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May 2004


Shilpa, Akshay

patch up

The Indo-Pak peace process has even managed to thaw the icy vibes between two former flames. Yes, we're talking of Shilpa Shetty and Akshay Kumar. After having sworn never to work with her ex-beau after their break-up, Shilpa recently made up with Akki during a recent trip to Pakistan for a concert. The two sat amicably next to each other on the same dais for conferences and were reportedly extremely cordial to each other. But that's about it, clarified the leggy actress. Doing a film with Akshay is a complete no-no, for now at least. Nor is she willing to perform with him at a show.

Meanwhile, the Bollywood-Lollywood dosti continues. Pakistani actress Meera has signed two Bollywood films, Allah Malik (God Willing) produced by Bombay-based P.D. Mehra and Nazar Ke Saamne, which is the directorial debut of Mahesh Bhatt's wife Soni Razdan. Saawan Kumar is contemplating signing a Pakistani actress opposite his old favourite Salman Khan for his forthcoming as yet untitled film. Then Bullet directed by Asad Sikandar, is set for a simultaneous release in India and Pakistan and at key stations in Afghanistan. Not to forget Sanjay Dutt who plays a ?good Pakistani' in Gaurang Doshi's Deewar.

Diana Hayden is

?All Alone'

Former Miss World Diana Hayden is ?All Alone' but certainly not lonely. The lovely lady is in the company of several other artistes who are all set to go global together next year. Here's how: All Alone is the title of a $15 million English movie directed by debutant Ritesh Sinha, which is slated for a worldwide release in May 2005. Set in pre-independence Mauritius of the 1960s and to be shot there, All Alone is a "rustic tale of love that starts with five dreams and ends with the curse of a soulful ballad." The multinational cast includes Claire Keim, Manoj Bajpai, Diana Hayden, Elisa Tovati, Bikram Saluja and Nigar Khan. A British actor will play one of the lead roles.

Diana Hayden plays a high-class courtesan opposite Manoj Bajpai in this "fast-paced, dark" movie about relationships. Incidentally, the buzz is that Diana in her personal life is not alone but mostly in the company of Bollywood baddie Gulshan Grover!

This Khan is

a ?Saif' bet

Saif Ali Khan was deluged by phone calls recently ? no, not by the superbrat Salman Khan, but by five filmmakers who wanted to cast him in their respective remakes of the recent Hollywood flick Phone Booth! This Colin Farrell movie has reportedly caught the fancy of several producers in Bollywood and five of them approached the cool dude Saif to act in their rehashed versions of it in Hindi. It's obvious that this Khan is considered a ?saif' bet now, following his stupendous popularity post Kal Ho Naa Ho and Ek Hasina Thi. What's more, the brilliant Ram Gopal Varma is said to have joined hands with the chhote nawab to co-produce a movie with him. Way to go, man!

Talking of remakes, Kareena Kapoor and beau Shahid Kapoor have reportedly been pencilled in to star in the Hindi adaptation of the Julia Roberts, Hugh Grant-starrer Notting Hill. Bebo will play an actress in the movie who falls in love with a commoner to be played by Shahid.

Munnabhai Wins Respect Overseas

Everyone knows that the Sanjay Dutt-starrer Munnabhai MBBS was a big hit in India. But did you know that the film has found rare respectability in the UK? It has been reviewed in the British Medical Journal, one of the most reputed medical journals in the world, where it has been called a "riot". This is the first time that a Hindi movie, and that too of the ?bole tu' genre of Mombaiyya, has made it to the prestigious publication. Incidentally, we hear that Munnabhai LLb is now in the pipeline.

Meanwhile, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) this semester, students will get a dose of mainstream Hindi cinema. Jhankar Beats will be screened under the subject 'The Young and the Restless' during the Comparative Media Studies Course. The students will also get to watch Jism, Bhoot and Koi Mil Gaya (Science fiction for the future).

Recently, the University of Leicester became the first in the world to offer Bollywood as a separate subject as part of its three-year course in Film Studies and Visual Arts. Great going, Bollywood!

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