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Saturday, July 14, 2007

Photo Feature: Hitech Guy Surprises Policeman!

"A techie transfers fund for a penalty from his laptop near Trinity Circle in Bangalore on Tuesday.... ". This photograph sent by OmSuresh Gajula.

Age 83- 2 Heart Surgeries- ANR Still Healthy

Once in a speech he said that he takes two pegs everyday on doctor's advice. He was never addicted to it but very conservative in consuming on medical prescription. ANR is not at all touching whisky. He sticks only to Napolean Brand Brandy. He is a regular consumer of alcohol in a very moderate level (not more than 1 and half peg).

ANR is 83 and still healthy for various reasons. His body constitution is strong (only draw back is that he undergoes blood transfusion frequently-in fact that proved to be another health secret for him), he never knows financial burdens, he has been breathing the success and enjoying respect and celebrity status in society, he keeps himself cool, he regularly walks in the morning without fail, his children and grand children are well settled, he believes only in home food, he takes very hygienic and protein food, he is very practical in thinking and hardly gets carried away by sentiments and superstitions. And above all he feels he is young all the while.

That is the secret of his life despite underwent by-pass surgery in 1974 and an attempt to Open Heart Surgery in 1988.

'Chirutha' Poster To Be Shown In 'Shankardada..'

There is no end for gossips and hot news relating to Shankardada Zindabad as the day is coming nearer. After the news Allu Arjun and Ravi Teja acted in the film revealed, the fresh gossip is about Ram Charan's presence in the film. It was stated that Ram Charan is also going to be seen in the film but not in person. He is appearing in the form of 'Chirutha poster'. That way Chiranjeevi's entire family can be seen in it.

Sources said that Nagababu is also appearing in a role. Pawan Kalyan is anyway coming in the climax. Allu Arjun steps in the song 'Jagadeka Veeruniki…'. So, the entire Chiru khandan will be seen in it.

Once Chiranjeevi said that if entire family members act in a single film that appears like a family video but not film. We have to see how this film looks!

Hot Hansika Worried For 'Kiddy Image'

Haansikaa Motwani seems to be having trouble putting her bachpan ke din behind. We are told the teenager is struggling real hard to grow out of her kiddy image.

Recently a fan went up to Haansikaa all excited, jumping for joy. Our girl thought he must have watched Aap Kaa Suroor which is why he was sooo delighted!

But to her dismay, he actually congratulated her on her Koi Mil Gaya performance and didn't even mention a word about AKS.

Onlookers reveal that Haansikaa stormed off leaving the fan all sad and lonely and he wasn't jumping after that. We don't blame the poor guy, though.

We think Haansikaa should wait for a few more years so her fans can take her seriously as an adult actor.

Spotlight: Customer Dissatisfaction On Sex-Worker

A customer got no satisfaction from sex workers and complained to police on them. He also said that he would file the same in consumer forum as well.

The person is Carlonis Veneer Hi from Netherlands. He went to a sex worker in Kolkata but not satisfied with her job. He spent the night with six sex workers and spent Rs 3000 on all at Saddar Street in Kolkata. He was not satisfied with any one of the six and hence complained to police. He mentioned in his complaint to return back Rs 1500. He assumed that sex-work is legal in India like in Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark.

Police surprised at the case (they mentioned it is first of its kind in their service) and brought it to the notice of media.

Whereabouts Of Nagaphani Sharma

Nagaphani Sharma, yesterday's 'man of letters' and today's scandalous avadhani, has been in oblivion and people doesn't know where he is staying now. He was forced to vacate the house at Barkatpura and was ostracized by entire cultural field of AP. No one is trying to call him for any event or his where about are unknown. While a few of his fans are compromising with the situation saying, "past birth reconciliation", other scholars are happy out of envy. There are many who are envious of Nagaphani because he earned very big property on par with Dr C Narayana Reddy within a very short span of time. No other avadhani or Telugu scholar earned such big property in crores like Nagaphani Sharma.

He was charged with molestation by an NRI lady. As the news broke out in media regarding that, he started living in oblivion. He has four daughters out of which three girls are yet to get married.

Will he come out at least in future? Will he announce any feat? Will he start his Avadhana Saraswathi Peetham'? What happens to huge donations given to him by thousands of literary lovers?

