Hiding Divya at the AAIFF tonight

hiding%20divya Hiding Divya at the AAIFF tonight  

Anyone in the New York metro area might be interested to know that Hiding Divya, which stars Madhur Jaffrey and Pooja Kumar, will be shown tonight as part of the Asian American International Film Festival.

It will be shown at the Asia Society at 7pm.

More info is available here.

My thoughts on the film are here.


Karan Johar Walks the Talk

 Karan Johar Walks the Talk  

Pleasant surprise over morning kcoffee…. Karan Johar as Shekhar Gupta’s guest on Walk the Talk, the pair strolling along the Bombay waterfront.   KJo was wearing jeans and big sandals with  a black short-sleeved tee shirt (that said Ready 2 Rock), and his usual big red watch.

Here’s a few highlights:

  • Karan commented that he’s never shot in Bombay.
  • For the first week  after his birth, he was named Rahul, but on the 6th day, his mother declared that she no longer liked the name, and pronounced him Karan.
  • He said that Aditya Chopra is his best friend and he spoke very warmly of Aditya’s calling him the day before he was due to go study in France, saying that he was a fake for doing so and that  Karan knew full well he should be making films.   Karan was angered at first by the comment, but slept on it and decided the next day that Adi was right.
  • He fainted the first time he worked with Amitabh Bachchan on K3G.   (AB went to college with Karan’s mother.)   When he came to after fainting, Amitabh Bachchan was standing over him and said “I promise I’ll dance well.   You don’t have to worry.”
  • He’s been working for the past year with Shibani Bhatija on the script of his next movie, which is a love story, and unlike other films which came to him easily, this is the first film where  he’s felt challenged to do a lot of research, and for that reason he’s been flying back and forth to LA and NY.  
  • He also did a quick rundown of the history of Hindi cinema:
    • ’40s & ’50s: brilliant,
    • ’60s: the picnic films where we all ran to the hill stations and screamed “Yahoo!” from Kashmir,
    • ’70s: the economic angst was reflected in films about the common man, the rise of Amitabh Bachchan,
    • ’80s: the worst period, an overdependence on Amitabh Bachchan led to everyone functioning on auto-pilot and cinema suffered as a result, it was also the time of a lot of remakes from South India that led to the influx of kitschiness, and “we were branded Bollywood by someone in England,”
    • ’90s: HAHK turned everything around, followed by  DDLJ, which led to great awareness about the overseas  market.

Do You Wanna Partner?

Partner%20dangly%20thingy%202 Do You Wanna Partner?

The biggest disappointment I had with Salaam-e-Ishq earlier this year was the notable absence of the Golden-Footed Virar ka Chokra hoofing it up  for our enjoyment.   Sure, it  was great to see him back on the big  screen, and in a somewhat ‘serious’ role (ok, sober?   restrained?), but I kept waiting for the big, break-out number  when he’d go wild, arms and feet swirling in all directions, but it never came.

Well, bless you, Mr. Dhawan, for giving us back our Govinda as we love him: cutting up and cutting a rug.  

As Salman’s character’s niece says “He’s cuddly, like a teddy bear.”   That he is, but he’s also nimble on his feet and looks like he’s having a ball doing his jhatkas.   Once again, as he shimmies across the sand and scampers around bathing beauties (even one with a very painful looking sunburn), all is right with the world this Friday night.

And I’m not the only one to feel that way.   All around me in the theater tonight, people were already cheering when the opening credits appeared –  stamped on various body parts of the cast in stills from the movie –  and again, cheers erupted at the start of the big dance number near the end.

The movie is classic David Dhawan, except with a glossier look and improved double entendres.   Lara Dutta and Katrina Kaif are decidedly upmarket heroines, both very pretty in this movie, and Salman has the brawn (I lost count  of how many times he tore off his shirt tonight.   Five  perhaps?)  while mere pyare, pyare Govinda has the grace.

The story is ok, though nothing much to worry yourselves about.   Two boys like two girls, complications and dancing ensue (this is a remake of Will Smith’s Hitch).   One  complaint I had is that just when the story seems to be winding itself down, all of a sudden it will rise up, somewhat wobbly, and veer off down another avenue, and this happens a few times.   The other complaint is a rather unkind treatment of  a gay character named Kiran, and it’s sad to see that these kind of potshots are still being taken in 2007.

