Child actor or Superstar ???

Child actors are now as big as superstars. They get the same kind money and even have the same attitude

POST the success of Taare Zameen Par, Darsheel Safary reportedly quotes 75 lakhs for a film. And Swini Khera, the Cheeni Kum kid, refused a Shyam Benegal movie as she had a ‘dates’ problem. Today’s child stars not only have a keen business sense but are also media-savvy and sport an attitude befitting a superstar. While kids their age are busy packing their bags and doing their homework, these little stars get ready for photoshoots and fashion shows.
Jugal Hansraj, who started his career as a child actor in Masoom, thinks the change in attitude is because of all the exposure children get today. “Now every little detail becomes headlines. So kids have become more aware and media-savvy,” he says.

The change in the economics of the film industry is also why child actors can afford to have the attitude of a mega star, says Manjunath Nayake, who played Swamy in Malgudi Days. He has also portrayed various roles as a child in Kannada films alongside some of the leading stars of the industry. “Commerce plays a major role. There wasn’t so much money in movies then and the media wasn’t so diversified. Now there are numerous ads and a lot of money going round. It’s a simple question of demand and supply. The demand is more today and kids are making sure they get what they deserve,” he explains.

There’s another reason their priorities have changed, says Manjunath. “Earlier, we had to make sure that we finished our studies. There was not much security in the film industry. That’s not an issue these days,” he says. Jugal agrees and points out that a few years ago movies weren’t made on a huge scale. “Masoom was made with just 27 lakhs. Today, stars themselves earn in crores so the value of a child star has also increased,” he says.

So has fame and the numerous opportunities. While Jugal did one movie a year as a child, Swini Khera and Aman Siddiqui (who will make his debut with Bhoothnath) have three to four films a year in their kitties. Bijayan Bose, regional head of a multiplex, believes that’s because of the different kinds of movies being made. “A child actor has more scope to perform. And Darsheel has become a trendsetter. With his performance, he proved he could carry a film on his shoulders. The kind of impact he has made is huge. People want to watch his next movie. He is cashing in on his success, which he totally deserves,” he says.

When it comes to ascertaining their market value and fixing their fees, it takes some good business sense. “And all the media glorification makes sure that kids know what they are worth,” explains Manjunath. “That’s a positive change. I’d put in Rs 100 for a movie featuring Darsheel. So why shouldn’t he get his due?” he says, adding that in his days, name was bigger than money and, “it was more important to earn goodwill than lakhs”.

Aamir Khan

Big B in Aamir Khan’s film!

We don’t know whether it’s true, but as per the rumor mills there’s something more to the recently formed mutual admiration society between Amitabh Bachchan and Aamir Khan. While both the stars are busy in their own way, rumours suggest that Aamir is planning his next film as a director with Big B in the lead. But apparently their lips are sealed until the project is ready to roll. A great idea, we must say!


Aamir Khan salutes Darsheel’s principal

Aamir Khan’s directorial debut Taare Zameen Par is undoubtedly one of the most celebrated films on education in recent times. The actor asked Darsheel Safary’s school principal to launch the DVD of TZP as he wanted to dedicate the film to all principals and teachers. Darsheel, the protagonist of the film, plays a dyslexic child, who with the support of his teacher, (played by Aamir) overcomes his disability. Aamir strongly feels that principals and teachers play a vital role in moulding children. In fact, Darsheel’s principal is an example of how educationists should allow children to grow and realise their dreams — she has been instrumental in giving Darsheel permission to shoot for TZP.


Taare Zameen Par (TZP) - movie review

Taare Zameen Par (TZP), Aamir Khan's directorial venture lives up to the huge expectations one attaches to the perfectionist actor. The movie manages to sensitively portray the problems of a dyslexic child and yet doesn't come across as boring or preachy; it is entertaining and a beautifully made film. Must give credit to the writer and creative director, Amol Gupte who wrote such a sensitive script and had the courage to give the directorial charge to someone else.

Director, producer and supporting-actor, Aamir Khan gets full marks for this film. I said supporting-actor because Aamir is not the star of this film; the real star is the nine-year old, Darsheel Safary who plays the character of a dyslexic child. Darsheel as Ishaan Awasthi is brilliant and you connect with him emotionally right from the first scene. Ishaan's problem is not understood by his family, friends and teachers and he's packed off to a boarding school, where he finds even more difficult to cope up with life. Thankfully, he meets Nikumbh Sir (Aamir), a temporary art teacher who understands his problem and decides to help him. Other child actors who play Ishaan's brother, Yohaan (played by Sachet Engineer) and best friend, Rajan (played by Tanay Cheda) are also very good. Special mention for Tisca Chopra who plays the role of Ishaan's mother (Maya Awasthi) who is torn between her husband and child with immense maturity. Ishaan's father played by Vipin Sharma is convincing as a father who wants his children to succeed in every field without realising that he is being cruel.

The movie has many special moments that involve you emotionally and make your eyes moist - the simplicity of the film is what ends up being the best thing about it. The climax though quite predictable is extremely well-shot and leaves you with a lump in the throat. Music is nice and blends in well with the mood of the film. Ishaan's introduction song and ‘Maa’ are two wonderful songs. The director uses animation very well to showcase the child’s imagination and creative thinking. Think of a war between the third and the ninth planet in the solar system - Earth and Pluto to answer a math problem of what is three times nine (3X9).

