Check Out: Shahid and Anushka's sporty, funky look in Badmaash Company

Shahid Kapoor, Anushka Sharma

The promo of Yash Raj Films' next release Badmaash Company starring Shahid Kapoor and Anushka Sharma in lead roles was unveiled last week and going by the looks of it, the film promises to be a complete entertainer. Directed by Parmeet Sethi, the film tells the story of four friends (Shahid, Anushka, Chang and Vir Das) who want to make it big in life.

For both Shahid and Anushka, this is the second film with the coveted Yash Raj banner. While Shahid starred in the fairly ordinary Dil Bole Hadippa alongside Rani Mukherjee, Anushka made a super debut opposite none other than SRK in Aditya Chopra's Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi.

In Badmaash Company however, both Shahid and Anushka would be seen in a young, fresh and altogether new look. Anushka, who in her first film, was mostly seen sporting Indian wear has gone glamorous for this role wearing cool and funky tops and hot pants. Shahid on the other hand too seems to be sporting a new cropped spiked look compared to his long hair look in Dil Bole Hadippa.

Apparently, both Shahid and Anushka had a great time shooting for the film. There were a few sequences in the movie where the cast needed to shoot some water sports and games. Shahid and Anushka took this sportsmanship very seriously and carried on playing games like badminton and beach volleyball even after pack up. To everyone's surprise, Anushka turned out to be the better player and beat Shahid everyday.

At the end of the day as long as the movie turns out to be victorious at the B.O., Shahid couldn't care less. What say?

Movie Review Right Ya Wrong

Right Ya WrongBy Subhash K Jha

Starring Sunny Deol, Irrfan Khan, Konkona Sen-Sharma, Esha Koppiker

Directed by Neerraj Pathak

Rating: ***

Don’t breathe. Don’t dare even blink. And please forget that visit to the loo. Damn, even the bag of popcorn will be forgotten on your clenched lap.

Right Yaaa Wrong is the surprise shocker of the year. If you’ve forgotten that jump-out-of-the-seat feeling then it’s time to nudge it awake again. Debutant director Neerraj Pathak deserves a welcoming salute. He puts together a thriller that’s as much a homage to Alfred Hitchcock and Brian da Palma as our own Abbas-Mustan.And Right Yaaa Wrong still emerges original and strong.

An intricate jigsaw that always stays a step ahead of the audience, Right Yaaa Wrong makes a penetrating comment on how the country’s legal system can be subverted in a clever hand. More importantly the taut and briskly-paced script suggests that the yin and yang concepts of right and wrong are not only ambivalent but also interchangeable when the context is right.

Sunny Deol, back in shape in every which way, plays a cop who in the first two reels loses the power to walk. But the narration simply sprints along through a series of unpredictable twists and turns that take the striking characters across a maze of intrigue and conspiracy.

Truly, the screenplay is far superior to its execution. And that’s entirely a comment on the above-average caliber of the writing.

Writers Girish Dhamija, Sanjay Puran Singh Chauhan and Neerraj Pathak pack in a walloping punch in both pre- and post-interval hours.

The characters and their motivations address themselves to adventure-thriller-suspense would of James Hadley Chase and Sidney Sheldon.The men are brave and heroic, clever and fearless. Even when cuckolded Deol is dignified in the embrace of betrayal.

Editor Ashfaq Makrani juxtaposes moments of tense suspense with glimpses of heightened poignancy. This is murder in mellow shades.

The cop’s wife played by Esha Koppikhar is unabashedly wanton. Outwardly she’s the duty-bound cop’s home-bound wife with a perfect home and cute son (Ali Haji). Scratch the surface and there emerges a woman who’s sleeping with the cop’s kid-brother. Ouch. Where’s the couch???

Shades of Bipasha from Abbas-Mustan’s Race? Yes? But don’t let this hectic whodunit’s antecedents bother you. The storytelling takes wings from the word go. And we are swept ahead. As the characters go from ‘bed’ to worse.

However the people in Pathak’s pacy plot are so hurriedly propelled to their nemesis that we never get close enough to any of them to understand their inner world.

