Taliban could take over Karachi: Report


Taliban [Images] militants have established secret hideouts in Karachi and it ‘could take the city hostage at any point’, according to the Pakistani police.

The Special Branch of police has highlighted the presence of Taliban in Karachi in a report submitted to the Sindh government and the provincial police chief.

The Taliban have ‘huge caches’ of weapons and ammunition, the report said. Continue reading

Our awards, their awards



Anyone who watched the Oscars this Monday would’ve wondered just what it is that makes the Academy Awards such a coveted event and why an Indian award comes off as such a pathetic country cousin.

The reasons have nothing to do with being in awe of the West. Continue reading

Now showing: Bollywood flop story

Mumbai: When 2008 ended with a bang — Ghajini and Rab Ne Bana di Jodi did bumper business in the month of December — the film industry was hoping that some of that success would continue in 2009 too.

And with biggies like Chandni Chowk To China, Billu and Delhi-6 slated for release in the first two months, fireworks were expected. Sadly, films this year have come and gone with nothing more than a whimper.

The losses, say trade experts, could be anything between Rs70 to 80 crores. “CC2C, Billu and Delhi-6 (still running) will lose more than Rs 65 crores together,” says trade analyst Amod Mehra. “And with other films like Luck By Chance and Victory failing too, this figure easily touches the Rs80 crore-mark.”

Last year, Jodhaa Akbar and Race, which released in the first quarter, gave the industry something to smile about. This year, only Raaz-The Mystery Continues and Dev.D have managed to make some sort of impact in the first two months. Continue reading

Back to reality: Father slaps ‘Slumdog’ star Azhar

Mumbai: The dream run seems to be over for Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail, the child star of Oscar-winning film “Slumdog Millionaire” with his father slapping him for refusing to give interviews to media.

The 10-year-old child, who was plucked from a Mumbai slum to play the young Salim in the multiple-Oscar-winning movie, has been living amid constant media scrutiny since his return home from Los Angeles.

Tired after a long flight, Azhar wanted to go to sleep and refused to come out to oblige the media. His father Mohammed Ismail wanting to make the most of the newly acquired celebrity status of his son, got infuriated and slapped him.

“I was being naughty. I did not want to give the interview as I was tired so he slapped me but he loves me,” said Azhar. Continue reading

Between Reviews: And the Loser is… the Audience!


MAR 1, 2009 – AFTER THE TIRESOMELY BLOATED OSCAR CEREMONY, I think it’s safe to officially declare the Golden Globes as the awards ceremony to hunker down for. For one, it’s the earliest film award of the year (I’m talking about the circussy ones, not the honourable badges of merit dispensed by sombre batches of movie critics across America) – so there are no clear favourites yet. I remember how my heart was in my mouth when AR Rahman won the Golden Globe. At that point, he was literally the outsider, the long shot – and when he won, the reaction was as much revelry as relief at being able to exhale again. But after the Globes, after Slumdog Millionaire swept every single awards ceremony, Rahman became the hot favourite. So even when the great man won a double Oscar – a glorious event we’re not likely to see again in our lifetime – it was something of an anticlimax.

Oh, there was great pride, greater joy. What was missing was that nail-biting dread in the pit of the stomach, the desperate desire to look upwards and mutter ohpleasepleasepleaseplease – not just in the case of Rahman, but in any category. Despite ringmaster Hugh Jackman’s valiant attempts to orchestrate distracting, carnivalesque sideshows, this year’s Academy Awards ceremony was a creaking, groaning bore – about a half-hour’s worth of entertainment padded with three hours of unctuous platitudes that made it appear that the people being honoured had cured cancer or AIDS or both. This is showbiz, folks – and to most people, that means stars. I’m as appreciative as the next person about the doughty documentarian who chronicles the effects of dwindling shoe polish supplies on the footwear of the Nicaraguan military, but can they not figure out a way to make these segments interesting? Continue reading

Komal Nahta reviews DELHI 6 (along with opening day report and predictions)

Komal Nahta reviews DELHI 6 (along with opening day report and predictions)

UTV Motion Pictures and Rak­eysh Omprakash Mehra Pictures Pvt. Ltd.’s Delhi-6 (UA) is about one’s roots. Roshan (Abhishek Bach­chan), born to a Hindu father, Rajan (Indrajeet Sar­kar), and a Muslim mother, Fatima (Tanvi Azmi), comes to India – Chandni Chowk area of Delhi – from the USA to drop his paternal grandmother (Waheeda Rehman) back as her only wish is to breathe her last amidst neighbours and friends, in their an­cestral home. Having been born and brought up in the US, Roshan is both, aghast and amused, by what he sees of India.

