Bollywoods Elvis wannabe

Updated: Oct 31 2006, 05:30am hrs
It doesnt take much to please the NRI audience in the UK. Which explains why the most regressive films and mediocre performances are appreciated. The power of the inflated Himesh Reshammiya bubble was evident the other day, when the Elvis wannabe had Wembley completely packed, which the biggest Bollywood stars hadnt managed. The man had the coconuts in raptures; even hours later, they hadnt had enough. Mind you, it was Himeshs first-ever stage performance in London after rendering 36 top numbers in recent months, so that makes all the difference Id be interested if the audience shows up next summer, were he to come again. From television producer to composer to singer to performer, Himesh is now turning actor with his debut feature, Aap Ka Surroor (named after his hit album), which he proclaims will be the costliest film ever in Hindi cinema! And thats not allhis HR Music Academy for aspiring students opens India-wide soon. Must credit the mana splendid example of where passion and determination can take you, even though it could be done with a bit more finesse.

Saw rocks the B-O

Last time, I recommended watching The Devil Wears Prada and The Departed, both outstanding Western features that can boast thumping box-office figures. The latest to join the bandwagon of hits is Lionsgates horror sequel, Saw III, which ousted competition to bag the No.1 spot at the box-office on Friday.

According to boxofficemojo.com, the R-rated blood-fest took about $14 million, to carve out a stellar No. 1 lead at the box-office. Lionsgate has scheduled Saw IV for Halloween weekend next year.

Talking of box-office, the Bollywood feature thats making big bucks overseas is Farhan Akhtars Don. Touted as an atypical overseas film and slammed by a section of the self-styled trade pundits, the thriller has gone on to gross more than 1 million in the UK within 10 days of release and nearly $1.4 million in the US. They dont call him King Khan for nothing.

The Queen is hot

The Departed will have a serious bone to pick with The Queen. The latter has emerged a strong favourite with Academy members. At the recent Los Angeles premiere of The Queen, filmgoers agreed Helen Mirren would be judged Best Actress for her bravura turn as the dowdily out-of-touch Queen Elizabeth II. A month before, when I saw The Queen, which I thought was sterling, I knew it would emerge a strong contender. It is a huge success with critics and that helps its prospects for the Oscar and Globe, as in earlier years for Sideways and Brokeback Mountain.

The writer is an overseas motion picture distributor