Sunday, 31 July 2011

Music Review: Aarakshan

Aarakshan | Music Review
Movie: Aarakshan
Producer: Prakash Jha, Firoz A. Nadiadwala
Director: Prakash Jha
Music: Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy
Lyrics: Prasoon Joshi
Singers: Shreya Ghoshal, Mahalaxmi Iyer, Mohit Chauhan, Shankar Mahadevan, Tarun Sagar, Raman Mahadevan, Gaurav Gupta, Rehan Khan, Channulal Mishra, Abhijeet Vaghani

The album opens with the sweet summery sounds of "Achha Lagta Hai" sung by Mohit Chauhan at his most romanticised best and accompanied by the ever audacious Shreya Ghoshal. The first few times I heard this it immediately reminded me of a song with a similar title "Achhi Lagti Ho" from the movie 'Kuch Naa Kaho' [2003]; which starred Aishwarya Rai and Abhishk Bachchan. Funnily enough that soundtrack was also composed by the S-E-L trio. But after hearing it a few more times it has come into it's own. The song has all the ingredients to become a smash hit and is the best track on the very short album. The picturisation is also very sweet.

The tempo changes with the next track "Mauka" - a frantic funky and very Indian song seemilngly sung in a village; you can imagine the cast running around singing this one. Despite 3 male vocalists Tarun, Gaurav and Rehan: Mahalaxmi outshines them in this one. The song is not that great but she somehow manages to brighten things up with her voice. "Kaun Si Dor" is next, sung by Pandit Channulal Mishra and Shreya Ghoshal. This one is a quality track - packed with heartfelt emotions and a pulsing dholki beat. The vocals are raw and remind me of the classical songs in Sanjay Leela Bhansali Films (Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Devdas). Shankar helmds the next track, which opens with similarities to their ground-breaking hit 10 years ago 'Dil Chahta Hai'. Pt. Channulal returns once again for a solo "Saans Albeli" which is another traditional classical song.

Overall the album does not bode too well, despite a fantastic opening song.

2 Stars

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Madhuri Graces Delhi Couture Week

The Queen of UBDs Madhuri Dixit was seen attending the Synergy1 show at Delhi Couture Week. She looked as elegant and radiant as ever in this soft white floral number. Madhuri is back in town and will be starting work on a new project soon as suggested on her Twitter account. More details coming soon. Madhuri has won the Filmfare Best Actress Award four times (1991,1993,1995,1998) and is considered to be one of the all-time greats of the industry. Her last film appearance was in 2007's 'Aaja Nachle'.

Madhuri Dixit at Delhi Couture Week

Madhuri Dixit at Delhi Couture Week

Madhuri Dixit at Delhi Couture Week

Madhuri Dixit at Delhi Couture Week

Friday, 29 July 2011

UBD's Bollywood-Bytes 29-July-2011

Sridevi, 47
The super ultimate diva has begun shooting for her first film since 1997's 'Judaai' this month. Helmed by first-time director Gauri Shende (wife of R. Balki of 'Paa' and 'Cheeni Kum' fame) - it is the first time Sri will work with a female director. The tentative title is "English Vinglish" and if rumours are to be believed the plot involves Sridevi's character going to stay with her Ameircan niece, where she doesn't speak the language. Amitabh Bachchan confirmed on Twitter that he has shot scenes with La Devi. The pair last worked together in 1992's 'Khuda Gawah' which was a huge success.

Madhuri Dixit, 44
Madhuri Dixit
La Dixit has  finally spoken out on whether or not she was offered the role of Sonam's mum in the 'Freaky Friday' remake. She told the Hindustan Times "I think Anil mentioned to some people that he wanted to cast me, and the whole issue just snowballed... I honestly didn't feel I was or am ready to play such roles." - Well I am glad she said no even if it was a good role, because her contemporaries SRK, Salman and Aamir are starring opposite girls like Sonam, Deepika and Anushka, so why should Madhuri play their mother? She is younger than all the Khans after all.

Kareena Kapoor, 30
Kareena Kapoor
Bebo and her team have finalised the look for her wax figure at London's Madame Tussaud's. The team including fashion designer and friend Manish Malhotra opted for the 2003 flick 'Chameli' in which she played a street worker. The film was a turning point in her career and won her many accolades including a Filmfare Award. All the measurements have been taken and Kareena will be coming down for the inauguration in October. The first and only other Bollywood Diva to be immortalised at the museum is Aishwarya Rai some 7 years ago. Kareena is currently busy promoting her upcoming flick 'Bodyguard' with Salman Khan.

