Friday, November 28, 2008

Amrita Rao Wallpapers

After a very long time, we are back with some updates. Unfortunately as was mentioned at the start of the year, updates to this blog would be few and far between from now on. However there will be updates as and when they are possible.

So starting off with couple of wallpapers of Amrita Rao.

The wallpaper above is from an upcoming movie of Amrita as she poses on the beach showing off her long legs and feet.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Bollywood's Bachchan returns to work after illness

MUMBAI (AFP) – Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan returned to work Friday, nearly a month after leaving hospital following treatment for a stomach complaint.

The 66-year-old star, who holds iconic status for Indian film fans around the world, wrote on his personal web site that he was back in front of the cameras at a five-star hotel shooting an advertisement.

"It's wonderful to be back in front of the camera but quite honestly I was rather enjoying the rest days. Nothing to do, no schedules and timings to rush to, no compulsions...just lying back and taking my own time over it," he said.

"Ah! Well can't have everything in life your way."

"The Big B" was taken to hospital near his home in Mumbai on his 66th birthday and underwent treatment for nearly a week, sparking concern among his legions of fans and calls for him to ease up on his punishing workload.

He has previously had bowel surgery following a life-threatening stomach injury sustained during the shooting of the 1982 film "Coolie".

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Is B'wood actually 'recession-proof'?

Bollywood has sometimes been seen as the Indian audience’s escape from reality, but it seems that the reality of the economic slowdown sweeping
A still from Rab Ne Bana De Jodi
A still from Rab Ne Bana De Jodi More Pics
across the globe hasn’t left the movie biz here untouched.

A few movies have already reportedly felt the pinch of current developments (see box). DT spoke to producers and production houses in B-town to gauge to what extent the film business has been hit by rising costs, and found that while some see stars’ prices and other costs coming down, others don’t feel that Bollywood’s been affected at all.

‘Cosmetics and Bollywood are recession-proof!’
Karan Johar, Dharma Productions

“Cosmetics and Bollywood are recession-proof! But that does not mean recession hasn’t affected the industry. It has – in a positive way. All that artificial pricing that was going through the roof will come down. All these three to four movie deals and crores of money as fee sounds good but it’s not something that can last. I never believed in artificial pricing and now it will die a natural death. What works any and every time is a good story. Give the audience that and recession will be forgotten.”

‘Time for the industry to re-structure the actors’ pricing’
Siddharth Roy Kapur, executive vice president – marketing, distribution and syndication, UTV

“We are in a fairly decent situation, keeping recession in mind. We need to revaluate some things. We have not had to modify anything so far, which is also to say that we always try and model our projects in a way that recession or other factors do not affect them. This is the right time for the industry to re-structure the actors’ pricing. I’d look at the positive side and say that recession might just be a good thing for the industry. Bollywood will hold strong in this time of recession for sure.”

‘We’ll encash on recession’
Sandeep Bhargav, Studio 18

“Recession is a time when there’s a lot of economic pressure all round. This is the only time that the common man wants to escape from this pressure desperately. And the best escape in our country is entertainment, which is cinema. This is a great time for Indian cinema and I am sure it will encash on the recession.”
‘Negotiations will be tougher’

Shailendra Singh, MD, Percept Pictures
“Recession will have a huge affect on our industry. The talent price is unbelievable now, so there’ll be a revaluation of the same. Now, negotiations will be tougher. Good scripts and tight budgets have to be kept in mind. The problem is that our industry is very fragmented. So if you decline to pay a particularly large sum to an actor for a movie, he will walk up to someone else in another place and get the demanded price there. This has to be changed!”

‘Small-budget movies are at the least risk’
Taran Adarsh, trade analyst
“Huge investments have been made and the price for talent has gone through the roof. It is finally time to come back to earth, and this is what recession is going to do. The corporates did not leave much scope for independent production houses and made it difficult for them. But now, even the corporates are going to cut costs. This had to happen! Rs 71 crore for acting in a movie! Why? This time of recession is time to wait and watch. Three films will decide which way the industry’s fortunes go – Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, Ghajini and Chandni Chowk To China. Also, while big-budget movies are testing the waters warily, the small-budget movies are at the least risk. The time has come when the bubble is going to burst, so we just have to sit tight and see what the effect of that will be.”

‘There’s a sense of insecurity’
Komal Nahata, trade analyst

“The slowdown has been felt in the industry slowly, but it has now caught up with it. However, it is difficult to say whether this has happened as a result of the global impact or due to the box-office disasters of recent big-budget movies, like Drona, Kidnap and Karzzzz. A sense of insecurity now pervades all production concerns, more so in Bollywood’s corporates houses.”

‘This is no time for bravado’
Kishore Lulla, Eros International

“With the liquidity crunch in the market, people now have less disposable income and so they will now spend less on luxury and entertainment – which means the movie-going clientele will decrease and so will the box-office collections. This will first affect the exhibition and distribution sector and consequently the production sector as it will have less money coming in from the two main sources – film exhibition and distribution. With less money on hand, producers will be forced to cut costs before the system gets corrected. This is no time for any kind of bravado.”

