in love with Deepika Padukone


I know I shouldn’t talk this way, being a woman and all. But I just can’t help myself.  Yesterday I went to see Cocktail, the new movie produced by and starring Saif Ali Khan and Wonder-Women Deepika Padukone and Diana Penty. All eyes were naturally on Penty, who made her Bollywood debut with this movie, an impressive one what’s more, but I couldn’t unglue my eyes from Deepika, who plays Veronica,  and who lives life in London’s fast lane camouflaging wounds from the past by acting out as a party queen, as the It-girl.

As Veronica, she is a tortured soul battling loss and abandonment issues and she hides a great deal of vulnerability under her contemporary, sleek fashionista appearance.  Audiences and critics were surprised that the hi-five feel-good movie morphed into melodram during the second half.  I wasn’t. I thought Deepika’s deeply-layered performance reflected already a storm to come. Not only did I love her character but she made me believe it.  Had Deepika been born roughly two millennia back in Greece or Rome they would have worshiped her as the goddess Artemis or respectively, Diana. Or at least she would have personified them in their amphi-theaters.

I was awe-struck when I saw her first in Om Shanti Om (2007) She showed such confidence and poise already in her Bollywood debut. Deepika puts meat into her roles!

Her performances shoot like arrows. Even in roles that show her vulnerability, she never wants to be pitied. And that’s her.  She can get angry, like any self-respecting goddess, she can charm you, seduce you, she can get hit by life, abandoned by her lovers, but she will not be submissive.  Not Deepika.  So I think she OWNED the movie, talking about Cocktail!

Diana Penty shows great promise and a real knack for acting.  She is doted with a gracious screen-presence and she reminded me a lot of this beautiful actress in Swades, Gayatri Joshi, who to fans’ dismay got married soon after the movie and vanished from the radar. Diana is exquisite, an elegant creature by all standards, but no match to Deepika whose acting skills keep you magnetized and breathless. Anyway, that’s just my five cents.

She could even pull it off making us believe her infatuation with boytoy Saif, who slowly starts lacking the sex appeal as a romantic hero, hmmm. Hrithik might have been better for that role..  but one thing is for sure, the actors seemed to be all very comfortable with each other, which is a strong point in the movie, the triangle story. Diana Penty though couldn’t pull off the falling in love part… hehe.  I didn’t buy it.

I really could relate to the rest of the story.. and I’ve seen more than one cases like these, where friendships are sacrificed for love. One of the hardest lessons to learn in life. Nothing hurts more and I thought that was somehow the more interesting part of the movie.  Again I could sympathize with Veronica, her disappointment and rage, pulling out all the stops to reverse the situation with “I’ll be anything you want me to be, just don’t leave me..FOR HER, Hello, my formerly best friend!!”

It also rings  true that we might go into a relationship thinking we are in control and it won’t mean much at first, but then we open ourselves up to love, gradually and unnoticeably,  and before we know it BANG! it backfires and MrWonderful-oh-so-fullofsh *t moves on to greener pastures. And for some reason they seem to gravitate towards our friends or sisters, as if the world didn’t have millions of other women to choose from…. Out of Laziness?  No, absolutely. Good movie. If you just start out in life, it’s an Education :-)

PS  WHO LOVED THE SHOES??

OMG, Deepika’s outfits? TO DIE FOR!!!

Music was good too.

 

Dee’s Wikipedia page:  Deepika Padukone

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A Bollywood cocktail with a new ingredient


 

Isn’t she a beauty?  Diane Penty, a top model in India, is the newest filmi crossover. Luckily for us, Bollywood has never shied away of giving a pretty woman a chance to shine.

And with the substantial yearly output of Indian films, there must be a tremendous demand to discover new talent.  When I started taking the teenage son of my American friend to see Bollywood movies, who had enthusiastically embraced this new cinema experience initially, he started to object after the 10th movie  that he was getting tired to  see the same faces over and over.

Not that it ever bothered me, I like my intimate little Bollywood family, but he had a point. How often can you see the same hero and heroine, film after film in new but similar roles…

It feels good to see fresh faces especially when they are as pretty as Diane’s, who is playing Meera in the upcoming movie Cocktail.

I don’t know if Diana will stick with Bollywood movies.  She is probably making more money in advertisement and in fashion.  She appears in Maybelline and Garnier commercials. She has been in a Virgin Mobile ad with Ranbir Kapoor.  Diana has signed with Elite Model Management where she has worked for prestigious Indian designers, such as Ashish Soni, Sabayasachi, Wendell Rodricks and Rohit Bal.  In the USA she has worked with calibers like Neiman Marcus, Forever21 and Nordstrom.  Who needs movies with that resume? On the other hand, the gratification of becoming a recognizable face or even superstar must be alluring. It certainly makes the heart pump faster of a great many models waiting to get a chance to appear on the silver screen.

The romantic comedy Cocktail sails under the banner of Saif Ali Khan‘s Illuminati Films and stars Saif, Deepika Padukone and Diana Penty.