Priyanka Chopra, 29
Priyanka Chopra
La Chops is currently in the north of England for the schedule of her upcoming film with Shahid Kapoor to be directed by Kunal Kohli. But shooting was halted for a few days due to the bad weather. The weather reports suggest a few days of great weather so look out for the team in Leeds, Nottingham and Coventry. Piggy and Shahid also co-starred in 2009's 'Kaminey' which became a huge success and won her a nomination for Best Actress at the Filmfare Awards. Kohli previously helmed two Best Actress award wins for his lead actresses with Rani in 'Hum Tum' [2004] and Kajol in 'Fanaa' [2006]. Here's hoping his luck rubs off on her.

Vidya Balan, 33
Vidya Balan
The stunning beauty is currently shooting 'The Dirty Picture' which is based on Silk Smitha's life. Silk was a soft-core porn star in South India and died a premature tragic death. The film is being produced by Ekta Kapoor who is known to be a mastermind in the business however shooting has been halted for the second time in Hyderabad due to local events taking place. Vidya is simultaneously working on Sujoy Ghosh's'Kahaani'.

Deepika Padukone, 25
Deepika Padukone
The pretty lady is riding on a high as the response to the promos her latest flick 'Aarakshan' has been very positive. Deeps was criticised heavily a few months ago for her guest appearance in 'Game' were she provocatively gyrated to a vulgar remake of the classic 'Dum Maaro Dum' tune. Her last 3 films under-performed at the Box Office, the last of which 'Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey' was a collosal disaster. Are things about to take a turn for the better for her? She is also coming to the end of shooting for 'Desi Boyz' which has been shot in London and Brighton (U.K.). 'Aarakshan' opens worldwide August 12th.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

UBD's Magazine Covers: July 2011

A little later this month, but here we are with a bumper edition of all the UBDs on covers. Which July cover is the best?

Anushka Sharma | Maxim

Lara Dutta | Harper's Bazaar
Deepika Padukone | Hello

Katrina Kaif | Stardust
Chitrangada Singh | Verve

Lisa Ray | City Life
Sonakshi Sinha | Brunch
Kalki Koechlin | Savvy
Asin | Prevention
Deepika Padukone | Elle
Neha Dhupia | Exhibit

Katrina Kaif | Filmfare
Priyanka Chopra | Filmfare

Sonakshi Sinha | Vogue

Neha Dhupia | FHM
Neha Dhupia | Grazia
Deepika Padukone | Masala!

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Priyanka Chopra : Don 2 Stills

A couple of new screen shots have leaked online this week from the upcoming action film 'Don 2'.
Priyanka Chopra in Don 2
Priyanka Chopra, will be reprising her role in the sequel to the 2006 smash hit - which is almost unheard of in Bollywood. Every sequel you look at (and there have been many) will usually keep the hero but switch the heroine for a younger model. Another recent exception to this rule has been Kareena Kapoor who starred in the 'Golmaal' series. Coincidentally Kareena also starred in the prequel aka Farhan Akhtar's remake however no scope for her to be seen in the follow-up, unless as a ghost, as she was killed-off in the last installment.

A new addition to the team is fellow beauty queen Lara Dutta. Both Lara and Priyanka competed in the Miss India 2000 pageant and each won their respective international titles: Miss Universe and Miss World respectively. Then not only did they debut in Bollywood in the same year - but in the same film 'Andaaz' in 2003 . So to say that these two ladies have a little history behind them is an understatement in Bollywood terms. 
Lara and Priyanka at the 'Black' premiere in 2005
Journalists have had many a field-day/month/year at the prospect of any alleged catfights between the two super novas. But truth be told, they remained friendly with each other. They are both very strong women and didn't feel the need to bitch about one another. This is the modern Hindi film actress. Gone are the days of stamping on each other's feet during song shootings or fiercely ignoring each other on the sets .

So back to the film, here are those aforementioned shots. Any info of Lara's character in the film is yet to surface but the UBD blog will have it's eyes peeled. 'Don 2' opens worldwide December 23rd 2011.
Priyanka Chopra in Don 2

Priyanka Chopra in Don 2

4 Heroines In 1 Film - HouseFull indeed!

Zarine Khan, Asin, Shazahn Padamsee, Crew Member, Jacqueline Fernandez
Remember back in the 90s when 2 actresses on the same set would not even speak to each other let alone pose for a photograph. Two decades down the line - have things finally turned around? I just came across this photograph taken from the sets of the upcoming 'Housefull' sequel. The camera-phone pic features 4 Bollywood Divas all smiling and cosying up with each other - which is a new trend it seems. Well I must add that they are all fairly newbies and it would be a bigger news story had it been Kareena, Priyanka, Deepika, Katrina, but it's a start.

