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May 30, 2000


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Komal Nahta

Preity Zinta Preity Zinta's head is firmly located on her shoulders. Why else would she not take the entire credit for the success of Kya Kehna!?

Preity, who is shooting for Chori Chori Chupke Chupke in Mahabaleshwar, said, "I am extremely, extremely thankful to Rameshji Taurani, the Tips unit, my director Kundanji (Shah) and, of course, Honey (Irani) aunty for writing such a bold subject. I am extremely thankful to the ladies in our country for giving the film the status it deserved. And I want the young girls in our country not to commit the mistakes that Priya committed in the film."

Kya Kehna! is the story of Priya, an 18-year-old who gets pregnant before marriage. Ask Preity about the contribution of Tips in the success of the film and she is quick to assert, "No other banner would have handled the film with so much care! The way they have promoted the film is an example only they could set. Promotion did play a major part in the film's success."

Shah Rukh Khan's third baby

Daddy Shah Rukh is said to be thrilled with his daughter, who has been christened Suhana. The Khan is also pretty excited about his third baby -- the portal he is trying to put together. To be called SRK World, the website is currently under construction under Shah Rukh's keen eye.

Rati in Na Tum Jaano Na Hum

Rati Agnihotri Rati Agnihotri seems to be taking her return to Bollywood rather seriously. After Rahul Rawail's version of The Parent Trap, she has signed another film, PFH Entertainment Ltd's Na Tum Jaano Na Hum. The film co-stars Saif Ali Khan, Hrithik Roshan, Esha Deol and Moushumi Chatterjee. Considering that there's a perpetual shortage of screen mothers, it shouldn't be long before Rati is flooded with meaty offers.

Tickets at a discount!

If you can't afford to lose them, do anything to keep 'em. With this goal in view, Palace Cinema in Delhi has slashed admission rates by upto 50 per cent! And this has been done because the cinema found that attendance was dwindling every week, thanks to cable television operators who were freely showing new films.

So the rates have now been slashed from Rs 50 and Rs 45 to Rs 25 and
Rs 20. It's almost like, 'Buy one, take one free!' The seat occupancy is expected to double because of this. Seems like this is the only way out if our theatres have to survive.

Laila-Majnu? Again??

The story of Laila and Majnu is a favourite with our film-makers. In the silent era, the film was made twice and, in the talkies, it was made as many as six times, the last being H S Rawail's superhit version.

Now it's B Subhash who is planning to make Laila Majnu (Revival). His claim to fame are films like Surakshaa (with Mithun) and Kasam Paida Karne Wale Ki.

"But," clarifies the film-maker, "this one is not going to be that ancient Laila Majnu. It will be a modern love story. My daughter, Malvika, has written the story."

Karan's film makes brisk progress

Now it's a race as to who will introduce star-secretary and producer Rikku Rakesh Nath's son, Karan. He was supposed to debut in Kuku Kohli's Yeh Dil Aashiqana. But his other film -- directed by Joy Augustine (Tere Mere Sapne) and produced by Good Knight Mohan -- has been making brisk progress even before he started shooting for Kuku's film.

There's a strange story behind how the handsome Karan (Kunnu for family and friends) was selected for the film. Joy happened to see Karan in 1997 and knew this was the lad he wanted as hero for the subject he was working on at the time. He approached Rikku, but the latter politely declined the offer because Karan was rather raw at the time.

Two years passed. One day, a girl keen on becoming a heroine approached Rikku to talk to Joy, who was now ready to begin shooting the film. Although he did not know Joy too well, Rikku volunteered to put in a word for the girl. Joy seized the opportunity to ask Rikku if his son was now ready to act in the film, which had been titled Pagalpan.

Since Karan had, by then, trained in acting, dancing and fights, Rikku accepted the offer. Incidentally, the girl for whom Rakesh had approached Joy did not get her break. Instead, Karan's heroine in the film is another newcomer, Aarti Agarwal, who was born and brought up in the US.

One director, two languages, three films

Kamal Haasan, who made Hey! Ram Kamal Haasan in three languages -- Hindi, Tamil and Telugu -- will now reverse gears. He will be directing three films for one banner, Pentafour, the South India-based company known for its computer graphics. Each film will be made in two languages -- Hindi and Tamil. All three will be launched in July.

A look at the week

**Ratings based on box office collections and cost of the film**
Rating Film Production House Verdict Position Last Week No Of Weeks Since Release
1 Kya Kehna Tips Films Overflow 1 1
2 Kaho Naa...
Pyaar Hai
Filmkraft Superhit 2 20
3 Hum To Mohabbat Karega KPS Films Disaster New New
4 Chal Mere Bhai Neha Arts Loser 3 4
5 Dulhan Hum Le Jayenge Baba Films Average (Losing in
some circuits)
6 10
6 Hadh Kar Di Aapne R R Productions Loser (Average in
some circuits)
7 7
7 Hera Pheri A G Films (P) Ltd Loser (Overflow in
Bombay, South)
5 9
8 Jung Satish Tandon Productions Loser (Average in
Delhi-UP, commission
earner in Punjab)
4 3
9 Badal Aftab Music Industries Average (Above average in North, Bengal, Bihar) 8 16
10 Pukar (Tax-free in some states) S K Film Enterprises Average (Above average in Bombay, South, C P Berar due to tax exemption) 9 17

Komal Nahta edits the popular trade magazine, Film Information.

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