Raising a strong voice against the system, corrupt netas, dishonest cops, fraudulent land sharks and the corrupt practices in general has been a fav subject of dream merchants in Bollywood. Mehul Kumar's KRANTIVEER [Nana Patekar, Dimple Kapadia] is best remembered, among other things, for Nana's fiery performance and his outburst in the finale, when he's about to be hanged in public. I distinctly recall, the single screens [there weren't multiplexes then] reverberated with ceetees and taalis when Nana delivered those acidic lines.

KRANTIVEER - THE REVOLUTION remains faithful to the core issue. This time, it's Nana and Dimple's screen daughter Jahan who takes the onus of fighting the politicians, land sharks and corporate honchos who take the common man for a royal ride. That's not all, Jahan even 'awakens' a harassed housewife who is assaulted in full public view by her errant husband. Quite a hothead!

KRANTIVEER worked for various reasons, but a strong reason was it being amongst the early films to raise a voice against injustice and malpractices. Post KRANTIVEER, there has been a barrage of films that have followed a similar path. That's why KRANTIVEER - THE REVOLUTION, despite the right intentions, doesn't stand out. However, the provocative dialogue and the reference to 26/11 do catch your attention in its second half.

The young daughter of the man responsible for the last revolution, Pratap [Nana Patekar], is now wielding the power of media as a fearless journalist. Roshni has inherited not only the courage and sting of her legendary father, but also the spirited lingo and the indomitable style.

Roshni acts as a pivot of the revolution and gets along her determined neighbour Vishal [Sameer Aftab] and college mates Uday [Harsh Rajput] and Goldie [Aditya Singh Rajput]. The story takes all of them on a mission to rid the present society of the evils, a revolution for cleaning the system.

While the plotline is easy to guess, the execution of a few sequences do make a difference. Veteran Mehul Kumar handles the plot like a complete expert, more so towards the second hour, which has some engrossing moments. Sachin-Jigar's music is okay, with the birthday song being the pick of the lot.

Jahan delivers a fiery performance and remains true to her character. She does a wonderful job. Sameer Aftab is decent. Aditya and Harsh are okay. Govind Namdeo and Mukesh Tiwari enact their villainous parts with ease. Ashok Samarth stands out in the confrontation sequence after the interval. Farida Jalal [as Jahan's granny] is as usual. Hiten Paintal is competent. Aman Verma plays the lecherous corporate bigwig well. Ranjeet, Darshan Jariwala, Avtar Gill and Suhasini Mulay feature in brief roles.

Jealous of Ranbir, Imran is not doing a sex-comedy

Jealous of Ranbir, Imran is not doing a sex-comedyImran Khan, who is starring in his uncle Aamir Khan's production Delhi Belly, revealed that the film is like the Hollywood blockbuster Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.

Refuting rumours that the film is a sex comedy along the lines of American Pie, Imran said it is actually a comic caper like the Guy Ritchie film. It is set in Delhi and tracks a few youngsters who get caught in a tight situation.

Delhi Belly will have the same kind of treatment as Lock but will be different as it is set in the context of Delhi unlike the Hollywood film which was set in London.

Talking about his old friend Ranbir, Imran said, "I find Ranbir a very exciting actor to watch. He's a damn good dancer. He is a better dancer than I am. I don't have that natural flair. I need to work and rehearse. He doesn't rehearse. I am always jealous of people who dance well."

However, Imran doesn’t rule out the fact that the two are really close to each other. “We don't discuss scripts but we are very upfront about (each other`s) films. He called me after watching ‘Luck’ and said that it was damn bad,” revealed Imran. Meanwhile, Imran's next release is Dharma Productions' I Hate Luv Storys with Sonam Kapoor. The film hits screens on July 2.

Revealed: Cell Phone Phobias of the Bollywood Hotties

Revealed: Cell Phone Phobias of the Bollywood HottiesGone are the days when the yesteryear stars, including those who held sway till the 90's, were blessed with only a landline, which was always manned personally by them, when at home.

So much so that even their secretaries or houseboys hardly dared to meddle with their telephonic chores unless their Sahabs or Madams were busy shooting outdoors. And those days the outdoor locales extended only as far as Kashmir, Shimla or Darjeeling.

Thanks to the technological revolution today, stars can now be tracked down even if they are shooting in a remote corner of the world.

Yet, they never felt as insecure as they do now. This has made the task of the film scribes much more difficult. The first thing they have to do to break the communication barrier is to get the latest cell numbers of the stars, which keeps on changing..

Time to unravel their cellular secrets. Let's begin with Jackie Shroff aka Jaggu Dada. He is the only star who has not changed his number after going mobile.

