Sidhu is king
Singh may be king for now, but make way, Akshay Kumar. The former India opening batsman, comic show co-host, TV commentator, BJP MP from Amritsar and, most important, the one and only Navjot Singh Sidhu announces his arrival on a different platform. The man debuts this September in the Punjabi film industry with Mera Pind (My Home). The movie stars Sidhu along with Punjabi singer-actor Harbhajan Mann. The film its music was officially released last week has Sidhu essaying the role of an affluent but happy-go-lucky NRI settled in a small Punjabi village who tries to bring in the message of self-empowerment to the villagers. With or without his one-liners?
Whats Saadat Hassan Manto got to do with the French? Quite a lot, it appears. Anila Gill a half-French, half-Indian academic based in Paris is ready with French translations of the master Urdu short story writer. French publishers Bleu Autour will soon publish Gills book which includes 16 short stories. Gill, who is doing her PhD from Sorbonne Nouvelle on Cities and Lives in the Works of Saadat Hassan Manto, has already published two booklets of Mantos works French translations of Thanda Gosht and Woh Ladki. Mantos stories are universal yet so very Indian or so very Indian, yet universal, she says, explaining why the French would love the Indian writer. With Mantos stories we enter the world of Bombay in the 30s and 40s, the film world and the red light district. These are everyday stories of ordinary or always extraordinary, as it appears people, she says. Gills got it right. Manto is universal.
Film in a film
Its an incestuous world and films are now promoting other films. Those who plan to see Singh is Kinng are in for a surprise. The theatres will now screen an exclusive promo of Sanjay Gadhvi's action-thriller Kidnap along with the Akshay Kumar starrer. And that should interest the audience this is Sanjay Dutts first major release this year and stars the new kid on the block, Imran Khan. This is also Gadhvis new movie after the pulse-pounding blockbuster Dhoom 2. This is one of those rare promos that will make you thirst for more! Sanjay Dutt plays the role of the richest Indian in the world, says a source from Shree Ashtavinayak Cine Vision Ltd, the banner under which the film is produced. And Khan? All that the source says is that Aamirs nephew has got a tattoo done on his neck. What is worrying is that will people still want to watch Singh is Kinng after all this?
Seems like Koel Puries career is finally hitting cruise gear. After a string of roles in several acclaimed movies such as Everybody Says Im Fine, White Noise and Mixed Doubles, Purie has finally made a grand entry of sorts. First up, shes the face of the new film show on TV called 50 Movies to See Before You Die, which she juggles with her other new TV presentation titled On the Couch with Koel. Then, her new film, the Farhan Akhtar-starrer Rock On, is about to hit the screens soon. And as if thats not all, shes been holding forth lately on how Amal, the Canadian production she recently acted in, has been winning awards in every film festival its being screened at. Tall talk? Or is Koel merely being kewl?
Gods own village is turning into a global village. The Malayalam film Aakasha Gopura, with Mohanlal in the lead, is blurring borders. Slated for release on August 22, the film is an international collaboration on all fronts. The music has been scored by John Altman of Golden Eye and Titanic fame. The sound design is by Nigel Holland, known for, among other films, Batman Begins and Braveheart. John Harvey and Jonathan Trussler of Kingdom of Heaven are behind the visual effects. Shot and post-produced entirely in the UK, the film directed by K.P. Kumaran is based on Henrik Ibsens play The Master Builder. If you have the right product, attracting the best of talent is not very difficult, says Manu S. Kumaran, the films producer. Now for the Oscar.