The depths are discarded for the dips and curves. The performances are even and well-informed. Sunny Deol in a role that requires him to sublimate his pain in a status of stoicism gets it just right.

Irrfan creates ample space for himself in a role that’s sketchy for starters but gathers substance as the yarn progresses. Konkona Sen Sharma as the stereotypical Sympathetic Shoulder gets rid of her set-expressions and comes up with a performance of restrained bravura in the courtroom.

And Esha Koppikhar plays the thankless role of the unfaithful wife and a disgraceful mother with much relish.

Here’s a film that extends the borders of morality. It does so in the commercial language without resorting to crass situations and dialogues. For fans of Sunny Deol’s fist-friendly image here’s the actor telling us that strength is sometimes a matter of holding back rather than letting it all hang out.

Movie Review Rokkk

RokkkStarring: Tanushree Dutta, Udita Goswami, Shaad Randhawa, Sachin Khedekar and Murli Sharma

Director: Rajesh Ranshinge

Rating: **

Anushka (Tanushree Dutta) is charged with the murder of her husband, Ravi (Sachin Khedekar), and sister-in-law, Nishita (Preeti).

Anushka is sent to a mental asylum but the fact is that she is possessed by the spirit of the dead girl, which resides in the new bungalow into which she, her husband and sister-in-law had moved on their first wedding anniversary. Her husband had there- after given in to her plea to leave the haunted house as she was being hounded by a ghost there.

But the ghost did not leave Anushka even in their old bungalow to which they had shifted. Ahana (Udita Goswami), the younger sister of Anushka, comes to Goa from Delhi to be by her sister’s side in her hour of need. She can’t locate her sister who has run away from the mental asylum. On probing, Ahana soon realises that it is a case of spirits and ghosts in which Anushka had got involved.

Unable to trace her sister, Ahana sets out to solve the mystery in a bid to clear her sister’s name. She seeks the help of CBI officer Ran veer (Shaad Randhawa) and the two even meet a tantrik, Vishwat ma (Arif Zakaria), who knows the entire story about the haunted house.

Vishwatma reveals the past of the haunted house to Ahana and Ranveer. This leads Ahana to Yashoda (Ashwini Kalsekar) who further elaborates the story.

What Ahana and Vish watma do thereafter is shown in the climax. Is Ahana able to trace Anushka and free her from the spirit? That is the suspense which is revealed in the latter part of the climax.

Rajesh Ranshinge’s story is routine and Haroon Rashid’s screenplay is confused and also one of convenience. The audience is not very clear about why Steve (Murali Sharma) wants the bungalow, about how Ravi had bought the bungalow, about why some people meet with instant death on encountering the spirit while others don’t die equally soon.

Also, it seems weird that Ahana goes about trying to solve the mystery of the ghost rather than locating her lost sister, which should have been her first priority. The first half moves at a fairly good pace and involves the viewer but the pace drops after interval. Too much footage has been given to the tantrik, and his portions are often boring.

The horror scenes are all very similar as a result of which the novelty factor dies down very fast. What are, however, good are the sound effects which create a chilly atmosphere at several places. That is to say, it is the sound which scares the audience more than the story and the scenes.

Udita Goswami does quite well. Tanushree Dutta is also fairly good. Shaad Randhawa needs to improve on his dialogue delivery and voice modulation.

His mannerisms are vill ainish although he is actually an in­ vestigating CBI officer. Arif Zakaria should’ve been far more effective. However, more than his acting (which is nice), it is his characterisation which is to be blamed for the lack of his effectiveness.

Ashwini Kalse kar leaves an impact. Sachin Khedekar does an average job. Murali Sharma is okay. Nishigandha Wad makes her presence felt in a brief role. Preeti is okay. Baby Akshita has acted ably. Imran Hashmi, Tarikesh Singh, Raju Pandit, Neha Bam and the others lend ordinary support.

Director Rajesh Ranshinge has left several questions unanswered because of which the audience is unable to experience to the fullest the thrill of a chilling suspense drama. Music (Sunil Singh) is a letdown. Background score is effective more because it is loud rather than due to its quality.

Joshy Anthony’s sound has the desired effect. Hanif Sheikh’s stunts and action scenes are okay. Camerawork (by Shakil Khan) is good. Art direction (Shree Kumar Nayar) is commonplace. Editing (Raju Kapadia) is not very sharp.