The love and close bonds people share, the festivals and celebrations of India, the family feuds and the bickerings, the customs and traditions, the modernity going hand-in-hand with the antiquated beliefs, the communal harmony which turns into hatred, all of these consume Roshan who also soon finds himself falling in love with Bittu (Sonam Kapoor), their neighbour and family friend’s daughter. Bittu wants to make a name for herself and, without the knowledge of her family, gets selected in a television reality show for which she has to go to Bombay. Of course, her father, Madan Gopal (Om Puri), will not hear anything of it and so, she decides to run away with a lecherous photo­grapher, Suresh (Cyrus Sahu­kar).

Bittu has a paternal uncle, Jai­gopal (Pawan Malhotra). Bittu’s father and uncle can’t see eye to eye over a family dispute but the ladies of the house are close to one another. The two families live under one roof, divided by a wall. The neighbours comprise Ali Beg (Rishi Kapoor), dim-witted Gobar (Atul Kulkarni), Lalaji (Prem Chopra) who has a wife one-third his age, Mamadu (Deepak Dobriyal), the Muslim sweetmeat shop owner, and another Muslim man, Haji Suleman (K.K. Raina) etc. The area has an arrogant police officer, Ran­vijay Chaudhry (Vijay Raaz). There’s also a sweeper, Jalebi (Divya Dutta), who is treated like dirt by almost everybody.

During Roshan’s stay in Delhi, the story of a mysterious monkey man striking in the dark of night is doing the rounds. In the otherwise peaceful Chandni Chowk area, discussions on the monkey man spark off a communal disturbance which threatens to turn into a riot. How Roshan saves the day forms the climax.
The story and screenplay, written by Rakeysh Mehra, Prasoon Joshi and Kam­lesh Pandey, are well-intentioned insofar as they seek to tell the viewer that there’s a monkey man (evil) hidden in all of us. But the execution of the plot to pass on this message is so weak and boring that it tests the audience’s patience. Continue reading

Komal Nahta’s Billu review (along with first day opening and predictions)

(Komal usually gives the first day opening report and also his predictions on the performance during the coming weeks. I have highlighted it )

Red Chillies Entertain­ment’s Billu (formerly titled Billu Barber) is the story of friendship. Billu (Irrfan Khan) is a barber in Budbuda village, who lives with his wife, Bindiya (Lara Dutta), and two school-going kids, Gunja (Mitali Mayakar) and Duggu (Pratik Dalvi). Since he can barely make two ends meet, he takes each day as it comes. His life changes when a film unit comes to the village to shoot. Superstar Sahir Khan (Shah Rukh Khan) is the hero of the film being shot at Budbuda.

Somehow, word spreads that Billu and Sahir were childhood friends. Eager to be photographed with the superstar and rub shoulders with him, the villagers suddenly start be­having extra-sweetly with Billu. The moneylender (Om Puri) gifts him a new chair and provisions for his hair-cutting saloon. Even the ladies of the village are kind towards Bin­diya, all in the hope that her husband would prove to be their ticket to meet the superstar. The principal (Rasika Joshi) of the school in which Billu’s children study, asks Billu to get Sahir Khan to the school and, in return, proposes waiver of fees of the two kids.

Pressurised by his wife, child­ren and the villagers, the shy and simple Billu tries to get in touch with Sahir but fails because the superstar’s staff never lets him meet the actor. The villagers, agitated after waiting for so long, conclude that Billu and his wife had lied about their closeness to Sahir and they now turn their ire on Billu who bears the humiliation silently. On the last day of shooting, Sahir Khan visits the village school to address the children. In his emotional speech, the actor makes a mention of his childhood days of poverty, his childhood friend, Billu, and of how he (Billu) had helped him to realise his dream of becoming an actor. Continue reading

DELHI 6 all set to join ’30 Crore Flop Club’

DELHI 6 all set to join ’30 Crore Flop Club’
February 28, 2009 6:29:19 PM IST
Joginder Tuteja, Bollywood Trade News Network

DELHI 6 has flopped.

After an ordinary opening weekend, the film continued to see a steady fall during the remainder of the week. The film has netted just a little above 20 crores in the first week which is quite a low number considering it’s huge release.

A pretentious film, it’s fall was imminent if reactions after the film’s premier itself were any indications. Continue reading

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