Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Who Will Star Opposite Shahid In Kunal Kohli's Next Film?

Kunal Kohli confirmed yesterday on his Twitter account that he has signed Shahid Kapoor for his next film, which goes on the floors in April - but the actress he said is still being finalised and will be revealed in the coming days. So who do we think it could be?

Having worked with Kareena Kapoor, Vidya Balan, Priyanka Chopra, Rani Mukerji and many others, I get the feeling they are looking for a fresh pairing. Sonam Kapoor is out of the picture because the pair are currently shooting for Shahid's home production 'Mausam' (due: 2011). That leaves us with the following contenders:

1. Katrina Kaif
Shahid said in an interview this year that he would love to work with Katty. He was keen on working with actresses he hasn't worked with so far; which at the time included Sonam, and it looks like his wish came true in that case.

Katty is working harder than ever, with the 'Tees Maar Khan' promos doing the rounds, and compliments coming from all directions. Some say this is her "Madhuri Dixit moment", while others are comparing her to Hema Malini's "dreamgirl" phase.

With 5 huge films coming up for her in 2011: 'Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara' with Hrithik Roshan, 'Mere Brother Ki Dulhan' with Imran Khan, 'Dostana 2' with Abhishek Bachchan and John Abraham, 'Partner 2' with Salman Khan and Govinda, and the sequel to 2009's 'Blue' titled 'Aasman' (sky) one would bet his top dollar on this barbie doll.

2. Deepika Padukone
Deepika is another rising star who Shahid has expressed interest in wanting to work with.

I think the two would make a great couple on screen.

Deepika will close 2010 with five releases; with one yet to be released ('Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey'), she has been moderately successful, with 'Housefull' being her biggest hit.

The recently released 'Break Ke Baad' has not got off to a great start, but trade-wise it has recovered it's costs already and looks set to make a tidy profit.

3. Asin
Contestant number three and Asin - the 'Ghajini' (2008) girl.

When Asin arrived in Bollywood, everyone thought she was going to take the crown, but alas, fate had other plans for her. Her next release sank without a trace. There were rumours that her role was cut in Vipul Amrutlal Shah's 'London Dreams' (2009) which also starred Salman Khan and Ajay Devgan. But either way it was a bad film, so who cares.

Determined to get back on track, this southern beauty is ready to bounce back in 2011 with 'Race 2' alongside Saif Ali Khan and Deepika Padukone and the newly announced 'Pocketmaar' with Neil Nitin Mukesh amongst others, so let's see.

4. Sonakshi Sinha
Our final contender is new girl on the block and the latest star kid Sonakshi Sinha.

After debuting in the biggest hit of the year so far 'Dabangg' opposite Salaman Khan, and getting rave reviews in the process, this young diva is one to watch.

Her pairing with Shahid would be electric don't you think?

Leave us your comments below with who you think would be the best match?

