Aishwarya Rai

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Posted by bender 03/01/2009 @ 22:00

Tags : aishwarya rai, actors and actresses, entertainment

News headlines
Barbara Mori snubs Aishwarya Rai at Cannes - NDTV.com
The 62nd Cannes Film Festival may be one Aishwarya Rai would like to forget. Even before her alleged rivalry with youngster Sonam Kapoor over age, popularity and sex appeal is laid to rest, there is yet another newcomer who has given the former Miss...
Barbara Mori cold shoulders Aishwarya Rai at Cannes - Apun Ka Choice
She reportedly cold-shouldered Aishwarya Rai when the two ladies met briefly at the ongoing Cannes Film Festival in the south of France. Barbara is at the fest to unveil 'Kites' along with Hrithik, director Anurag Basu and producer Rakesh Roshan ....
Red Carpet war? Ash and Sonam - Times of India
It's official – L'Oreal, the brand which was to have both Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, its long-time brand ambassador, and Sonam Kapoor, its latest one, walk the Red Carpet at the Cannes Film Festival, has said that it has asked Sonam not to go....
Aishwarya Rai: Red Carpet Beauty - The Gossip Girls
Looking simply stunning, Aishwarya Rai walked down the red carpet with grace while wearing a strapless white Roberto Cavalli train gown at the opening of the 62nd International Cannes Film Festival on Wednesday (May 13). The L'Oreal brand ambassador...
Aishwarya Rajinikanth to dub for Aish - IndiaGlitz
One is the Shankar directed magnum opus 'Eyandrian' that has Superstar Rajinikanth and Aishwarya Rai pairing up for the first time. This project has been in the news for the heroine bagging a whooping six crore rupees for signing up the project....
Aishwarya represents Indian cinema at the Cannes! - Galatta.com
Aishwarya Rai is currently the face of Indian cinema at the Cannes International Film Festival. She was present from the opening day, seen at the premieres of several films and the cynosure of all eyes. She was accompanied by her husband Abhishek...
Guzaarish is my tribute to Lata-ji: Bhansali - Hindustan Times
Filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali says his Hrithik Roshan-Aishwarya Rai starrer Guzaarish, which will be shot in Goa in July and August to capture the melody of the monsoons and the romance of the place, is actually a tribute to singing legend Lata...
Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai to Star in 'Guzaarish' - Desi Hits!
There's no denying Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan have hot chemistry on screen and their pairing proves to bring big box office bucks. Anyone remember 'Dhoom 2' and 'Jodhaa Akbar'? Yeah, we thought so! Well after those two films the next...
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan at the Cannes Film Festival - Desi Hits!
Some stars arrived for the release of Disney Pixar's upcoming 3-D adventure 'Up' being shown in the animation category of the Cannes Film Festival International actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and hubby Abhishek Bachchan came to the Cannes Film...

Abhishek Bachchan

Abhishek Bachchan with wife Aishwarya Rai Bachchan at the IIFA Awards (2007).

Abhishek Bachchan (Hindi: अभिषेक बच्चन, born February 5, 1976 in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India) is an Indian actor and the son of Indian actors Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bachchan. He is married to actress and former Miss World Aishwarya Rai.

Bachchan debuted with J.P. Dutta's Refugee (2000). In 2004, the actor delivered a hit and a critically acclaimed performance, in the films Dhoom and Yuva. His performance in the latter was praised, for which he received several awards, including his first Filmfare Award in the Best Supporting Actor category, an award he would win for the two next years as well. Since then, Bachchan has starred in films that have been commercially and critically successful, establishing himself as one of the leading actors in the industry.

Abhishek Bachchan is the son of Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan and actress Jaya Bachchan; his elder sister is Shweta Bachchan-Nanda (b. 1974). His grandfather, Harivansh Rai Bachchan, was a well-known poet of Hindi literature. The original last name of his parental family is Srivastav, Bachchan being the pen name used by his grandfather. However, when his father Amitabh entered films, he did so under his own father's pen name. Bachchan is of Punjabi Sikh heritage from his grandmother Teji's side, while also of Bengali Kulin Brahmin descent from his mother Jaya Bhaduri's side.

Bachchan was dyslexic as a child. He attended Jamnabai Narsee School and Bombay Scottish School in Mumbai, Modern School, Vasant Vihar, New Delhi, and Aiglon College in Switzerland. He then went to the U.S. to complete his education at Boston University, but left midway to pursue his acting career when his father's company, ABCL, was facing trouble.

