Some of the biggies lined up for a May release are: Farah Khan's directorial debut Main Hoon Na with Shah Rukh Khan and Sushmita Sen, Mani Ratnam's multistarrer Yuva, Deewar: Let's Bring Our Heroes Home in which Amitabh Bachchan and Sanjay Dutt play prisoners of war, and Aan: Men At Work which is the first big cop drama of 2004 after Khakee. Directed by Madhur Bhandarkar, it features Akshay Kumar, Sunil Shetty and Raveena Tandon.
Sitar maestro Ravi Shankar's daughter Anoushka Shankar's debut film Dance Like A Man is ready for release. Directed by Pamela Rooks, Anoushka plays an aspiring dancer in the movie. Anoushka is the half-sister of Grammy winner Norah Jones.
Tanuja Chandra's new film Film Star starring Mahima Chaudhary in the role of a fading actress, is also ready for release in May. The movie has Priyanshu Chatterjee playing an alcoholic lawyer.
Tanuja has also reportedly roped in Aishwarya Rai for an "anti-war" film about a border village girl and her acts of bravery during the 1971 Indo-Pak conflict.
Director Piyush Jha in his second film King of Bollywood is getting seasoned actor Om Puri and British model Sophie Dahl, granddaughter of author Roald Dahl, to play the main leads in the film. The film will be shot in both England and India.
Kareena Kapoor is back in India after a long stint of shooting of Ken Ghosh's Fida, first in Dubai and then in Cape Town. The first fresh production for which she will start shooting is Hulchul, which will bring Kareena and Akshaye Khanna together for the first time.
Meenaxi: Tale Of 3 Cities
Starring: Tabu, Raghuvir Yadav, Kunnal Kapoor
Director: MF Husain
Music Director: AR Rahman
First things first. Meenaxi is not for the masses. Which is not to say it's a brilliant piece of work meant only for the connoisseurs of art and for those who like their cinema offbeat. But certainly, the artistic vision of celebrated artist MF Husain is not run of the mill, to be understood, and may be appreciated, by only a select few in the audience. Looking back, Gajagamini was any day better. Meenaxi tries to tell a story and that proves its undoing, because the story remains a puzzle. Husain should have stuck to the esoteric nature of Gajagamini.
Nawab (Raghuvir Yadav), a popular novelist of Hyderabad, is suffering from the proverbial writer's block. Five years have elapsed and he has not been able to complete his novel. Then one day, Nawab comes across Meenaxi (Tabu) at a qawwali ceremony and she asks him to write a story on her. The enigmatic and individualistic woman is not quite willing to perform the part of a passive muse. Meenaxi assumes different personae. She can be the mysterious perfume trader of Hyderabad, the exotic desert bloom of Jaisalmer and the orphaned Maria of Prague. Flitting across three time zones, the film takes the viewer through its basic debate on art, life and illusion.
Tabu may not be as graceful and nimble-footed as Madhuri Dixit. But she is a delight to watch anyway, her irritating Czech accent notwithstanding. Debutant Kunnal Kapoor doesn't let himself get cowed down by the presence of his seniors and delivers a confident performance.
The viewer gets to relish some brilliant visuals, which is not surprising. Only a painter could infuse such a steep sense of aesthetics into the narrative canvas. The frames in swirling blues and ravishing reds are opulent and yet not crowded. Cinematography by Santosh Sivan is fabulous.
On the whole, for the avid Hindi filmgoer, Meenaxi speaks a language that's more difficult to understand than say Russian or Spanish.
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