Gossip: Rs 2 Cr For 'Santhosham Awards' Function

Suresh Kondeti made plans to celebrate the Santhosham Awards ceremony in Dubai . He says that Dubai would be the good place for the event as there are many Telugus living there. Grapevine says that he prepared for a budget of Rs 2 Crore for this event. It was said that the last awards function in Hyderabad incurred Rs 40 lakhs. He is giving the tickets for many film celebrities and the event is being planned to be a gala one, says the inside sources. Let us see how Kondeti carves that.

Well, there were comments last time that Suresh collected Rs 40 lakhs and shown the same amount as expenditure although actually he spent only Rs 15 lakhs. He also earned good sum by selling the satellite rights of the event to a TV Channel. We have to see how much he collects from sponsors now and how much he spends and how much he bags for himself.

There is an impression that Suresh spends Rs 10 only with an idea to get Rs 100 be it an awards ceremony or a charity show. He is a good businessman indeed.

Telugu Film News 14-07-2007

SDZ confirmed on 25 July
Chiranjeevi’s latest film Shankar Dada Zindabad is coming on 25 July. This film stars Chiranjeevi and Karishma Kotak in lead roles. Srikant does a vital role. Pawan Kalyan, Ravi Teja and Allu Arjun did special appearances. The music scored by Devi Sri Prasad is already rage. Prabhudeva directs this film. Gemini Film Circuit produces it.

Dasari to launch Yamadonga audio
Dasari Narayana Rao will be launching the audio of Yamadonga film along with another prolific senior director K Raghavendra Rao at a function to be held at Hotel Marriot on the night of 14 July. All the bigwigs of Telugu film industry are expected to grace this occasion. Yamadonga movie will be released on 8 August.

Bellamkonda to dub Vel
Bellamkonda Suresh who is on high with Sivaji collecting huge amounts. His next venture is going to be another dubbing film from Tamil titled ‘Vel‘. This film sports Surya and Asin (Gajini pair) doing the main leads. Hari directed this film. KVV Satyanarayana and S Panduranga Rao are also involved in the dubbing process.

Audio Review - Shankar Dada Zindabad

Name: Shankar Dada Zindabad (2007)
Cast: Chiranjeevi & Karishma Kotak
Director: Prabhudeva
Music: Devi Sri Prasad
Lyrics: Sahiti, Suddala Ashok Teja, Chandrabose & Bhaskarabhatla
Producer: Gemini Film Circuit

Shankar Dada Zindabad – Devi’s best yet for Chiru

Munnabhai and Circuit rank among some of the incredibly cool characters of Hindi Cinema. If Munnabhai MBBS was lapped by the audience in a big way, Lage Raho Munnabhai (LRMB), second in the Munnabhai series, won over the hearts of cine goers so much that the concept of ‘Gandhigiri’ became almost an anthem for Indians all over the world. Naturally, Gemini Film Circuit that remaked the first movie, bought the remake rights of LRBM for an astronomical price and brought in Prabhu Deva to call the shots with Mega Star Chiranjeevi and Srikanth reprising the roles of Shankar dada and ATM and introducing a model turned heroine Karishma Kothak.

Frankly, Shankardada MBBS was a watered down version of the Hindi original, its box office success notwithstanding. Save for Mega Star and Sonali to a certain extent, no other characters could create the same magic as the ones in Hindi. So, one hopes Prabhu Deva handles Zindabad in a much better way than how Jayanth handled MBBS.

This is the third time Devi is composing music for a Mega Star film (Shankar dada MBBS and Andarivaadu being the first two). Also, this is the third time Devi is working with director Prabhu Deva (NVNV and Pournami being the other two). Comparisons of how Devi fares the third time aside, don’t expect the moon from this album and you’ll be thoroughly entertained. Besides, I believe this is Devi’s best musical score, till date, for a Chiru’s film. Well, there could be talks of better score et al but given the movie and its scope for music, Devi scores it right.
1. Good Morning halfnil halfnil
With Shankar Mahadevan as the singer and going by Devi’s lyrics (seeminlgy inspired, in parts, by the Hindi counterpart), this is most likely the first song in the movie. Breezy with good tempo. Divya mouths the Good morning Hyderabad part. There is also a remix version sung by Devi with rap by Darshan. This has a faster tempo and an impressive usage of Mandolin by Devi.