Distracting also were the few street scenes in Bombay (e.g. Mount  Mary Church), sprinkled in between the many location shots in Thailand and antiseptic interiors in UAE.   But this is just a small kvetch.

By the way, you can see a short video (Hindi mein) of the two fellas discussing the film here.

See it or skip it?

See it, if you want fun, mindless entertainment, and a chance to see both Chichi and Sallu yuk it up, often to the beat of some very catchy music.

And yes,  I did  like  the song Maria, Maria.   icon wink Do You Wanna Partner?     Now if I can only get it in a ringtone, I’ll be all set…

Jet(ting) to New York

JetAirways Mr[1].%20Naresh%20Goyal%20with%20Crew%202 Jet(ting) to New York  

Jet Airways pulled out all the stops last week to celebrate the imminent arrival of their first flight from Bombay to New York on August 5th, coming via Brussels and arriving at Newark Liberty Airport (which I find more manageable than JFK, thought Jet apparently has its eye on JFK too, further down the line).

In October service from San Francisco to Bombay is due to start (flying via Shanghai), and flights to Toronto are slated for launch on September 5th.

At a  luncheon held at the Grand Ballroom of the Waldorf Astoria  on July 11th,  over 150 people from a variety of press outlets – including  travel, hospitality, business, consumer and South Asian – supped on paneer tikka appetizers with carmelized endive (nice Belgian touch, that), then stuffed chicken breast with basmati rice and vegetable jalfrezi, finished off with a mango mousse and fresh seasonal fruit.

Jet Airways CEO Naresh Goyal revealed that their economy passengers will have a lounge at Brussels airport, a first, according to him.   He was joined by Dr. Dinesh Keskar, Senior Vice President for Sales at Boeing, who enthused over the Boeing aircraft that Jet will use for its BOM-BRU-EWR flights, a special 777-300ER  that was “the talk of the Paris air show this year because of the way that each class has been defined.”   Finally, a representative from General Electric Aviation took to the stage, commenting on the fact that  ”we’ve had a relationship with Jet Airways since 1993,” and  adding that the engines on this 777  are the most powerful today.   Moreover, he asserted that  two engines can do the work of four, highlighting the positive impact that has on hydrocarbon and fuel usage, and, by extension, the environment.

The team of flight attendants present sported the airline’s new uniforms, designed by Roberto Capucci.

Up on stage, there were a few rows of the specially designed Boeing economy class seats (swirling dry ice not included at 35,000 feet),

JetAirways Economy%202 Jet(ting) to New York  

a sample of the business class seat/pod with its  accompanying equipment,

Premiere%20cabin%20b%202 Jet(ting) to New York

and topped off  by the now-famous first class “suite”, containing an extra wide  seat that flattens out to a bed, and surrounded by its own walls (one containing a flat panel TV screen) and sliding doors that the occupant can close for privacy, creating a small room.    

First%20Class%20suite%202 Jet(ting) to New York  

(The crowd at this event were far too classy to  ask any, ahem, indelicate questions, but come on, am I the only one to look at the photos of these cosy little rooms and think “What’s Hindi for ‘Mile High Club’?”)

First%20Class%20suite%20a%202 Jet(ting) to New York

And look, you even get your own doorbell:

 Jet(ting) to New York  

What some follks may not know is that Jet Airways has a filmi connection:   their  Board of Directors includes Yash Chopra, Javed Akhtar and Shah Rukh Khan among its members.


 Partner%20 %2002%202 Pertner

Nobody, but nobody, is looking forward to the release tomorrow of Govinda’s latest movie –  Partner – as much as I am (be still, my heart), and yet, I have two questions:

Partner 01%202 Pertner

[1] Was there a sale on fedoras that the wardrobe department couldn’t resist?


Partner%20dangly%20thingy%202 Pertner

[2] What’s with the dangly thingy in Salman’s bellybutton?  

(And you, dear reader, what do you think, from a sartorial point-of-view….does it go well with the Elvis sunglasses?)

Chak De India hoarding

Shahrukh%20Chak%20De%20India%202 Chak De India hoarding

Talk about synchronicity….the same day that I was chatting with my girlfriends about the movie and its original rhyming five-minute trailer (general consensus: we’re all looking forward to it, I’m not wild about the patchy  stubble on SRK, and the rhyming gimmick got on everyone’s nerves, fast),  Bombay Addict sends me this photo, taken en route to work.   (Thanks, BA!)

(He confirms that is  Urmila in the ad just to the right.)