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One more film in British Asian genre

By Viral Bhayani, IANS

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After the success of "East is East" and "Bend It Like Beckham" in the British Asian genre, it is now time for "The King Of Bollywood" to hit the marquees here in September.

The British Asian film in English has been produced by the makers of "Agnivarsha" and "Jajantaram Mamantaram" -- iDream Productions.

The film, directed by Piyush Jha, stars Om Puri as Karan Kumar and British model Sophie Dahl as his wife.

"The King of Bollywood" is the story of a 51-year-"young" Karan Kumar, better known as KK who was once the top star, the king of Bollywood.

The title stuck to him and led him to have grandiose notions about himself. But the cruel fact is that KK is now nothing more than a shadow of his former self. He is a faded -- yet a likeable -- actor, way past his "sell-by" date.

Enter Crystal Chaurasia, 24, an Indian expatriate and a documentary filmmaker.

As a child in Britain, Crystal's favourite Bollywood hero used to be KK - her grandmother used to show her videos of KK's films as sleep-inducers at bedtime - and she comes to Mumbai to film a documentary on the life and times of "the king", backed by the International Film Commission.

In the meantime KK realises he is past his prime and fuelled by the urging of his secretary Ratnesh Goyal, he tries to convince his son Rahul, 25, to play hero.

But Rahul is averse to Bollywood and will have nothing to do with acting.

Having reached a dead end, KK decides to re-launch himself with a film he will direct and star in as hero.

The movie fails at the box office. But he does not accept defeat.

Since he did not get "rewards" from the audience, he now wants "awards" from film award bodies.

Meanwhile, Crystal who has been engrossed in shooting the documentary on KK's incredible journey and has slowly let Bollywood grow on her, develops a tender relationship with Rahul.

Ratnesh brings this to KK's attention and the hero, as a last gambit, first rekindles ambition in his embittered wife Mandira, who is herself a retired former star, then manipulates Crystal's latent desire for Bollywood stardom to ensnare her, and finally uses her to introduce Rahul into the "big bad world of Bollywood".

So a new "super duper hit" film is launched starring KK, Mandira, Rahul and Crystal, as the never-say-die hero poses grandly for a "happy family picture".

The "king" finally wrests back his crown and the "prince" ascends the throne.


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