King Khan Knighted

I have my Amul cheese with Thums Up!

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius is in India these days and thus took the opportunity to bestow one of its biggest stars with his France’s highest civilian honor. Continue reading

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Suck on this Warner Bros, Hari Puttar FTW!

If you’ve already been to this site, you’ve probably heard about the Harry Potter/Hari Puttar lawsuit Warner Bros initiated about a month ago. If not, the gist is that Warner Bros filed a lawsuit against Indian company Mirchii Movies over the latter’s film Hari Puttar: A Comedy Of Terrors, complaining it resembled its Harry Potter property a tad too much. Of course, Hari has nothing in common with Harry and is actually more of a Home Alone ripoff. You can read more about it here (including Hari Puttar‘s trailer) and here.

As I predicted, Warner Bros succeeded only in embarassing themselves, as Indian courts rejected the complaint yesterday on grounds that the stories are in no way similar and that Warner knew of the film since 2005 (!). Hari Puttar: A Comedy Of Terrors will now come out this Friday in India, instead of the September 12th release originally planned.

In related Potter news, 25 minutes of the sixth film’s IMAX presentation will be converted for a 3D presentation. Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince will open worldwide in mid-July 2009.

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Movie Of The Day: The Legend Of Bhagat Singh (2002)

Mohandas K. Gandhi may be India’s most famous freedom fighter, and he was no doubt very instrumental in that country’s eventual independance from the British Empire in 1947, but of course he wasn’t the only one. And while non-Indians only remember Gandhi (and even then…), we thankfully have movies to educate and entertain us with the tales of other courageous and patriotic individuals, such as Bhagat Singh and his buddies.

A native of the Punjab region in northern India, Bhagat Singh was a fervent follower of Gandhi and his non-violence early in his life, but grew disillusioned with him following his reaction to the Chauri Chaura massacre of February 1922. Later or, in college, his patriotism as fervent as ever, he joined the communist organization HRA with some buddies of his and they started freedom fighting, the violent way.

The Legend Of Bhagat Singh was directed by Rajkumar Santoshi (Family: Ties Of Blood), who co-wrote the flick with Ranjit Kapoor (Mangal Pandey: The Rising), Piyush Mishra (1971) and Anjum Rajabali (Naina). Ajay Devgan (Omkara) stars. Trailer (followed by a song from the film) and review after the jump. Continue reading

Harry Potter attacks Hari Puttar

In what can only be labeled a bitch move, Warner Bros has filed a lawsuit against Indian production company Mirchi Movies regarding the forthcoming film Hari Puttar: A Comedy Of Terrors. The reason? Warner feels the movie is taking advantage of the Harry Potter name. WB spokeswoman Deborah Lincoln tells The Hollywood Reporter:

“We have recently commenced proceedings against parties involved in the production and distribution of a movie entitled ‘Hari Puttar’. Warner Bros. values and protects intellectual property rights. However, it is our policy not to discuss publicly the details of any ongoing litigation.”

Mirchi CEO Munish Purii retorded:

We registered the ‘Hari Puttar’ title in 2005 and it’s unfortunate that Warner has chosen to file a case so close to our film’s release. In my opinion, I don’t think our title has any similarity or links with ‘Harry Potter.’

The irony here? Mr Purii is actually the one who’s right. From the looks of Hari Puttar‘s trailer, the movie has nothing to do with the world’s most famous teenage wizard and is actually eerily similar to the Home Alone franchise, a property owned by Twentieth Century-Fox. So if anyone should file a lawsuit against Hari Puttar, it ought to be Fox, a company currently tangled with Warner in a messy battle over the Watchmen rights (god, it’s like a vicious circle).

Article continues after the jump. Also, Hari Puttar trailer.

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Classic Bengali film in danger of extinction

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The only existing copy of actor/writer/director P.C. Barua’s 1935 film Devdas, the second adaptation of Sarat Chandra Chatterjee’s classic novella, is currently rotting in the Bangladesh Film Archives, its soundtrack erased and footage severely damaged. The film is “preserved” among more than 2500 films at the archives, which is actually a rented house where the films are kept in rusted tin cans held together by scotch tape, are subject to heat of around 26 degrees Celsius (the standard is 12 degrees or less), and are handled by employees with their bare hands. The Daily Star reports:

“The print was in deplorable condition and even while giving full attention from only a few yards, the dialogues between Parbati and her husband were very difficult to follow”

“The sound has become inaudible and the film has become obscure. The projectionists struggled to raise the volume to almost no effect, still the dialogues could not be clearly heard”

“Mismanagement, preservers’ apathy to carrying out duties, the absence of training, shortage of manpower, inadequate budget, and the absence of a permanent building have contributed over the years to bring the (Archives) to this sorry state”

Devdas, a classic Bengali novella published in 1917,  is a tragic love story in the vein of Romeo & Juliet. It tells the story of a young man who returns home after completing his education, only to have his family step in between himself and the love of his life.

The story was brought to life more than ten times on film (including three times by Barua, in different languages), and most recently in 2002 by acclaimed director Sanjay Leela Bhansali.

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