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One time Atlantan Nagesh Kukunoor's new film Iqbal tells the story of a deaf-mute village boy chasing his dreams of making it into the Indian cricket team. Celebrated artist MF Husain was so impressed by the film (after a private screening) that he declared his intention to capture his feelings about Iqbal on canvas. Says Husain: "The film was very convincing and real. I was inspired by the visuals and the emotions, and my paintings will convey the spirit of the film. I love cricket but Iqbal made a greater impact on me than Lagaan."
Harinder Singh Kohli better known as Lucky Singh, a London-based film producer with several animation films to his credit, is making Harry Puttar, which is not really a takeoff on Harry Potter but his version of Home Alone. "I grew up watching Hindi films. And I often wondered why there was so little for kids. Harry Puttar is a homage to my childhood," he says.
After the success of Kya Kool Hai Hum, Tusshar Kapoor and Riteish Deshmukh have become the most sought after pair. Indra Kumar has decided to cast the two in his new venture Dhamaal because of their fantastic comic timing.
Chunkey Pandey is excited about his impending Hollywood debut in Shantaram based on the eponymous book. The film happened to him quite unexpectedly when he recently bumped into the author of the book, who was once a junior artist on his sets. It later came to light that almost four pages of the book had been dedicated to the author's experiences with Chunkey. Shooting will begin in February next year and the film will be shot in Mumbai, Afghanistan and Australia.
Bhagyashree of Maine Pyar Kiya fame is set to make a comeback to films after all these years. The petite actress will play the role of Akshay Kumar's sister in a yet untitled movie that also stars her first hero Salman Khan's girlfriend, Katrina Kaif.
According to reports, the library of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has decided to include the script of Vidhu Vinod Chopra-produced Parineeta as part of its collection, another feather in the film's cap.
The Indian box-office has got its first full-length animation feature film with the release of Bhaggmati - the Queen of Fortunes. And India's first fully animated 2D feature film Hanuman is all set to storm Indian cine screens within two months of the release of Bhaggmati
Powerful onscreen chemistry and a modern tale
Beneath that light and frothy surface, Salaam Namaste actually makes a telling comment on the yuppie urban male of today who shies away from commitment, enjoying all the pleasures of life without taking on any responsibility.
Starring: Saif Ali Khan, Preity Zinta, Arshad Warsi
Producer: Aditya Chopra
Director: Siddharth Raj Anand
Music Directors: Vishal-Shekhar
Here comes a movie that's sure to gel with the youth of today ? it delves into the subject of live-in relationships and unwed motherhood without being the least apologetic about it. What's more, the treatment is such that even the most orthodox amongst the audience will not raise an eyebrow, rather they will feast their eyes on the blue sapphire waters of Australia and the fabulous performances by Saif Ali Khan, Preity Zinta and Arshad Warsi, not to forget Javed Jaffrey and Jugal Hansraj.
An initial hostile meeting between a qualified architect-turned-chef Nick (Saif) and a medico-cum-radio jockey Amber (Preity) in Melbourne leads to an attraction that blossoms into love. They move in together and everything is hunky dory till Amber discovers she is pregnant. All hell breaks loose as Nick wants her to go in for an abortion while she is hell bent on having his baby. This creates a rift between the two but even then, the film never loses its spirited ebullience. The commitment-phobic Nick eventually has a change of heart and sure enough, the movie ends on a happy note but not before a surprise appearance by Abhishek Bachchan playing a forgetful, bumbling doctor.
Beneath that light and frothy veneer, Salaam Namaste actually makes a telling comment on the yuppie urban male of today who shies away from commitment, enjoying all the pleasures of life without taking on any responsibility. Dialogues by Abbas Tyrewallah are totally in sync with modern urban sensibility and spoken by the actors wonderfully too, especially Saif who has mastered the art of delivering his lines in his signature wacky style. And yes, this is Preity's most passionate film till date ? she puts Mallika Sherawat miles behind with her steamy lip-locks. The onscreen chemistry between Saif and Preity has to be seen to be believed.
The icing on the cake, without a doubt, is Vishal-Shekhar's easy-on-the-ears music, especially the title track and the delightful My dil goes Mmmm! The picturisation of the songs only enhances the effect.
So we say a warm salaam namaste to debutant director Siddharth Raj Anand. He has come up with a movie that is bold and bindaas and immensely watchable.
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