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    Second time lucky?
    On the subject of One by Two, here’s a little more on Preeti Desai. The former Miss Great Britain (2007) was first seen on the big screen in Shor in The City, in a small and forgettable part. One by Two, which comes three years later, is really her big showcase. She plays Samara Patel, who, along with Deol’s character Amit Sharma, live unfulfilled lives until fate brings them together. Speaking of the experience, Preeti said, “This is my second feature film and very different from my first. One By Two is not your typical romcom; it is quirky, insightful and funny. I learned a lot while making it and I hope I get to make more films like this in the near future.”

    Jai Ho-hum at the box office
    ST-1bSalman Khan has no choice but to say that numbers don’t matter because his latest release, Jai Ho—which was expected to give Hrithik Roshan, Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan a run for their money—seems to have failed to raise a war cry with audiences. Directed by Sohail Khan, Jai Ho is a hackneyed story that repeats Jai’s ideology that a good turn should not be followed by a ‘thank you’ but by doing a good turn for three other people and asking them to pay it forward. The simplistic political message—anti-corruption—evokes the common man theme, but has failed to connect with the audience. The music is lackluster, too, and the ensemble of actors resurrected from the Bollywood graveyard does not enhance the film’s appeal. Trade insiders predict a huge loss for the distributors. Maybe Khan will recover lost ground with Kick in July but then, as he said in a recent interview, “Nobody knows till the release what will really work. You feel you are making the greatest film ever.”

    The big gamble
    ST-2Abhay Deol has certainly stuck his neck out with his maiden home production, One by Two. Not only has he chosen a newcomer director (Devika Bhagat) and cast his model girlfriend opposite himself, Deol has also taken on the might of the music companies, which allegedly “relinquished the rights” to the music. Deol has taken it over, thereby getting the opportunity to exploit the music as he sees fit. The genre (romcom), the cast, the songs, the first look all go against the grain of the cache built by Deol with films like Oye Lucky Lucky Oye and Shanghai. Still, let’s hope this fine actor surprises us. He is also a part of Dev Benegal’s under-production, Bombay Samurai.

    NaMo goes commercial
    ST-4In this season of politics off-screen, would a feature film on politicians be far behind? Given Narendra Modi’s populist campaign strategy, a feature film on his life seems to fit right into the mandate. Director Rupesh Paul is set to direct NaMo, which goes on floors next month. The actors who will portray the adolescent and veteran stages of Modi are yet to announced, though Paresh Rawal’s name has been mentioned as the actor to step into the khadi kurta and play Modi. The film is also being touted as India’s first 4D film (4D adds simulation to the movie experience so that the viewer can feel rain, wind, vibrations and experience smells, etc). On the flip side, a documentary film on the Aam Aadmi Party is also believed to be under production. Should the Congress quickly enlist some Bollywood heavyweights for a film on RaGa, too?

    -Udita Jhunjhunwala

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