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January 18, 2000


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Komal Nahta

The industry can finally celebrate. After a series of eminently forgettable films, the enviable opening response to Rakesh Roshan’s Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai is like a symbol of good times to come. For Hrithik Roshan, a rank newcomer, has done with Kaho Naa... what Aamir Khan couldn’t do with Mela.

This is the most speculative and exciting part of moviedom. The hottest of stars can fail and the guy with no name or experience to his credit can set the cash registers ringing. Like Hrithik and Kaho Naa...

The film began its attempt at the box office with Rajesh Roshan's catchy score. And when the youngsters tripped out on the music, director Rakesh Roshan knew his film had more than a fighting chance of making it. Especially since the choreography was good and he had a sexy new boy as the lead. What else did the audience need?

Now that the opening day figures are out, we know that dad Rakesh and uncle Rajesh have succeeded in introducing a new hero, something the industry needed very badly. The response in the overseas circuit has also been good; it was much better than the one accorded to Mela. It will be great if Hrithik is also accepted abroad, as more and more film-makers are targeting the fertile overseas market.

As of now, except for the three Khans -- Shah Rukh, Salman and Aamir -- and Anil Kapoor, no hero is hot in the overseas territory. So the film-makers who are also looking at the overseas audience have been limited to one of these four. But they may soon have a fifth choice if KN... PH hits the bull’s eye.

The new girl, Amisha Patel, has also been accepted. She looks cute and her performance, like Hrithik's, belies the fact that it is her debut film. The awkwardness one associates with new faces is completely absent in Kaho Naa.. Actually, Hrithik is being discussed more than the film. But only time will tell whether this will benefit KN... PH.

Sridevi, Madhuri promote Pukar together

The promotion for Pukar has begun in right earnest. The first leg took off on January 16, with Anil Kapoor, Madhuri Dixit, director Rajkumar Santoshi, producer Boney Kapoor and wife Sridevi holding a press conference in Indore. The world may have been denied an opportunity of seeing Sridevi and Madhuri together on the silver screen, but the press in several cities of the country will now witness the coming together of these two actresses, what with more promotional tours of Pukar lined up. It might be mentioned here that been pitted against each other in Zameen, which was being directed by Ramesh Sippy.

Shekhar-Vashu: Team No 1?

Shekhar Kapur and producer Vashu Bhagnani (Coolie No 1, Hero No 1, Biwi No 1) have joined hands to produce three films jointly, one of which will be directed by Shekhar himself.

The jinx

It is a coincidence, and a strange one at that. With one exception, no film released in the first week of the year, either in the eighties or the nineties, has been a hit or even a fair success. Take a look...

Year Film
7-1-2000 Mela, Bulandi
1-1-1999 Sikandar Sadak Ka
2-1-1998 Haiwaan
3-1-1997 Aastha (It did well only in Bombay and C P Berar)
5-1-1996 Himmat, Jurmana, Smuggler
6-1-1995 Ab Insaaf Hoga, Gunehgar, Kala Sach
7-1-1994 Zid, Gopalaa, Thanedaarni, Aag Aur Chingaari
1-1-1993 Dil Hi To Hai, Balmaa, Zakhmi Rooh
3-1-1992 Daulat Ki Jung
4-1-1991 Jigarwala, Laal Paree
5-1-1990 Souten Ki Beti, Pyar Ke Naam Qurban, Vidroh
6-1-1989 Vardi (Did quite well)
1-1-1988 Jungle Ki Beti, Khel Mohabbat Ka
2-1-1987 Insaniyat Ke Dushman, Sutradhar, Patthar Se Takkar
3-1-1986 Ram Tera Desh
4-1-1985 No new release
6-1-1984 Wanted, Sardar
7-1-1983 Zara Si Zindagi, Chatpatee
1-1-1982 Daulat, Dil-E-Nadaan, Josh
1981 Waqt Ki Deewar, Guest House
4-1-1980 No new release
Pyar Jhukta Nahin was 1995's first release. It was, however, not released in the first wek of that year, but in the second week (on 11-1-85). There was no release in the first week of 1985.

Salim debunks hoardings

Producer Salim has decided to do away with hoardings for his latest film, Badal. There is already one vinyl back-lit billboard of the film at Juhu, a happening place in Bombay.

One isn’t sure whether, like hoardings, Salim will bid goodbye to billboards as well. At the moment, he feels hoardings are very costly and don’t contribute to a film’s success because no amount of hoardings can guarantee an opening for a film. Which is quite true. When stars cannot guarantee an initial, what can Salim or, for that matter, anybody else expect from lifeless hoardings?

Twinkle Khanna spells murder!

Shocked? Don’t be. We are only talking about her films. Actors who play Twinkle’s reel-brothers invariably end up being killed in the said films.

In International Khiladi, for example, Vivek Shauq played her brother and was killed on screen. Deepak Tijori played Twinkle’s brother in Baadshah; he too was murdered in the film. More recently, in Mela, Ayub Khan falls prey to Tinnu Verma’s bullets in the initial reels, leaving his sister Twinkle unprotected in the big, bad world.

Ketan opts for Salman

After shelving Yeh Hai Jalwa, his Sanjay Dutt-Salman Khan starrer, Ketan Desai has announced a solo Salman film. As yet untitled, it will be directed by David Dhawan. David will also be directing Jeetendra’s home production, starring Govinda and Sushmita Sen.

Padmini sibling to enter Bollywood

Producer Tutu Sharma will introduce wife Padmini Kolhapure’s younger sister, Tejaswini, in his next film. Pankaj Parashar, who had called the shots in Tutu's last film, Rajkumar, will direct this one as well.

A look at the week

Rating Film Production House Verdict Position Last Week
1 Kaho Naa...
Pyaar Hai
Filmkraft Above average (Hit in parts) New
2 Mela Venus Loser (Above average in Hindi belt) 1
3 Jaanwar Shree Krishna Intl Average (Above average in Hindi belt) 3
4 Hum Saath-Saath Hain Rajshri Hit 2
5 Vaastav Adishakti Above average
(Hit in Maharashtra)
6 Khoobsurat Jhamu Sugandh Flop 8
7 Taal Mukta Arts Above average
(Flop in parts)
8 Bulandi Maa Sherawali Productions Flop 4
9 Lake Placid 20th Century Fox Average New
10 Deep Blue Sea Warner Above average 7

Komal Nahta edits the popular trade magazine, Film Information.

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