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Screen On & Off

Term at the terminal

He arrives in a new country to seek asylum, but ends up living in the airport terminal itself ' a case of reel life imitating real life. In The Terminal, the latest Tom Hanks-Steven Spielberg venture, the Oscar-winning actor plays Viktor Stavorski, who escapes from his troubled European nation.

When he arrives at New York's bustling John F. Kennedy Airport, he can't get through customs because his country has broken out into war and the US doesn't recognise the rogue government. So he can't leave the building, and takes up residence within. Although not an exact depiction, it is loosely based on the life of Alfred Merhan (or Merhan Karimi Nasseri as he is believed to be), an Iranian who has been residing in France's Charles de Gaulle airport for over 16 years.

But while Merhan has become a mascot of sorts for the airport and the authorities have no inclination to turn him out, Hanks is hounded by the airport manager (Stanley Tucci). The airport as address has its pluses ' Hanks falls in love with an unstable airhostess (Catherine Zeta-Jones).

This venture might not be on the same scale as most Spielberg films, but it is an attempt to capture real lives and relationships. As Hanks potters around the airport, he steers others and himself on the road to discovery.

Kim Sharma: Laloo's ladli

Bowled over

She has faced some real snorters (from both critics and crowds) but has somehow managed to resurface and face the next delivery. In fact, cricket has become somewhat synonymous with Kim Sharma, ever since she was seen playing games with Team India's handsome hunk Yuvraj Singh. On the film front too, Kim's form matches the low-scoring southpaw.

After both Kehta Hai Dil Baar Baar and Tumse Achha Kaun Hai (never mind if you haven't heard of them) flopped big time, Kim was thought to have retired hurt from Bollywood. But she did return (in bikini and less) for a sexy cameo in Ken Ghosh's (flop, again) Fida.

Now she plays Laloo's love interest in the forthcoming Mahesh Manjrekar comedy Padmashree Laloo Prasad Yadav. And the Laloo in question is not hamaar railway minister (who does make a guest appearance in the film) but Suniel Shetty's character.

In fact, Kim reportedly had a big role in convincing the charismatic politician to face the arclights. And she wasn't allowed to return empty-handed from Patna. Lalooji (the real one, this time) and CM wife Rabri Devi presented the actress with a bottle of home-made mustard oil and mango pickle. And in true Yuvi style, our lady was bowled over. All out for no loss'

Nehra and Parthiv: Game show

Child's play

At 10 am on Sunday, a new chapter in Indian televiewing unfolded with Hungama, the first channel for children entirely in Hindi. Targeted at Indian kids between four and 14 years, the channel has on offer a pot pourri of drama, adventure, sci-fi, game shows, comedy, animation, topped with movies. The star of the inaugural show, Tiger, is 'a wild car, not a wild cat' which solves mysteries, in the words of Purnendu Bose, COO, Hungama TV.

Monday's mix promises to be as intriguing. At 5 pm, there is Gol Gol Gulam, a game show on a giant fairy wheel, in which the kids decide on the prizes they take home even before they get rolling. Karthika, a serialised drama from the Balaji Telefilms stable, traces the dreams of a 15-year-old aspiring to be Mumbai's Madonna at 6.30 pm.

If kids are the viewers, can cricket be far behind' Full Toss celebrates gully cricket with the likes of Ashish Nehra, Parthiv Patel, Ajit Agarkar and Harbhajan Singh captaining 16 school teams across the country.

The launch over, it is now time to receive feedback and the 20 young Hungama TV captains, chosen after a nationwide hunt, are getting busy to file their reports. Mohana Mondal, a Class VII student of Patha Bhavan, is representing Calcutta in the senior section. 'Our deadline is October 15,' said the member of Hungama's associate board of directors.

Sholay in cell

If you thought mega movies were only for the big and small screens, think again. The screen has shrunk for one of the all-time classics, and how.

GP Sippy's grandsons are celebrating 29 years of the release of Sholay (and 90 of the old man), with the celebrations spilling on to your mobile phone screens.

Goodies on offer include a multi-level game, customised dialogues as SMS alerts, ringtones, wallpapers and video clips from the Amjad-Amitabh-Dharmendra-Sanjeev Kumar starrer.

In the Sholay Ramgarh Express game, you as Thakur must shoot at dacoits from a moving train and as Veeru, shove in in coal to keep the engine from dying down ' just like in the movie ' to win. And yes, the ringtone will taunt 'Arrey o Sambha, phone to utha!'

Airtel will be the first to roll out the Sholay treat across India, with Hutch and other GSM operators following. 'It doesn't get bigger than Sholay,' says Rajiv Hiranandani of Mobile2win, which is providing the phone content.

Next in line, an all-colour Mughal-e-Azam on your mobile' Why not!

Movie mayhem

A new name, a new logo and a brand new look. Sahara Manoranjan, rechristened SaharaOne, is set for a facelift with a revamped bouquet of programmes from October 10.

The move is part of parent body Sahara India Pariwar's Rs 1,500-crore expansion plans. The umbrella banner SaharaOne will include four businesses: Motion Pictures, Radio, Television and Special Projects.

Motion Pictures, the film production house, has tied up with film producers and directors like Ram Gopal Varma and Boney Kapoor to roll out 46 films at a total investment of Rs 185 crore in the next one year. The group plans to increase the number of films to 80 by 2005. A dedicated film channel hits the beam from January next year. This apart, the group is developing a state-of-the-art digital film production facility and an academy for film and television.

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