Movies affected by recession

1. London Dreams: According to industry sources, Studio 18 backed out from Vipul Shah’s Ajay Devgan-starrer London Dreams because they had invested a huge sum in it. Sandeep Bhargav of Studio 18 declined to comment.

2. Anubhav Sinha’s FX movie: Anubhav Sinha’s FX movie that Shah Rukh Khan’s production company was to produce has been stalled for some time now, according to industry insiders. This is also reportedly the result of the economic slowdown.

3. Kajra Re: T-Series CEO Bhushan Kumar recently told director Pooja Bhatt to reduce the budget of the Himesh Reshammiya-starrer Kajra Re, the movie she is to direct for the music company, even before it has gone on the floors. After the indifferent box-office performance of its Himesh Reshammiya starrer Karzzzz, the T-Series boss reportedly did not want to take an expensive risk in a second Reshammiya film.

I'm a schizo on the loose: Shah Rukh

And Shah Rukh Khan, having put the kids to bed and packed off the last of his visitors, is in conversation with me over coffee and cigarettes. He’s most at home in low-slung jeans from under which his briefs boldly peep, a loose tee and sneakers. But then he is at home! And we are in his living room.

Gauri Khan’s living room, actually, whose size, furniture, colour, lights and other trappings are so amazingly spectacular, they take the breath away. Shah Rukh and the kids are not allowed to run wild in here. “But when Gauri’s not around, we do everything, we even let the dog pee,” he says, eyes crinkling in mischief and the mouth twisting in that famous lop-sided grin.

At this hour, he’s wide awake and sharp as a whip. Somewhere in the house, his trainer Prashant is asleep. When he feels like it, even if it is 2 am, Shah Rukh will wake him up and workout for 35 minutes. “I like to sweat,” he tells me. “I train non-stop, there’s no rest break, no music, this is not rocket science — I just do a circuit of exercises, then have a bath and eat some food.”

But we aren’t talking workouts, nor films, not even Salman Khan. We are talking about Shah Rukh himself. He surprises me by saying, “I’m a schizo on the loose. I’m two people, Shah Rukh 1 and 2. One works for the other. The guy I’m working for is hugely successful — but he’s not me. People say I play Shah Rukh Khan. My roles are a means to an end. Not true. My work defines me. But I have no identity of my own. My identity is that of my employer who is employed by the audience.”

This is the same actor, the story goes, who manipulates people and controls Bollywood. “Control is a strong word,” Shah Rukh protests, “I don’t have power, though I’m listed on the power list along with Mukeshbhai and Laxmi Mittal. Yet, because I’m a giver, I’m able to draw a lot of people on my side. Greatness and goodness lies in giving. I like to believe that a lot of people come on board because they want to do things for me. They’re givers, too. I don’t have to ask people to join me. So if I control Bollywood, it is by giving — not taking, nobody gives to a taker. I’m giving, these people are giving, somewhere there is a symbiotic relationship. But, I think, your idea of ‘control’ is me picking up the phone and saying, ‘Bhai, mera picture ka sab show full jana chahiye,’ right?”

I dodge the question by asking, at 43, how many years of good cinema he’s got left. Poker faced, he replies, “Eighty-seven! I believe that physically, emotionally, and cinematically I’m unbreakable. Time is a measure of frailty. And good cinema is like good thoughts... not bound by anything. Acting can’t be written about, talked, discussed, analysed, because 90 per cent of the words used to describe acting are expressionless. You’ve got to feel acting. That’s what I do. I’ve stopped giving time to myself. The last 20 years have been my best period. I run my own race. If you run long enough, you can beat the rest, because this race is of length... not time. I enjoy making films. But I’m not attached to their success or failure. In fact, I’m detached from my films. Once they’re made — I let go. Films are mini life. By Friday night, I’m already moving on. My directors get disturbed!”

He never even sees his own films, at least not with the thought of enjoying them, nor anybody else’s either... unless it’s important to them. Ditto the family. “Gauri and I have brought up our kids to think their Dad’s films are nothing special,” reveals Shah Rukh. “And that, in life, it’s not special to be special, but it’s special to be ordinary. My films are all about that. I show the inside of a good outside hero. You know, the Clark Kent behind Superman. If he were to fly and save the world would you think less of him because he isn’t cool and doesn’t wear tights? My life’s like that. I may live like a king, but I’m ordinary in my beliefs, I’m simple, ugly and boring... yet I’m happy to be me.”

And, why not, which ordinary man romances the sexiest heroines on screen? “So what,” Shah Rukh asks, “I love them all, I share close relationships with them, but I don’t kiss them on screen, and I don’t have sex with them off screen. I’m somewhat conventional. I don’t think sex outside is bad. But I have a beautiful wife at home. I think real men are those that respect women; those that make no external show of their manhood; those that are gentle and kind... it’s okay to be dandy and look pansy instead of trying to be macho; and, those that open doors for women. If you can be charming, laugh, and don’t let them feel all you want to do is get them in bed... the girls will love you. I’m a ladies man. I’m okay with talk of my being gay and bisexual. I’m man enough to be in touch with my sensitive side. I can be happy and still cry. I don’t need to prove I’m heterosexual. Except to my son... when I show him I still have the six-pack.”

