Past Present Future

Call it irony but when newlyweds Vivek Oberoi and Priyanka Alva were posing with guests at their reception at the Grand Maratha, ex flame Aishwarya Rai was ringing in her birthday with the entire Bachchan clan. Certain past equations seem to have a life of their own.

Ash of course has been much in news these past weeks because of her various film releases. This year she's had a full house with 'Raavan/Raavanan', 'Robot/Endhiran' and now 'Action Replayy' and 'Guzaarish', both slated for release in this month. She goes retro in her Vipul Shah directed romcom opposite Akshay Kumar while in the Sanjay Leela Bhansali magnum opus that teams her with Hrithik Roshan she plays Sophia, a Goan nurse. Trade pundits eagerly await her next assignment as she has yet to green light another film. Speculation was rife that she would be acting in Vishal Bhardwaj's film but that report came to naught.

There's another project that Ash won't be seen in. It's a Hollywood film. A few years back, it was announced that Ash will star in Rolland Joffe's The Invaders but now the film-maker has opted for Bipasha Basu. The film has a new name too— 'Singularity' and will be shot in Australia and India. 'Singularity' is a love story that spans two continents and is being made on a budget of Rs. 150 crore. Bipasha plays a bodyguard in the film. Abhay Deol's name is also being touted as one of the Indian leads.

While the Bolly/Holly action sticks to the announcements bulletin, real cinema was witnessed at the just concluded Mumbai Film Festival. In its 12th edition, MAMI showcased some true blue gems. Javier Bardem's 'Biutiful' even saw a stampede with film lovers queuing up to watch Alejandro González Iñárritu's next. Bardem's performance breaks you and he's surely a contender for all the big acting prizes this year. David Fincher's Social Network as the opening film set the tone for the festival. The Facebook film crackles with some Aaron Sorkin gems, many of which deserve to be tee shirt slogans. There were some really great films like 'Mama Gogo', 'Poetry', 'Howl', 'Sway', 'Aftershock', 'If I Want to Whistle I Whistle' and 'Outrage.'

Special mention to Sudhish Kamath's 'Goodnight Goodmorning' which is in the 'Before Sunrise' space. The script by Kamath and Shilpa Rathnam is mint fresh with some great dialogues. In case you are looking for a true blue indie experience then The 'Untitled Kartik Krishnan' Project is a must watch. Directed by Srinivas Sunderrajan, the film is made on a budget of Rs 40,000. The film was shot on Sundays over a year keeping in mind that most of the cast (Katik Krishnan, Vishwesh K, Swara Bhaskar) had day jobs.

Even as indie film-makers explore unchartered territory and strive to tell their stories while facing constraints, Bollywood's ugly truth cannot be hidden any more. The worst part of MAMI were the Bolly presenters. Minisha Lamba and Prachi Desai were the queen of bloopers at the opening ceremony while Fardeen Khan and Raima Sen were deadpan at the closing night. Surely, we can do better than this. While the best of world and Indian cinema plays on our screens, some extra effort from the Bollywood denizens would be appreciated.

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