro, of COURSE it's a number thing!

I'll tell you a (funny?) story - my sister works for a TV station that specializes in international content. They have things like the news in Russian and Korean dramas and Swedish mysteries. They also have a program that my sister refers to as the 'Bollywood Access Hollywood.'

So, a couple of months ago, they had on a numerologist who was predicting the future of each of the Filmfare Award Winners. He appeared in front of a background of numbers and my sister thought this was the most hilarious thing she had ever seen.

She then asks me what the deal is with the numerologist and I had to explain to her that numerology is SERIOUS BUSINESS in Bollywood and actors regularly change their names to reflect 'luckier' spellings and film titles must all be carefully run past the numerologists - which leads to things like KRAZZY 4 and I HATE LUV STORYS.

True story.

* Eros International has backed out of Agent Vinod - the people have spoken: Nobody wants the Saifeena pairing on screen.

* Maybe it would help if it was
Agent Vidya starring Bebo - since lady-centric films are the new thing (apparently).

Mani Ratnam's much awaited film Raavan stars two men - Abhishek Bachchan and southern star Vikram. But it is Aishwarya Rai who is being described by her co-stars as the "hero" of the film.

"Aishwarya is the hero in
Raavan," said Abhishek. Vikram too had the same words for the former Miss World.

* And as for Mr. Female-Centered film... there is to be no
Chandni Bar sequel - a rumor so silly that I didn't even bother posting it.

"I don't have any time for that. I am busy with Dil to Bachcha Hai Ji and then Heroine, something which I have always maintained. Also, I don't believe in sequels and if at all I attempt one then I would make a thorough announcement. I think I have enough new subjects in mind to be explored. Let me exhaust them first", continues Bhandarkar while still sounding disturbed by the entire state of affairs.

Madhur Bhandarkar probably didn't need to get mad about it, though. I don't think anybody actually believed the rumor.

* And Agent Vidya Balan herself is starring in
Nana Patekar's directorial debut.

* Hrithik Roshan is kind of pissed at the
Indian response to Kites.

“Yes, LA Times, New York Times, Hollywood Reporter, everyone has said good things about the film, and God, our country is putting it down. For what agenda?” he asks.

The LA Times review was superb, by the by - very nice bit of writing.

* Rakesh Roshan is
gracious about the Indian critics' negative reviews of Kites.

* Katrina Kaif is gracious about
gossip - thank you, darling! The interview is pretty funny; I bet Katrina is a ton of fun to sit around and gossip with!

How did it happen?

I was doing a lot of ads and was always a bigger size than most models. If most models are a UK size eight, I was always a UK size 10 or 12. In South India, they really liked that. (Laughs) I was wearing a tight dress and I was around a size 12, and it became a point of discussion because I looked really curvy. So I got lots of calls. They offered me the highest amount ever paid to any Hindi actor, and I hadn’t even done a Hindi film till then.

* Lovely Kat was also
baffled when she was offered the script for Rajneeti. She thought Prakash Jha had sent it to the wrong address!

* Ajay Devgn is also
baffled at Rajneeti - well, the promotions for Rajneeti, anyways.

Says a source close to Ajay, "Raajneeti is a powerful political dramatic thriller where the entire cast has good roles. But the actor feels the director has been only showing the romantic angle between Ranbir and Katrina to exploit the couple's chemistry and off-screen dosti."

Ajay, let me take this opportunity to assure you that there is a wide section of the audience who is looking forward to watching you be intense and (hopefully) extremely macho in

* And Arshad Warsi is going to feature in an episode of
Globe Trekker!! I'll be sure to keep an eye out for when it airs.

Here is gorgeous Sophie Chaudhary on the cover of
The Man!! If anyone comes across scans of her photoshoot inside, let me know!

Enjoy the making-of "Fire" from
Kites!! For those of us who can never get enough Kangana Ranaut!

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