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    Celebrating the real star
    amirThe link between cricket and Bollywood is a long and colourful one. It was evident once again at the second test match between India and West Indies at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai last week when several Bollywood personalities (many of whose interest in cricket probably began and ended with those three days) patiently watched as the nation’s hero, Sachin Tendulkar strapped on his pads for one last time. Lagaan actor Aamir Khan was one such recognisable face in the crowd. On day one of the match, he left the stadium at lunchtime to head to Yash Raj Studios for a press conference for Dhoom 3 when he got word that the Indian was going to bat. He turned back and returned to the stadium forcing publicists to postpone the event by a few hours. At a previous press event for Dhoom 3, Khan had paid tribute to Tendulkar saying that we are so used to watching Sachin create ‘dhoom’ on the cricket field that without him the game will seem empty. “He embodies the collective pride of all India,” said Khan echoing the sentiments of an entire nation.

    Go, Goa, almost gone
    iffkThis week the 44th International Film Festival of India kicked off (till November 30) in Goa presenting a vast collection of Indian and world cinema. With each passing year, and as regional festivals like the Mumbai Film Festival and Kerala Film Festival, go from strength to strength, IFFI loses more and more of its appeal. This year too a number of films playing in Goa have already been screened at Mumbai. A little distance away from the festival venue, the sidebar event, Film Bazaar, hosted by National Film Development Corporation, remained robust with projects as diverse as Afghani, Polish, Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi films seeking production support. The main festival itself saw the likes of Waheeda Rahman, Susan Sarandon and Majid Majidi present while the Film Bazaar is hosting filmmakers including Shyam Benegal and Govind Nihalani and senior programmers from the Cannes Film Festival, among others.

    Kalki rises to the challenge
    kalkiKalki Koechlin is certainly not one to travel the road most travelled. Whether it is films like That Girl in Yellow Boots or Dev D, with the odd Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani thrown in to test the commercial waters, Kalki is largely regarded as an “offbeat” actress. She has recently returned to India from the shoot of Jia Aur Jia in which she co-stars with Richa Chadha. One of the other projects that she has acted in has the delectable title of Margarita With A Straw. Directed by Shonali Bose, whose earlier feature Amu won two National Awards, Kalki plays the very challenging role of a spunky Indian girl born with cerebral palsy.  “Laila falls repeatedly in love, yearns to have sex and wants to be a Bollywood songwriter. She is a brilliant mind trapped in a disobedient body,” says an official synopsis. Says Bose of the character, “There has never been a character such as Laila portrayed anywhere in the world. We are used to having pity for disabled characters, or admiration as they triumph all odds. Margarita’s honest treatment of its disabled characters pulls the rug from under your feet and shakes you up.” Shot in Delhi and New York, the film also stars Revathy and William Moseley, best known for this lead role in
    The Chronicles of Narnia. No doubt challenging work will help her deal with the emotional turbulence of a fractured marriage as she and filmmaker husband Anurag Kashyap
    officially announced a separation recently.

    Udita Jhunjhunwala

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