What gives this movie another interesting angle is the director, Homi Adajania. This is only his second movie venture but he has been hailed as being one of the most brilliant directorial  newcomers who made his debut with Being Cyrus, an off-beat psychological drama in English language starring Saif Ali Khan, Naseeruddin Shah, and Boman Irani.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cocktail


 

Cocktail – releases July 13th, and yes, that’s a Friday :-)

starring Saif Ali Khan, Deepika Padukone, Randeep Hooda, Dimple Kapadia, debutante Diana Penty

Not only does the cast looks appealing, the trailer enticing, the story of a love triangle interesting, but reading up on the director

it really wants to make me see this movie: Homi Adajania

 

Homi Adajania is an Indian film director. His directorial debut Being Cyrus (2005) was an off-beat English-Language psychological drama film. Touted as one of the brilliant emerging directors coming from India, Homi Adajania was also the co-author of Being Cyrus, which was his debut as a director. Also a freelance Writer, one of India’s highest level SCUBA Diving Instructors, an intrepid adventure traveler, Homi Adajania has varied experiences on his plate. Some of his stranger projects have involved taking a fakir to Venice for La Biennale di Venezia and scouting cripples & mutants for a very controversial Italian project. A film “The International Fakir” based on a bizarre true life experience of Homi Adajania’s was made starring Indian filmmaker and actor “Farhan Akhtar” who plays Adajania in the film. He has finished writing the screenplay of his original comedy, Finding Fanny Fernandes and is currently having it written into a novel.

Homi Adajania is currently directing Cocktail under Saif Ali Khan‘s banner Illuminati Films. The film stars Saif Ali Khan, Deepika Padukone, Diana Penty and Boman Irani, Dimple Kapadia and is written by filmmaker Imtiaz Ali.

He is married to a fashion stylist and the Fashion Director of Vogue magazine (India), Anaita Shroff Adajania

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homi_Adajania

IIFA heads back to Singapore. Why not NY, may I ask?


I am so jealous… I would love if this event  just once would take place in Manhattan!

I guess NY wouldn’t be such a great idea, afterall,  since there are too many actors named Khan that will run the risk to be detained at JFK…mistaken as possible security threats to the USA. Just imagine the ruckus, they couldn’t deal with Shahrukh, our Bollywood luminary, and he is only ONE Khan!!!!   now add:

Aamir Khan, Salman Khan, Farah Khan, Shahrukh Khan, Imran Khan, Irrfan Khan,Saif Ali Khan…(well, they better don’t mess with him! could lead to a bloody nose)

Another solution would be to hold IIFA directly at Kennedy. Glam up the airport! Dress up   Homeland Security agents in Bollywood attire, let them swing a leg while they do their multiple background checks :-)

 

 

 

 

It’s back to Singapore for IIFA this year

iifa 200x170 Eight years after showcasing Bollywood’s wonder in Singapore, the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) is heading back to the City of Lions for its annual weekend and awards, to be held June 7-9.

Singapore will host the 13th edition of IIFA, which will have fashion shows, a musical extravaganza, and all the celebrations culminating into a glittering awards presentation ceremony.

“Our focus is to showcase the best of Indian cinema to the world. With the unparalleled success of IIFA Singapore in 2004, we are back here to relive the magic,” Sabbas Joseph, director, Wizcraft International Entertainment, said in a statement.

“We have only just opened the Wizcraft Event Management operations in Singapore and are delighted to showcase our most prestigious creation, IIFA once again in Singapore. We hope that the IIFA’s help bring India and Singapore closer together,” he added.

Bollywood stars Anil Kapoor and Bipasha Basu were here to unveil this year’s IIFA venue.

“It has been my pleasure to be associated with IIFA for over a decade and once again, on behalf of IIFA and the Indian film industry, we commit to give our audience in Singapore the opportunity to witness one of the finest celebrations of culture and cinema ever held,” said Anil, who is awaiting the release of his film “Tezz”.

Bipasha, looking resplendent in a white sari by designer Anamika Khanna, added: “IIFA is the most respected cinema awards and something I look forward to every year.

“It’s a great opportunity for me to be here in Singapore personally to represent Indian cinema on such a global platform. I’m sure that this year’s IIFA will be a phenomenal success.”

The IIFA awards this year are presented by Videocon Industries and Wizcraft International Entertainment, and supported by the Singapore Tourism Board.

The 2004 IIFA award ceremony witnessed a contingent of over 450 stars, celebrities, cricketers, industrialists and government leaders over the festive weekend.

The impact of IIFA Singapore was experienced across tourism influx, investments into Singapore and closer ties between India and Singapore.

This year, they hope for more.

Last year, the award ceremony was held in Toronto. – IANS

Agent Vinod aka Speedy Gonzalez


Agent Vinod aka Agent Speedy Gonzalez zooms so fast around the globe that if you looked on your watch to see how long this movie is going to be you lost track of two continents… I had to take a bathroom break so I missed another three and good part of the plot. If you thought Kahaani was moving you too fast through Calcutta, that was Kindergarten. They prepped us in Kahaani, I realized,  for the pace of this movie.

