OUTLOOK Wednesday 18 October, 1995
Last Tango in Bollywood

ENOUGH banditry. For Shekhar Kapur, it's time to boogey. Not over his imminent shift to Hollywood alone, but quite literally. His latest venture is a Rs 7-crore megabudget musical, zanily titled Tarra Rum Pum Pum with an all new star cast of fresh-faced teenagers and musical score by, you guessed right, Roja Rehman. "After Bandit Queen I needed a less grim subject, something sparkling and effervescent, says Kapur explaining his latest caper. Ergo, this extravaganza about the MTV generation which will examine where they are at, their roots, loves, aspirations, confusions; seen through the eyes of a small town protagonist". Shooting for th e "10 songs and LOTS of dancing" movie commences in February'96 and he expects to can it in three months. Doubting Thomases proclaiming Shekhar and schedules don't go together may have to bite their tongue. The Kapur is putting his money--he's the producer--where his MTV is. For him it's his last chance to have fun, before, as he puts it, "he's consumed by Hollywood".

Also Ran, Again

THE story of her life really. Always in the running but pipped to the post. This time it is Malvika Tiwari who's rumoured to have scored over Miss Universe runner-up Manpreet Brar and clinched the deal with Non, to anchor their forthcoming news, views and entertainment programme. Brar chose to make light of the entire episode: "Got my management exams coming up. Got oil In my hair, glasses on my nose, braces on my teeth. Hardly the moment or the makeup for a television debut." In a serious vein though she cited paucity of time; the show demanded a five-day-a-week commitment, as her reason for "refusing" the offer. Company sources insist though that it was not so much a question of her "refusing" as their "withdrawing" the offer Especially after it was discovered that while the former Miss 'H-India' was up to the mark, her Hindi definitely wasn't. Therefore the flirtation (soon to be confirmed as official replacement) with Allahabad-bred Tiwari who has a better handle on Hindustani. Meanwhile, Brar declares she'd much rather wait to anchor a "branded show that is well researched and meaningful". In English, of course.

When Mahesh met Michael

PLAYWRlCHT Mahesh Dattani, who had critics and audiences eating out of his hand at the Delhi premiere of Dance Like A Man, is now poised to storm London with his play Bravely Fought The Queen that he's co-directing with Michael Walling, artistic director, Border Crossing Theatre Company, London. Zohra Sehgal stars in the play with an all Asian cast that premieres next year: on the 26th of March in Leicester and in April at the Battersea Art Centre in London. The play about two sisters married to two brothers, says Dattani, "uses a bonsai as a metaphor for the severely circumscribed lives of the women. The monsoon that rages without reflects the turmoil they experience within. A complex play very close to my heart". Also Walling's: for him "the homes and offices of the characters seem as fragile as islands in a sea of monsoon India". With so much heart involved , this certainly promises to be a production with soul.

Kama Camera

PHOTOGRAPHER Prabuddha Dasgupta describes his latest assignment, shooting stills for Mira Nair's Kama Sutra at Khajuraho, quite aptly as "a labour of love". The subject matter Interests him, It's his opportunity to avoid "becoming jaded". Besides, there's the excitement of working with people, "whose work I admire like Mira Nair, costume designer Eiko Ischioka and cinematographer Declan Quinn (of Bertolucci's Little Buddha fame). He did mention looking forward to a "new stimulus" and "exciting new opportunities". No, he wasn2 talking about Rekha .

Gene Junction

IT poured buckets at the Metro cinema premiere of Barsaat starring Bobby Deol and Twinkle, revised editions of Dharmendra and Dimple. Yet all filmdom, Akshay and Amltabh, Salman and Shahrukh, Jackie and Karishma, not to mention the Deol dynasty and the Kapadia cabal, flocked in all their gold and glitter to what many declared was the event of the season. Public verdict after watching the two pedigreed fillies do their bump and grind in 70 mm splendour? A Bobby is Re-Born. Not in a bikini though, but briefs. Opinion on Twinkle, poor overshadowed Twinkle? Gene junctions can malfunction. Clearly, Rajesh + Dimple do not another 'Bobby' make.

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  • Bollywood must be dreading  the Calcutta International Film Festival—a stentorian call from the CM...the unenlightening prospect of a day full of drumbeats. However, there is no respite for Shahrukh (Amitabh fell ill at an opportune  period). Though flanked by filmmaker Goutam Ghosh, Mamata herself and Sourav, the stage-show was stopped by the bonhomie between Rakhee and SRK: singing along a pat­riotic Rabi­ndrasangeet and reminiscing  about the sets of Baazigar.
  • As a snarling Dirty Harry teases out criminals in LA; as Frank Serpico goes und­ercover in New York, Chulbul Pandey does age-old, comic acrobatics to hurt ‘baddies’, then giggles around his lady love. Flogging the same masala, here comes the trailer of Dabangg 3, at the launch of which Salman points at the same direction, while Sonakshi Sinha and Saiee Manjrekar prepare to follow the leader with loving attention.
  • What do they actually do in Bigg Boss—that synthetic morass of shape-­shifting loyalties, gro­up­­ings and couplings by people clinging on to the skirts of fame, dragg­ing along an endless stream of stragglers agape before their boxes? At least Boman Irani, Rajkummar Rao and Mouni are doing something specific—horsing around joyfully, canvassing for their film Made in China. Major domo Sal­man, of  course, is there at every step, falling in and out with practised difficulty.
  • If you’d like to stitch together a Hollywood dream team, it has to have Marty, Bob and Sonny. The BFI London film festival saved its hushed breath for The Irishman—a gangster drama by the man who helped define the genre in Goodfellas and The Departed. Yet, in this autumnal light, Frank (De Niro) and Jimmy (Al Pacino) are just not snarling desperados, six-shooters at the ready. Time is also spent on sombre reflection—old reg­rets, moral reckonings and the one important thing that finally matters: mortality.