Hollywood studios have finally found the formula for the dubbed versions of their animated films in India. Shah Rukh Khan and his son were among the pioneers when they dubbed for the characters in The Incredibles. Since then other studios have also roped in Bollywood talent—as opposed to dubbing artistes—to voice the parts of animated characters. The latest film to adopt this strategy is Rio 2, in which Imran Khan (Blu) and Sonakshi Sinha (Jewel) lend their voices to central characters in the sequel to the hit 2011 computer animated film. Besides the chance to experiment with voice modulation, Khan and Sinha have also sung a few lines in a party scene. Anne Hathaway and Jesse Eisenberg are the voices of Jewel and Blu in the Hollywood original.
Ceylon comes to Mumbai
Last week, Santosh Sivan hosted a screening of his latest directorial venture, Inam (Ceylon), in Mumbai. A sequel to his earlier Terrorist, this film is based on the true story of an orphan girl and other teenagers caught in the crossfire of the Sri Lankan civil war of 2009. Sugandha Ram, who has previously appeared in Tere Bin Laden and Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na, has already been lauded as the protagonist Rajini. At the screening, she was accompanied by her husband Raghu Ram, best known as one of the hosts of Roadies on MTV. Among the glittering gathering was Tabu and her sister Farah, who spent a large part of the evening bonding with fellow Hyderabadi Nagesh Kukunoor. Tabu also caught up with her Haider co-star Shahid Kapoor. Enjoying a rare moment of being out of the spotlight was Surya, who is shooting a movie in Mumbai, with Sivan as cinematographer. Also present were Riteish Deshmukh and Genelia. The latter seems to have gained a few pounds, making one wonder if rumours of an addition to the family are indeed true.
Several reviews of last week’s release, Youngistaan, appeared to make concessions for the Jackky Bhagnani-Neha Sharma starrer on account of the presence of veteran actor Farooque Shaikh. Shaikh passed away in December last year and the presenters of this film have been making the most of promoting Youngistaan as Shaikh’s last movie role. However, Shaikh’s last film will most likely be Children of War, directed by first-time filmmaker Mrityunjay Devvrat. Based around incidents during the 1971 Bangladesh war, the film also stars Riddhi Sen, Victor Banerjee, Pawan Malhotra and Raima Sen. Shaikh plays a prominent leader of the Bangladesh liberation war. The film was slated to release later this month. Watch this space for more.
Student turns hero
This week, all eyes are on Main Tera Hero in which three upcoming stars are given a fresh platform to display their Bollywood skills: to sing (lip sync), dance, show off a bikini-body or six-pack (depending on gender), romance, emote, etc. The youngster in the lead is the ‘hero’ himself, Varun Dhawan—in his sophomore test after his debut in Student of the Year (SOTY). He is the last of the trio of debutants from Karan Johar’s hit film to graduate with his second film. Flanking him are Nargis Fakhri and Ileana D’Cruz. After a disastrous debut, the former redeemed herself somewhat with Madras Café, while the score is one-all for D’Cruz after the hit Barfi and the lukewarm Phata Poster Nikla Hero. Daddy David Dhawan directs his son Varun for the first time. Waiting in the wings to have a go at directing his brother is Rohit Dhawan, whose first film was Desi Boyz. But first Varun is finishing Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhaniya, with SOTY co-star Alia Bhatt.