Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘dinner

Yesterday, Deepika was the only Bollywood personality to have dinner with PM Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi, Japanese PM Yukio Hatoyama and his wife

By Kunal M Shah (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 29, 2009)

Deepika Padukone is on cloud nine. Last night, she was the privileged Bollywood personality to have dinner with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi and 20 cabinet ministers at the PM’s residence at 10 Janpath, in Delhi. The dinner was organised in honour of Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama and his wife Miyuki Hatoyama, who are currently on a visit to India.

Deepika Padukone

The Japanese PM and his wife are huge Bollywood fans and expressed their desire to meet Deepika. They loved her in her debut film, Om Shanti Om (2007).

When Deepika got a call from the PM’s office asking her if she would like to attend the dinner, she immediately agreed. Pleased as punch, she even took a day off from the shooting of Ashutosh Gowariker’s Khelenge Hum Jee Jaan Se in Goa to make it for the dinner.

She wore a saree by Manish Malhotra for the occasion.

We spoke to Deepika before the dinner. She said, “It is a privilege and honour for me to be invited for this dinner. I am excited and nervous at the same time.”

From (L): Yukio Hatoyama, Miyuki Hatoyama, Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh

Aamir Khan, who whisked Kareena Kapoor off to a remote village in Madhya Pradesh, gifted her an exquisite saree made by the local weavers

By Kunal M Shah (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 16, 2009)

Trust Aamir Khan to go out of his way for friends. When he flew Kareena to a small, remote village Chanderi in Madhya Pradesh for two days and Kareena had to travel 14 hours by road to reach the place, her efforts were rewarded. Aamir gifted her a Rs 25,000 saree from the handloom weavers who they visited.

Our source said, “Kareena was very thrilled when she got the saree from Aamir. It’s a black and gold saree which these weavers used to make for the nawabs and the sarees are traditional.”

Kareena said, “It has been chaotic and I am so exhausted. When I first came to MP, I was scared as no one had told me where we were going. I was only told that we have to meet Aamir. I only met him after travelling for seven hours. He took me to Chanderi and I didn’t even know that the place existed. Aamir said that I am a style icon and I should promote these handloom industries. The forefathers of these workers used to work for royal families and make their costumes. We actually went to these homes and saw the way they live. They stay in one room and work for 10-12 hours every day and only take home about Rs 50 every day, while the designers take their work and sell it for Rs 30-40,000. They do not even have electricity in their homes. We also had dinner with them. He has also invited many of them to the premiere of our film and they will be watching it with us.”

KNOTTED: Raj Kundra, Shilpa, Surendra, Sunanda and Shamita Shetty

Raj Kundra takes Shilpa Shetty as his wife at traditional ceremony in Khandala

SHARIN WADER BUTANI Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; November 24, 2009)

In London he’s used to zipping around in luxury cars and sports models, but in Khandala on Sunday, UK billionaire and businessman Raj Kundra arrived on a white horse to claim his Bollywood bride Shilpa Shetty. He rode from his hotel to Kiran Bawa’s bungalow, where the blushing bride was waiting, while his baaratis danced around with great gusto. Dressed in a sherwani, heavily garlanded and bearing a sword, Raj was greeted by bridesmaid Shamita at the entrance to the bungalow with a big hug. His men carried bundles of crisp, 500 rupee notes which they distributed to the band while Raj walked to the lavishly decorated mandap for the pheras which was done in the Bunt style with Shilpa looking every inch the South Indian bride. The actress was seen getting emotional after the ceremony and crying as she hugged her father who had discharged himself from hospital following a stomach infection to be there. It was almost 9.20 pm when the couple stepped out to pose for the media. They then left for Mumbai as Shilpa’s bidaai was to be done from her house in Lokhandwala.

Meanwhile, BT’s wedding correspondent reports that all of the 70 guests who were present at the wedding had a hairdresser, a makeup artist, and a chauffeur-driven car at their disposal. Even their hotel rooms were done up with
gift hampers, pink roses and and chocolate fudge. For the two days that the guests were in Khandala, there was buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner at the Bawa bungalow and a wedding menu made up of cuisines from 72 countries! Bridesmaid Shamita Shetty, who lost out on the chance to win her reality show prize money after leaving it midway for Shilpa’s wedding, was disappointed that she could not make up by successfully hiding the dulha’s joote. Raj was apparently supposed to give her Rs 51 lakhs for his shoes!

