Paathshala, Prince and A Cloud of Ash

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We’ve been hectic the past two weeks – celebrating Raj’s Birthday; the releases of Prince and Paathshala; our Radio 2 Show; the launch of Rifco Arts new musical – Britain’s Got Bhangra; coping with all flights in the UK being grounded; and then Raj falling ill.

Prince is fast and furious with lots of thrills and spills – a kind of Bollywood meets The Bourne Identity meets James Bond meets Don meets Dhoom 2. The film has surprised the pundits and has had a massive opening in India – second only to MNIK.

Vivek Oberoi is back as a star who can open a film on his name alone – do watch it if you are into crime capers. British starlet Aruna Shields stands out as the Lara Croft type co-star. Vivek rocks.

Director Kooki Gulati is pleased at the opening and is all praises for the dedication shown by Vivek especially in all the high-octane stunt scenes. But the true star of the show that helps sets the movie apart is the fantastic music director Sachin Gupta. The former rock band composer who hails from a family of doctor’s told us that the super hit song ‘Tere Liye’ is based on his unresolved love life and he will be continuing to write songs from his broken heart. Bless him!

One person that should be questioning his choices is Shahid Kapoor – his last mega hit was Jab We Met with ex Kareena. This week saw the release of the lackluster Paathshala. Yet again, we see him playing a teacher in this one. Whilst the message of the film is an honest and commendable one, it does lack what we all love in a Bollywood Blockbuster – the love story. Ayesha Takia gives a safe performance whilst Shahid really need not pick roles like this after showing how skilled he is as an actor in Kaminey. The concept is worthy – the abuse of schoolchildren, but the film leaves you cold.

We are over the moon with the success of Radio 2’s “From Hollywood to Bollywood” for Friday Night is Music Night. The prestigious BBC Concert Orchestra were joined by Kuljit Bhamra and singer Sangeeta and performed live from the LSO St Luke’s for a salutation of some of the greatest Indian inspired soundtracks from Hollywood and some of the greatest hits from Bollywood. Thank you to everyone who loved our interview with music maestro AR Rahaman. We will keep you posted!

This Friday at our Raj&Pablo’s Bollywood Nights we will be celebrating the success of Rifco Arts Britain’s Got Bhangra which stars the lovely Sophia Haque. It’s a joyful look at how Bhangra became part of the UK music scene and its influences from Bollywood. Do hope you can join us and show us your Bhangra Bollywood “jhatka’s & matkha”.

Here is a video with a sneak peak into Britain’s Got Bhangra!

With the UK at a standstill- a cloud of ash is still halting all flights we are a wee bit concerned on how this will affect Bollywood! Will new releases get here in time? What will the stars do without being able to get to Selfridges and shop? What about the movies like Dostana 2, which are scheduled to film in London soon? Two casualties of the volcano so far are Katrina Kaif who couldn’t attend her grandfather’s 90th Birthday in London and the extremely focused Jiah Khan who is anxiously awaiting the all clear so she can get to Mumbai for the promotions of the forthcoming Housefull. Jiah told us she will be playing a “seedhi saadhi” newly wed girl in the movie – hope she makes it back in time as the movie should do wonders for her.

What better way to cope being ill than by wrapping yourself up in a duvet, hot water bottle, medication and a stack of Bollywood DVDs. That’s exactly what Raj did – he developed a fever probably after enjoying his birthday! So this weeks Raj&Pablo’s “Rewind In Time” is one of the unsung classics of recent Bollywood – Raj Kumar Santoshi’s woman centric multi-starrer Lajja. Released is 2001, Lajja is a movie which tackles the problem of discrimination against women and empowerment within the context of entertaining masala magic – Bollywood at its best. A stellar star cast: Rekha, Madhuri Dixit, Manisha Koiriala, Anil Kapoor, Ajay Devgun, Jackie Shroff and Mahima Chaudhry to name just a few. The story is simple – Manisha is on the run from her abusive philandering NRI husband (Jackie Shroff) – returns to India and on during her escape is sheltered by various women fighting injustice. Madhuri is superb as the abused stage actress and Rekha as the village midwife who is gang raped. The performances are superb and despite the seriousness of the storyline the movie keeps you enthralled with its mix of emotions; cinematography; excellent music and power packed tear-jerking performances. A wonderful movie to just loose yourself in!

We also thought we would share this vid from Lajja with Madhuri in one of her best dance numbers ever – ‘Badi Mushkil’! Check it out hereand be awed at her talent!

Till next week,

Love Us, Love Bollywood
Raj&Pablo xx

Catch us on the BBC’s definitive Bollywood Show –
SAT&SUN – 9am – 12pm.

Join us as we celebrate the new musical Britain’s Got Bhangra.
Get ready to”JHATKA MATKHA” with us on FRIDAY 23 APRIL for Raj&Pablo&’s Bollywood Nights@The Cobden Club as we celebrate at the most Bollytastic Night in Town!

The best of Bollywood, lashes of Pop, dashes of Bhangra and splashes of Arabic – shake your Bollywood Booty – you know you want to!

A night of Cinematic Shenanigans so come dressed in all your “chamak n dhamak,” all your “glitz n glam” and sizzle with us.

THE SENATOR on the decks!

9pm till 1.30am


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