Shazahn and Asin
The starring divas are Asin, Zarine Khan, Jacqueline Fernandez and Shazahn Padamsee. Asin who made her debut with Aamir Khan in 2008 with 'Ghajini' has made a decent splash in the B-town waters, whilst the others have not made a significant impact yet. Jacqueline <'Aladin'> and Shazahn debuted in 2009 in unsuccessful films whilst Zarine, who debuted with Salman in 'Veer' <2010> is still trying to distant herself from the "Katrina Kaif's chubby cousin' image.

Jacqueline and Shazahn
The cast and crew have been shooting in London and Peterborough for the last few months with a further schedule lined up for October. The film will be released 2 years after the first, on June 1st, 2012.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Bollywood Rocks Delhi Fashion Week 2011

The divas of B'town were out in full swing at this year's Delhi Fashion Week. Attendees included the fabulous Madhuri Dixit and the wonderful Karisma Kapoor amongst others. But it was the newbies that were doing the show-stopping on the ramp.

Sonam Kapoor closed the show for Manish Malhotra and looked unrecognisably spectacular:

Sonakshi Sinha attempted a cat walk in this Shantanu and Nikhil number but looked a bit awkward:

Shraddha Kapoor looked sweet in this Anju Modi dress:

Legendary diva Sharmila Tagore was also show-stopping:

Monday, 25 July 2011

Kareena Kapoor : Queen of Brand Endorsements

Kareena Kapoor | Queen of Brands
The highest paid actress in Bollywood Kareena Kapoor isn't satisfied with the five films she has on her hands. The diva, who is the face of many a brand has just unveiled her latest print advert. The Vaio press ad sees her donning 9 different looks, each accompanying the different colours of their latest product. I think she looks stunning in each avatar. Check it out:
Kareena Kapoor endorses Sony Vaio
It does however remind me of the posters from rival Priyanka Chopra's 2009 release 'What's Your Raashee?' in which she played 12 characters each based on a different zodiac sign.

Priyanka Chopra in What's Your Raashee?
 Bebo, who is known to rave about working with the Khans is creating history by working with all five in the same year, although they will release over two calendar years. There is 'Agent Vinod' with beau Saif due in 2012; the highly anticipated 'Ra.One' with 'King Khan' Shahrukh due in December; preceded by 'Short Term Shaadi' with young gun Imran; 'An Act Of Murder' alongside the former's uncle Aamir; and the upcoming 'Bodyguard' with Salman, which she is busy promoting at the moment.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

UBD's Bollywood-Bytes 03-July-2011

Madhuri Dixit
Madhuri Dixit
Madhuri has just arrived back in Mumbai. It is being strongly rumoured that Madhuri is considering a role in the 'Ishqiya' sequel, tentatively titled 'Dedh Ishqiya'. The diva is a huge fan of the first film and said she'd love to work with Vidya Balan who would also star in the sequel as per rumour. We'll just have to wait and see what her second 'comeback' will really turn out to be.

Karisma Kapoor
Karisma Kapoor
Speaking of 'comebacks', Karisma Kapoor will be returning to grace the screen after leaving the industry in 2004. Vikram Bhatt has signed her up on the curiously titled 'Dangerous Ishq'. Lolo, as she is known by loved ones, is known for some of the greatest performances of the last decade such as Fiza, Zubeidaa and Shakti.This is confirmed and very exiciting news.

Raveena Tandon
Raveena Tandon
It truly is comeback-season in B-town these days as the ultimate item girl of the 90s Raveena Tandon is planning a huge return this year. She is working on at least 3 movies. The upcoming 'Bbudah Hoga Terra Baap' will see her sizzle in a hot new item number titled 'Main Chandigarh Di Star' - look out for it, it's going to be the biggest hit of the summer.

Rani Mukerji
Rani Mukerji
The bong-beauty who is having a great career revival has turned down a film with Vishal Bhardwaj. The reasons are unknown but some say this was because of the co-star; he wasn't a big enough name for Rani to work with. Well she is the rani after all, so she needs to work with the Khans only. I am still waiting for her to work with Akshay Kumar.

Shamitta Shetty
Shamita Shetty
The glamour doll and little sister of Shilpa Shetty has decided to quit films. Making her debut in Aditya Chopra's 'Mohabbatein' in 2000, her career never really took off. She is more known for her item numbers which were amazing such as 'Sharara Sharara' ('Mere Yaar Ki Shaadi Hai', 2002), 'Chori Pe Chori' ('Saathiya', 2002), and 'Baras Ja' (Fareb, 2005). The diva is set to do an interior designing course in London. Good luck to her.

Caterina Lopez
Caterina Lopez
Jennifer Lopez's cousin is all set to make her Bollywood debut this summer. She has shot a hot item song and has a small role in an upcoming movie. I had never heard of her before this and now she's making huge waves. Go girl.