Yesterday in Mumbai, the couple had their court marriage. Since the saat pheras was strictly for family and close friends, Shilpa and Raj have planned a lavish reception for Bollywood and their business associates today at a suburban five-star. The married couple along with their families will then head to Tirupathi and from there to the Oneness University in Chennai to seek blessings from Shilpa’s gurus, Amma and Bhagwan. They will then come back to Mumbai to leave for their week-long honeymoon at the Bahamas.

In the process of eliminating handful of terrorists, we end up creating many more-this best describes the policies of Western developed powers who are hell bent on making the world more democratic but adopt inhuman ways to achieve the end point. Kurbaan throws light on this sensitive topic and thankfully treats it well. The flick throws a spate of questions and forces you to think, discuss and debate. But it doesn’t get preachy and hence it’s not like one of the several films on terrorism that are made for a niche audience. The film is thrilling, has some wonderful twist-n-turns and includes some moments of love and passion too. All this make Kurbaan one of the finest films of the year-one that can’t be missed!

The story of the movie: Ehsaan Khan (Saif Ali Khan) takes the job of a teacher in a university in Delhi where he comes across a psychology teacher, Avantika (Kareena Kapoor). He instantly falls in love and she also ends up liking him. But unfortunately, she’s called back to New York where she originally belongs. Realizing that it would be wrong to have a long-distance relationship, Ehsaan also moves to NYC with Avantika. But before that, they marry. After moving to New York, they buy a new house in a neighborhood full of Asians, conservative Muslims to be precise. The neighbours invite Ehsaan and Avantika for dinner so that they can get familiar with each other. Soon, Avantika realizes that things are not fine in the neighbourhood as they seem and finally, realization dawns upon her-she has been as used as a pawn in a dangerous game.

The beginning 20-25 minutes focuses on Saif-Kareena’s courtship and may not impress. It was the weakest part of the film and wasn’t treated well. But thinks take a good turn with the song Shukran Allah and when the couple shifts to New York. The film engrosses from the scene where the neighbours invite them for dinner. From this sequence, the film turns into a roller coaster ride with lots of unpredictable turns. The entry of Riyaaz (Vivek Oberoi) in the narrative adds to the icing on the cake.

The intermission point was brilliant and fortunately, unlike other films, Kurbaan doesn’t fall or gets slow in the post-interval portions. In fact, the 2nd half also keeps you hooked onto your seat. A number of sequences are memorable in this hour. Kirron Kher sharing the tragic story astonishes you and Kher’s mind blowing performance only enhances the impact. Same goes for the scene where Saif is nursing the wound with little help from Kareena after getting hit by a bullet. The way the blood tickles down and the way Saif screams-man, it gives goosebumps!

The last 30 minutes of the film is undoubtedly the best portion of the film. The tension that is created in the climax and the engrossing and captivating direction is truly appreciable. The film ends on an acceptable note.

Regarding the flaws, as mentioned before, the first 20 mins doesn’t work. Also, the film is full of violent and gory scenes which might not be liked by some sections. And the editing wasn’t upto the mark. More about it later!

Kurbaan is a rare film where the cast and most of the crew have worked exceptionally well in all respects. Saif Ali Khan was outstanding in his role. He looked dapper in his new look and performance wise, doesn’t provide even a miniscule chance of complain! Thus, Kurbaan can safely be added to the list of ‘finest performances of Saif’. This year has been particularly lucky for Saif with his home production Love Aaj Kal being a super hit and now even Kurbaan has been appreciated. His next Agent Vinod with Kareena is also expected to rock! Way to go Saif!

Kareena Kapoor has exposed as minimal as possible and still managed to look stunning. She’s always been delivering fine performances and in Kurbaan too, she does a perfect job. Watch out for the scenes where she discovers that she has been used and in the climax. She proves once again as to why she’s one of the top actresses today! Great going!

Vivek Oberoi steals the show with his wonderful act. In fact, his acts impact more than Saif-Kareena at several points in the film. Audiences as well filmmakers would surely sit up and take notice of this highly talented actor who was neglected in the past due to many reasons. He is expected to shine in his next films, Prince and Rakta Charitra too!

Kirron Kher, like Vivek, leaves a mark in several scenes. For a change, it was good to see her in a different kind of role than her usual stereotypical ones. Om Puri performs with ease. Dia Mirza looked charming and impresses with her special appearance. Nauheed Cyrusi does a fabulous job. Asheesh Kapur, who plays her husband, was great. Kulbhushan Kharbanda, Aakash Khurana and others were good.

Salim-Sulaiman’s music was haunting and songs suited the film well. Shukran Allah, Ali Maula and Kurbaan Hua are the three best songs. Ali Maula leaves a mark. The duo’s background score was electrifying and they may bag the Best Background Score award this year.

