October 30, 2002 
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A low key Diwali
No big filmmaker has his film ready this November

Subhash K Jha

Almost every year for Diwali there is one huge film by one of the topnotch directors.

If it is not the Johars or the Barjatyas then it has got to be the Chopras. Between them, they have released most of the blockbusters of the past decade during Diwali --- Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Hum Aapke Hain Koun...!, Hum Saath Saath Hai, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge and Dil To Paagal Hai.

This year has no Diwali biggie. One of the main reasons is because no superstar director has a film ready. The one biggie which could have found its way into the Diwali slot is Sanjay Gupta's long delayed Kaante. But it has now been pushed to the first week of December to avoid the Ramzan period when Muslim moviegoers tend to stay away from movie theatres.

There are three films at the marquee this Diwali. One is producer Vashu Bhagnani's Tusshar Kapoor, Kareena Kapoor starrer Jeena Sirf Merre Liye directed by Talat Jani (whose last hit Rang, featuring Tusshar's father Jeetendra, was released a decade ago). The lead couple hope to recreate the magic in their hit film, Vashu Bhagnani's Mujhe Kucch Kehna Hai.

The second is action director Ravi Dewan's bone cruncher Annarth, starring Suniel Shetty and Sanjay Dutt (the latter in his third guest appearance this year after David Dhawan's Yeh Hai Jalwa and Sohail Khan’s Maine Dil Tujhko Diya). Former cricketer Vinod Kambli makes his debut as an actor.

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The third film is the typical Govinda entertainer Waah! Tera Kya Kehna, directed by Manoj Aggarwal. This long delayed caper will also feature Shammi Kapoor in a rare appearance.

The audiences have a choice between romance, action and comedy this Diwali. But would they be enthused enough to leave their homes during the festive week and watch these contrasting mainstream entertainers?

Vinod Kambli in Annarth The oddball of the week is Somnath Sen's Leela, a small-budget English film in which Dimple Kapadia plays a woman caught in an emotional turmoil. Leela, marketed by Shringar Films, hopes to draw in a more discerning metropolitan crowd, thanks to the presence of veteran actresses Dimple Kapadia and Deepti Naval. Dimple, busy playing doting grandma to daughter Twinkle's son, will not be seen in another film for a long time.

Deepti, on the other hand, has the unusual Hinglish film Freaky Chakra, directed by V K Prakash.

Diwali also sees the release of a small-budget film Hum Pyar Tumhi Se Kar Baithe, directed by Sooraj Barjatya’s assistant Mohan Singh Rathore. The love story features Jugal Hansraj with newcomer Tina Rana. Unlike the usual norm of releasing films on a Friday, this film will release on a Tuesday (November 5) at select theatres, only in North India.


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