A Few Fabulous Films to Look Forward To…
WOW, it seems unbelievable, but it is almost the end of 2008 and January 09 is fast approaching. I can hardly hide my excitement, since there are a few Hindi films coming out in the new year that I just cannot wait to watch. A nice bag of masala popcorn – I make my own VERY easily and gladly share the recipe in this week’s Recipes section – a hearty red wine, or a cup of steaming chai if it’s too early for wine or your cinema doesn’t allow outside beverages… Well, my neighborhood joint doesn’t either, but whoever said “rules are meant to be broken” was obviously speaking to me! So, grab your coat, your best friend and your masala mix and check out this vast array of great entertainment.
“LUCK BY CHANCE” is the feature directorial debut of Zoya Akhtar, who is also the writer on this project. But Ms. Akhtar is far from being a newbie at making films, as she has been executive producer on the Bollywood hit “Lakshya”, has been a casting director on several major projects and even wrote the Mira Nair directed “Migration”, a thought-provoking short film which was shown in NYC as part of “AIDS Jaago” and was used in India as an educational tool, before feature films, to spread the word about the dangers of AIDS. But her artistic legacy does not stop there. If her last name sounds familiar to those of you who know Hindi cinema, it’s because her brother Farhan Akhtar is the master director behind such wonderful films as “Dil Chahta Hai”, “Don” with Shah Rukh Khan and “Lakshya” itself. She is also the daughter of renowned poet, lyricist and writer Javed Akhtar and screenwriter Honey Irani. Well, you now get the picture, the whole picture of this family being a cinematic dynasty! The film, planned for a later January release, stars Farhan Akhtar in a lead role again, which is lucky for us considering how wonderful he was in this summer’s hit “Rock On!!” And the talented Konkona Sensharma, opposite Mr. Akhtar, with Rishi Kapoor, Dimple Kapadia – reunited after “Bobby” and “Saagar” – and Hrithik Roshan in featured roles. Add in a brilliant script, about the fringe players in the Indian film industry, and I believe they’ve got a WINNER. But don’t trust me, check out the trailer for the film, which is linked to the title above.
“Delhi-6″ is the latest film by “Rang De Basanti” director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra. To say that I loved RDB would be selling the film short. I saw it with my dearest friend Ravi at the historic Raj Mandir cinema in Jaipur and the ending left me in a puddle of tears. I had to be lead out of the cinema, still overwhelmed by emotions, only to find Ravi’s driver outside in the parking lot, backing up his little tricked-up, western-style Maruti (complete with bull horns) to the title song of “Dhoom”. Who knew they made ringtones for cars?! Thank goodness because the absurd aspect of the whole thing lightened up my mood and got me laughing again. But back to “Delhi 6″ and the wonderful casting coup of combining fan-favorite Abhishek Bachchan with relative newcomer Sonam Kapoor – the star of last year’s personal favorite “Saawariya” and Anil Kapoor‘s daughter. If the name Anil Kapoor doesn’t have the same Bollywood superstar meaning for you that it does for me, then maybe reminding you that he plays the seedy game show host Prem Kumar in “Slumdog Millionaire” will help. If that doesn’t help either, then what are you doing reading my blog?? Anyway, A.R. Rahman, who incidentally also scored Slumdog, is the music director on the film, and with Mehra’s love for his beloved Delhi in the mix, this promises to be an unforgettable film.
Last but not least, there is “Dev.D” by Anurag Kashyap. There isn’t a film I have been waiting to see longer than this, and that’s because I knew of its existence long before all the others. I had the wonderful opportunity to meet Mr. Kashyap in person, in LA last spring, and having absolutely adored his previous films “Black Friday” - a very poignant film especially today, considering the Bombay Attacks last month – and “No Smoking”, I cannot wait for his updated, personal and dark rendition of the Devdas classic, starring the handsome and talented Abhay Deol in the title role. This film was supposed to open on January 9th but is now scheduled for the second week in February, with a music release date of January 10th. But I still absolutely urge you to view this film on its opening weekend. Lets show Mr. Kashyap that he is beloved by intelligent people and that his wonderfully innovative work does not go unnoticed… At least not among the readers of The Ajnabee.
Images courtesy of Excel Entertainment Pvt. Ltd and UTV Motion Pictures