Anurag Kashyap and Niranjan Iyengar’s dialogues were sharp and top notch. Best dialogue of the film was, “Ek minute ke liye bhi ye mat sochna ki ye allah ka kaam hai!Parvez Feroze’ gory action enhanced the reality of the film. Asif Ali Shaikh’s editing wasn’t upto the mark. One can notice that desperate attempts were made to haphazardly cut down mini portions of scenes to reduce the duration of the film as much as possible. Not good!

Rensil D’Silva, the screenwriter-director scores in his dream debut. Although the direction wasn’t perfect, the film managed to make an impact and give out a strong message. The screenplay was undoubtedly intriguing.

And finally, kudos to Karan Johar for writing the film and also for producing such a hard hitting flick. KJo was criticized for making lovey-dovey films only. But with his last two films and Kurbaan, he has proved that he’s here not only to rake in moolah but also to provide fresh and interesting flicks! Hats off!

Some of the best scenes of the film:
1.       The songs Shukran Allah and Ali Maula
2.       Ehsaan and Avantika at the dinner in the neighbour’s house
3.       Avantika meets Dia
4.       The plane bombing sequence
5.       The intermission point
6.       Riyaaz at the Saif’s lecture
7.       Riyaaz’ quick conversation with Avantika at the mall
8.       The scene at the sandwich parlour
9.       The coffee scene
10.     The climax

On the whole, Kurbaan is an engaging and thrilling film that impresses and engrosses thoroughly! Go for it and have 160 minutes of captivating and thrilling time!

My rating-**** out of 5!

This review first appeared on MouthShut.com: http://www.mouthshut.com/review/Kurbaan-180014-1.html

Playboy Vivek Oberoi finds love on the sets of Prince. It’s his co-star Neeru Bajwa

By Vickey Lalwani (MUMBAI MIRROR; October 14, 2009)

Vivek Oberoi, who has been single after his relationship with Aishwarya Rai ended on a bitter note in mid-2005, is fast gaining the reputation of being an incorrigible flirt. The single and ready to mingle Vivek has found a new agony aunt and is taking her advice seriously. Apparently, Kareena Kapoor had advised him to get a steady partner (on the sets of Karan Johar’s Kurbaan), and it’s hard for Vivek to ignore such wise counsel.

After his reported link-ups with Vidya Balan, Minissha Lamba and Sonam Kapoor in the recent past, the latest on his list is the pretty TV actress Neeru Bajwa, who is his co-star in Kumar Taurani’s forthcoming film Prince — It’s Showtime. And this bonding was not restricted to just lunch, coffee and dinner.

Our source revealed, “Thankfully, Vivek and Kookie did not fight over Neeru, or it might have disrupted the shoot. Soon, Neeru’s ‘friendship’ with Vivek and Kookie became the hot topic of conversation on the set.”

Naturally, Neeru stood to benefit from her ‘dosti’ with Vivek and Kookie — and she did. “Originally, she was supposed to do a very small role. But soon, her role increased and kept increasing with each passing day. First, Kookie added a song which was picturised on her, subsequently he added a few extra scenes which featured her,” our source revealed.

After Neeru made an impression in a few Punjabi movies, she starred in Shrishti Arya’s TV show Guns and Roses, shook a leg in Nach Baliye 2 with her live-in boyfriend Amit Sadh (Fear Factor, Bigg Boss 1). There were rumours that she and Amit had tied the knot. Thereafter, she virtually disappeared.

She made a public appearance only at director Arif Sheikh’s wedding on January 26 this year, where she hung around with Vivek Oberoi who also attended the wedding. Then she was seen at Kumar Taurani’s 50th birthday party on July 11, where Vivek was again present.

When we called Neeru, she laughed and said, “I hope Vivek is still enamoured by my beauty. He is a great co-star. I don’t know if there was any attraction, but I was very nervous because I was doing my first Hindi film. Vivek, Kookie and I are good friends, we hung out and got along awesomely.”

Neetu admitted that she and Amit are not a couple anymore. “Amit and I parted ways long ago. We hadn’t married,” she said.

As for her role being increased in Prince, Neeru said, “Hmm… not really. Yes, I have a big role. There was a little mystery about a song as to who will do it. Eventually, I did it.”

Kookie Gulati, who was an associate director for Ken Ghosh’s Ishq Vishk and Fida, did not deny that he and Neeru hang out together. He added, “Neeru and I are good friends. That’s it. Nothing more. I have not increased her role. The film is still being edited by a very professional editor in France. And I have no clue if she was close to Vivek. That’s between them.”