Hindi counterpart: Lage Raho Munnabhai
2. Chandamama fullnil fullnil
This appropriately modified version of Pal Pal Pal from LRMB is quite a melody. Though the original itself was an inspired version, Devi comes up with a fresh tune and rightly picks Chitra to sing it. Needless to say, Chitra’s voice is so enchanting it totally overshadows Venu, the male singer. Bhaskarabhatla’s words about the girl’s eagerness to hear the guy’s feelings for her, and the guy fearing the consequences of expressing his feelings just doesn’t want time to tick away, are nice.

Hindi counterpart: Pal Pal Pal
3. Jagadekaveerudiki fullnilnil fullnilnil
A conversational styled situational number that’s sung enthusiastically by Mano and is interspersed with some funny one liners by Chiru and Srikanth. It may not appeal that much when just heard but when seen on the screen this is bound to enthrall Chiru’s fans – especially the mantra like chant Shankar dada zindabad, huu haa huu haa. Chandrabose pens this one.

Hindi counterpart: Samjho ho hi gaya na

4. Bhoogolamantha fullhalfnil fullhalfnil
This groovy song is sung perfectly by Adnan Sami and Gopika Poornima. Adnan’s efforts to come up with better pronunciations are appreciable and Devi deserves a pat on his back too for this. Really, we don’t have any issues with non Telugu singers holding the mic but our only earnest request for the music directors is to ensure that the singers don’t kill the song and the language in particular. Sahiti pens this one interestingly.

Hindi counterpart: None

5. Aakalesthe fullfullfullfullnil fullfullfullfullnil
Mamatha and Devi do it again. After Rakhi, Rakhi and 36-24-36, they give us yet another electrifying mass number. Undoubtedly, this is their third hit in a row. Together, Naveen and Mamatha spice up this number with a zesty rendition. One can only imagine how Prabhu Deva would transform this on to the screen with Chiru and Yana Gupta bound to set the screen on fire. Sahiti’s lyrics are in perfect sync with the mood of the song. Enjoy this one.

Hindi counterpart: None
6. O Bapu fullfullfullhalfnil fullfullfullhalfnil
While its Hindi counterpart was composed along the lines of a famous old song, Devi sets this short yet striking number to a fresh tune. Though Sagar and Devi sing this one with fervor, they clearly, come nowhere close to what Sonu Nigam achieved in Hindi. It is Suddala Ashok Teja’s ode to the Father of the nation in this song that deserves applause. His pen offers a paean to Gandhiji.

Hindi counterpart: Bandhe mein tha dum

With situational songs, mass songs and a melody too, Devi more than satisfies Mega Star’s fans with this album. Now, it’s in the hands of Prabhu Deva to take it from here and make it truly successful. Before I sign off, Shankar dada zindabad…huu haa…huu haa!

nterview with Kundan Shah

Kundan Shah who made critically acclaimed films like Jane Bhi Do Yaaro (Nasiruddin Shah) and Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa (Shahrukh Khan) is a Pune Film Institute graduate. He visited Hyderabad to attend the Chitra Yatra film festival. Here are the excerpts -

How did you get into movie line?
I am basically a Mumbai-based Gujarathi. And as we had no playgrounds in our place and only source of entertainment was just movies in 60's. As a child I grew up watching films. I developed an inclination to read pulp fiction in my college days. After completion of my college, I felt restless, though I worked in a publishing house for four years. Still, a sort of dissatisfaction used to haunt me. That is when I decided to shift to movies and applied for Pune Film Institute and got admission. I invested all my 4-years savings into the course and completed it. The term fee used to Rs. 200/- in 1973. I was out of job for three years after completion of my film course. Then I joined as an assistant director for 3 films. All these 3 films featured my college friend from film institute Nasiruddin Shah. We share a terrific rapport and he came forward to work with me for my debut film Jane Bhi Do Yaaro. And it clicked. I would like to give major credit of my success to Nasiruddin Shah who also gave birth to many talented filmmakers..

How helpful is it to study in a film school for a person aspiring to be a film director?
The talent to direct films should be inborn. Film schools only equip you with the methods of filmmaking and hone your skills. Films schools will put you at par with world's best directors. I also feel that you need not assist anybody to learn filmmaking. You should assist somebody, if you want to learn about logistics and production aspects.

