Lull in Bollywood before storm
It promises to rain films in October but it could well be a case of empty vessels making noise.
By Priyanka Khanna, IANS
Aishwarya Rai, whose popularity is growing unabated though her films have long stopped speaking for themselves, especially "Kyun...Ho Gaya Na" that bombed, graces some metro cinema halls with the Hindi version of "Chokher Bali".
The film by celebrated Bengali director Rituparno Ghosh is an adaptation of a Rabindranath Tagore novel by the same name. Aishwarya's work has been appreciated though co-star Raima Sen has been showered with praise.
Besides the international project "Bride and Prejudice", the former Miss World, whose wax model will now stand amid the world's greatest personalities at Madame Tussauds in London, will have another outing at the Indian box office.
She will unravel the mind of a woman who falls for a younger man essayed by Zayed Khan in "Shabd" by Leena Bajaj. Sanjay Dutt will also feature in the film.
Another beauty queen, Dia Mirza, has tried to become hot property by losing her clothes in a striptease scene in "Tumsa Nahin Dekha" by producers Saregama Films and Mukesh Bhatt. The Anurag Basu film features Emraan Hashmi and has music by Nadeem-Shravan but has little other than the "bare all" act.
The days ahead will show Dia what it means to compete with Bipasha Basu, who is credited for flagging off the race to dress down and pout in Bollywood.
Bipasha's film "Madhoshi" by producer Anil Sharma and director Tanveer Khan co-stars her real-life beau John Abraham, but going by the recent failure of films starring real life couples, that is not saying much.
A spicier proposition seems to be "Dobara" that has Jackie Shroff, Raveena Tandon and Mahima Chaudhary. The last has been in the news on account of her much publicised break-up with tennis pro Leander Paes, and promos feature her saying: "If a man can sleep around, then why cannot a woman?" Anybody listening?
Hoping to do an "Ishq Vishq" will be films like "Popcorn Khao! Mast Ho Jao" from the Pritish Nandy Corp production house. It has Kajol's sister Tanishaa in the lead who had a forgettable debut in "Shhhhh". The film also has Akshay Kapoor and Rashmi Nigam.
The one film that has news channels going berserk is "Padmashree Laloo Prasad Yadav", whose makers have managed to convince the railway minister to deliver a special appearance in the film.
The film is said to be a comedy that has nothing to do with politics. But beginning from the christening of the Mahesh Manjrekar film to the present, the film has managed to stay in the news.
Yet another film that has the media sniffing for juicy details is "Kis Kiski Kismat" by Govind Menon and starring yesteryear strongman Dharmendra and today's queen of controversy Mallika Sherawat. But the less said about the commercial value of the film the better.
The one film that is generating a buzz on account of merit seems to be Ram Gopal Varma's "Vaastushastra", whose promos are on air and are truly scary.
"If 'Bhoot' scared you, this will kill you," say the promos and going by the track record of "Bhoot", which is credited for literally scaring a man to death, one cannot help but believe director Saurabh Narang. The film features Sushmita Sen, Chakravarthy, Piya Rai Chaudhary and Purab Kohli.
Then there is a bunch of low-budget flicks that can best be described as fillers like "Jackpot", starring Himanshu and Meghna Naidu; "Wajahh" with Arbaaz Khan, Gracy Singh, Shamita Shetty and Zulfi Sayed; and "Dil Bechara Pyaar Ka Maara".
Trade analysts Taran Adarsh says "Amavas" by Siddharth Srinivasan and starring National Award winning actress Konkona Sen Sharma is also expected to release in October.
The film also stars Victor Banerjee, Mahesh Manjrekar, Neena Gupta and Tara Sharma.