Monday, 29 November 2010

Diva Spotlight: Rani Mukerji

Born 21st March 1978, Rani grew up in a family well connected with the Hindi film industry. It was no surprise when she decided to join the line with her first film 'Raja Ki Aayegi Baraat' in 1997. The film tanked at the box office - but one thing was certain, this actress had balls. The young diva took a year-long break and returned with Aamir Khan in Vikram Bhatt's action film 'Ghulam' - the film was a success. 4 months later she was seen in Karan Johar's 'Kuch Kuch Hota Hai' with two of the biggest stars at the time: Shah Rukh Khan and her cousin Kajol. The film sealed her fate: she was an instant star. In 1999 she won numerous awards including Filmfare's Best Supporting Actress for her role as Tina in KKHH. At the same time she was flooded with film offers. And deciding it was a good idea, she signed on almost every one of them. She was working 18 hour days, with up to 17 films on hand at a time. Before the year ended, just a handful of these were released, with nothing of note, apart from a few hit songs. Over the next 2 years she had 10 releases - with none of them doing much for her career. During this time she had a hit pairing with fellow actress Preity Zinta with 'Har Dil Jo Pyar Karega' (2000) and 'Chori Chori Chupke Chupke' (2001), although it was Preity who walked away with most of the credit. 2002 saw a turn in her career with the film 'Saathiya'; it earned her the first Best Actress nomination of her career at the Filmfare Awards. She followed it in 2003 with another hit 'Chalte Chalte' with favourite Khan, Shah Rukh. Interestingly, she replaced her best friend at the time: Aishwarya Rai. And since then the 2 have not seen eye to eye. Rani didn't seem to care about her friends at this time, because for the first time her career was looking like it was on track and she was heading for the top. In 2004 she became the number one actress at the box office, churning out hit after hit: with all 3 of her releases doing exceptionally well. She swept all the awards the following year winning Best Actress for 'Hum Tum' and Best Supporting Actress for 'Yuva' and also getting nominated in the same category with 'Veer Zaara. Rani kept up her momentum in 2005 with the film of her career coming in the form of Sanjay Leela-Bhansali's 'Black'. It was this film that catapulted her from a mega star to a legend and in the league of the all-time greats such as Rekha, Sridevi and Madhuri Dixit. Her personal relationship with Abhishek Bachchan was no secret and she casually thanked him in her acceptance speeches in 2006; the 2 had worked together on the hit 'Bunty Aur Babli' (2005). It looked like the 2 were to get married and Rani would be the Queen of Bollywood for many years to come. However fate had other plans for her. In 2006, although successful at the box-office, her appeal started to fade. She seemed to have stopped taking risks with her roles; opting for the sobbing wife in her next three films: 'Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna' (2006); 'Baabul' (2006); 'Ta Ra Rum Pum' (2007). Although big films, they didn't do much for her status. Her engagement with Abhishek was broken during this time, and he soon started dating her ex-best friend: Aishwarya Rai (the two later tied the knot in Spring 2007). Rani however continued to play the hard-beaten female, a character people soon associated with her on a personal level too, which did not help matters. Although she earned nominations at Filmfare for Best Actress: 'Laaga Chunari Mein Daag' and Best Supporting Actress: 'Saawariya' at the 2008 awards, she did not win. At the same time her role as a fairy with Saif Ali Khan in 'Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic' failed miserably, and Rani had disappeared. In the meantime, the next generation of upcoming stars were staring to take over. It was the era of Kareena Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra and Katrina Kaif. Rani retured with a new look in Yash Chopra's 'Dil Bole Hadippa!' (2009); it was a minor success and she earned applause for her performance, her pairing with Shahid Kapoor the way she looked. Rani's star started to shine again. She made many public appearances for the promo and other events, and it looked like she was on a campaign to get to the top again. A whole year has gone by with no new Rani release. Her fans were getting impatient. All of a sudden everyone was wondering what her next move was going to be. Lo and behold, November 2010: Rani is BACK...! Teaming up with Vidya Balan for UTV's 'No One Killed Jessica' playing a reporter, Rani has created a huge buzz online and in the bollywood circles. The trailer is simply outstanding and the world is awaiting for Friday 7th January 2011 for the release of the film; and to see Rani kick butt once again. Welcome back!

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Movie Review: Break Ke Baad

The story goes from Delhi to Australia and then back to Delhi and then back to Australia and then back to Delhi for the (anti-)climax - but the plot itself doesn't seem to last longer than 2 pages.

Deepika is excellent. She portrays a kind of rebellious character that we've seen before (Kajol is 'Kuch Kuch Hota Hai'; Preity Zinta in 'Kal Ho Naa Ho'; Priyanka Chopra in 'Anjaana Anjaani') - but she does it with her own style, and she does it well. The downside is the character itself is hard to relate to at times. And the circumstances in the film seem too far-fetched to keep the viewer locked into the story which is a shame.

Imran does a great job at playing the ultimate boyfriend. He's (self-proclaimed) "sexy", he's a great cook, and he's always there trying to make things better.


The film starts off well but then suffers from a weak screenplay from the middle onwards, erratic characterisation and some mis-cast characters (i.e. Sharmila Tagore). Other weaknesses come in the music: the soundtrack leaves a lot to be desired, and the background music could have been a lot better. Dialogues were also weak at times, but in some places they were good: namely in the lines spoken by Lilette Dubey; who was absolutely ravishing as cool aunt. Shahana Goswami is fantastic in her small role.

Verdict: Although you feel like it's a mix of 'Love Aaj Kal' and 'I Hate Luv Storys' and 'Bachna Ae Haseeno' and others; it's still quite enjoyable, and you should watch it for the drunk scene with Deepika and the fight scene with Imran, Deepika and her room-mate.

Rating: 2.5 stars

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Who is the Queen of Bollywood?

The question on everyone's glossed lips.

From Kareena to Katrina, and from Priyanka to Deepika - they are all vying for pole position whether they admit it or not.

Let's take a look at their chances.

Kareena Kapoor

Ever since Rani Mukherji's career went downhill, and Preity's magic faded, Bebo has been a strong contender to the B-town throne, despite her string of flops and one-time rivals (see: Amisha, Bipasha). She is one leading lady who is here to stay. For every disastrous 'Tashan' there is a super-hit '3 Idiots', for every fluffy chick-flick-type 'Kambakkht Ishq', there is a high performance-packed 'Kurbaan'. Currently riding high on the super-success of Golmaal 3 which is currently the second biggest hit of the year (after 'Dabangg') - the star is currently shooting back-to-back with her 2 favourite Khans. Shak Rukh Khan in Anubhav Sinha's 'Ra.One', and Sriram Raghavan's 'Agent Vinod' with Saif.

Today she is arguably the first choice for film directors across the board, whether it is glamour, drama, or romance and comedy on the cards. The actress has proven her abilities in front of the camera a number of times. She is the brand ambassador for 17 companies - no mean feat, and if gossip columns are to be believe she is also the highest paid actress in the business, over-taking even Aishwarya Rai.