Rokkk is an ordinary fare which suffers on account of a confused screenplay. It will not be able to scare the audience enough to make the film’s distributors smile.

Movie Review Hide N Seek

Hide N SeekStarring: Purab Kohli, Arjan Bajwa, Sameer Kochhar, Ayaaz Khan, Mrinalini Sharma and introducing Amruta Patki

Director: Shawn Arranha

Rating: ***

The film revolves around six friends Om (Purab), Abhi (Sameer), Jaideep (Arjan), Imran (Ayaaz), Jyotika (Mrinalini) and Gunita (Amruta).

When they were teenagers, a Christmas Party night changed it all for them and their individual lives were never the same again. 12 years pass by and now Om is back from the mental asylum where he was kept after that fateful night.

Jaideep is a rowdy politician, Gunita a hot shot model, Imran a big film star and Abhi a business magnet, whereas Jyothika still pines for Om like she did when they were teenagers.

But one late night each one of them is made unconscious and brought and dumped in a shopping mall. Meeting each other for the first time after 12 years in such a situation raises suspicion amongst them about each other.

However, they soon realize they are being played by a person dressed in a Santa Claus outfit who is dictating terms to them there. The Santa orders them to play a game of Hide N Seek in the mall without resorting to cheating.

But as soon as the game begins, one by one, each one of them starts getting murdered. Who is responsible for all this?

Debutante director Shawn Arranha makes an impact with his story telling technique and grip on his subject. Keeping the running time of exactly 105 minutes, never once does he deviate from the main plot or tries to pack in excess baggage.

What works in favour of Hide N Seek is the fact that it remains true to its genre and delivers exactly what one expects from a slasher flick that’s just the right amount of edge of the seat moments and a very unpredictable climax.

After a long time a good suspense thriller has hit the marquee, kudos to writer and producer of the film, Apoorva Lakhia, for that.

Purab Kohli shows his versatility in a very difficult role. Arjan Bajwa playing to the gallery manages to leave a good impression.

Sameer Kochhar fits the part to the T. Ayaaz Khan last seen in Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na is impressive as well. Amongst the gals, Mrinalini Sharma is good whereas former Miss India Amruta Patki makes a decent debut.

The editing and background music score helps in increasing the impact of the proceedings.

The film may not boast of big star names but it works big time, thanks to the tight script, excellent direction and impressive performances. Don’t miss it if you are suspense thriller fan.

Hum Tum Aur Ghost

Hum  Tum Aur GhostStarring: Arshad Warsi, Dia Mirza

Directed by Kabir Kaushik

Rating: ** ½

The sheer delight of watching Arshad Warsi play the lead rather the supremely selfassured sidekick gives this otherwise-pale rom-com a cutting edge.

Arshad in his own words plays a guy, who van see dead people. Wish he could see dead plots too.

The screenplay by Arshad Warsi, Soumik Sen and Arshad Ali Syed is a deadweight carried forward not by any inward propulsion, conviction or compulsion but by the producer-leading man’s will to create a slick and cool space for himself within the stifling space allotted to a one-note film about friendly spirits and a disbelieving girlfriend.

The romantic lady Dia Mirza is very adept at expressing energetic exasperation. She is whiny clingy and bossy just like over-protective girlfriends tend to be.

Arshad is very skilled at conveying the killing anxieties of cautious courtship.He reminds one of Saif Ali Khan in Dil Chahta Hai, though we and this baggy film are not even going there.

Warsi is ill- supported by poor writing. His character’s three-layered encounter with ghosts and their pre-burial trauma is at the most, cinematic knick-knack bereft of any subtext or layering.Director Kabir Kaushik was far more successful getting Arshad to play a tough gritty idealistic cop in Saher. Here the bewildered lover-boy with a hotline to the supernatural is just not in his element.

The narrative is so shallow at times that you wonder if there are ghosts of relevances hovering beyond the range of vision. But no. What we see is what we get.

While the plot totters along at a sluggish pace, sporadic moments of humour and warmth creep in willy-nilly. These are too infrequent to sustain our interest.

