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Asia-AICN: HongKong CriticsAwards; Bollywood'sFilmfareAwards; Fists Of Fury; Lagaan; Highbinders; Yes, I Too Have Loved

Well another Thursday is here so its time for Father Geek here to post up our Asia-AICN Column for the week and as is usual Darius25 and AccSpy have put together a nice report of the film news from Hong Kong and India for all of you. Lots of coolness this time around so I'll just let you get on to the meat of this week's column...


Hey all, hope you’ve had a great week. We’re back with lots of new info, including news on Harry Baweja’ next film, Madhur Bhandarkar’s next film, the US “Fists of Fury” remake, “The Highbinders”, and “Lady Undercover”. We also have the results of the 2002 Filmfare Awards and nominations for the 7th Annual Golden Bauhinia Awards. I’ve also reviewed Bollywood’s latest film, “Haan Maine Bhi Pyaar Kiya (Yes, I too have Loved)”. Now here’s the latest from Asia.


- Director Harry Baweja is about to begin work on his next film, which will star Ajay Devgan and Saif Ali Khan in the leading roles. It is rumoured that Arbaaz Khan also has a small role in the film, while Sanjay Kapoor will play the main villain. No word on a title or any of the female leads yet. Baweja is planning to complete this very fast (with a possible release in late summer) so he can start a big-budget film with Devgan.

- Director Madhur Bhandarkar has announced that his next film after “Jail” (with Sunil Shetty) will be an action thriller starring Abishek Bachchan. The director is also in heavy talks with the senior Bachchan, Amitabh, for a supporting role in the film. Bhandarkar is planning to shoot the film around late August.

- After the success of “Style”, director N. Chandra is back into the limelight with several different offerings. The first film he’s about to make will be a Salman Khan and Aishwarya Rai starrer. It is said to be an action comedy, and will be produced by Ripples Entertainment. Additional casting remains to be completed. The director will follow this film with “Excuse Me”, the sequel to “Style” with the entire cast coming back for more pranks and hijinks. Both films will be released before spring next year.

- Last week’s new release was Dharmesh Darshan’s “Haan Maine Bhi Pyar Kiya (Yes, I too have Loved)” with Akshay Kumar, Karisma Kapoor, Abhishek Bachchan, Simone Singh, Mohnish Behl and Kader Khan. Prior to its opening, the film was in the spotlight for two reasons – 1)It’s the first collaboration from the Darshan brothers (Dharmesh and Suneel) since they parted ways 10 years ago and 2) It’s the first film to showcase real-life couple Karisma and Abhishek. All of this was for nothing as the film ended up being downright mediocre. Just like any love triangle film from Bollywood, we see the trials of a yet another married couple, Shiv and Pooja (Abhishek and Karisma), who fall in love very quickly yet part ways almost as fast (when Shiv encounters a one-night stand). The couple divorce and Pooja moves to Bombay and ends up working for a famous movie star, Raj Malhotra (Akshay Kumar). You know that Raj will fall in love with Pooja, and even though Pooja doesn’t love him, they will STILL plan to get married. But, what a shocker, Shiv comes back into Pooja’s life and Raj being the nice guy that he is… You can guess the rest!

Ok how’s the acting, you ask? Apparantly Karisma Kapoor has forgotten to act (or it’s the director’s fault) and her character just comes across as a whiny bitch!! I mean the girl smiles in just a few scenes and doesn’t really look comfortable at all. She spends a majority of the time whining like a little girl and crying her eyes out. I swear to god, her eyes were BLOODSHOT during the entire second half!! Abhishek Bachchan was terrible as usual – why is this guy even in business?? The guy has ZERO personality and not even a tiny bit of charisma which is present in his father. Even when you don’t compare him with his father, you can tell that this guy really can’t act for shit!! He can’t look happy, and he can definitely not look sad!! And forget dialogue delivery aswell, he’s more wooden than Freddie Prinze Jr.!! As for chemistry between the two leads, well there really isn’t anything as evidenced by this film so one wonders what happens in their real lives.

The only decent performance was given by Akshay Kumar who despite the top billing, appears onscreen for less than an hour. Now here’s an actor who doesn’t overact (NOW) and does exactly what’s expected from him. He’s likeable (as he’s meant to be) and neither goes over-the-top nor becomes too emotional (especially during the end). This was a pleasant surprise for me, and you can obviously tell that Akshay has improved a lot from his previous films. He may just become a top actor yet (which is extremely rare for someone previously known for his chop-socky Van Damme-type roles). The direction in the film was also lacking in other areas with the pace being rather long and the cinematography being just average. Atleast the songs were good but being portrayed on Abhishek Bachchan didn’t help. All in all, you will get absolutely nothing from watching this film. You have seen this movie many times before, with a much better cast. Even fans of Akshay Kumar will be disappointed (from his limited screen time). Save this for a rental if you must!

Karisma and Akshay: Go Here

Karisma (who looks hot yet doesn’t act well): See What I Mean Here

Abhishek Bachchan (what a LAUGHABLE performance): Click

- The 2002 Filmfare Awards took place last week and turned out to be a pretty rewarding event (for us and the stars). While there was tough competition in the main categories, “Lagaan (The Tax)” still managed to sweep the awards with 8 awards in total. There were still a couple surprises though with Kajol deservedly winning the Best Actress award for K3G (yet Karisma Kapoor was still robbed!) and Akshay Kumar winning the Best Villain Award. The rest of the categories were the giveaways and eventually all the big films like K3G, Zubeidaa, Dil Chahta Hai (Desires of the Heart) winning something. The only win I would really disagree with is the Asoka’s Best Cinematography award – the film just looked aweful, especially when compared to “Gadar (Revolution)” and “Lagaan”.

