Friday, February 29

Sanjay Dutt cancels his Marriage with Manyata
In a bizarre turn of events, film star Sanjay Dutt and wife Manyata have revoked their marriage in Goa.

The couple applied to the Goa Marriage Registrar seeking to revoke their marriage Thursday and the Goa marriage registrar has accepted the application permitting them to withdraw the marriage. The wedding now stands cancelled.

The couple in their application said they did not desire to honour their marriage under the Portuguese Civil Code.

Sources said the couple decided to cancel their marriage to avoid the legal tangle arising out of the alleged fake residential certificate that the registrar had accused Manyata of submitting at the time of the wedding.

The duo apparently wanted to register their marriage under the Special Marriages Act but was not informed at the time of marriage that the Act was not applicable in Goa.

Independent sources in Goa confirmed this when contacted by IANS over phone.

The development comes barely three weeks after the couple entered into wedlock in Goa and followed it up with a Hindu marriage ceremony in Mumbai.

Circles close to Dutt described the development an indication of how Dutt and Manyata are 'frustrated with the continuing legal complications hampering their wedlock'.

A close friend of Dutt says that Sanjay and Manyata just want to lead 'a normal, peaceful married life, but the legalities rocking their marriage has left a bad taste'.

The marriage led to several controversies. First, the Goa marriage registrar's office slapped a notice on the couple and then Manyata's ex-husband Meraj-Ur-Rehman claimed that he was still married to Dutt's wife.

A fortnight after the marriage was registered in Goa, the Marriage Registrar there served Manyata with a show cause notice questioning her on the fake residential certificate that she had submitted.

An official of the Goa government was suspended allegedly on ground of accepting invalid documents and registering the marriage in the tiny tourist paradise.

Saturday, February 16

Ranbir Kapoor is the cover boy of Cosmopolitan
Girls are in for a treat this February as B-town's latest heartthrob Ranbir Kapoor is the cover boy of fashion magazine Cosmopolitan. The dude with the drop-dead gorgeous looks can surely sweep a thousand girls of their feet with his charm.

The scion of the illustrious Kapoor family gives his fans a rare treat in this exclusive interview where he talks about his first crush, the most romantic thing his girl did for him and even his views on casual flings and one night stands. This surely makes an interesting read, doesn't it girls?

Friday, February 15

A Classic Historical Drama: Jodhaa Akbar
While only last week we had one of the shortest films of recent times, this week sees the release of the longest film in years. And if we ever argued that longer films are unable to hold the audiences to their seats till the end, Jodhaa Akbar surely proves that wrong as it manages to keep you glued to its opulence for over three hours and twenty minutes.

Jodhaa Akbar, a tale from history, with obvious mixture of fiction to enhance the romance - is one of the best films in recent times, from every point of view. And it clearly shows that historical dramas – unlike what have been said of – grab your fantasy to such an extent that you would never utter a word even if it means that sitting for so long actually gives you a backache! But you got to give the filmmaker this freedom as telling a romance from history would mean he had to keep other tracks of history in place too. So while a normal love story would take a stipulated time to develop and fold up, a Jodhaa Akbar genuinely needs more time to develop keeping in mind that situations just cannot be created for the heck of it – they have to be timed.

Quite evidently, the story is about Jalaluddin Mohammad Akbar (Hrithik Roshan) and Jodhaa (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan) – how they are married and how the emotion of love develops over a period of time. What's interesting is the way the director decides to show it. While other historicals would primarily talk about war with a love angle thrown in casually, Jodhaa Akbar is a love story more than anything into which history has been fitted. Akbar and Jodhaa come together after a marriage alliance between the Rajput state of Amer and the Mughal Empire. And while there is the initial awkwardness, they soon start understanding each other and eventually fall in love.

The story evolves slowly with loads of memorable scenes sprinkled every now and then – like Akbar trying to tame an elephant, the swordfight between Akbar and Jodhaa, Akbar practicing bare bodied as Jodhaa admires him secretly, Akbar going to Agra Bazaar as a commoner and of course the war sequences. The last scene when Akbar fights the monstrous Sharifuddin Hussain is also legendary material. There is a fine intermingling of humour as the love story develops. However, there are a couple of songs which makes the pace go for a toss. The dialogues are well written, as the Mughals speak in Urdu and the Rajputs in Hindi.

Technically, the film has some of the best shot scenes in Hindi cinema. The war scenes for example are brilliant. The brilliance is, of course, helped by the fact that the director has actually chosen to use hundreds of people rather than morphing! The editing falls prey to the love of shots as they fail to keep out scenes which could have been left out, or at least shortened. That could have helped the film's length too. The background sounds and score is superb and the playback which is not half as good as a standalone gives meaning to the evolving emotions. The choreography of the song 'Azeem-o-Shaan Shahenshah' is a treat.

The film sees Hrithik coming up with a performance which cannot be compared to any. There was much talk if he would be able to repeat the Akbar played by Prithviraj Kapoor. But such comparisons won't make sense as Mughal-e-Azam showed Akbar as an old grey haired man while here Akbar is in the prime of youth and is in love himself. Hrithik is sparkling! And so is Aishwarya, although the film does not give her much dialogue. She does well where she is required and to top it, she looks as beautiful as anyone could be. So much that every time she comes onscreen your heart misses a beat! The chemistry between the two protagonists is awesome. Sonu Sood is average while Ila Arun comes with a performance which is her best. The rest of the humongous star cast chips in with some noteworthy stuff.