However the chemistry between Warsi and Mirza is first-rate. They clutch at each other without awkwardness and speak to one another as though the words were not conscious of the camera. Wish this film was just about Hum and Tum. The Ghost could have been left to the Shyamalans and Vikram Bhatts of the cine-world.

Some of the music by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy is hummably romantic. Ashok Mehta’s cinematography creates a picture-postcard world of over-cute confections. Sadly these are not even true confections, Just artificial chocolates packed into a neat box and gift-wrapped for a unit desperate to do a desi take on the American rom-com.

Arshad gets it right. The rest just don’t get the point.They see dead people.We see a dead film.

Big B sees red over Abhishek's humiliating elimination

Big B sees red over Abhishek`s humiliating eliminationMegastar Amitabh Bachchan didn't hide his disappointment over his son Abhishek's video message on Earth Hour not being shown at the event here, wondering "Is there a pattern in all this". But the junior Bachchan brushed off the controversy, saying he is "too small a person for all this unwanted attention".

"You are perhaps aware that Abhishek has been appointed the WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) ambassador for Earth Hour, a campaign that has been initiated by WWF for the preservation of the earth.

Many ads in the press have been announcing, with his photograph in place, that on the 27th of March let the entire country observe a simple ritual of putting off the electricity in their homes for an hour from 8.30 p.m. to 9.30 p.m, " Amitabh posted on his blog.

Abhishek's message was dropped from the Saturday function in the capital at the last minute.

"An audio-visual has been prepared with Abhishek where he is seeking a pledge towards preservation of the Earth and requesting people to switch off their lights for an hour, " Amitabh said in his blog.

"The chief minister of Delhi, Mrs Shiela Dixit, and a prominent member of the ruling Congress Party, is attending the moment. A few hours before the show was to start, apparently the audio-visual featuring Abhishek has been asked to be removed and banner posters bearing his photograph as ambassador have been stopped from being. I wonder why??"

"Abhishek, who has been working so hard on the cause is obviously disappointed, especially since he had worked late into the night where he was shooting out of town to accommodate this creative. And I wonder. Am I hallucinating, or is there a pattern in all this?"

Abhishek too commented on the incident on his microblogging website Twitter, saying, "With regards to last night's Earth Hour event at India Gate, I have nothing to say, nor any reaction. I believe that the cause is far more important than a mere mortal like me."

"The event was about Earth Hour (which I am the ambassador for) and about educating people about global warming. Thank you all for making that a possibility. I am too small a person for all this unwanted attention. Let's stick to the point!"

In his earlier post, Abhishek said he couldn't attend the function due to prior shooting commitments.

"I was to be at the India Gate function (Saturday evening) being the ambassador, and all, but prior shoot commitments would not allow me. I'm tucked away in Goa. I had sent a video message for all at the event, thanking them for their participation and support, but for some reason that couldn't be shown."

"I'm told that the Earth Hour was a huge success. Well done guys. You'll have done a wonderful job in spreading the news... I believe the function at the India Gate was also very nice and well attended. Kudos to the team at WWF for pulling all this off, " he wrote.

Amitabh Bachchan was recently embroiled in a controversy when he attended the inauguration of the Bandra-Worli Sea Link's extension, leading to protests from some Congress leaders as he is the brand ambassador for Gujarat.

Bachchan posted scanned copies of the official invite he received for the event on his blog, clarifying that he had been invited by a minister.

Suzanne feels I am the best singer in the world: Hrithik

Suzanne feels I am the best singer in the world: HrithikBollywood actor Hrithik Roshan makes his debut as a singer in his much-awaited film "Kites", for which he rehearsed 24/7 -- be it while brushing his teeth or taking a shower.

"Early in the morning, I would start with my sa re ga ma... right from the time I would wake up to brushing my teeth to taking the shower, all the time I sang with hand movements trying to reach the highest scale and the lowest note, " Hrithik said.

The song "Kites in the sky" is in English and will be launched on national television along with behind-the-scenes footage March 29 at 9.30 p.m.

"I was nervous to make my debut as a singer, considering I come from a family that is well known in the world of music, but for this very reason my chacha (Rajesh Roshan) and director Anurag Basu were most certain that I could sing, " Hrithik said.

