Screen On & Off

Fun on a musical run Messiah in town Over to Washington Tom tom

By The Telegraph Online
  • Published 19.04.05

Fun on a musical run

Indian cinema is surely coming of age. New themes and fresh treatment are the movie mantra for the new-age Bollywood director. And Shaad Ali Sahgal is definitely one of them, whose second film (after Saathiya) Bunty Aur Babli is more than just a rehash of Bonnie And Clyde. The film marks the coming together of the Western theme of a road caper and the tradition of the Indian song-and-dance routine. No wonder the tagline ? ?A cool desi musical?.

The music of the film is already out and if the sound of the musical is anything to go by, the sight should rock too. With a touch of Oliver Stone?s Natural Born Killers thrown in, Shaad?s new film revolves around Bunty (Abhishek Bachchan) and Babli (Rani Mukherjee) who don several disguises to con innocent people while always on the run from the police. Amitabh Bachchan, who plays the cop chasing the two, also introduces the characters on the soundtrack: ?aur (do) aisa karte the jaisa kisine nahin kiya aur nahin kar payenge.

With Gulzar penning the words and Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy setting the tunes, Bunty Aur Babli makes for some very interesting listening. From rustic roots to urban urge, the soundtrack has mixed flavours of all the places that Bunty and Babli travel to. Also, true to the current trend, there is an English version of the title track, called B n B, which is a rap by Blaaze. The saucy soundtrack also brings back Alisha Chinai after quite some time.

As for the film, it?s still some time left (last week of May or early June) before Bunty Aur Babli hits the halls. Abhishek reportedly lost 13 kg to look trim and prim for the role with his stylisation done by fashion designer Aki Narula. And as for the images, our very own Abhik Mukhopadhyay, known for his crisp cinematography in Rituparno Ghosh?s films, is behind the viewfinder.

Messiah in town

A new serial killer on the small screen. AXN?s new serial from the platinum showcase Messiah is a two-part mini-series to be aired on April 19 and April 26. Messiah revolves around detective Red Metcalfe who has a special gift of getting into the minds of killers.

When a serial killer starts stalking the streets of London, attacking and leaving his victims with their tongues removed and a silver spoon inserted in their mouths, Red realises that there is a bizarre connection between the murders ? the killer is re-enacting the deaths of the 12 apostles.

Based on Boris Starling?s best-selling psychological thriller, Messiah stars Ken Scott (Shallow Grave, Plunkett & Macleane) and Kieran O?Brien (Band of Brothers, Coronation Street), who will bring this story of terrifying murders, intrigue and drama. Part one is this Tuesday at 10 pm.

Chandrayee and Sabyasachi star in Mahulbonir Sereng: Westward bound

Over to Washington

After the 13th Brisbane International Film Festival 2004, Sekhar Das?s Mahulbonir Sereng (Songs of Mahulboni) has travelled to Filmfest DC in Washington. It will be screened as part of a special series titled Beijing to Bollywood comprising films from India and China.

Starring Rupa Ganguly, Sabyasachi Chak-rab-orty, Chandrayee Ghosh and Pijush Ganguly, Mahulbonir Sereng is set against the backdrop of a forest where the rift between the rural and urban comes to the fore. The 90-minute film was also screened at the 35th International Film Festival of India held in December last year.

In Washington, Mahulbonir Sereng will be shown on April 19 and 20, where director Das is slated to appear along with Rupa Ganguly.

Among the other Indian films that have gained access to the 12-day festival include Rituparno Ghosh?s Raincoat and Chokher Bali, Sanjay Leela Bhansali?s Black, K. Asif?s Mughal-e-Azam, Mahesh Dattani?s Morning Raga and Mani Ratnam?s Dil Se.

Tom Hanks: Everywhere

Tom tom

There?s Tom Hanks on the small and big screens in April, at least in Calcutta. While Polar Express is playing at a multiplex, the Oscar-winning The Green Mile is playing on STAR Movies. Although he?s more animation than actor in Polar Express, the prison drama has Hanks playing one of the main characters.

The multiple-Oscar-nominated The Green Mile was adapted from Stephen King?s prison novel and went on to gross $286,801,374 worldwide.

Paul Edgecomb (Hanks) is a cynical veteran prison-guard on death row in the 1930s. Enter John Coffey (Michael Clarke Duncan), who?s eight-feet tall with hands the size of waffle irons. He?s accused of murdering two children and afraid to sleep in a cell without a night-light.

Prison guards Edgecomb, sympathetic Brutus (David Morse) and the violent Percy (Doug Hutchinson) are in for a strange experience that involves intelligent mice, brutal executions and the revelation about John?s innocence and his true identity.

Here?s some trivia ? originally set in 1932, the time-frame was bumped up to 1935 so the movie Top Hat (1935) could be featured. In reality, the height difference between Morse and Duncan is less than an inch. Among other things, creative camera angles were used to create the illusion that the character of John Coffey towered over Brutus Howell. Catch it on STAR Movies at 1.55 am on April 24.