Also, he makes it a point to answer all his calls with the same standard opening line, 'Haan bol biddu, kaise yaad kiya?' He could be at the other end of the globe, yet he patiently answers all his callers and assures that he would do the needful only on returning back home.

One actress with an unusual phone phobia is Bipasha Basu {Bips!}. When yours truly, after several attempts, finally managed to track her on phone, she avoided prolonging the conversation saying: “You have caught me on a wrong day as I have been hospitalized for a serious ailment. I generally don't take calls, but if it's necessary just send me a SMS. I will definitely get back to you.” Definitely, Ms Bips!

The story repeats for her hunky beefcake beau John Abraham. Every time I managed to get him on the mobile, he would give a similar excuse no matter what the time or the date.

“You have caught me on a wrong day as I am in a hospital attending to a friend who has been hospitalized for a serious ailment. Besides I have made a conscious decision of not giving any interviews till my next release comes up.” Now, now guys you can put two and two together and draw your own conclusions. Okay!

Then there are two other stars, who never take their calls directly Sunjay Dutt and Suniel Shetty unless they know a scribe on a one to one level. But for first timers and strangers, they see to it that the caller's message is not only delivered to them, but action is promptly taken.

Sunjay Dutt's Man Friday not only receives the call, but also fixes up a proper appointment for you and rests only when he plonks you right in front of the Deadly Dutt. And the same holds true in case of Anna alias Suniel Shetty. Of course with his own Man Friday gracefully coordinating the whole affair.

While former Miss. Universe Sushmita Sen's houseboy really gets on your nerves as he always cradles the cell phone and delivers a clich├ęd round the clock reply.

“Memsaab so rahi hain ji.”

Queen Bee Rani Mukherjee and the ravishing Raveena Tandon too never answer their calls directly. The former makes her mother and the latter makes her secretary to do the needful.

On the other hand the gorgeous Bollywoodian diva Rekha's Man oops Woman Friday Farzana does gets back to you only when you send her, first a detailed SMS and then your detailed requirements or rather the core of your story and that too funnily enough both on her pager! Mademoiselle Rekha and Farzana still seem to be living in Stone Age!

Next, when I had tried to contact Faffy dear oops Aftab Shivdasani, he was holidaying alone, or so he wanted me or every caller to believe, in South Africa. So naturally his mobile had a recorded message.

“Call my mom on…..” I did and then thankfully his mother Joyce Shivdasani not only attended my call, but also delivered my message on the South African hotel number of the 'Mast' and 'Masti' bhara actor. Who promptly called me back from his overseas sojourn and instantly fixed up the interview session for the day he would land up on the home terrain.

So once he reached Mumbai he called me up on my cell and asked me too meet him up at the airport. The interview was done in his car on his way back home.

But then trust Akki aka Akshay Kumar for his constant cellular pranks. The moment I dialed his number 'His Masters Voice' boomed in my ears, “ Hi! I'm Akshay Kumar and you know what to do?' Yes. I knew. I left a message for him in his voice mailbox and forgot about it.

The next thing I knew was that his Woman Friday Ms Pooja started hounding me on my cell phone that too at unearthly hours for 'fixing' up an interview almost akin to a match-fixing syndrome. But alas! The interview never happened until I was on the verge of tearing my hairs apart.

As in the meanwhile the action hero had safely left for one of his foreign shoots. And finally before I could heave a sigh of relief, Akki Baba gave me a midnight jolt by making an overseas apologetic call with the option, “Can we do a telephonic interview now?”

Since I was already bugged by his pranks, I politely declined his generous 'overseas' offer then. The reward: An excellent vibing with him since then with no more mobile pranks repetition.

Last but not the least is the father and son duo of Suresh and Vivek Oberoi in tandem with their joint Woman Friday.

So just as an absentee student lands up in school with a medical certificate first she and then Papa Oberoi always return my calls with an excusable cellular medical report on behalf of their always-recuperating Jr. Oberoi's sickly state of affairs.

Until I had finally caught up with the healthy looking Vivek at a Mumbai premiere. Oberoi Baba clarified, “Don't you trust them? You see I have now been nicknamed a china doll, by one and all, as I keep having this great humpty dumpty fall.” Needless to say I was dumbfounded.

So the ultimate analysis of the Bollywoodian stars Cell phone phobia is that after all these and more 'accidental' and typically funny, filmy cellular encounters I think that I have turned over a new leaf, from a veteran freelancing scribe to an amateur freelancing cellular jockey. Period!

Sridevi is the most beautiful, most sexiest woman God ever created: Ram Gopal Varma

Sridevi is the most beautiful, most sexiest woman God ever  created: Ram Gopal VarmaRGV is obsessed with Boney Kapoor's wife and desperately wants to work with her. She hasn't returned any of his SMSes. He hopes a handwritten letter will have better luck.

