October 4, 2002 
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What has Urmila got in common with Tabu?
A look at the Bollywood fare this October

Subhash K Jha

In a week considered inauspicious in Bollywood, Tabu features as a prostitute in Zindagi Khoobsurat Hai. If the film clicks, it would break the so-called jinx on films released during the traditional Hindu mourning period known as the shraddh, a time when filmmakers avoid releasing their films.

As the film's leading man, singer Gurdas Maan reasons, "The shraddh period honours our ancestors. How can they wish us ill?"

If the heart-tugger Zindagi Khubsoorat Hai clicks, Gurdas Maan would be the first singer-turned-leading man to click this year. So far, other singers Sonu Nigam in Jaani Dushman: Ek Anokhi Kahani and Lucky Ali in Sur have not had much luck as actors.

If Zindagi works at the box-office, it would also break the jinx on debutant directors, most of whom have failed to make a mark this year.

If Zindagi takes a huge risk with cast, theme (it is about a mentally challenged girl, an aspiring singer-actor and a prostitute), other releases of the month also cover that extra mile in wooing and winning the audience.

Sequels are still not an essential part of the Hindi cinema's output. Though they have failed in the past (Nigaahen the sequel to the super-successful snake woman yarn Nagina bombed). But Mahesh Manjrekar has dared to piece together a sequel to his gangster epic Vaastav which was released two years ago.

In Hathiyar (earlier entitled Pratibimb), Sanjay Dutt plays the son of his character from the earlier film.

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Hathiyar is being rush released by Manjrekar so that it doesn’t clash with the other gangster epic Kaante featuring Dutt which has now been rescheduled for December 6. Whether audiences accept a sequel remains a point that will be proven on October 18 when Hathiyar opens.

Another experimental film opens alongside Manjrekar's exposition on gangsterism. In Dil Vil Pyaar Vyaar, scheduled for October 18, debutant director Anant Mahadevan has woven three love stories around the immortal melodies of Rahul Dev Burman. Such an experiment has never been undertaken in mainstream Hindi cinema before.

The film is crucial for its entire cast, especially the Tamil superstar R Madhavan. This is his second Hindi film after the relatively unsuccessful Rehna Hai Terre Dil Mein last year.

Yukta Mookhey In the mood for more experimental state-of-the-art entertainment? Our movies have got it this month in plenty. On October 11 Hansal Mehta releases his 'sex comedy without sex', Yeh Kya Ho Raha Hai with newcomers in the lead. "It is my take on the teen-comedy American Pie without the pie," winks Mehta.

His film with compete with the long-delayed Pyaasa which opens the same Friday. Pyaasa launches former Miss World Yukta Mookhey as leading lady. The film's producer and the debutante have been crossing swords in print for many months now. One hopes the title Pyaasa does not prove prophetic for all those involved with this film.

On October 25, Urmila Matondkar sizzles to an enigmatic beat in writer-turned-director Anees Bazmi's murder mystery Deewangee based on the Hollywood thriller Primal Fear with Ajay Devgan and Akshaye Khanna as the leading men.

October simmers with variety. From an emotional family film in the first week to a sex comedy in the second week. A gangster flick and a romantic musical woven around R D Burman's tunes in the third week. And finally a thrilling whodunit in the fourth.


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