Journalist-writer Mushtaq Shiekh wasted no time in befriending Salman Khan after a fallout with old friend Shah Rukh Khan

By Kunal M Shah (MUMBAI MIRROR; August 21, 2009)


Shah Rukh  Khan and Mushtaq Shiekh


Salman Khan and Mushtaq Shiekh

That Shah Rukh Khan’s once close and longtime friend Mushtaq Shiekh is getting increasingly friendly with Salman Khan is slowly coming to light. It started with Mushtaq being part of Salman’s Being Human team, which had organised a football match on Saturday. And on Wednesday night, Salman and Mushtaq were seen together at a popular restaurant at Chapel Road, Bandra, chatting and having an animated discussion over dinner. Given that Mushtaq was Salman’s arch rival Shah Rukh Khan’s best friend till recently only makes this new dosti more interesting.

A source, who happened to be present inside the restaurant said, “Salman and Mushtaq were at Salt Water Grill on Wednesday. They were there for more than an hour. They had dinner and were seen in a relaxed mood while chatting like good friends. A common friend had accompanied them. It is a known fact that Mushtaq is no longer a close friend of SRK. Ever since they had a fallout, Mushtaq has been often seen in the company of Salman whose rivalry with Shah Rukh is common knowledge.”

Mushtaq, who has written two books on the star, Still Reading Khan and Shah Rukh Can: The Story of the Man and Star Called Shah Rukh Khan – had earlier said in an interview: “He (SRK) has always stood by me. It’s a blessing to have a soul like Shah Rukh in your vicinity.” All was hunky dory between the two till SRK got to know that Mushtaq was using his name to gain publicity. The animosity between the two has reached a level where Mushtaq is no longer allowed inside Shah Rukh’s residence, Mannat.

Commenting on whether Salman and Mushtaq are just close buddies or if the two are planning to soon work together, an industry insider said, “There are rumours that after writing two books on SRK, Mushtaq is now trying to convince Salman to let him write a book on him. There are also reports that Mushtaq might also write a film for Salman. ”

Mushtaq Shiekh confirmed the news, “Yes, I was having dinner with Salman. We have always been in touch. I stay very close to the restaurant, so whenever any of my friends come there, they call me there for dinner.”

When asked about writing a book on Salman, he said, “I am done with writing books. I am now involved with a channel and am also busy with some shows and films that I am writing. This meeting was strictly personal and we were just catching up.”

…that’s what Kareena Kapoor has in mind for herself

MEENA IYER Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; August 8, 2009)

Kareena Kapoor has secret plans. And they are grand, naturally. What might seem great for lesser mortals is not good enough for Bollywood’s reining diva. She wrinkles her shapely nose and says, “By the year-end, I hope I can buy my own house in Switzerland.’’ The actress is distressed that Mumbai offers little privacy to beau Saif Ali Khan and her. “We find it hard to go out clubbing or even for dinner because there is hardly any place that is truly private,’’ she regrets.

She says on most evenings, when they aren’t shooting, the couple stays indoors and watches televi
sion or soaks into a movie of their choice. “It’s getting kind of claustrophobic,’’ Kareena explains. She’s determined to work harder than ever now and make sure the extra bucks that she makes will go towards her dream home in the Alps. As to how she will manage flying across continents to juggle work and pleasure, Kareena says, “I have been giving it serious thought. If Johnny Depp can stay in Paris and work in Los Angeles, then surely I can stay in Switzerland for three months a year and work in Mumbai or wherever it is that I am required to be.’’

As of today, Kareena is wrapping up Karan Johar’s Qurban with Saif at a suburban Mumbai studio, and then flying to America for a short vacation. In keeping with her position of the No 1 Bollywood heroine, she has her diary chalked out for the next six months. September has been reserved for working on those ‘abs’ and some heavy-duty physical training so she can flaunt it all in Agent Vinod.

“Lots of exciting work is happening,’’ she beams. “In October Karan’s Stepmom with Kajol will begin providing me the emotional sustenance I’m looking for in a role, then Agent Vinod starts.

Here I have the opportunity to do some kickass stunts, like Angelina Jolie in Mr & Mrs Smith.” December will mark the release of Raju Hirani’s Three Idiots with Aamir Khan, the

most hyped film of the year. Shuddering, Kareena says, “Somewhere I’m a little girl who is still afraid of the expectations from each of my films. But I’m also very excited.’’

Films apart, the grapevine gup is that she’s launching her own label in January. “I have only just begun talks with an international team on introducing my personal clothes line like Victoria Beckham. My look in Kambakkht Ishq has gone down well with the fashionistas and hence this talk of launching my own label. There is little else I can say about this now because it’s in the formative stage.’’