Priyanka Chopra

Last year her immaculate performance in 'What's Your Raashee?' failed to impress the masses and got lost in translation. Although her minor role in Vishal Bharadwaj's 'Kaminey' made up for lost credit. The start of the year saw another big-banner-backed film of hers 'Pyaar Impossible' sink without a trace. Although she soon bounced back with 'Anjaana Anjaani'.

2011 will be interesting as she takes on a huge role in 'Saat Khoon Maaf' - another Vishal Bharadwaj directed drama. She also has the high-budget, promising to be ass-kicking sequel to Farhan Akhtar's 2006 remake: 'Don 2' with Shah Rukh Khan.

This star is ever popular online with her Twitter account and fan interaction. She is playing her cards right, let's see what time holds in store for her.

Katrina Kaif

The golden girl of Bollywood. Every film is a hit. Never before has a female star had such a great run at the box-office. She has stayed away from controversies; no reaction as yet to the recent jibes sent her way from Deepika Padukone on the chat show 'Koffee With Karan'. Neither has she shyed away from working with other females, from Sushmita Sen ('Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya') and Lara Dutta ('Partner', 'Blue') to Bipasha Basu ('Race') and Mallika Sherawat ('Welcome'). Katrina has everything going for her, with a brilliant run of films over the last few years, stretching through to this year with 'Raajneeti' and the upcoming 'Tees Maar Khan' - which is creating a huge buzz ever since the promos burst onto the scene a few weeks ago.

Deepika Padukone

Deepi has been riding on a wave of success ever since her debut in late 2007 with Shah Rukh Khan in Farah Khan's 'Om Shanti Om'. She followed it with big hits like 'Bachna Ae Haseeno' (2008), Love Aaj Kal' (2009), Housefull (2010). As well as less fairing affairs but critical acclaim-backed roles in films like 'Lafangey Parindey' (2010); in which she plays a blind street-smart dancer, and the girlfriend of a split-personality disoredered man in 'Karthik Calling Karthik' (2010).

The future looks bright with 2 more releases lined up back-to-back before the end of the year. Ashutosh Gowariker's 'Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Se' with Abhishek Bachchan and Danish Aslam's 'Break Ke Baad' with Imran Khan.

Next year she is rumoured to be cast in 'Race 2' with Saif Ali Khan and 'Desi Boyz' with Akshay Kumar.


So who is the front-runner?
It seems that Kareena will close the year on top once again, although Katrina is right behind her in the popularity stakes. Priyanka could challenge her with her upcoming flicks, and Deepika is making her mark for sure, but for now, Bebo is the undisputed Queen.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Diva Spotlight : Rekha

Every now and then I will post a feature on an Ultimate Bollywood Diva - and who better to start with than the ever elegant, the evergreen and ultra talented Rekha.

Born October 10th 1954, Rekha started her career as a child in the 1966 Telugu film Rangula Ratnam at the age of 11. She then went on to appear in a few other films before finally being recognised as a lead heroine in Bollywood in 1970's Sawan Bhadon. It took until 1976 for Rekha to finally be recognised as a talented performer with 1976's Do Anjaane with Amitabh Bachchan which was a major success.

1978 would prove to be a fruitful year for the young actress as she scored the biggest hit of the year and her career 'til date with Muqaddar Ka Sikander again co-starring Amitabh Bachchan. The film earned her a Filmfare Best Supporting Actress nomination (which she lost to Reena Roy). The year also saw her critically acclaimed performance in the film Ghar - also earning her a nomination for Best Actress at Filmfare (losing to Nutan).

1980's Khubsoorat earned her a Filmfare Award for Best Actress (she was also nominated for Judaai); whilst 1981's Umrao Jaan earned her a National Award for Best Actress. 1982's Jeevan Dhara earned her another Filmfare nomination (awarded to Padmini Kolhapure). Whilst 1983's Mujhe Insaaf Chahiye bagged her another nod (awarded to Shabana Azmi). Hit films continued and her popularity soared. She was now the number one actress in bollywood, overtaking Hema Malini. For the rest of the decade Rekha enjoyed success in commercial and parallel cinema. Concluding with 1989's Khoon Bhari Maang - earning her another Filmfare Award for Best Actress.

Throughout the ninetees Rekha pushed barriers for actresses and delved into Action films. 1991's Phool Bane Angaarey once again saw her shortlisted for Filmfare's Best Actress Award (lost to Sridevi). She earned awards for her portrayal as a villainess in Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi (1996) starring opposite Akshay Kumar and Raveena Tandon.

The noughties brought more critical and commercial success. A further 3 nominations for Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award: Lajja (2001), Koi Mil Gaya (2003), Krrish (2006).

The ultimate diva of Bollywood graces the major awards shows to this day looking as glamorous as ever.

Current divas to have worked with her include: Preity Zinta, Priyanka Chopra, Urmila Matondkar, Mallika Sherawat.