Court petition stumps Raveena
The release of Raveena Tandon's debut production Stumped, which was to hit the screens during the World Cup, has been postponed. But the filmmakers are not worried.
Earlier this week, a petition filed by a student D Sajeev of Fatima Mata National College in Kollam, Kerala, alleged that the film is based on an article he had published in the campus page of a Malayalam daily in 1999.
The article, according to him, highlighted the media's tendency to highlight the happiness of cricketers' families when Indians win a match, ignoring the plight of the kin of soldiers who had laid down their lives in the Kargil war at the same time.
Director-scriptwriter Gaurav Pandey claims that he has not received a court notice or summons. "Have they seen the film? How do they know we have copied [it]? I, a Bengali who cannot speak my mother tongue fluently, how can I copy an article in a Malyalam publication? The film is not about cricket, media or war. It is about people. Besides, we wrote as we shot on the sets!"
Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy's favourite tune
Who do music directors Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy enjoy working with? The father-son combination of Javed and Farhan Akhtar! "They are very witty and humourous. Total timepass!" they say.
The trio has a lot of releases coming up this year. They especially liked doing the score for Ek Aur Ek Gyarah. "It is mad from start to finish. What do you expect when working with David Dhawan!"
What about working with Subhash Ghai? "We had heard that he changes tunes and the music. But he was cool. He liked what we did and offered suggestions. We were free to try it or discard it."
Of their other films, they say, "Armaan and Kuch Na Kaho have mellow, mature and earthy kind of melodies. We had fun working on Marigold too. We recorded the melodies, scratches and sent it to the producers. But we will be recording with some big names in Hollywood soon."
It took Lara Dutta and Priyanka Chopra only two days to rehearse their act for the Sansui Awards, held on March 27.
"We were very nervous because we were enacting all the different images of the Hindi film heroine," explains Lara. The actress is waiting with bated breath for her debut films -- Andaaz and Mumbai Se Aaya Mera Dost -- to release this year.
She has also signed E Niwas's Bardaasht, starring Bobby Deol. "I am looking forward to working on that," says the former Miss Universe, who has also bagged Madhur Bhandarkar's multi-starrer Aan.
Suman Ranganathanplays a psycho in Neeraj Pathak's Dhaar, who gets her sister (played by Mahima Chaudhry) killed.
"It is a great role and very different from my other films," says Suman. The film also stars Dino Morea.
Suman has a slew of releases this year: from Baagban, in which she plays a bahu to Hema Malini and Amitabh Bachchan, to Devyani Murder Mystery, an adaptation of the Shivani murder case.
A silent statementDirector Manish Jha hopes that his two-hour silent feature film Matrubhumi -- A Nation Without Women will have a theatrical release in India. It is an idea he has been mulling over for a while, two years in fact, ever since he read an article in a magazine about women getting married to their brothers because the sex ratio was poor.
"I wrote the script in seven days," claims Jha. "Luckily, having won the Cannes Award for Short Films in 2002, for A Very Very Silent Film, looking for finance was not tough. I did not have to shell out Rs 20 million from my pocket."
The film features Tulip Joshi, Sushant Singh and 30 male characters. "It is a hard-hitting and realistic film. I have tried to show the state of women in our country today and how we need to do something for them. It is not a film made with awards in mind, but to make audiences flinch and think about my statement," he says.
Made in Hindi, the film will be dubbed in French and English. Jha insists he did not cast Tulip with an eye on the commercial barometer. "I have not even seen her first film [Yash Chopra's Mere Yaar Ki Shaadi Hai]. What struck me was how she interpreted the role of the character and her screen tests," he says.
Despite winning the award at Cannes and being showered with praise by the likes of Sharon Stone, Matrin Scorsese and Antonio Banderas, Jha has not received any accolades back home in India. "I find it bizarre that no encouragement is given to new talent in our country," he says, "and no one appreciates what we have. Even the government has refused to reply to my mails when I informed them about the award. I was very disheartened. Unlike European actors, who have shown an interest in working with me, in India, there was no response from the film industry at all."