What is your take on art and commercial films?
Economics and popularity are the aspects that differentiates an art film from a commercial film. Movie is a form of art. And no art can progress without experiments. Hence it is very important to make experimental films though they commercially fail many a time. It is irony that the budget of a commercial disaster Salaam E Ishq is equivalent to the budget of all NFDC films produced so far in collaboration with most of the classic directors whom we can call as our national heritage.

Which one is your personal favorite among the films you made?
Jane Bhi Do Yaaro made my career.

Who influenced the most of your work?
Dario Fo. He was a Nobel winning literate from Italy. He writes slapstick comedy with social message encrypted in it. I also get influenced a lot by reading newspapers.

What is your opinion on Chitra Yatra film festival?
It amazes me when I look at the range of films that are being selected for this film festival. They put fantastic thought into it. I watched 'money call' around 20 years back for a couple of times. Since then I wanted to watch that film and now I found it in this film festival. I also find 'Rules of the game' and 'Chinese Roulette' films to be fascinating. Chitra Yatra also includes documentaries which is excellent. Vidhu Vinod Chopra's Oscar nominated documentary 'An encounter with faces' is also documented.

How to attract common people to film festivals?
Films festivals need to be promoted more aggressively by the media. TV shows featuring clips and discussions about art films followed by screening in film festivals might help.

What is your next project?
It is going to be a political satire with fresh faces.

Buzz: Ramoji Rao Rescued By NRIs!

A hidden talk has come out of late. It is not confirmed by official sources openly but it said that many NRIs have sent a few million dollars to bail out Ramoji Rao from Margadarsi issue.

The number of fans of Ramoji Rao sitting in USA responded in time and sent huge sums to Ramoji, say the sources. But the entire amount is given as loan which should be repaid by Ramoji.

The exact figure is not revealed out.

Gossip: Too Many ‘Comedians’ May Spoil The Broth!

AVS is not leaving even a small time comedian untouched for his new flick ‘Kothimooka’. He has pooled up forty artistes for making humor so far. After three successive flops, he is making one more experiment as director. Can he cook up a breathless screen play to accommodate all? Many doubt his abilities. His long time gal friend Navneet Kour is ready to expose generously in the film to save him. In order not take more chances, AVS is trying to book Mummaith Khan for either an item song or for a role.

Vaastu: Principles for construction of a house

Many people get a plan made and build their house. Vaastu has laid down some specifications to be followed while constructing a house. Following these specifications will be good for the peace and prosperity of the residents.

Here are some basic guidelines:

Plant Tulsi or Basil plant to the east or in front of the house

Planting cactus along the outside boundary of your house is good

Use only new materials for new constructions. Old materials can be used for renovations

The south-west corner of a house is good for elderly men

A building's height should be more in the south and west than in the north and east

While constructing a house, ensure the south-west walls are thicker than the northwest walls

Bhumi puja is a must before commencing construction and you should move in only after the gruha pravesha Puja room should never be under a staircase

Having a well or bore well in the middle of a plot or house is inauspicious

Dhoni catching up with Tendulkar as youth icon

LONDON: Mahendra Singh Dhoni has emerged as the most visible new face on advertising hoardings in India, running a close second to Sachin Tendulkar.

The wicket-keeper batsman's panache for hitting big sixes and riding fast motorbikes has helped him acquire the status of a youth icon, which in turn has made him one of the most attractive propositions for corporate branding, BBC reported on its website Friday.

He has quite literally been converted into a moving billboard, covered from head to toe with endorsements for products ranging from haircare to boot polish.

Dhoni has not yet overtaken Tendulkar, captain Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly in terms of cumulative deals, but the vice-captain of India's one-day team has undoubtedly become the flavour of the month.

For over a decade, star batsman Tendulkar was the most attractive personality that every top brand wanted to be associated with.

And though he continues to be the most recognisable face off the field the Mumbai maestro is not signing a plethora of deals right now, primarily because he is locked into long-term contracts.

Tendulkar remains the biggest grosser in cumulative terms with 17 endorsements under his belt, but Dhoni has made giant strides with 12 of his own.

The 26-year-old maverick from Ranchi, Jharkhand, is more flexible and willing to sign short-term deals. Dhoni is also fast exhausting the categories that he can promote - eye care, tooth care, suits, car batteries, insurance, banking, mobile phones, cars, soft drinks, and footwear are all backed by his toothy smile.