Bachchan began his career with J.P. Dutta's moderately successful Refugee (2000), which also starred Kareena Kapoor, although Kapoor received more public exposure from the film. In a span of four years, Bachchan went on to do many more movies, without any major box-office successes. These included Kuch Naa Kaho (2003) with Aishwarya Rai, whom he would marry in 2007.

In 2004, his performance in Mani Ratnam's Yuva proved his mettle as an actor. The same year, he starred in Dhoom his first hit. In 2005, Bachchan shot to fame with four consecutive hits: Bunty Aur Babli, Sarkar, Dus, and Bluffmaster. He won his second Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor for Sarkar. Bachchan also received his first Filmfare nomination in the Best Actor category.

His first 2006 release, Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna, was one of India's highest grossing films of the year. He was also a part of Mani Ratnam's stage show, Netru, Indru, Naalai, alongside many other co-stars. Bachchan's second release Umrao Jaan failed to do well at the box office, but his third film that year, the sequel Dhoom 2, did very well—although, as in the first Dhoom, critics found that Hrithik Roshan, as the antagonist, stole the show.

In 2007, Bachchan starred in Guru, receiving much acclaim for his performance, and the film emerged as his first solo hit. In May 2007, he made a brief appearance in the successful Shootout at Lokhandwala. His next release, Jhoom Barabar Jhoom, which released in June 2007, failed to do well in India but did better overseas, especially in the UK. While the film itself received mixed reviews, Bachchan won praise for his performance.

In summer 2008, Bachchan, his wife, his father, and fellow performers Preity Zinta, Ritesh Deshmukh, and Madhuri Dixit starred in the Unforgettable World Tour stage production. The first leg covered the U.S, Canada, Trinidad, and London, England.

Bachchan is also involved in the functional and administrative operations of his father's company, originally known as ABCL, and rechristened as AB Corp. Ltd. That company, along with Wizcraft International Entertainment Pvt. Ltd., developed the Unforgettable production.

In October 2002, at Amitabh Bachchan's 60th birthday celebration, Abhishek Bachchan and Karisma Kapoor announced their engagement. The engagement was called off in January 2003.

After much speculation concerning their relationship, Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai announced their engagement on January 14, 2007. The couple were married on April 20, 2007, according to traditional Hindu rites of the South Indian Bunt community, to which Rai belongs. Token North Indian and Bengali ceremonies were also performed. The wedding took place in a private ceremony at the Bachchan residence Prateeksha, in Juhu, Mumbai, but was heavily covered by the entertainment media. The couple is considered a supercouple in India, and is often referred by the portmanteau "Abhiaish" (for Abhishek and Aishwarya).

Bachchan's paternal grandmother Teji Bachchan passed away on December 21, 2007.

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Amitabh Bachchan

Amitabh Bachchan in Anand (1970)

Amitabh Bachchan (Hindi: अमिताभ बच्चन IPA: , born Amitabh Harivansh Bachchan on October 11, 1942), is an Indian film actor. He first gained popularity in the early 1970s and has since become one of the most prominent figures in the history of Indian cinema.

Bachchan has won numerous major awards in his career, including three National Film Awards and twelve Filmfare Awards. He holds the record for most number of Best Actor nominations at the Filmfare Awards. In addition to acting, Bachchan has worked as a playback singer, film producer and television presenter, and was an elected member of the Indian Parliament from 1984 to 1987.

Bachchan is married to actress Jaya Bhaduri. They have two children, Shweta Nanda and Abhishek Bachchan. Abhishek is also an actor and is married to actress Aishwarya Rai.

Born in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, Amitabh Bachchan hails from a Hindu Kayastha family. His father, Dr. Harivansh Rai Bachchan was a well-known Hindi poet, while his mother, Teji Bachchan was a Sikh from Faisalabad (now in Pakistan). Bachchan was initially named Inquilab, inspired from the phrase Inquilab Zindabad, during the Indian independence struggle, but was re-christened Amitabh which means, "the light that would never go off." Though his surname was Srivastava, his father had adopted the pen-name Bachchan, under which he published all his works. It is with this last name that Amitabh debuted in films, and, for all public purposes, it has become the surname of all members of his current family.