He’s opening up now, but it’s late. He steps outdoors to see me off. “I go to the rooftop and pray to the stars,” he says, surprising me for the second time that night. “Two of the stars are my parents. But I pray for simple things. That my son does well in his tae-kwon-do championship. And that my daughter is happy with her painting. I tell my mom, ‘Where you’ve gone, you can put yourself to some good use.’ There has to be some kind of trade-off for the loss of my parents. But I also read the Quran, I pray in Arabic, English, Hindi hoping that God is multi-lingual and understands at least one of my prayers. Gauri recites the Gayatri Mantra. Our kids do both. This house is amazing. My daughter asks, ‘Are we Pathans or Punjabis?’ I confuse them by saying, ‘We are Christians!’’’

Friday, November 7, 2008

The tug-o-war for Hrithik

The Salman-SRK war took an ugly turn a couple of days back when SRK performed at an event. At the function, while King Khan was performing on stage, in the audience was arch rival and now foe Salman who was seen chatting with Hrithik Roshan. Post Krazzy 4 Hrithik and SRK had rediscovered their friendship.

But this exchange of friendly banter between Hrithik and Sallu did not go well with SRK. His ego could not take the fact that his friend was shaking hands with his arch rival. “SRK was distracted during his performance. Shah Rukh and the Roshan’s go back a long way. Rakesh Roshan and SRK’s family have been close since Karan Arjun days,” says an eyewitness from the SRK camp.

Some also feel that Salman was trying to poach Hrithik from SRK, which obviously didn’t go down well with Shah Rukh. The friend added, “SRK camp has been small, but strong. He has always gone out of his way to bail them out. Post the act, he even made a snide remark to Hrithik about his closeness with Salman.” A baffled Hrithik didn’t know what to make out of that remark. “He smiled and before he could say anything, SRK walked out.”

Khan’s bruised ego now in all probabilities is waiting to get back. Beware Salman!

Kareena Kapoor goes wild for Saif, on Watchindia.TV !!!

It seems that Kareena fell for Saif after an intimate encounter somewhere outside India. These two are deep in love now and just cannot wait to get more intimate...

Kareena hates Ash because she is a Bachchan bahu

Kareena Kapoor has made no bones about not liking Aishwarya Rai Bachchan.This dislike must have a lot to do with the Karisma- Abhishek breakup and Ash being such a fine replacement of her elder sister Karisma as the Bachchan bahu.The Bachchans have talked about how Ash is the perfect daughter in-law and Karisma really wasn't homely enough for them!

Or it might have something to do with Ash still being considered ethereally beautiful and very much in competition despite being older and not having too many big hits!The latest is that Kareena Kapoor hadn't really turned down a role opposite Hollywood actor Johnny Depp because of date problems. It had a lot to with Ash.According to a source, "Three years ago, Gurinder Chadda who offered her this role, wanted Kareena for Bride & Prejudice.

Kareena naturally presumed it was the lead. She was shocked to know the director actually wanted her to play Aishwarya's youngest sister's part for which the lesser know Piya Rai Choudhary was signed later. Bebo was irked at being offered the fourth lead and vowed never to work with her again.

Now when a new Gurinder Chadha film was offered to Kareena she quickly said no without hesitation."Kareena on her part has been a little diplomatic this time around. She says that she'll only take up something that's substantial. She won't go international unless it's something really big and isn't sure whether Gurinder's offer was with Johnny Depp or not as the role didn't interest her at all.

All we can say is that Kareena is rocking in B-Town her own way. It's high time she only does her thing and stops thinking so much about the tremendous beauty and international appeal of Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. After all, Ash hasn't really cared to react to her cribbing!

Monday, November 3, 2008

What was Salman doing outside SRK's home?

The Shah Rukh Khan residence was lit up. After all the lord of the manor was going to usher in his 43rd birthday and the Lady of the house was throwing a party for close friends.

The guest list read the who's who of tinsel town of the likes of Deepika Padukone, Priyanka Chopra, Arjun Rampal, Farhan Akhtar including the family of Salman Khan. Apart from Salman, the invite was extended to all his relatives.

Now this must have irked Sallu a lot. At around 8pm, while the preparations inside Mannat (SRK's house) were at its peak, there was an unusual visitor outside the gates of Mannat. Riding his bike sans his helmet, Salman paused in front of Mannat and kept looking balefully at the tall gates for a long time. Suddenly from the corner of his eye, Sallu saw a news channel car creeping up on him. Sallu stepped on the accelerator and disappeared from the place in seconds.

Now what made Salman do such a stunt knowing fully well that there would be media loitering outside SRK's house trying to capture stars coming for the party. Well if only we could understand this Khan better...