Why Dhoni?

His long tresses with highlights, his need for speed and penchant for hitting the ball a long way have all helped him earn a huge following among young cricket fans.

And the enduring romance of small-town boys making it big in the global arena continues to attract a massive audience.

Dhoni is bound to become an even more attractive proposition now that he has been appointed the one-day team's vice-captain - and the effects of that are likely to be seen when India host Australia and Pakistan from October.

The future could bring yet more riches off the field.

Chief selector Dilip Vengsarkar considers him a long-term candidate as successor to Dravid as skipper. Vengsarkar says the selectors have found Dhoni to be a keen student of the game.

If he continues the way he is going about things now, the big-hitter will need plenty of time to study his bank accounts. (IANS)

AP Political News 14-07-07

Fact Sheet: Sanghi ganging up against YSR!

Industrialist and Congress MP Girish Sanghi, who has been blowing hot and cold at Chief Minister Dr Y S Rajasekhar Reddy all these days, has decided to blow only hot hereafter.

It is learnt Sanghi recently organised a meeting of Arya Vysya leaders and hosted them a lavish party, where he lamented at the indifferent attitude of the Chief Minister against him and his Telugu daily Vaartha. He also invited several IAS and IPS officers, hailing from his community to the dinner and sought their help to run down the Chief Minister. He recalled that when he threw a party on the occasion of his birthday a few months ago, the Chief Minister deliberately avoided attending the party.

Sanghi thought, the Chief Minister would pamper him and his daily, after the latter launched a direct attack on Eenadu group and its chairman Ramoji Rao and targetted his lands at the Ramoji Film City. On the other hand, the authorities issued notices to Sanghi, too, seeking to take back the assigned lands occupied by the Sanghi Industries. The Chief Minister also outrightly rejected Sanghi's application for a Special Economic Zone status for the Sanghinagar area on the city outskirts. Above all, the Chief Minister's decision to launch his own Telugu daily Saakshi was the last nail in Sanghi's coffin.

Unruly MLAs shame political class

In Srikakulam town in Andhra Pradesh, two MLAs manhandled each other, just because they disagreed over how the government's housing programme was being implemented.

What began as a routine review meeting of the Indiramma Housing Scheme in Srikakulam ended in fisticuffs, between Congress MLA Murali Mohan and TDP MLA K Jogulu.

''When I was talking to the minister, he shouted at me asking me to sit. I told him I am speaking to the minister and asked him not to interfere. At which point, he got up from his seat and beat me,'' K Jogulu, TDP MLA.

Senior minister G Vinod said the incident has shamed the political class.

''In political circles, fights do happen when you go into the field. But in a forum, the forum needs to be respected,'' said G Vinod, Labour Minister, AP.

Chandrababu Naidu, who emphasises a lot on decorum and party discipline, conducts regular training classes for the Telugu Desam cadre.

The Congress held an extensive training session a month ago where again the focus was on image building and discipline.

The Srikakulam episode shows the leaders are perhaps not quite taking the lessons seriously.

The monsoon session of the state Assembly starts on Monday and senior legislators will be expected to ensure against unparliamentary conduct of the kind seen in Srikakulam.

Council becomes a big burden on YSR

Chief Minister Dr Y S Rajasekhar Reddy might have thought the revival of Legislative Council a major achievement in his political career, as he could provide political positions to as many Congress leaders, but it is turning out be a real burden for him.

The Congress leaders, who got elected and nominated as MLCs, are now bringing pressure on the Chief Minister for giving them due recognition, on a par with the MLAs. Many of these MLCs do not have proper accommodation facilities so far in Hyderabad, as the existing MLA Quarters is grossly insufficient. Whoever could get the accommodation with great difficulty are not happy with the amenities they are being provided, as they are far inferior to the faciltieis being enjoyed by the MLAs.

Secondly, there has been a huge demand from the MLCs for gunmen on the ground that they are facing threat to their lives from Maoists and other anti-social elements. The Home Ministry is not in a position to fulfil their demand. The MLCs are also demanding official cars and office staff for discharging their functions propertly.