Ram Gopal Varma has written a letter to Sridevi expressing his desire to work with her in one of his productions. The director wanted Boney's biwi to act in his film Shaque, directed by his assistant Rumina.

In the past too, RGV has offered her some films, but she'd begged off. This time he decided to get her attention, and convince her by writing to her.

Ramu has even admitted to having a huge crush on the actress and has been obsessed with the idea of working with her. When the subject of Shaque came up -- a story of marital discord between a husband and wife -- Ramu immediately thought of Sri.

Says a source, "When she didn't respond to his text messages, he sent her a letter talking about the film and his desire to work with her."

When contacted, Ramu claims he hasn't sent her a letter but admits to posting one on his blog. "Yes it's a letter expressing my feelings about her as an actress. I just felt whatever I wanted to and wrote on my blog." He isn't aware if she has read the letter."

He further adds that the Shaque script is still in the works and he hasn't approached Sri for it yet.

Ramu's letter on his blog
So straight from her super stardom and magazine covers and her dazzling beauty on the silver screen, I saw her in Boney's house serving tea like an ordinary housewife. I hated Boney Kapoor for bringing that angel from heaven down to being just an ordinary housewife.

I don't go to Boney's house these days because I can't bear to see Sridevi in a realistic house, in a realistic atmosphere and with realistic people around. For me, she is like a highly precious diamond which should be seen only in beautiful settings or in exotic locations and only in the surroundings of cinematic brilliance.

Sridevi is the most beautiful, most sexiest woman God ever created and I think he creates such exquisite pieces of art like her only once in a million years.

So what if Boney has the real Sri in his house...? I have her captured as a cinematic goddess in the temple of my mind -camera and as a divine angel in the heart of my celluloid dreams.

I thank god for creating Sridevi and I thank Louis Lumiere for creating the movie camera to capture her beauty forever.

Raavan Movie Review

RaavanStarring: Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Govinda, Ravi Kissen and introducing Vikram

Director: Mani Ratnam

Rating: ***1/2

Since the time of the announcement of Mani Ratnam’s Raavan, curiosity about how India’s most accomplished filmmaker manages to do a modern day adaptation of the mythological epic, Ramayan, has known no bounds. Thankfully, Mani succeeds in his own inimitable way. His team’s painstaking hard work shows in every frame of the film and his actors help him raise the film’s bar.

The film opens with policemen killed at various places around Lal Maati, a small town in Northern India. This is followed by abduction of the local police chief Dev’s (Vikram) wife Raagini (Aishwarya Rai). The dreaded low cast tribal lord Beera (Abhishek) is behind the kidnapping.

Dev (Vikram) immediately gets hot on the trail of Beera with trusted lieutenant Hemant (Nikhil Dwivedi) and seeks the help of the jovial forest guard Sanjeevani (Govinda).

Beera knows the dense jungle like the back of his hand and is helped by the tribals, managing to stay just one step ahead of Dev and his team.

But as the cat and mouse chase proceeds between Beera and Dev, the initial hate of Raagini for Beera subsides. As Dev inches closer, the near maniacal Beera shows he has a heart too and Raagini almost loses hers to him. What follows after Beera and Dev come face to face forms the rest of the film.

Taking on a mega epic like Ramayan and turning it on its head giving his own personal interpretation, Mani Ratnam dares to depart from the religious text and succeeds in showcasing how Ram can be a Raavan and how a Raavan can also be a Ram.

Aided by the best technical crew of Indian cinema, Mani has made his multilayered film, a technical marvel to watch with awe. The first half moves on rapidly mostly focusing on Dev’s chase of Beera, but however it gets boring beyond a point since the story hardly moves ahead.

Mani also fails to establish the exact setting of the outlaws. Are they Naxals or a modern day Robin hood gang? But it is the beginning of the second half where Mani begins to pack his solid punches and achieves the peak with an unusual climax.

Beera’s background (the reason for Raagini’s abduction), Dev’s impatience to grab Beera, Raagini’s gradual change of perception about Beera and eventually the final face off between Dev and Beera have all been terrifically captured.

Abhishek is nothing short of brilliant, portraying Beera. If you thought Abhishek delivered his best under Mani in Yuva and Guru, watch Raavan for his evolvement into an actor of true caliber. Aishwarya Rai delivers a top notch act.

Makeup less and forever battered and bruised, Aishwarya’s eyes convey a lot more than the shrieking her character has to resort to most of the time.

Vikram unfortunately is saddled with a one dimensional character for most part of the film until the climactic punch. He looks fearless and arouses enough curiosity as an actor to watch him play Beera in the Tamil version of the film.

