Upen Patel, who has seen a resurrection in his dormant career with his participation in the reality television show Bigg Boss 8, recently got evicted and has even re-entered the house! This seems timely given that his film Shankar’s I starring Vikram, released on Pongal, earlier this week. The UK-bred model turned actor, who has appeared in Bollywood films such as 36 China Town and Namastey London, spent three years in Chennai working on I. “But I am going to be in Mumbai for a few months now,” he told me when I bumped into him shopping during the sales, just before his return to the Bigg Boss house. Patel has signed on a Hindi film to be directed by Suneel Darshan who he worked with in the 2007 flop Shakalaka Boom Boom. Bhaag Bhola Bhaag, another film he acted in, remains unreleased.
She walks alone
Bipasha Basu has embraced her unique foothold and niche as the queen of horror, a genre associated with the B-grade, which makes it all the more of a surprising comedown for the once A-grade film actress. She has been seen in Raaz 3, Aatma and Creature. In her latest film, Alone, which released today, she plays conjoined twins! Television actor Karan Singh Grover, whose calling card seems to be his six-pack, makes his big screen debut as Kabir who falls in love with one of the twins and the twists and turns that take place thereafter. Going by the trailer, clearly one of the twins is dead. But while they are both alive, and to depict the conjoined state, complex special effects and compositing were used. Bipasha’s next release after Alone will be the big budget multi-starrer No Entry Mein Entry.
New girl in town
It takes nerves of steel, I imagine, for a newbie to share the stage with a stalwart like Amitabh Bachchan. The recent trailer launch for R Balki’s Shamitabh was clearly not easy for the young Akshara Haasan. The daughter of Sarika and Kamal Haasan, who makes her debut in this February release, was palpably nervous as she stood on stage flanked by co-stars Bachchan and Dhanush. Notably Bachchan made it a point to praise the debutante’s hard work and dedication and went out of his way to make the youngster comfortable between the heavy-duty cast and crew. It must have also helped Akshara that her mother Sarika was offering moral support from the front row. Dhanush, on the other hand, expressions carefully disguised by a pair of very dark glasses, was playing it politically correct, in deference to his seniors, and perhaps in keeping with his lesser star status in Bollywood compared to Tamil films. In fact the Raanjhanaa actor repeated how Hindi films were giving him a chance to work with a clean slate and break free of the image he acquired in the South.
What a gem of an idea
Karan Johar likes to stare! And he does it wherever in the world he is. This staring is where he finds inspiration for his jewellery collection. The man chats over coffee, produces blockbusters and directs them, designs high fashion and now he’s put his creative energy behind a collection of gems and baubles. Karan believes women should love jewellery, but his collection does not stop there – it encompasses male clients too with cuff links, lapel pins etc. Unlike his movies, the director’s design aesthetic follows the less-is-more principal. Let’s see if some of his pieces find their way into his next film Ae Dil Hai Mushkil starring Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Ranbir Kapoor and Anushka Sharma.