Above all, the MLCs are now pressurising the Chief Minister for a due share in the constituency development fund of Rs 1 crore each. Though the MLCs do not have specific constituencies of their own, they have their native disticts and therefore, they too want funds for development of their area. They argue that Rajya Sabha members also get constituency development funds, though they do not have any constituencies as such. The Chief Minister is now breaking his head as to how to fulfil all these demands.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Namita's Tummy Fat Was About 10 Kgs

Namita reduced her weight for about 10 kgs in recent times, she says. But the observers are saying that is not evident in uniform manner. They make it clear saying that she is looking more feminine with heavy assets while her tummy is tucked in now. So, it's just the fat around the equator that was burnt down, which came to 10 kgs.

Obviously she is no way inclined to cut down her heaviness with respect to feminine assets as that is her USP.

Namita says that two of her colleagues in Kollywood advised her to cut down that fat and they are Ajith and Vijay.

Fact Sheet: Renuka overshadows Purandareshwari!

The ongoing Presidential elections have provided an excellent opportunity to Union Minister of State for Women Development and Child Welfare Renuka Chowdary to get closer to Madam Sonia Gandhi and overshadow her colleague from Andhra – Daggubati Purandareshwari, who had hitherto been the blue-eyed girl of the madam.

When the Bharatiya Janata Party pitched its trump card Sushma Swaraj to campaign for NDA-backed candidate Bhairon Singh Shekhawat and attack UPA candidate Pratibha Patil by digging out various scandals against her, the Congress found a better choice in Renuka to counter Sushma. And Renuka grabbed the opportunity with both the hands. In her two press conferences, Renuka effectively handled the allegations against Pratibha and launched a scathing attack on Sushma and her brigade. Her command in English as well as Hindi came in handy and the national media gave her a lot of coverage, which restored the prestige of the UPA.

Obviously, Sonia is very much pleased with Renuka's performance. Indications are that she might promote Renuka in the party and give her the much sought-after AICC publicity incharge post, which was held by Sonia's close aides like Ambika Soni and Priyaranjan Das Munshi.

Andhra Talk: People's Talk On Hollywood 'Hanuman'

It's really grand news to note that Ramayanam is going Hollywood . Uru Patel, an NRI is producing this film on large scale win which Lord Rama is going to be portrayed by Matrix fame, Keenu Reeves and Sita by Shilpa Setty. Asim Merchant is being considered for the role of Laxmana which si yet to be confirmed. The film is going to be centered on 'Hanuman' where the actor to play this role is yet to be finalized.

There were many Greek and Roman mythological films made on various Hollywood banners but the Hindu mythology hasn't touched till now in big way. Although there were a few references to the scenes in the films like 'King Solomon's Islands ', they were made with ignorance and lack of proper knowledge. In the film 'King Solomon's Islands', the idol of Nataraj was shown as evil spirit. There was no big check on it in those days and it went unnoticed by many. There would be few such scenes in Hollywood films of the past. But now with a motive to spread the moral grandeur of Ramayana, Uru Patel is making this attempt that should be appreciated.

Let us see what people say about this Indian attempt on Hollywood for showing Ramayana.

"It is good to know about this. The present day kids are aware of Harry Potter and Spider Man but hardly know about Indian epic heroes. The best medium to show them is Cinema. The kids are not comfortable with old mythological films but they want something trendy. So Hollywood proves to be the right platform. If the film is made in international standards, kids may forget Spider Man and others and switch over their favoritism to Hanuman. It is not just for Indian kids but internationally also", says Ramadevi, an Elementary school teacher.

"Ramayana runs with more fiction than that of Greek Mythology. That would certainly entertain kids. But at the same time logic has to be maintained while canning in some scenes to convince the elders who expose to this epic for first time. If fiction dominates the film, people may turn down. Today many are looking out for more reasoning and not compromising with whatever is being shown. So the script work should be target oriented. If targeting the kids, it can be like Narnia or if it is for elder groups then it should be like Wolfgang Peterson's ' Troy'", says Ajay Raju, an Assistant script writer of Telugu films.

"Troy popularized the Roman mythology across the world. The crispy way of making the film appealed for all word wide and Indians enjoyed it a lot and learnt the characters and their behavior as well. Same opportunity is to be given with Ramayana and characters in it as well", says Surender Kumar, a distributor.

Let us see how far our mythology makes its way in international film world.

Harry Potter premiere held at IMAX

The Indian premiere of ‘Harry Potter - the order of the phoenix’ was held at Prasads IMAX screen at 9 am on 13 July. Anam Ram Narayan Reddy, the minister of Cinematography and tourism for Andhra Pradesh attended this premiere.