TZP is a comment on the Indian education system that emphasises a lot on academics without letting a child develop his/her natural talent. It is also a comment on parents who constantly compare their children with others, expect them to score nothing less than 95 percent and even hit them. TZP is not a film for kids but is for everyone including parents and teachers.

All in all, TZP is one of the best films this year and hats off to Aamir Khan for letting a child-actor take all the limelight, even in the opening credits (Darsheel's name appears before Aamir, which is unusual in a film industry where seniority or saleability of an actor decides his/her place in the credits).

Clearly a movie worthy of standing ovation...

My Rating: **** 1/2 Four and a half stars


Kajol’s father passes away

Mumbai: Filmmaker and actress Kajol’s father Shomu Mukherjee passed away on Thursday morning following a cardiac arrest. He was 65. He is survived by his actress wife Tanuja and two daughters Kajol and Tanisha.
Family sources said, Mukherjee had separated from his wife a long time ago and had been living alone at his Santa Cruz residence. He had not been keeping well for a long time. He had just returned from the hospital after undergoing a heart surgery. He died at his residence at about 8 am.
His end came on the eve of the release of his son-in-law Ajay Devgan’s directorial debut U Me Aur Hum that also stars his daughter Kajol. He produced and directed films like Ek Baar Muskura Do, Chaila Babu and Fifty Fifty.


Love goes e-way

When everything is going electronic, can love be far behind? So there is e-Preethi coming your way during Diwali festival. Says director Priya Bharathi: In this era of e-mails and a host of electronic gadgets, love has also got a new meaning. Our set of two heroes and two heroines will show that how. The plot has Diganth playing a techie aspiring to make it big in the US. His project manager will be Tejaswini Prakash while another NRI heroine Nina Mahesh will be a reporter.

There is another character being played by Bharath. There is no dedicated villain or comedian in the film. “But each character will become villain/comedian as the situation warrants,” she says, adding: But in all, the film, a romantic comedy at that, is about the quest for going abroad to realize one’s dreams. E-Preethi, coming from a woman director who often shuttles between Bangalore and the US, may well encapsulate the agony and ecstasy of being a techie abroad. The film crew will soon leave for Washington after shooting the Bangalore part of it.

Engineer, now hero

For Akshay, it was a very short step from engineering to the tinsel world. A BE graduate, he got an offer from a company in Qatar, but his father wanted him to shine in movies. The result: he is the hero in ‘Ganga Kaveri’ directed by B J Vishnukanth and produced by his father Venkatappa. “It is a model photographer’s role with a romantic touch. It is a triangular family love story shot in Kulu Manali and Gangothri,’’ says Akshay not regretting giving up engineer’s post. He has two heroines — Mallika Kapoor and Mahi. Music by K Kalyan has some catchy tunes. H C Venu handles the camera.

The first-ever Kannada film festival held outside India was in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, in 1971. The week-long festival opened on August 14. Six films — Samskara, Gejjepooje, Subba Shastri, Namma Makkalu, Chakratheertha and Uyyale — were screened. A delegation of filmmakers was sent from Karnataka for the festival. This included legendary film director Puttanna Kanagal and Kalpana. The same year saw the emergence of a film festival as part of the Dasara celebrations in Mysore.

Love triangle... er... hexagon!

Meet Dimple Chopra, a Pune theatre enthusiast. Director Ashok Kashyap has roped her in for his debut Kannada movie Sihi Muttu for which shooting has begun in Shimoga and its surroundings. “I wanted a face that has a look of Malnad region. She was a perfect fit,” says Kashyap, who is directing this after directing a Tamil movie. In the heroine-oriented Sihi Muttu, the heroine comes to a city in search of her ancestors. But she happens to meet five different men at different points of time. So meeting her will be Prem, Dhyaan, Komal and “two other top names of filmdom”. Kashyap says talks are on with Shivrajkumar and another hero from Mumbai. Rekha Rani scripted the story for which Harikrishna will compose music.

7-day fun

made a mark as a comedian, will play the lead role. Others in the cast include Anant Nag and Ramesh Bhat. There is no Mr Garagasa, the Kannada movie, is making news. It is a full-length comedy shot in 7 days by director Dinesh Baboo. Komal, who hasdishum-dishum. Komal says the asset of the movie is the acting by the principal characters. Aishwarya and Lakshmi are the two heroines. Manikant Kadri has scored the music.

Romance in the air

Harsha of Geleya fame will now direct Birugaali. Produced under the Adarsh Enterprises banner, this new venture has Aa Dinagalu fame hero Chetan in the lead role. Two heroines —- Sitara Vaidya (Geleya fame) and fresh face Akanksha — share stellar honours. To be shot mainly in Bangalore and Kasargod, this romantic movie has a 55-day schedule. “Not even a single sequence will be taken from other language movies,’’ says Harsha. He adds the movie will have a unique screenplay. Arjun, who scored music for Geleya, will compose music for the film, which has seven songs.