I regretted through the first half not sitting further in the back of the theater. I keep forgetting that this is preferred seating in the action movie genre. If you sit too close have advils handy.

Having said that, getting it out of my way, I liked our Vinod. He is different from the Bond characters, who are kissed by entitlement and different from the earthy type Matt Damons.

Agent Vinod is not a man you will fall in love with, easily,  he looks more like a well-trained Navy Seal who storms through the movie dressed like an office clerk. No big laughs in this BW action-thriller, with the exception of one come-on scene with a male stewardess and one where our Navy Seal pretends to be gay for the duration of a short taxi ride.

I loved the beginning of the movie, although it was an unapologetic combo of Spy Game and Once Upon A Time in the West, the famous scene with the harmonica. Not so effectively used here but evoking a sweet memory of Sergio Leone’s masterwork, a tribute of sorts.

So the movie starts somewhere in Afghanistan (or where was it) and then zigzags around the globe, the mission staying in the dark until the very end almost but numerical clues dropped throughout the first half of the movie, until you almost don’t care anymore what 242 means and the sound of it starts looking ridiculous. That’s when the mystery gets revealed.

But I am talking here as if I didn’t like the movie.  I did!  I thought it was elegantly done, very stylish,  with hints of film noir elements transcribed in color. Great action scenes. Fantastic locations. Saif pounces on his role with a meat hammer. He means business and has a short attention span. We never get to see him relaxed once. A man on the mission.That he shares with Western espionage figures but Saif makes his Vinod look very hardcore realistic and the unraveling plot supports it. It touches upon a raw nerve when we think of the scenario and we walk out of the movie theater slightly more concerned than we walked in.

Kareena looks hotter than ever with a little bit of flesh.. So hot indeed that when Saif  proposes to her we have to believe he means business this time around. But then, given what happens next to her character, snaps. Maybe not :-)

Supporting cast members were wonderfully chosen, I thought. Some great characters. then again, not so well developed because of the pace of the movie. Btw, outstanding performance by the camel. short but highly effective scene. We get a lot of memorable moments here and for that reason I would see the movie again.

Personally, I think they should have done more editing, cutting out more of the unessential, and one or two songs, that didn’t really contribute.

Altogether though, bravo, Sriram Raghavan, creating a wonderful legacy after Ek Hasina Thi and Johnny Gaddaar, this was a really good story. Well-told and well-acted.

Happy returns.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Salman Khan supports Saif


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Watching this press conference on “BollywoodHungama” reminds me of why we love  him  and why so many actresses get weak knees around him.  He is  unapologetically Salman. I wonder how the situation with Saif Ali Khan and Iqbal Sharma would have ended up in that restaurant  if Salman had been present. Ten ambulances? Helicopters?

Salman talks his mind, and walks the talk. There are actors who can fabulously beat around the bush. You will never know what they REALLY think. Not so Salman Khan. He’s the beacon of  unafraid and head-on. You look at him, you might wanna hate him even but you can’t.  The same way you will love a Simon Cowell.  Acutally, he IS the Simon Cowell of India. Or lets’ say Simon Cowell IS the Salman Khan of the West. Celebrities  who have strong opinions and don’t care if you agree or don’t  are sort of rarities in a world and era of political correctness. It’s refreshing to see people  free themselves of public opinion and stick to their guns. I appreciate that. Would I marry them? No. :-)

oh wait a minute….

Bad Boy image gets you places in Bollywood


In Hollywood you’re dead meat, case in point: Mel Gibson, in Bollywood bad boys thriveSaif Ali Khan is only the latest edition in the Bad Boys Club. 

We got notoriously misbehaving Salman Khan, although, he seems to have calmed down quite a bit lately, but you never know how long that lasts.. :-) but we have to believe he is getting older and wiser..


Sanjay Dutt has made a whole career out of it, connections to the underworld, spent time in jail. ok, eons ago.  but mind you, he never plays the good guy in movies.  Only in Munnabhai and there he’s appropriately a mob boss.  

Shahrukh timidly entered the arena by slapping Shirish Kunder, but it was just a mild slap.  So it really doesn’t qualify  to get an entrance ticket to the bad boy club.   He might have tried to get in but he is just too nice …he won’t be admitted not even after failing to come out of his trailer where he was holed up allegedly with Priyanka.

We have other bad boy examples but ….  Not on the scale of Sanjay or Salman.  We got Shiney Ahuja, who is the Strauss Kahn of Bollywood. Fardeen Khan, well, with him it’s just drugs.  Jackie Shroff, Nana Patekar, Madhur Bhandarkar….& the list goes on for transgressions of various nature and degrees. They all earned their little badges of misconduct. And some might have been wrongly under fire. You never know in this business.

But as a rule of thumb the biggies have major careers going. It might have to do with the redemption factor that is omnipresent,  even in movies. India LOVES to forgive and open her arms to embrace those who have gone astray.  And I love that about India.  Cuz no one is perfect.

 

 

 

 

As it turns out, Saif seems to belong to the Bad Boys Club for a while already….

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