Speaking on the occasion Ramesh Prasad of Prasads said, “This film generated very good interest among the children. Millions of the books were sold prior to the film release. Most of the children in theater starts anticipating dialogues and scenes as they have already read the book. The children are thrilled watching the 3D effects in the largest 3D screen in the world - Prasads that is. Earlier version of Harry Potter created the world record in terms of attendance. I hope that this film too would surpass that record. Incidentally, Prasads is the only IMAX screen that is screening the 3D version of the film. It will a privilege to the movie lovers in Hyderabad and AP.”

Distributor Jagadeeswara Reddy said, “I would like to thank Warner Brothers for giving me the opportunity to release Telugu, Hindi and English version of 35mm format in entire AP and parts of Marathwada. The Telugu version will release in the last of the month. We will be releasing 2ith 35 prints. This film generated tremendous hype among the children by transporting them into a different magical world.”

Review: Harry Potter & Order of the Phoenix

Some magic at last!

There's magic, and then there's magic.

The real charm of the Harry Potter books, as any Pottermaniac will vouch for, is not so much in the fantastic spells the boy wizard and his friends learn at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, but the magic of human emotions.

You don't have to be a fantasy fan to like Harry Potter; the core of the books is closer to P G Wodehouse school stories than Tolkien. That's what the four films before Order Of The Phoenix failed to grasp.

There were special effects galore, but you didn't feel Harry's emptiness every time a school year ended. You didn't feel his goodness, and you didn't grow with him.

As an unashamed Pottermaniac, I am glad to report that the fifth film changes that with a reasonable degree of success.

A still Harry PotterThe film opens with a very well-shot episode of two dementors attacking Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) -- now a strapping young lad -- and Dudley Dursley (Harry Melling, not as portly as the books say, but doing pretty good).

And for the first time on film, you feel Harry's dread as he appears for the Ministry of Magic trial for just saving himself.

As all of you familiar with the book know, Order Of The Phoenix's story is about the magical word being split into two -- one half believes Harry and Dumbledore and the other believes the Ministry and its spin doctor, the Daily Prophet, who are out to make it look like Harry is a delusional fool and the Hogwarts headmaster a conniving, power-hungry wizard.

So an utterly horrible witch, Dolores Umbridge (played superbly by Imelda Staunton), is appointed as the new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher by the Ministry. She wants 'order and discipline' in the school -- like 'boys are not to come within eight inches of a girl' -- and she wants the Hogwarts students not to learn any real magic, but mug up books.

With her cruel laugh and mannerisms, Staunton makes Umbridge almost as evil as the matron in that brilliant movie adaptation of that brilliant book, One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest.

A still from Harry Potter And the Order of the PhoenixThere is more such excellent character acting, like Evanna Lynch as the eccentric Luna Lovegood. You feel sorry for her, just like you do in the books. Everyone thinks she's nuts, and no one wants to let go of a chance to play a prank on her -- like hiding her belongings.

Gary Oldman as Sirius Black shines too, and the bond between him and his godson Harry comes across subtly but clearly, thanks to some great work by Oldman.

Bellatrix Lestrange (Helena Bonham Carter) too is a welcome cameo.

Natalia Tena as Nymphadora Tonks is another example. She infuses magic into her character with about two minutes of screen space.

In contrast, the main gang -- Harry, Hermione (Emma Watson) and Ron and Neville Longbottom (Matthew Lewis) -- are not so consistently good, though they all have grown into better actors. Correction: Apart from Rupert Grint. He is the goofy, awkward, gangly and lovable Ron Weasley to the hilt.

Order Of The Phoenix is visually a treat too, with Hogwarts looking bigger and better -- as it should have all along. Yes, this is what the films should have been like, right from Philospher's Stone.

There are some superb moments like Harry and the members of the Order flying in formation over the Thames, and of course, the climactic showdown between Lord Voldemort -- Ralph Fiennes is evil embodied with just the way he holds his wand -- and the only wizard he was ever afraid of.

And there are a few moments when you feel the emotional quotient of the books -- like when Ron tells Harry, 'You don't have to do this alone, you know.'