"My niece has learnt piano and she has this little Casio player which I borrowed. And I have the knack of finding any tune on any instrument. So I practiced on that for a week. Then I realized that it won't work like that and I got a professional trainer.

"I have given this song my best and honest shot but I still don't consider myself a professional singer, " the 36-year -old said.

The actor, who has done hit films like "Kaho Naa...Pyaar Hai", "Koi... Mil Gaya", "Krish" and "Jodha Akbar" among others, also revealed that his recording experience was different from what he expected.

"I had fallen in love with the art of shutting your eyes from the world and going in meditative state where you just sing. But when I went to the studio, it was a totally different story.

"They put you in this little compartment and you are not allowed to move because the mike is fixed. While practicing I had been so mobile. And now I was locked up in one place where I couldn't even move my legs because the breath shifts in different direction, " Hrithik said.

"Finally, I told them to just switch off all the lights of the studio because I wasn't being able to get my best out. So they just blacked out the entire studio. I could not even see my mike because it was so dark. This blackout worked and helped me to come out of the inhibitions in the mind. That's how I finally worked, " he added.

What does his wife Suzanne say about his new skill?

"She is obviously completely biased. She feels I am the best singer in the world. She compares me to Elvis Presley, " Hrithik said.

"Kites" is a film by Reliance Big Pictures and Rakesh Roshan. It is about two lovers and their thrilling journey filled with precious moments and unexpected betrayal.

The film also stars Mexican actress Barbara Mori, It will hit the screens May 21.

Neha Dhupia is marriage phobic and too western

Neha Dhupia is marriage phobic and too westernBollywood actress Neha Dhupia may have walked the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week (WIFW) ramp in a bridal lehenga by designer Jaya Rathore but the thought of marriage makes her nervous.

"People asked me backstage, 'when are you getting married?' But I was like, marriage is way too far in the future for me to even think about it, " Neha told in an interview.

"In fact, the thing that made me nervous the most about walking the ramp is that I was looking like a bride. What makes me nervous is the thought of marriage, what makes me even more nervous is walking the ramp... So it was a very bad combination, " she said.

Neha, who rose to fame after winning the Miss India crown in 2002, still feels jittery walking the ramp though she has been on the fashion umpteen number of times.

"I say 'Oh my God' 100 times before being on the ramp. I feel it's always good to be a little nervous, " she said.

Neha sported a mauve and orange, heavily embroidered lehenga with a ghoonghat in place on her head, like a coy bride. She said she would love to wear such a unique combination for her own wedding.

"I'm actually surprised to see that a play between orange, purple, blue and pink ended up looking so fantastic on a bridal piece. I think Jaya did a fabulous blend of it. People usually go for the same kind of colours, the pinks, reds and oranges... But after seeing today's outfits, I would definitely go for something like this, " she said.

After flaunting the ethnic garment, the 29-year-old, who is more of a Western dresser, said she might start wearing more of Indian clothes.

"I am not someone who is big on Indian clothes, I am somebody who is into Western clothes, something extremely casual when I am not sort of at work, or even when I am at work. It's nice to see myself in something as ethnic as this. I think I am going to make a habit of it, " said Neha.

She is now looking forward to the release of two of her films - "With Love To Obama" and "Action Replay".

"I am excited. One is really different from the other and that is going to bring a different side of me. One is a very retro film ('Action Replay') and my role in the other is funky as I play a village girl -- two things I have never seen myself do.

"I can talk about the roles closer to the release. I don't know which aspect the directors are going to bring out. One is a really a simple sweet girl. The other one is not so simple and not so sweet, " she said.

So what is Neha like?

"I am very very sweet and simple, " she quipped as she took off her make-up hurriedly to catch a flight to Lucknow.

I am no more doing films for money: Dia Mirza

I am no more doing films for money: Dia MirzaDia Mirza is unperturbed about the fact that she has no films after her just released "Hum, Tum Aur Ghost" because she says she would rather wait for good films than do unsatisfying work.

