It was to have been a grand homecoming, the return of the prodigal son. But Censor Board chief Asha Parekh played the ultimate party pooper by giving his movie Elizabeth an adult certificate. The glittering premieres in Delhi, with President K.R. Narayanan as one of the invitees, and Mumbai were called off. Instead private screenings, press conferences were hustled together to explain why the film needed a U certification. In between all this, came the news that the film's lead and Oscar nominee Cate Blanchett was unable to come to Delhi because of a bad back. Trips to Jaipur and Agra too were canned. But it was the male lead Joseph Fiennes who warmed the cockles of the social set with his romantic good looks and sombre demeanour. Outfitted in J.J. Valaya clothes, made without Fiennes' measurement, the actor looked every bit the romantic playwright he portrayed in Shakespeare In Love. In Mumbai, Kapur's good friend Parmeshwar Godrej hosted a party and another had the Mumbai film industry in attendance. The balmy beaches of Goa were the final stop for the cast and crew. What of the movie? Will we see it or will we not? The last heard on the royal subject: Kapur's willing to show the film with the three cuts although he thinks it will break Elizabeth's hypnotic spell. But then, offers Kapur sarcastically: "If the board continues to believe the Indian mind to be far less mature than the rest of the world, I'll bow to their greater wisdom." Now that's a wise guy.
IF Shah Rukh Khan can dance at a wedding, why can't Kuch Kuch Hota Hai co-star Rani Mukherjee launch cycles? The current queen of the box-office wended her way to Kathmandu for an all India dealers' conference to launch the latest cycle from the Hero stable. On an earlier occasion, she had also endorsed another product from the same company. Is she then becoming a heroine for Hero?
Shaktimaan's skills are now being put to other uses. Mukesh Khanna acquired a huge following as and in Shaktimaan till the serial was yanked off air when kids tried emulating him. Now Khanna will sell serial-based products-T-shirts, pencil boxes, stickers, watches, toys, lunchboxes, even a tea cup with a handle that can "transform itself mysteriously into Gangadhar". Coming soon: a comic book series and a 3-D film.
Tired of Indipop? And bhangra beats? Magnasound brings you Tamil pop via Tabitha. Currently based in Singapore, the lady spent her formative years jamming in Chennai with her five brothers, sister and mother. A near-fatal accident put brakes on her singing career. Love, marriage and a team of supportive doctors brought her back. Now she's crooning En Kaadalan, a song that talks of lost love.
NOT all scripts, it seems, end happily ever after in Bollywood. Consider this one: Sridevi was signed by producer Sudhakar Bokade for a film titled Sambandh. A sum of Rs 35 lakh is said to have exchanged hands. The film didn't take off and post her marriage to Boney Kapoor, Sri's forgotten her act. All would have been well had the money been returned. But the aggrieved producer says the Roop Ki Rani refuses to do so, hence he has been left with no choice but to approach the courts. This is one relationship really gone sour.