Reworked out of a shelved documentary on illegal sex-horror films in the lower depths of Bollywood, Miss Lovely by Ashim Ahluwalia, is a startling piece of cinema that explores a sordid tale of betrayal and doomed love. His first narrative feature, the film is an ode to renegade film making that flouts genre conventions to conjure up a world that very few of us have access to.
The film follows Vicky and Sonu Duggal, played by Anil George and Nawazuddin Siddiqui, two brothers struggling to produce illegal sex-horror films in the mid 1980s. It explores the intense and mutually destructive relationship between the Duggal brothers and a struggling actress Pinky, played by Niharika Singh.
"The story does take place in the dark, lower depths of the industry, so this is not the kind of space that we usually depict in our films. It is a very adult film that explores sexuality and violence and the things that people do to each other when they are struggling to make it in a city. I'm happy that the censor board didn't ban it and, instead, eventually opted to grant it very few cuts", adds the director.
After winning the Best Film Award at the 14th Mumbai International Film Festival, and Best Feature Film Award at the 11th Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles and the official selection of Un Certain Regard in Cannes Film Festival, Miss Lovely is all set for a January 17 release.
Each film that releases loses a major chunk in box-office revenues to piracy, a problem that has been, is and most probably will be one of the major issues plaguing Bollywood. However, the makers of the soon to release Dhoom 3, Yash Raj Films (YRF) have decided to combat piracy in a rather futuristic way.
In fact YRF has taken a strong stance of going digital with a mere handful number of prints of the film, with the idea being to try and shift exhibitors to the digital wagon. Early this year YRF announced that there would be no physical reels of Dhoom 3 and hence exhibitors keen to showcase the film should make the technological shift.
Even though there could be repercussions as most single screens were not equipped, Aditya Chopra was certain that theaters would make the shift to ensure they screen a big banner franchise film with an eclectic cast starring Aamir Khan, Katrina Kaif, Abhishek Bachchan and Uday Chopra.
Dhoom 3 will release on the digital and UFO digital cinemas. This will help prevent piracy to a very large extend. Even if one manages to cheat, the prints are water-marked and finger-printed hence, can easily be traced back. With this move, piracy has been curbed to a large extend. It will be very difficult for piracy to prolong and audiences will have to visit theatres to watch the film. This will ensure more ticket sales.
Alternatively even the satellite rights of the film will be high as this is the only other opportunity for viewers to catch the film.
Debutant Elli Avram's belly dancing caught the fancy of national television audience on the reality TV show Bigg Boss and now the actress will be performing at BIG Star Entertainment Awards' on 'Mashallah' from Ek Tha Tiger and 'Aga Bai' from Aiyyaa.
A source tells us, "Elli is good not only at belly dancing, but also other classical forms of dancing and it's so prominent in her dance rehearsals. Everyone is now looking forward to her first live show performance."
The makers will also conceptualize her dance performance, skit and have planned a thematic entry sequence. The source adds, "Since Elli is Swedish- Greek, she will be emerging from a shell just like Greek Goddess Aphrodite, who is a goddess of love and beauty."
Unarguably one of Indian cinema's greatest films, Sholay which released in 1975 is all set for a new release in the 3D format. Producer Jayantilal Gada is responsible for taking Sholay to a new level. But without the director's consent.
The technological conversion has not gone down well with this monumental film's director Ramesh Sippy who has not only decided to dissociate himself completely from the project but also opted to take the producers of Sholay 3D to court.
Speaking for the first time on the issue, the soft spoken Ramesh Sippy said, "My logic for taking the matter to court is very simple. No one asked me before converting my film to a new format. No one took me into confidence. There was no attempt to contact me. I read about it in the papers. I had no choice but to go to court."
Mr. Sippy says he has no inclination to see Sholay converted into 3D. "3D was available to me when I made Sholay. When I started work on Sholay, I had the choice of making it either in 3D or 70mm Stereophonic Sound. I chose the latter format. If I wanted to make Sholay in 3D I would have done so."
The filmmaker known for his landmark motions pictures including Seeta Aur Geeta, Sholay, Shakti and Saagar further adds, "I am against anyone doing anything to my film without my knowledge or consent. And the truth is I've gone to court on the issue. Therefore saying anything more on the issue would not be appropriate at this point of time."