"I'm not doing anything after 'Hum Tum Aur Ghost'. If this was the situation five years ago, I would have got so worried and this fact would have killed me; it would have bothered me no end, " Dia told in an interview.

"But now I am in a position where I am financially comfortable; so I am not working in a film to get that extra money. I am working in a film if I want to be a part of it. I'm in a position today that if I don't get the right role, I can sit at home for six months and not do a film that I don't believe in, " she added.

Dia, who won the Miss Asia Pacific beauty pageant in 2000, made her cinematic debut with "Rehnaa Hai Terre Dil Mein" opposite R. Madhavan in 2001. Later she did films like "Tumsa Nahin Dekha", "Deewaanapan", "Parineeta", "Dus", "Fight Club", and "Lage Raho Munnabhai" among others.

Before "Hum, Tum Aur Ghost" that released March 26, the 28-year-old has mostly been seen in ensemble casts or special appearances in films for quite some time now.

The actress now, however, feels differently: "It's quality over quantity for me now."

"For the longest time, I have been getting offers in films that I didn't want to be a part of. Even though they were lead roles they weren't something that my sensibilities could connect with, " she said.

"When you work for nine years you reach a stage when you don't really want to push the buttons any more. You just want to do things that excite you, motivate you and make you go to work the next day, " she added.

"I'd rather come in a good film after three years than do a film every year that I don't relate to. Script really matters, " she added.

In "Hum, Tum Aur Ghost", where she is paired opposite Arshad Warsi, who is also the producer of the film, Dia played the female lead after many years.

Asked whether she would like to follow the footsteps of other actors in the industry and get into production, the model-turned-actress replied: "All my friends are pushing me to get into production and direction. I'm not ready for it right now. Let's see how things shape up, " Dia said.

Three hot ladies helped me with intimate scenes

Three hot ladies helped me with intimate scenesVivek Oberoi has done many daring stunts for his film "Prince - It's Showtime", but when it came to intimate scenes, it was his three leading ladies in the film who took "care" of him.

"It's been a dream to work with three lovely ladies together. I had a really good experience working with them but, while shooting the intimate scenes, I was way too shy and felt awkward, " Vivek told in an interview.

"All through the movie you will see me doing brave stunts. While shooting the action sequences, when they were scared I took care of them, but while sharing intimacy I was taken under confidence by them saying: 'Don't worry, we will take care of you'. Which left me embarrassed but it was sweet of them to help me get through, " he added.

The 33-year-old, who shares an intimate kissing scene with model-turned-actress Aruna Shields in the film, says he had to do several retakes to get it right.

"It was our first ever intimate kissing scene and both of us were jittery, which led to too many retakes as it was not looking natural, " he said.

Directed by debutant Kooki Gulati, the film is about a quick-witted thief who wakes up one morning to realise that he has a gunshot on his arm and has absolutely no clue about how he got it because he has lost his memory.

Vivek, who has lost 12 kilos for the film, will be seen doing daring stunts in the film that needed rigorous physical training.

"I was a bit nervous doing some daredevil stunts in my film, which I had never done before. 'Prince...' is my first action film and will showcase me in a new avatar. It's a story that could be every man's fantasy and every man's nightmare, " he said.

"I have given my life, literally, for getting myself prepared for the stunts that are all done by me without substitutes and it increased the risk factor. I had to undergo five months' physical training, which included skate-boarding, stunt biking, cable training, marshal arts, kicks and punches.

I have jumped from a 32-storied building to a 28- storied building and that too on a bike, " he said.

"All the action scenes have been shot in Hollywood style which the audience will see for the first time, " Vivek added.

Even though the cast and crew of the film boasts of a number of newcomers starting from the director, the three female actresses, Aruna Shields, Nandana Sen and Niroo Singh, to music composer Sachin Gupta, Vivek doesn't take it as a baggage but instead as an opportunity.

"Yes you can say I am carrying the film on my shoulders with all the others being newcomers. But I don't take it as a burden; instead it's been an opportunity to nourish, explore myself better, " he said.

Vivek said that the change in appearance and choice of roles are a deliberate effort on his part.

"My look and role in movies like 'Kurbaan', 'Shootout At Lokhandwala', 'Prince' and even in future projects are very different from the other and that is my effort to evolve as a versatile actor and not get tagged in one genre, " he added.

