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August 2004


Karan Johar's Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham has become the first commercial Indian film to release in mainstream cinemas across Europe, Egypt and Iran as also in Korea. It was released in France in May and has either been released or is due to open in countries like Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Finland, Yugoslavia, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia, Belgium, Luxembourg, Egypt and Iran.

Meanwhile, the blockbuster Kaho Na... Pyaar Hai has been dubbed in Spanish and released in Spain and 20 countries in Latin America. The Spanish version is an hour shorter than the three-hour original and the number of songs has been cut to two from seven and re-recorded in Spanish by local singers.

Deepa Mehta's troubled project River Moon has finally got its leading man and leading lady: John Abraham and Lisa Ray. Mehta's original choices, Rahul Khanna and Kareena Kapoor, had earlier opted out citing date problems.

Mahesh Manjrekar has signed Amitabh Bachchan and Sharmila Tagore for AB Corp's Versus (Virudh). To be made in Hindi and English simultaneously, the film will co-star Manjrekar's favourite actor Sanjay Dutt and John Abraham in pivotal roles.

Veteran Anil Kapoor and youngster Shahid Kapur are coming together in Deewane Huye Paagal which is rumoured to be a loose remake of the Hugh Grant-starrer Mickey Blue Eyes. Directed by Ahmed Khan, the movie has Shahid as a fun-loving mechanic in love with a girl whose elder brother (played by Anil Kapoor) is a mobster. The casting of Shahid's love interest is yet to be finalised.

Sohail Khan is producing a film which will star his brother Salman and his lady love Katrina Kaif. Sushmita Sen too has bagged a role in the yet untitled movie film which is being directed by comedy king David Dhawan.


Lakshya (Goal)

Starring: Amitabh Bachchan, Hrithik Roshan, Preity Zinta

Director: Farhan Akhtar

Music Directors: Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy

Don't go expecting another Dil Chahta Hai, and you won't be disappointed. Lakshya, Farhan Akhtar's second coming after his smashing debut, has none of the banter and playfulness of DCH. The movie also marks the return of his father Javed Akhtar as a scriptwriter after a hiatus of 15 years.

Set against the backdrop of the 1999 Kargil war, this drama, largely shot in the Ladakh region, takes us through one man's journey into finding a purpose in life. It is the story of Karan Shergill, an aimless urban drifter who discovers his lakshya when he joins the Armed Forces. Though the story has twists and turns aplenty in the first half, the impact is diluted because everything unfolds very slowly. In fact, the narrative moves in such a languorous manner throughout that the average cinegoer would start feeling restless after a point. The war scenes, though well executed, get boring after a while, more so because one had seen similar scenes not too long back in J.P. Dutta's LoC.

On the plus side, the sequences in the Indian Military Academy have been filmed with flourish. The entire track, showing Hrithik's evolution from a non-focused youth to a disciplined cadet, is one of the best parts of the narrative. The background score for the sequences leading to the climax is fantastic. But the songs pale when you compare them with the scintillating Dil Chahta Hai numbers.

The film without a doubt belongs to Hrithik who stands out with his subtly shaded performance. The only other actor who makes some impression is Sushant Singh playing a Muslim soldier. The mighty Amitabh Bachchan is wasted in a role that makes a mockery of his calibre. Preity Zinta as the crusading TV journalist Romilla Dutta enacts her role with elan but it is hard to digest that a war reporter would scream at the sight of a mutilated body of a soldier!

Technically, Lakshya is a pretty slick, polished product. Cinematography by the German-born, Los Angeles-based Christopher Popp is brilliant. In fact, you could say that Popp is the other hero of the film!

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