Actor Shriya Saran of Sivaji fame had a harrowing experience at the temple town of Tirumala on Ugadi when a fan tried to molest her in the presence of other pilgrims.
The actor, who attended the Suprabhata seva darshan at around 2.30 am and came out of the temple at 3.45 am on Monday, was taken aback when a person came out of nowhere and tried to shake hands with her. When she recoiled, the overenthusiastic man moved closer to her. Annoyed, Shriya slapped him hard, while her attendant Koti scared him away.
The person, Hari, a cleaner at Shankara mutt in Tirumala, managed to flee. The actor did not file any complaint against Hari. It is learnt that Hari has fled the mutt. The actor arrived here on Sunday with local MLA M Venkataramana, who arranged a darshan for her and provided an attendant, Koti, to escort her.
An official of TTD said: “These types of attacks have become common whenever celebrities visit the temple and the TTD should take steps to control it.

Sanjay Dutt

Actor Sanjay Dutt and Manyata told a court here that they are not legally married, giving a dramatic twist to the case relating to the couple’s marital status. Challenging the allegations of bigamy levelled by Manyata’s alleged husband, Meraj Rehman, the couple has claimed there was no material to show the validity of their marriage in the eyes of law.

In an application filed before the sessions court on Monday challenging the order of issuance of process against the two, Dutt and Manyata have stated that their reported marriage in Goa is a nullity.

Dutt and Manyata, in their application, have said that in order to prosecute them for bigamy, it is necessary to prove the validity of their marriage.

The application said that in the absence of any material to prove that they are married, no offence of bigamy can be charged against them.

The couple has claimed that in the absence of any proof of essential ceremonies of a valid marriage, no inference of marriage between them can be drawn.

Court grants respite

The Mumbai sessions court on Tuesday stayed the issuance of process against actor Sanjay Dutt and Manyata by the Bandra court till April 23. Additional sessions judge S N Sardesai admitted the revision application filed by Manyata and exempted the couple from appearing before the Bandra court on April 15.

The court also stayed the proceedings at the Bandra court will hear the revision application on April 23.

Shilpa Shetty

Yoga is synonymous with India and with Shilpa Shetty being one of the most popular Indian faces on the world map, what could be better than a Shilpa Yoga DVD. India?s gorgeous Shilpa performs Yoga Asana in the perfect scenic ambiance of Kerala on the southern tip of India alongside the Arabian Sea, surrounded by mesmerizing views.

Shilpa shares her secrets that help her stay curvaceous, calm and focused. Shilpa claims it is Yoga that gives her the energy and strength to move ahead in life at a fast pace.Chapters:- Introduction.- Workout: Asanas (Postures).- Back Asanas.- Stomach Asanas.- Standing Asanas.- Sitting Asanas.- Neck and Shoulder Asanas.- Pranayam

Within two weeks of its release in the European market, Shilpa Shetty's fitness DVD 'Shilpa's Yoga' has topped the charts, giving tough competition to other recently released workout videos of fitness specialists Davina McCall, Samanda, Erin Boag, Karen Hardy , Rebecca Wheatley, Nell McAndrew, Fleur Murray, Lilia Kopylova, Gaynor Faye and Danielle Llyod.
" Everyone wants to maintain a slim waist without dieting and Shilpa's yoga secrets seem to be helping achieve that. No doubt the DVD is selling like cakes," says her publicist Dale Bhagwagar.

In 'Shilpa's Yoga', the actress reveals her fitness secrets to create a lean and toned body while retaining all the feminine curves. Outlining the various benefits of yoga, t he DVD demonstrates specific sequences to enhance concentration, agility and flexibility.
"It showcases the right techniques of doing ashtanga yoga including breathing techniques. Shilpa has been a regular practitioner of yoga from four years, but took special added intensive training from yoga trainers Shiv Kumar Mishra and Vinayak Dixit for some time, making sure she perfected the asans before demonstrating them to the world," adds Bhagwagar.
Shot at the backwaters in Kerala, 'Shilpa's Yoga' is directed by Manish Jha (of the critically-acclaimed feature films 'Matrabhoomi' and 'Anwar' fame). While Arghya Lahiri has written the script, the camerawork is handled by Englishman Jamie Sowlds.
To go with the mood and feel, the package also contains a free lounge music CD with compositions by Pankaj Awasthi. This is to help unwind and relax after practicing the yoga techniques.

Shilpa Shetty's Yoga class

Yoga is synonymous with India and with Shilpa Shetty being one of the most popular Indian faces on the world map, what could be better than a Shilpa Yoga DVD. India?s gorgeous Shilpa performs Yoga Asana in the perfect scenic ambiance of Kerala on the southern tip of India alongside the Arabian Sea, surrounded by mesmerizing views.

Shilpa shares her secrets that help her stay curvaceous, calm and focused. Shilpa claims it is Yoga that gives her the energy and strength to move ahead in life at a fast pace.Chapters:- Introduction.- Workout: Asanas (Postures).- Back Asanas.- Stomach Asanas.- Standing Asanas.- Sitting Asanas.- Neck and Shoulder Asanas.- Pranayam