A still from Harry Potter And the Order of the PhoenixOn the downside, there is some bad acting too -- by Uncle Vernon (Richard Griffiths) and Aunt Petunia (Fiona Shaw), most notably. We all know how they fuss over their pig of a son in the books, but when he comes home nearly deranged after the dementor attack, their reaction is far from appropriate. Mrs Figg (Kathryn Hunter) too is a letdown.

There is no chemistry between Cho Chang (Katie Lieung) and Harry, and their much-hyped kiss is definitely not the highlight it was being touted to be.

And my personal grouse is that Fred and George Weasley, two of the finest characters Rowling has created, remain underused, despite their spectacular exit from Hogwarts.

Instead, it's director David Yates who shines with little touches that make a big difference. Like Ginny Weasley looking on wistfully as Harry focuses his attention on Cho.

Order Of The Pheonix is darker than all the previous films (thank god for that!) and moves out from the 'strictly for children' realm. This is adult territory, and delightfully real. The background score also moves up a notch, as do the photography and the locales. The editing, however, is a little jumpy in parts.

But like its predecessors, Order Of The Phoenix forgets completely to dangle unanswered questions in front of the audience, which the books do so tantalisingly.

The magic is also diluted by dialgue at times. You cannot feel the same empathy for Neville as you do in the books when you learn that his parents were driven mad by Lestrange with Neville himself revealing that (one of the many deviations from the book).

Ditto for the battle between Harry and Voldemort where Harry triumphs because he knows the value of love and friendship.

All in all, the fussiest of Potter fans will like this film, because it is a very good movie, and the best Harry Potter movie so far -- by miles.

But it could have been a great one. Sigh.

indfilmnews.blogspot Rating :

Reviews: Toss

Ram Reddy or Priyadarshini Ram changes tracks from an offbeat Manodu to a mainstream Toss.

Made entirely in the commercial format, this Telugu film stars Kannada superstar Upendra, Raja, Priyamani and Kaamna Jethmalani.

The film begins with the premise Oka abbadam padi saari nijam ante adi nijam vochu. Kaani oka nijam vanda saari abaddam anna athi abaddam kaadu (One lie uttered 10 times as though the truth can become the truth but one truth even if uttered 100 times as though a lie cannot become a lie).

Not everything you see is the truth and you can't see the truth all the time. It's not mind-boggling as it sounds. Basically Toss looks at who are morally right and systemically right through the eyes of its protagonists Neelakantha (Upendra) and Parasuram (Raja). The police commissioner Nayak (Suman) is another main character.

It's a question of the right side or the flip side -- hence, Toss. Parasuram tosses the coin to take the right action -- an act reminiscent of Amitabh Bachchan in Sholay.

The film has parallel tracks -- of Neelkantha (who is a difficult man to contend with on account of his might) and Parasuram (a good man), which sets the pace for the layered narrative. These two converge in the second half and that's where the suspense element comes in.

The police commissioner and another gang led by Sultan are the other characters in this suspense drama. In the first half of the movie one is led to believe that Parasuram and Nayak are good while Neelkantha is the bad guy, till the toss...

In between there is romance brewing between Parasuram and Naina (Priyamani) which complicates matters, more so because Naina is Neelkantha's sister.

Toss has all the usual elements of a commercial film -- action, romance, revenge, brother-sister sentiment (which is the common theme of most Telugu movies in the last seven months), songs, dances, some enforced comedy et al.

So, in essence, Toss is the usual masala entertainer, albeit a tad too confusing at times. There are some areas which are not conveniently explained (for instance one wonders how Neelkantha becomes rich as he loses his parents and brings up his sister on his own).

The movie is slick, with some good CG work. The fact that the movie was shot in high-definition digital camera helps in the colour correction besides post-production. However, there are distractions in the song-dances and the few enforced comedy sequences.

Upendra looks menacing (thanks to his attire and sound effects) as Neelkantha. Incidentally Toss marks his return to Telugu movies after a long gap.

Raja, on the other hand, performs what is expected of him, and is quite convincing as the goodie who is SET (Self Employed Tax as calls himself).

Suman plays the notorious police inspector with his usual conviction.

The women provide the glamour (particularly Kaamna) and display some amount of histrionics.

Mani Sarma's musical score is in sync with the mood -- the only 'melodious song' being Prema Prema...

All said and done, it's the audience who will decide to flip for Toss or not.

indfilmnews.blogspot Rating :

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