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April 2006
Movie Updates

K. Asif's magnum opus Mughal-e-Azam will soon be released across the borders in its restored coloured version. It will be the first film in the last 40 years to get the green signal from the Govt of Pakistan.

Banaras – A mystic love story which stars Urmila Matondkar, Ashmit Patel, Naseeruddin Shah, Raj Babbar and Dimple Kapdia is scheduled for an April 7 release. Another April release is Inder Kumar's Pyaare Mohan, a comedy starring Viveik Oberoi, Fardeen Khan and Esha Deol.

Tanuja Chandra will return after a sabbatical with her latest offering Rocking which features Sushmita Sen and Shiney Ahuja. Sush plays a vibrant pop singer while Shiney plays a shy, reclusive doctor in this love story. The film also stars Moushumi Chatterjee in a double role.

It's a lethal combination all right --- Bipasha Basu, Mallika Sherawat and Katrina Kaif come together in Abbas-Mustan's latest untitled thriller. The male leads are being played by Saif Ali Khan, Fardeen Khan and Anil Kapoor.

Nandita Das will soon be seen in a new film based on a story by Jnanpith award-winning writer Mahasweta Devi. It's a Marathi film being directed by Chitra Palekar. The film is adapted from a story by Mahashweta Devi. Atul Kulkarni is her co-star in it. The internationally acclaimed actress is also doing an "untitled" English film with Rahul Bose which will be directed by cinematographer-turned-director Santosh Sivan.

Soha Ali Khan and Sharmila Tagore will come together for the first time in Aparna Sen's new film Jewellery Box. The film also has Konkana Sensharma and Paresh Rawal in it. Apparently, Soha will be playing a double role in it and Sharmila will be playing a ghost. The film has Govinda in the main lead.

MOVIE REVIEW

Chingaari (Spark)

Starring: Sushmita Sen, Mithun Chakraborty, Anuj Sawhney

Director: Kalpana Lajmi

Music Director: Aadesh Shrivastava

Chingaari had the potential of setting the screen ablaze with its searing intensity but the movie fails to ignite even a spark in the hearts of the cine-goers. Yes, Kalpana Lajmi's yet another feminist treatise just falls flat. The movie throws light on the inner struggles of a sex worker and it exposes how some people exploit society in the name of religion. But these poignant issues leave the viewer untouched, partly because the handling is too loud and grotesque, and partly because the city-bred multiplex audience today doesn't really want to watch a movie with a village as its backdrop. Unless of course, it's of the class of Lagaan or Iqbal.

Based on a short story by Assamese singer Bhupen Hazarika, Chingaari revolves around three characters in a village called Rangpur--- a sex worker Basanti (Sushmita), a young postman Chandan Mishra (Anuj Sawhney) and the priest Bhuvan Panda (Mithun). Basanti falls in love with good guy Chandan and that is the beginning of her travails. Panda makes life hell for her but finally women's power prevails. A ravaged Basanti rises like Durga incarnate, complete with trishul and flying tresses, to destroy evil. The end seems almost like a replay of the climax of Lajmi's earlier Raveena-starrer Daman.

The only bright spark in Chingaari is the talented Sushmita Sen who delivers a powerful performance and portrays a gamut of emotions with effortless ease, though she is hardly suited for the role of a rustic prostitute. Anuj suits his role of a crusader but Mithun should not even have thought of a comeback. His dwindling fans must have dwindled further with this movie.

Aadesh Shrivastava comes up with a forgettable musical score. So this Chingaari turns out to be a damp squib. Watch it only if you have a yen for melodramatic and outdated stuff. And of course, if you are a die-hard Sushmita fan.


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