Govinda as Sanjeevani brings on the much required comic relief in the tense proceedings and succeeds. Ravi Kissen grabs the opportunity to impress with both his hands and does well. Priyamani playing Beera’s sister, in her brief role manages to bring out the pathos of her unfortunate character.

Mani takes you to virgin locations within India never exposed before on screen. Be it the thick dense forests in Kerala or the same state’s dangerous Athirappally Waterfalls or the exotic Orcha in Madhya Pradesh and Malshej Ghat valley in Maharashtra, Santosh Sivan and Manikandan’s camera captures it all with super finesse. The action finale on the hanging bridge, a never seen before feat in Indian cinema makes your heart skip a beat.

Oscar winner A.R. Rahman’s music coupled with Gulzar’s lyrics is mesmerizing but Mani hardly gives any time for any song to register any impact, as if in a quick hurry.

The subtle statement Mani incorporates against the system on behalf of the low caste have-nots is laudable but could have been a little more elaborate.

Nevertheless, as Mani Ratnam’s metaphoric interpretation of the grand epic, Raavan definitely deserves a visit to your nearest cinema hall for its plusses certainly over ride its minuses.

Race 2 gets hotter: Priyanka Chopra to join Kareena

Race 2 gets hotter: Priyanka Chopra to join KareenaIf the buzz in the industry is to be believed, then Kareena Kapoor will be joined by none other than Priyanka Chopra in Race 2.

Priyanka is apparently very excited about being a part of the thriller and is busy working out her dates. Priyanka is currently busy with Saat Khoon Maaf, after which she will shoot for Don 2 and then for Khatron Ke Khiladi.

Meanwhile, Katrina Kaif and Bipasha Basu, the female leads in Race, will not be reprising their roles in the sequel.


Kareena Kapoor to play sex worker

Kareena to play a sex-worker in `Heera Mandi`Kareena Kapoor and Sanjay Leela Bhansali will finally be working together on Sanjay's next film after Guzaarish. The two had been hoping to work together for a long time but their plans fell through every time. Once Kareena returns from shooting for Agent Vinod in Morocco, the two will meet and finalise their project together.

Kareena and Sanjay were supposed to work on a film on Mahatma Gandhi's son after Devdas, but circumstances forced Sanjay to shelve the film.

They then planned Bajirao Mastain with Salman Khan, but that had to be scrapped after Kareena and Salman's Kyon Ki flopped.

Then Sanjay got busy with Black and Kareena could not be a part of it as her sister Karisma and Black's male lead Amitabh Bachchan's son Abhishek had just broken their engagement. But now, it seems the two will finally get together.


Aamir turned down KBC 4 but why did Big B accept it?

Aamir turned down KBC 4 but why did Big B accept it?Allright! He may have said in an interview to a news channel that he was never offered 'Kaun Banega Crorepati 4' in the first place, but it's no secret that Sony Entertainment Television and BIG Synergy were keen on working with Bollywood's Mr. Perfectionist, Aamir Khan.

A prominent Mumbai tabloid had first reported on Aamir Khan being offered the show. Producer Siddhart Basu was quoted saying that Sony Pictures, which owns the format, might have had an initial discussion with Aamir.

The actor's spokesperson too had neither confirmed nor denied the story. In another report, Basu claimed that Aamir is one individual who he would like to work with.

Just few weeks back, the buzz in the air was that it will be Aamir who will make his TV debut as the host of 'Kaun Banega Crorepati 4'.

Rumour has it that a popular news channel was even going to go ahead and break this news. However, everyone was shocked when it was learnt that it won't be Aamir but Amitabh Bachchan who will host the show. We were the first to report this story.

Well, it just wasn't the public, but we too were taken by surprise by this development. Earlier, we'd broken the news of Khan being offered two projects – KBC 4 and orginal concept. However, it was KBC that he was expected to sign. So what went wrong then?

A industry insider says, “Look while there was no formal offer, top officials from Sony did meet the actor. As always, Aamir takes his own time to respond.

Unfortunately, for Sony, Aamir turned it down. He felt that doing TV is an enormous task. Aamir was simply of the view that he's not ready to take up such big responsibility as yet. Besides, he didn't have the time as he'll be busy, looking after his home productions.”

Second choice simply doesn't exist in the Bollywood superstar's lexicon. After reading all about, Khan, why did Amitabh Bachchan accept the show then?

“If it's KBC and Big B, there's simply no question of a second choice. Let's not forget that it's Bachchan who had propelled the show both in season one and two. Besides, I don't think Mr. Bachchan has any airs. Sony is confident that with Bachchan back as host, KBC will get the same numbers as it did for Star, ” added the source.

Well, speculations, comparison, and theories around KBC won't end. Now that Bachchan is back at the helm, the viewers will simply say, “Let's play' Kaun Banega Crorepati'!