Vivek is currently working on Ram Gopal Varma's "Rakta Charitra" and has two other films in the pipeline.

Deepika Padukone is very glamorous: Shraddha Das

Deepika Padukone is very glamorous: Shraddha DasThe leading lady of Lahore- Shraddha Das- recently breezed in Kolkata for the film's promotion. The actor speaks to Divyanshu Dutta Roy on her film and more Lahore was a pretty different start for your Hindi film career…

It was so exciting to start off with such a different kind of film. The international responses have been great and even here the reviews are so great. We made the film from the heart and the kind of appreciation we are getting is very heart warming.

You started your career with Telegu films and now a Hindi one…
Oh yes, I am definitely open to working in all languages. I'm doing a couple of films down South. It's the acting that matters to me.

Tell us about your role in the movie…
I play a Pakistani girl called Ida. She's the psychiatrist of the Pakistani team and she's the only one who seems to stand up against the teams blind thirst for victory. And she falls in love in with the Indian kickboxer (laughs)!

So how did you prepare for your role?
I think it was bit of a challenge for me to get into the character of a conservative Pakistani girl. I had to get the body language and also be familiar with their culture. It was different for me because I grew up in Mumbai. So I learnt a bit of Urdu, watched PTV and got familiar with the culture. It was nice.

And how did you enter the world of movies?
I was born and brought up in Mumbai, though both my parents are from Bengal. My dad's from Purulia and I used to come to Kolkata a lot as a child. I always wanted to be in showbiz. I did a course in Journalism and Mass Communication and then decided to enter the world of movies. I have done a couple of movies down south.

How did it feel to work with Aanaahad?
For me it was great. I think that as we were both newcomers, it was very comfortable for both us. We were both making the same kind of mistakes (laughs), we did the acting workshops together and we had a good chemistry.

Sanjay Chauhan is being seen as a very technically proficient director. How was it working with him?
It was a treat to work with Sanjay Chauhan. He's such a perfectionist and a tough taskmaster. He had a very clear idea of what he wanted. We got to learn a lot from him.

Lahore has been denied a release in Pakistan…
It's definitely regrettable. The Pakistani High Commissioner saw the film in Delhi, he liked it a lot. And it's not like there was blatant Pakistan-bashing in the film. It contains a very important message for both our countries.

Are you excited about the international achievements of the film…
Well, I couldn't go to a lot of these places. But it feels so great. It's like stamp of approval on the film. In the end however the love of audience is the important thing to me.

Among Bollywood stars, your favourites are…
I really like the way Deepika Padukone puts herself forward. She's very glamorous and yet maintains such a poise and dignity. And I also really like Rani Mukherjee.

Narendra Modi calls Big B's critics Taliban

Narendra Modi calls Big B`s critics TalibanThe Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Sunday accused the Congress of being "fascist" and "practising untouchability" with Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan because of his family differences with one "family of the party".

In hard-hitting remarks, party spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said the Congress has increasingly shown signs of frustration "that each one of its attempts to tarnish opposition leaders was failing."

"It is unabashed by practising untouchability, which can only come out of a fascist character. The way in which a well-known artist belonging to an eminent and scholarly family is being targeted is revealing.

Just because Shri Amitabh Bachchan's family has differences with one Congress family, the entire party and even the governments in states where they are in power are keen not even to be seen on one platform with him, " she said.

Though Sitharaman did not name the Congress family, the reference was to the Gandhi family, with whom the Bachchans were once close.

She said not only had the famous actor been targeted by the Congress but posters of his son Abhishek were removed from an Earth Hour function attended by Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit. "The Delhi chief minister called off an invitation extended to the son of the artist, " she alleged.

Seeking to draw comparison's with the Emergency, the spokesperson said: "the country has not forgotten the way in which eminent playback singer Kishore Kumar was targeted".

"All India Radio banned his songs for the entire year, during which the dictatorship under the Emergency held sway."

Referring to Congress expressing reservations over Bachchan's presence at the Mumbai-Worli Sea Link extension inauguration, she said the link belonged to the people of India and not to the Congress party.