Amitabh is the elder of Harivansh Rai Bachchan's two sons, the second being Ajitabh. His mother had a keen interest in theatre and had been offered a role in a film, but preferred her domestic duties. She had some degree of influence in Bachchan's choice of career because she always insisted that he should take the centre stage. He attended Allahabad's Jnana Prabodhini and Boys' High School (BHS), followed by Nainital's Sherwood College, where he majored in the art stream. He later went on to study at Kirori Mal College of the University of Delhi and completed a Bachelor of Science degree. In his twenties, Bachchan gave up a job as freight broker for the shipping firm, Bird and Co., based in Calcutta, to pursue a career in acting. He has made many films.

He married actress Jaya Bhaduri on June 3, 1973, according to Bengali rites. The couple has two children: daughter Shweta and son Abhishek.

Bachchan made his film debut in 1969 as one of the seven protagonists in Saat Hindustani, a film directed by Khwaja Ahmad Abbas and featuring Utpal Dutt, Madhu and Jalal Agha. Though the film was not a financial success, Bachchan won his first National Film Award for Best Newcomer.

The critically acclaimed and commercially successful. Anand (1971) followed, where he starred alongside Rajesh Khanna. Bachchan's role as a doctor with a cynical view of life garned him a Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award. Amitabh then played the role of an infatuated lover in Parwaana (1971) opposite Navin Nischol, Yogeeta Bali and Om Prakash and was a rare instance of him portraying the villain. This was followed by several films which were not particularly successful at the box office including Reshma Aur Shera (1971). During this time, he made a guest appearance in the film Guddi which starred his future wife Jaya Bhaduri opposite Dharmendra. Noted for his deep baritone voice early on in his career, he narrated part of the film Bawarchi. In 1972, he made an appearance in the road action comedy Bombay to Goa, directed by S. Ramanathan. He starred alongside actors such as Aruna Irani, Mehmood, Anwar Ali and Nasir Hussain.

1973 saw significant development in Bachchan's career when director Prakash Mehra cast him in the leading role for the film Zanjeer (1973) as Inspector Vijay Khanna. The film was a sharp contrast to the romantically themed films that had generally preceded it and established Amitabh in a new persona — the "angry young man" action hero of Bollywood, a reputation he was to acquire in pictures that followed it. It was his first film as the leading protagonist to achieve box office success and earned him a Filmfare Nomination for Best Actor. 1973 was also the year he married Jaya and around this time they appeared in several films together, not only in Zanjeer but in films such as Abhimaan which followed and was released only a month after their marriage. Later, Bachchan played the role of Vikram in the film Namak Haraam, a social drama directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee and scripted by Biresh Chatterjee addressing themes of friendship. His supporting role opposite Rajesh Khanna and Rekha was praised and won him the Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award.

In 1974, Bachchan made several guest appearances in films such as Kunwara Baap and Dost, before playing a supporting role in the highest grossing film of that year, Roti Kapda Aur Makaan. The film, directed and written by Manoj Kumar, addressed themes of honesty in the face of oppression and financial and emotional hardship was a critical and commercial success, placing Amitabh opposite Kumar himself, Shashi Kapoor and Zeenat Aman. Bachchan then played the leading role in film Majboor, released on December 6, 1974, which was a remake of the Hollywood film Zigzag starring George Kennedy. The film was only a moderate success at the box office In 1975, he starred in a variety of film genres from the comedy Chupke Chupke, the crime drama Faraar to the romantic drama Mili. However 1975 was the year when he appeared in two films which are regarded as important in Hindi cinematic history. He starred in the Yash Chopra directed film Deewar, opposite Shashi Kapoor, Nirupa Roy, and Neetu Singh, which earned him a Filmfare Nomination for Best Actor. The film became a major hit at the box office in 1975, ranking in at number 4. Indiatimes Movies ranks Deewaar amongst the Top 25 Must See Bollywood Films. Released on August 15, 1975 was Sholay (meaning flames), which became the highest grossing film of all time in India, earning Rs. 2,36,45,00,000 equivalent to US$ 60 million, after adjusting for inflation. Bachchan played the role of Jaidev opposite a cast which included some of the top names in the industry including Dharmendra, Hema Malini, Sanjeev Kumar, Jaya Bhaduri and Amjad Khan. In 1999, BBC India declared it the "Film of the Millennium" and like Deewar, has been cited by Indiatimes movies as amongst the Top 25 Must See Bollywood Films. In that same year, the judges of the 50th annual Filmfare awards awarded it with the special distinction award called Filmfare Best Film of 50 Years.