Overall with Jodhaa Akbar Ashutosh Gowariker has proved that he is one of the best filmmakers we have today. While your heart goes for the love between the two protagonists, the film leaves you at such heights of emotions that you would literally be shaking with excitement! The film also comes at a very right time as Akbar indeed could be a role model for people and rulers today. The king not only had a secular vision, but also a will to know what the common man wanted, apart from being kind hearted and noble. But the word of advice would be to get more detached from what he has shot and try leaving out more. After all, cinematic pleasure is not everything. Back ache and stiffness got to be addressed too.

With Jodhaa Akbar, Gowariker clearly holds the record of making three of the longest films in this decade. However, this is in fact, his shortest movie since Lagaan. And yeah, there are no guest appearances in Jodhaa Akbar, but Gowariker gets his favourite voice – Amitabh Bachchan for the narration.

Wednesday, February 6

Earning Rs 25,000 per Second
Aamir Khan's Taare Zameen Par seems to have revived clay animation in India, as Dhimant Vyas informs us. Vyas, who created the beautiful animation in TZP's title track, tells us how he did it, and how lucrative the profession is.

Clay animation has been used in commercials and television but it has never been used in Bollywood. I have known Aamir from the time Lagaan's DVD was released. I was asked to make caricatures of the Lagaan team at that time.

When Aamir came to me, he had no idea what clay animation was. So when we were discussing animation for Taare Zameen Par, he was discussing 2D animation and hand-made painting animation. But when he saw my sample work in clay, he loved it and decided to try it out. source

Tuesday, February 5

Subhash Ghai's YUVRAAJ to be released in October
Subhash Ghai launched KARZ and also founded Mukta Arts on 24th October, 1978. Thirty years later, on 24th October this year, the Showman will showcase his new film YUVRAAJ to the global audience. “Yes, I've decided to release YUVRAAJ on this date. It's my most ambitious venture so far,” Ghai beams proudly.

Before YUVRAAJ, Ghai is bringing in a “comparative smaller project” -- BLACK & WHITE. The promos of the film have created tremendous buzz already. “It's completely different from what I've attempted so far. Generally, people look forward to larger than life characters, great music, opulent sets and non-stop entertainment from Scene A to Z in a Subhash Ghai film. BLACK & WHITE is unlike what Mukta Arts has churned out so far,” he states.

Meanwhile, Ghai has decided to move on to yet another biggie, the day YUVRAAJ releases. Reportedly, he has signed his favorite, veteran Dilip Kumar, to head the cast of the film. Also roped in are Vinod Khanna, Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone for pivotal roles. “I haven't signed anyone yet. In fact, I haven't locked any script so far,” he corrects.

So how did the news originate? There has to be some truth to it. “While discussing story ideas with your team of writers, you tend to discuss names that would suit the roles if you were to make that film. These internal discussions keep happening from time to time, but the moment the media gets a whiff of it, it's out in the open, even though nothing is approved. The sad part is, no one bothers to clarify before doing these news-breaks. Frankly, I am in the midst of BLACK & WHITE and YUVRAAJ currently and it leaves me with very little time of think of anything else,” he clarifies.

Monday, February 4

Rajput organisation goes Gandhian to stop Jodhaa Akbar
Adopting a Gandhian means of protest, workers of a Rajput organisation Sunday presented roses to cinema hall owners and appealed against the screening of Ashutosh Gowariker's film Jodhaa Akbar.

Lokendra Singh Kalvi, president of the Rajput Karni Sena, told IANS: "The Karni Sena does not want the movie to be screened in the state." The film is to be released Feb 15.

The organisation has also written a letter to the Jaipur district collector demanding a ban on the release of the movie on the grounds that there are factual inaccuracies in it.

Jodhaa Akbar is about the romance of Mughal emperor Jalaluddin Akbar and Rajput princess Jodhabai.

The Rajput organisation says that Gowariker is presenting Jodhabai as Mughal emperor Jalaluddin Akbar's wife, which is factually incorrect.

According to the Karni Sena, Jodhabai was not the daughter of Raja Bharmal of Amber as shown in the film. The princess was the daughter of Motaraja Udai Singh of Marwar and she was married to Akbar's son Salim alias Jehangir. And Mughal king Shahjahan was her son, they say.
Several other organisations like Nagrik Morcha have also joined hands with the Karni Sena.
Narendra Singh Rajawat, head of the Rajput Sabha, said such distortion of historical facts had hurt the feelings of the Rajput community.

"You cannot make your own history and Ashutosh Gowariker is making his own history. He is projecting Jodhabai, who is Akbar's daughter-in-law, as his beloved and making a love story out of that. He is totally distorting historical facts," said Rajawat said.

He urged the court to restrain Gowariker from showing Jodhabai as the daughter of Raja Bharmal of Amber. He said the name of Raja Bharmal's daughter was Harkabai alias Heera Kunwar.

Many parts of the film, which features Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai in the lead roles, were shot in and around Jaipur. And the director has consulted several eminent Mughal historians for his movie.

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