After the mega success of Race, filmmakers Abbas-Mastan have confirmed that they have retained Saif Ali Khan and Anil Kapoor for the sequel Race 2. However, the new additions to the cast will now include John Abrahams and Priyanka Chopra.
Vidya Balan is quickly becoming one of the most powerful actresses in Indian cinema. After winning loads of acclaim for Paa and Ishqiya, the talented actress has now been signed for a woman-centric project to be directed by Sujoy Ghosh of Aladdin fame. The movie has been titled as Kahani.
In a shocking twist to the rape drama surrounding Shiney Ahuja, his domestic worker, who claimed to have been raped by the actor in June last year, now says the alleged incident never took place. It is believed that the 20-year-old was coerced to make the statements at the insistence of the person who secured her the job at Ahuja’s house. The sudden turn of events has raised much suspicion as police officers once claimed that medical evidence proved the rape had occurred and now, suddenly, the maid has gone missing.
AAMIR Khan says his next movie, Dhobi Ghaat, will not arrive in December, breaking the tradition set with previous blockbusters Taare Zameen Par (2007), Ghajini (2008) and 3 Idiots (2009). Dhobi Ghaat, which marks the directorial debut of Khan’s wife, Kiran Rao, features the perfectionist actor together with Pratiek Babbar and has been scheduled to release in February next year.
There’s a new addition to Kajol’s family as the powerhouse actress and her husband, Ajay Devgan, became proud parents to a baby boy on Monday. The couple also have a seven-year-old daughter named Nysa. Perhaps they can now say We Are Family!
The sudden death of actor Muralli, 46, came as a shock to all who knew this humble, unassuming but talented actor. He succumbed to a heart attack in the early hours of September 8. Muralli made his film debut in 1984 in the Kannada film Prema Parva, which was directed by his father, Sidhalingaiyah. He shot to prominence through his second film, Poovilangu, and cemented his place in the industry with his third film, Pagal Nilavu, the film which introduced director Manirathinam to the Tamil film world. This was followed by a series of box-office failures, broken by the release of Pudhu Vasantham. The film was a huge hit and a trendsetter, firmly re-establishing Muralli as an actor of note in Kodambakkam. Others major hits to his name include Idhayam, Poomani, Pohrkalam, Vetri Kodu Kattu, Vetri Kodi Kattu, Anandham and Sundhara Travels. His last film was Baana Kaathaadi (still to release in South Africa) which launched his son, Adharva, as a lead actor. Muralli is survived by his wife, son and daughter.
Less than a week after Muralli’s death, Kodambakkam lost yet another talented artist with the demise of playback singer Swarnalatha last Sunday. Swarnalatha, 37, had been suffering from diminishing breathing ability for the last year and did not record during that period. Her singing debut was in 1987 under the music of MS Visvanathan when she sang the duet Chinnanjiru Killiye Kannamma from Needhikku Thandanai with KJ Yesudas. Swarnalatha enjoyed the most success with composers Illaiyaraja and AR Rahman. Her first hit song was the immortal Aaatamaa Therottamma for Illaiyaraja in Captain Prabhagaran. Other notable hits she enjoyed with Illaiyaraja were Pohvoma Oorkolam (Chinna Thambi), Maasi Maasam (Dharma Dhurai) Adi Raakamma Kaiyai Thatttu (Thallabadhi), Yen Ulle Yen Ulle (Valli) and Malai Kohyil Vaasalil (Veera).
With AR Rahman, she enjoyed hits such as Mukaala Mukaabala (Kaadhalan), Uyire (Bombay), Maya Machindhra and Akadaannu (Indian) and the song that won her the national award for best playback singer, Poraale Ponnuthaayi (Karuthamma). She was a spinster and lived alone.
Rajinikanth’s Endhiran continues to record more firsts for Tamil and Indian cinema. Last Saturday the film’s trailers were released at a function that brought together a host of actors, producers and directors. What stood out about Rajnikanth was the simplicity with which he arrived and his constant modesty about the extent of his role in the film. The trailer has been received with great excitement and enthusiasm as cinema halls begin to announce their showtimes for what is easily the biggest Indian film ever. At the Mayajaal complex in Chennai’s East Coast Road, Endhiran will have 60 shows a day, with the first fortnight expected to be booked out when the first day of bookings open. Endhiran is the first Indian film to cross the 1.3-billion rupee budget and is also the first Tamil film to be released internationally by HBO. It is also the first Indian film to have a day-and-date release in China. Endhiran is also the first Indian movie to have two Oscar winners in its team – music composer AR Rahman and sound engineer Ressul Pookutty.
Kamalhassan and Bollywood’s Anil Kapoor are to come together on screen in a dual-language production that will be made simultaneously in Tamil and Hindi. Kapoor has been very vocal in his admiration for Kamalhassan and approached him to do a joint venture. He was delighted when Kamalhassan agreed. Further details about this joint venture will be made later this week.