After the success of films such as Sholay at the box office, Bachchan had now consolidated his position in the industry and from 1976 through to 1984 would receive an unprecedented number of Filmfare Best Actor Award Awards and nominations. Although films such as Sholay cemented his status as Bollywood's pre-eminent action hero, Bachchan illustrated that he was flexible in other roles, successfully playing the romantic lead, in films such as Kabhie Kabhie (1976) and comic timing in comedies such as Amar Akbar Anthony (1977) and earlier, in Chupke Chupke (1975). In 1976, he was once again cast by director Yash Chopra in his second film, Kabhi Kabhie, a romantic tale in which Bachchan starred as a young poet named Amit Malhotra who falls deeply in love with a beautiful young girl named Pooja played by actress Rakhee Gulzar. The emotional eclectic of the dialogue and softness of the subject matter proved a direct contrast to some of Amitabh's earlier grittier action pictures and those he would later go on to play. The film saw him again nominated for the Filmfare Best Actor Award and was a box office success. In 1977, he won the Filmfare Best Actor Award for his performance in Amar Akbar Anthony where he played the third lead opposite Vinod Khanna and Rishi Kapoor as Anthony Gonsalves. 1978 was possibly the most accoladed year of his career and he starred in all four of the highest grossing films of India in that year. He once again resumed double roles in films such as Kasme Vaade as Amit and Shankar and Don playing the characters of Don, a leader of an underworld gang and his look alike Vijay. His performance won him the Filmfare Best Actor Award and considerable critical acclaim as with his performances in Trishul and Muqaddar Ka Sikander which both earned him further Filmfare Best Actor nominations. On account of this unprecedented run and success he encountered at this stage in his career, he was billed a "one-man industry" by the French director François Truffaut.

In 1979, for the first time, Amitabh was required to use his singing voice for the film Mr. Natwarlal in which he starred alongside Rekha. His performance in the film saw him nominated for both the Filmfare Best Actor Award and the Filmfare Best Male Playback Awards. In 1979, he also received Best Actor nomination for Kaala Patthar (1979) and then went on to be nominated again in 1980 for the Raj Khosla directed film Dostana, in which he starred opposite Shatrughan Sinha and Zeenat Aman. Dostana proved to be the top grossing film of 1980. In 1981, he starred in Yash Chopra's melodrama film Silsila, where he starred alongside his wife Jaya and rumoured lover Rekha. Other films of this period include Ram Balram (1980), Shaan (1980), Lawaaris (1981), and Shakti (1982) which pitted him against legendary actor Dilip Kumar.

While filming Coolie in 1982, Bachchan suffered a near fatal intestinal injury during the filming of a fight scene with co-actor Puneet Issar. Bachchan was performing his own stunts in the film and one scene required him to fall onto a table and then on the ground. However as he jumped towards the table, the corner of the table struck his abdomen, resulting in a splenic rupture from which he lost a significant amount of blood. He required an emergency splenectomy and remained critically ill in hospital for many months, at times close to death. The public response included prayers in temples and offers to sacrifice limbs to save him, while later, there were long queues of well-wishing fans outside the hospital where he was recuperating. Nevertheless, he spent many months recovering and resumed filming later that year after a long period of recuperation. The film was released in 1983, and partly due to the huge publicity of Bachchan's accident, the film was a box office success.

The director, Manmohan Desai, altered the ending of Coolie after Bachchan's accident. Bachchan's character was originally intended to have been killed off but after the change of script, the character lived in the end. It would have been inappropriate, said Desai, for the man who had just fended off death in real life to be killed on screen. Also, in the released film the footage of the fight scene is frozen at the critical moment, and a caption appears onscreen marking this as the instant of the actor's injury and the ensuing publicity of the accident.

Later, he was diagnosed with Myasthenia gravis. His illness made him feel weak both mentally and physically and he decided to quit films and venture into politics. At this time he became pessimistic, expressing concern with how a new film would be received. Before every release he would negatively state, "Yeh film to flop hogi!" ("This film will flop").

In 1984, Amitabh took a break from acting and briefly entered politics in support of long-time family friend, Rajiv Gandhi. He contested Allahabad's Lok Sabha seat against H. N. Bahuguna, former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh and won by the highest victory margin in general election history (68.2% of the vote). His political career, however, was short-lived: He resigned after three years. The resignation followed the implication of Bachchan and his brother in the "Bofors scandal" by a newspaper, which he vowed to take to court. Bachchan was eventually found not guilty of involvement in the ordeal.