While Ramesh Sippy has decided to stay away from all activity related to the release of Sholay 3D, Salim Khan and Javed Akhtar who wrote Sholay have been seen promoting the film.
Ramesh Sippy diplomatically skirts the issue saying, "I think the decision of participating or nor participating should be left to them. I honestly think it is up to them."
The master storyteller has reconciled himself to the 3D version of his film being released ultimately. "I guess it will see the light of day. But before that I hope the court assures me that the new format is not detrimental to what I had made. My main objection is to not having been consulted or taken into confidence. I mean, copyrights and all that are matters to be dealt with in court. But there is a basic ethic where a director's work cannot be tampered with, without his knowledge."
Ramesh Sippy has not entirely lost hope. "For all we know, they may have done a great job... I don't know. They will make money out of whatever they've done with my film. I never interfere with the business aspect of any film. But that doesn't mean I shouldn't be taken into confidence. Until I see the final product, I don't know what they've done."
Ramesh is hurt and offended by the lack of initiative shown by the 3D-conversion force in getting him on board. "Nobody tried to ask my opinion on the 3D. Forget the business side, this is unethical. Ultimately it's the honorable court's decision. But whatever the legal outcome the pain of someone superseding my creative decision over my work cannot be taken away. Sholay is my work. It's my creation. You can't take it away from me. The passage of time has revealed its staying power. The fact that 40 years later someone can convert it into 3D says it all."
The latest update on the Bigg Boss 7 contestant Armaan Kohli, after being arrested yesterday, he is now out on bail. And since all the offences under which he was booked were bailable ones, he was not produced before a court.
Post this, Armaan has now re-entered the Bigg Boss' house. Meanwhile, his spokesperson said that Armaan left the Bigg Boss' house in order to co-operate with the cops. And now that he has completed all his duties, he is back in the house.
Amidst the whole drama, there were many who 'claimed' that the whole act was just a publicity stunt by Sofiya. On the other hand, NCP's women's wing was present outside the Bigg Boss' house after Armaan was granted bail yesterday evening.
He was appreciated for his out of the box role in Delhi Belly and the recently released Nautanki Saala and now, Kunal Roy Kapur will be seen doing some action too. The actor will be playing a prominent role in the upcoming Action Jackson.
Kunal, who has already started shooting for the film in Mumbai, revealed that he will be sharing screen space with the film's male lead Ajay Devgn. The actor is also excited to do some hardcore action-comedy with Prabhu Dheva and is curious about how the chemistry between him and Ajay will work on screen.
Action Jackson also stars Sonakshi Sinha, Yami Gautam and is being produced Gordhan Tanwani. The film is slated to release in May 2014.
The latest season of Koffee With Karan has certainly got off to a brilliant start. With multiple first timers on the show, host Karan Johar is all set to add another name to the list with Akshay Kumar. Interestingly, Akshay and Karan recently signed a film together earlier this year that will be produced under the latter's banner.
While for the show it is learnt that after much convincing, Karan managed to rope in Akshay. However the host's close friend and Akshay's wife Twinkle Khanna refused to be a part of the show.
Karan confirmed the same saying that he would soon be shooting with Akshay and is thrilled to have him on the show. The said episode will be shot this week.
For the first time in the history of Indian television, the police arrested a contestant from the middle of a TV reality show. The show in question is Bigg Boss 7 and the contestant is Armaan Kohli, who was arrested on the basis of a complaint filed by ex-contestant Sofia Hayat.
Yesterday, the Lonavla police arrested Armaan on the basis of Sofia's complaint that stated that he allegedly assaulted her with a mop, causing pain and trauma to her. The complaint also mentioned Armaan verbally abusing her. Even though Sofia's complaint was booked by Santacruz police station, the case was transferred to Lonavla police station as the Bigg Boss' studios is located there. The police have booked Armaan under sections 324, 509, 506 and 504 of the IPC (Indian Penal Code).
Readers may note that Armaan has been in the news ever since the show started due to his much talked about love affair with Kajol's sister Tanisha, during the show. Watch this space for more developments.