Asked about the relationship between the BJP and Bachchan, she said: "We respect him as an artist".

On party leader V.K. Malhotra writing a letter to Indian Olympic Association president Suresh Kalmadi suggesting that Amitabh Bachchan should be made brand ambassador for the commonwealth Games, Sitharaman said the government should take the proposal seriously.

She said Bachchan's appeal cuts across all ages and he will be a very good brand ambassador for the games.

Bachchan was recently embroiled in a controversy when he attended the inauguration of the Bandra-Worli Sea Link's extension. Some Congress leaders protested over his having accepted the offer of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi to be the brand ambassador for the state.

Lashing out at those objecting to Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan's presence at a government function in Mumbai, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has dubbed them as "Talibans of untouchability".

Writing on his blog, Modi described 67-year-old Bachchan as a great artist with legendary humility and even taller achievements who has chosen to celebrate the glorious heritage of Gujarat even while facing a lot of criticism from many quarters. "This is inspiring", he said on Sunday.

Modi said the anti-Gujarat game plan behind the opposition and the controversy over senior Bachchan stood exposed in broad daylight now.

"These 'Talibans of Untouchability' have lost all their sensibilities in their pursuit of anti-Gujarat attitudes.

"They may well in future tell us not to eat even salt. They may even ban the eating of Amul butter and milk and order our young people not to wear denim jeans! And guess why? Because Gujarat produces these things," he said.

"Friends, my heart is still unwilling to believe that these Talibans are unaware of the damage they are causing to this nation and to our society," said Modi.

The Bollywood star also posted scanned copies of the official invite he received for the event on his blog, after Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan denied that he had invited the superstar. Bachchan said he was invited by a minister.

Chavan, who was to attend a Marathi literary conference in Pune, changed his programme and visited it a day earlier reportedly to avoid the actor, Bachchan said in his blog.

Bachchan in his blog Sunday also said that his actor-son, who was appointed brand ambassador by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) for Earth Hour, was dropped at the last minute and even his photo was not shown.

Katrina loses all inhibitions to become the hot Item girl

Katrina loses all inhibitions to become the hot Item girlBy Subhash K Jha

Not one to raise her voice, let alone act aggressive in public Katrina Kaif has pulled out all stops to play the item girl in Farah Khan's Tees Maar Khan. Suddenly her manner and speech have become more demonstrative and loud at Malshej Ghat where the film is being currently shot in the burning sun from 5 am every morning.

Says Katrina, “We start so early because we have to catch the sunlight before it gets unbearable between noon and 3 pm.”

The gruelling schedule partly explains Katrina's fatigued collapse on location last week. But the lady is relentless. She wants each of her item songs, all choreographed by Farah and her assistant Gita, to be completely different in look design and execution.

In her free time Katrina has been shopping for clothes and accessories for each of the item songs, the cheaper the better.

All the accessories for the item songs are being collected piece by piece, so that when Katrina actually gets down to performing these numbers her entire physical look down to the bangles and hair-band are pre-decided.

After Raajneeti where she had to change her voice, diction, clothes and body language completely to look and behave like a politician, Tees Maar Khan is Katrina's second role in a row where she needed a complete makeover very far removed from her comfort zone.

Going from poised politician in Raajneeti to brassy item girl in Tees Maar Khan has been quite a journey. Katrina has been slogging it out in the scorching sun.

She says, “It's a challenge doing a complete look for my character. I guess I learnt that from Raajneeti. Every accessory makes you feel more like the character.”

Katrina has also been catching up on all the best item numbers in Bollywood from Mumtaz's Tik tiki tik mera dil bole in Humjoli in 1970 to Bipasha Basu's Beedi jalayele in Omkara in 2006 to understand the genesis of the item girl in Bollywood.

Then there's co-star item-boy Akshay Kumar who has just performed an item song in Farah Khan's brother Sajid's Housefull.

Akshay has been teaching Katrina the art of losing one's inhibitions while dancing on camera.

Says Katrina, “But Akshay's was a remix (Apni to jaise taise from Lawaaris). All my songs in Tees Maar Khan are original no remixes for me.

I've always wanted to freak out on camera, to just get wild. This is my chance.”