Anglo-Indian actor Sir Ben Kingsley – real name Krishna Pandit Vhanji – is to be seen rebuilding the Taj Mahal in the epic period movie Taj. He will be playing the role of Shah Jahan who created the monument in honour of his wife Mumtaz, who dies whilst giving birth to his 14th child. “With my passion for India and the Taj Mahal now becoming one of the Seven Wonders of the World, I am compelled to ask ‘why’ and ‘how’ this scream of grief frozen in marble came into being,” said Sir Ben. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan will play Mumtaz.
Although famous for his Oscar-winning role in Gandhi nearly thirty years ago, Sir Ben’s first Bollywood movie won’t appear until next year. Teen Patti is due for release on February 12th. Also starring Amitabh Bachchan, R Madhavan, Raima Sen and Shraddha Kapoor, it promises to be a real knockout of a movie. The plot revolves around a professor of mathematics who has developed a new theory of statistics that challenges the randomness of all things. He starts to test his theory in the gambling dens of Mumbai where things rapidly get out of hand and then the plot escalates until the very nature of freewill and destiny itself is challenged.
Meanwhile, in an innovative marketing move, Sir Ben will be walking through the shopping district of Panaji this week as part of the International Film Festival of India. “Around 62 shops have joined hands in this festival and will be offering discount during the festival,” explained Kirit Maganlal of the Goa Chamber of Commerce, “18th June Road, which is an artery of Panaji will have celebrities walking the street and saying hello to people.” Other stars lined up for the activity during the week include Sameera Reddy and Suniel Shetty.