And The Winners Are...
  • Best Film Lagaan (The Tax)
  • Best Director Ashutosh Gowariker (Lagaan)
  • Best Actor Aamir Khan (Lagaan)
  • Best Actress Kajol (Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham – Sometimes Happiness, Sometimes Sorrow)
  • Best Actor in a supporting role Akshaye Khanna (Dil Chahta Hai – Desires of the Heart)
  • Best Actress in a supporting role Jaya Bachchan (Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham)
  • Best Performance in a comic role Saif Khan (Dil Chahta Hai)
  • Best Performance in a villainous role Akshay Kumar (Ajnabee – The Stranger)
  • Best Music A.R Rahman (Lagaan)
  • Best Lyrics Javed Akhtar (Mitwa - Lagaan)
  • Best Male Playback Udit Narayan (Mitwa - Lagaan)
  • Best Female Playback Alka Yagnik (O Re Chhori - Lagaan)
  • Best Screenplay Farhan Akhtar (Dil Chahta Hai)
  • Life Time Achievement Award Gulzar
  • Best Story Ashutosh Gowariker (Lagaan)
  • Best Dialogue Karan Johar (Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham)
  • Special Award Raveena Tandon (Aks) & Amisha Patel (Gadar - Ek Prem Katha (Revolution))
  • R.D Burman Award Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy (Dil Chahta Hai)
  • Best Action Tinnu Verma (Gadar - Ek Prem Katha)
  • Best Art Direction Sharmishta Roy (Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham)
  • Best Cinematography Santosh Sivan (Asoka)
  • Best Editing Sreekar Prasad (Dil Chahta Hai)
  • Best Sound Recording Rakesh Ranjan (Aks - Reflection)
  • Best Background Score Ranjit Barot (Aks)
  • Best Scene of the Year Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham
  • Best Male Debutant Tusshar Kapoor (Arjun Rampal was robbed!!)
  • Best Female Debutant Bipasha Basu (Diya Mirza was robbed!!)
  • Best Choreography Farah Khan (Dil Chahta Hai)
  • Best Movie Critics Dil Chahta Hai
  • Best Actor Critics Amitabh Bachchan (Aks)
  • Best Actress Critics Karisma Kapoor (Zubeidaa)


Here’s the weekly report from “AccSpy”:

- Before the HK film awards nominations are announced in two weeks, the 7th Golden Bauhinia Awards, given by Hong Kong Film Critics Association, announced its nominees on Wednesday and it can be a pointer to the HK "Oscar". As expected, "Shaolin Soccer" and "Lan Yu", two films of opposite genres, dominated the nominations. The biggest surprise is a lack of nom for GCGooBi, who won best screenplay in HK film critics award for "Merry-Go-Round". Here's the nominee list:

Best Picture:

  • Shaolin Soccer
  • Lan Yu
  • Gimme Gimme
  • Visible Secret

Best Director:

  • Stanley Kwan (Lan Yu)
  • Stephen Chow (Shaolin Soccer)
  • Herman Yu (From the Queen to the Chief Executive)

Best Actor:

  • Wu Juen (Lan Yu)
  • Liu Yeh (Lan Yu)
  • Stephen Chow (Shaolin Soccer)
  • Lau Ching Wan (La Brassiere)
  • Andy Lau (Love on a Diet)

Best Actress:

  • Sylvia Cheung (Forever and Ever)
  • Anita Mui (Midnight Fly)
  • Sammi Cheng (Love on a Diet)
  • Joey Wong (Peony Pavilion)

Best Supporting Actor:

  • Wong Yuk-fei (Shaolin Soccer, go eldest Shaolin bro go!!)
  • Ng Man Tat (Shaolin Soccer)
  • Patrick Tam (Born Wild)
  • Cheung Tat Ming (You Shoot, I Shoot)
  • Simon Yam (Fulltime Killer)

Best Supporting Actress:

  • Wai Yean Hung (Visible Secret)
  • Josie Ho (Forever and Ever)
  • Law Wai Yean (Gimme Gimme)

Best Screenplay:

  • Lan Yu
  • Funeral March
  • La Brassiere
  • Beijing Rocks
  • Forever and Ever
  • You Shoot, I Shoot

- Jay Chou's manager, Jacky Wu, confirmed that Jay will star in the $25 mil US remake of Bruce Lee's classic "Fist of Fury". Jackie Chan also spoke up to approve the choice. Jackie was hurt last week during the shooting of "Highbinders". The actor was struck by a flying wire and was sent to hospital immediately. Producer Alfred Cheung said that while the close-up shots are delayed, the production cannot be shut down, as the film has to be finished before March 3rd.

A clear scar on Jackie's face. See It Right Here

Another pic: Just Click Here

- Stephen Fung will star in a Japanese production, the film is literally titled "White Hair Ghost".

- Miriam Yeung and Daniel Wu's latest comedy "Lady Undercover" had its poster banned from HK police force, as it is too similar to the police recruitment poster.

- With the help of a strong holiday week, all of the films in HK theatres enjoyed a large boost at the box office. "Monsters Inc." was on the top with $17.5 mil HKD grossing in 9 days. "Fat Choi Spirit" climbed up to second on Sunday, but the total grossing so far is $13 mil. That total is still short of Sammi Cheng's "Marry a Rich Man", which has so far collected $17 mil and still stayed at no.3. Hollywood heist flick "Ocean's 11" made a perfect Lunar New Year film and was at no.4 with $11.7 mil in 10 days. "Chinese Odessey 2002" was not far behind, with a $9.2 mil grossing in 10 days.

We have now reached the end of this week's column. Remember, if you have information regarding any film industry in Asia, please contact our Asia-AICN offices at See you all next week.


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