A definite highlight this month is the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (official website), which kicks off on April 20 and runs through the 25th. Of (obvious) particular interest is the Bollywood by Night series, which features Kaminey (2009), 3 Idiots (2009), and -- get this -- Raakh (1989; trailer here), an Aamir Khan film which has yet to release on DVD! Add to this that all films are screened at the state-of-the-art Arclight Hollywood Cinemas (thoroughly enjoyed it every time I've been there), and it's one week full of films well worth looking forward to. Here's the complete film guide.
Lots going on as far as new film releases are concerns as well, but before we get to them, here's a neat little treat. The soundtrack to the upcoming Hrithik Roshan starrer Kites (official website) released recently, and courtesy Saavn, you can download one track from the album for free. To avail this offer, please e-mail Kites at Saavn dot com and refer to this post, following which you will receive a code to download a song of your choice. You can listen to the complete soundtrack at this link. More on the film, provided by Saavn, at the foot of this post.
On to the releases, then, which carry an interesting blend of themes to mark the start to the second quarter. One I'm definitely looking forward to is Paathshaala (School), starring Shahid Kapoor, Nana Patekar, and Ayesha Takia. A rather pleasant soundtrack (listen at this IN.com link) by Hanif Sheikh accompanies the film, and I'm loving sing-along favorite Aye Khuda by Salim Merchant, although its choreography leaves some to be desired. (Perhaps the strumming of the guitar could be synchronized with the music, to start with?)
Paathshaala comments on the corporatization of academic institutions. I hope it's fun, because it sure sounds like my kind of film. I also hope it incorporates (pun intended) an area Taare Zameen Par (2007) chose to ignore (justifiably) -- a love story! Now, I'm not talking Karan Johar style love stories, but what's any school without love stories, right? :)
My sleeper pick for April is The Japanese Wife by Director Aparna Sen (Mr. and Mrs. Iyer (2001), 15 Park Avenue (2005)), starring Rahul Bose and Raima Sen. I'd watch this for the cast and crew alone, but it sure seems we'll have to wait for the DVD release. Check out the synopsis at the films official website.
Meanwhile, Comeback Month was named so for a reason. See? Here are some interesting comebacks this month:
- Rajesh Khanna (Rajesh Khanna!) in Do Dilon Ke Khel Mein
- Vivek Oberoi in Prince
- Tanushree Dutta in Apartment
- Manisha Koirala in Ek Second Jo Zindagi Badal De
Another noteworthy film, if only for the cast, is Housefull, aptly titled so, because it stars a house full of stars, including Akshay Kumar, Deepika Padukone, Lara Dutta, Jiah Khan, Arjun Rampal, Ritesh Deshmukh, Boman Irani, Malaika Arora (whew). Sadly, it's directed by Sajid Khan and produced by Sajid Nadiadwala (Kambakkht Ishkk (2009), Heyy Babyy (2007)), which means odds are it'll be yet another you know what.
Of course, May has the biggest 2010 release so far in Kites.
Any films in particular you're looking forward to?
Release Calendar (Source: IndiaFM.)
Apr 9: Jaane Kahan Se Aayi Hai; Prince; The Japanese Wife
Apr 16: Muskurake Dekh Zara; Paathshaala; Phoonk 2
Apr 23: Apartment; Bird Idol; Do Dilon Ke Khel Mein; Ek Second... Jo Zindagi Badal De? Kuchh Kariye; Musaa
Apr 30: Chase; Housefull; Soch Lo
May 7: Badmaash Company; Bumm Bumm Bole; It's A Wonderful After Life; Virsa
May 14: Mr. Bhatti On Chutti
May 21: Kites
A Note from Saavn
(Please note: The following is verbatim, as provided by Saavn, who own claims made herein.)
Saavn is proud to present Kites, one of the biggest Bollywood releases of all time. Starring Bollywood sensation Hrithik Roshan, Kites, the accompanying film, has the largest budget in Bollywood history. With Mexican actress Barbara Mori in the lead, and an international version in English edited by major Hollywood player Brett Ratner (director of the Rush Hour series), Kites is being positioned as Bollywood's first chance at a mainstream hit.
The Kites soundtrack is by Rajesh Roshan, who has won 2 Filmfare awards (India's equivalent of the Oscars) and been nominated for 8 more for his music. With the all-time number six Bollywood soundtrack (Kaho Na Pyaar Hai, 20 million records sold) to his credit, and over 60 million records sold, Rajesh Roshan is in the same league as Pearl Jam, Ricky Martin, Shania Twain and Boyz II Men in terms of record sales (and he surpasses Shakira, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and Green Day).
For Kites, Roshan has blended several styles, reflecting the American, Mexican, and Indian pedigree of the project. The album moves through retro Bollywood sounds, Indo-Western fusion, electronic, reggae, and salsa, and it appeals to a wide audience with lyrics in Hindi, English, and Spanish. Voted the year's most anticipated album by users on BollywoodHungama.com, the web’s top Bollywood site, Kites is as big as it gets!
- Accompanying film is biggest budget Bollywood movie of all time
- Bollywood's first mainstream venture - starring a Mexican actress, with dialogue in English and Spanish, and plot set in the U.S. and Mexico
- Album artist has sold over 60 million albums
- Album artist recorded top Bollywood album of the decade, with over 20 million copies sold
- Expect major press in May around the film's release, especially the international version presented by Brett Ratner (director of the Rush Hour series)