His old friend, Amar Singh, helped him during a financial crisis due to the failure of his company ABCL. Therefore Bachchan started to support Amar Singh's political party, the Samajwadi party. Jaya Bachchan joined the Samajwadi Party and became a Rajya Sabha member. Bachchan has continued to do favors for the Samajwadi party, including advertisements and political campaigns. These activities have recently gotten him into trouble again in the Indian courts for false claims after a previous incident of submission of legal papers by him, stating that he is a farmer.

A 15 year press ban against Bachchan was imposed during his peak acting years by Stardust and some of the other film magazines. In his own defense, Bachchan claimed to have banned the press from entering his sets almost till the end of 1989.

In 1988, Bachchan returned to films, playing the title role in Shahenshah, which was a box office success due to the hype of Bachchan's comeback. After the success of his comeback film however, his star power began to wane as all of his subsequent films failed at the box office. The 1991 hit film, Hum, looked like it might reverse this trend, but the momentum was short-lived as his string of box office failures continued. Notably, despite the lack of hits, it was during this period that Bachchan won his second National Film Award, for his performance as a Mafia don in the 1990 film Agneepath. These years would be the last he would be seen on screen for some time. After the release of Khuda Gawah in 1992, Bachchan went into semi-retirement for five years. In 1994, one of his delayed films Insaniyat was released but was also a box office failure.

Bachchan turned producer during his temporary retirement period, setting up Amitabh Bachchan Corporation, Ltd. (A.B.C.L.) in 1996, with the vision of becoming a 10 billion rupees (approx 250 million $US) premier entertainment company by the year 2000. ABCL's strategy was to introduce products and services covering the entire section of the India's entertainment industry. Its operations were mainstream commercial film production and distribution, audio cassettes and video discs, production and marketing of television software, celebrity and event management. Soon after the company was launched in 1996, the first film was produced by the company. Tere Mere Sapne failed to do well at the box office but launched the careers of actors such as Arshad Warsi and South films star Simran. ABCL produced a few other films, none of which did well.

In 1997, Bachchan attempted to make his acting comeback with the film Mrityudaata, produced by ABCL. Though Mrityudaata attempted to reprise Bachchan's earlier success as an action hero, the film was a failure both financially and critically. ABCL was the main sponsor of the The 1996 Miss World beauty pageant, Bangalore but lost millions. The fiasco and the consequent legal battles surrounding ABCL and various entities after the event, coupled with the fact that ABCL was reported to have overpaid most of its top level managers, eventually led to its financial and operational collapse in 1997. The company went into administration and was later declared a failed company by Indian Industries board. The Bombay high court, in April 1999, restrained Bachchan from selling off his Bombay bungalow 'Prateeksha' and two flats till the pending loan recovery cases of Canara Bank were disposed of. Bachchan had, however, pleaded that he had mortgaged his bungalow to Sahara India Finance for raising funds for his company.

Bachchan attempted to revive his acting career and had average success with Bade Miyan Chote Miyan (1998), and received positive reviews for Sooryavansham (1999) but other films such as Lal Baadshah (1999) and Hindustan Ki Kasam (1999) were box office failures.

In the year 2000, Bachchan stepped up to host India's adaptation of the British television game show, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? entitled, Kaun Banega Crorepati. As it did in most other countries where it was adopted, the program found immediate success. The Canara Bank withdrew its law suit against Bachchan in November 2000. Bachchan hosted KBC till November 2005, and its success set the stage for his return to film popularity.

In 2000, Amitabh Bachchan appeared in Yash Chopra's box-office hit, Mohabbatein, directed by Aditya Chopra. He played a stern, older figure that rivalled the character of Shahrukh Khan. Other hits followed, with Bachchan appearing as an older family patriarch in Ek Rishtaa: The Bond of Love (2001), Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (2001) and Baghban (2003). As an actor, he continued to perform in a range of characters, receiving critical praise for his performances in Aks (2001), Aankhen (2002), Khakee (2004), Dev (2004) and Black (2005). Taking advantage of this resurgence, Amitabh began endorsing a variety of products and services, appearing in many television and billboard advertisements. In 2005 and 2006, he starred with his son Abhishek in the hit films Bunty Aur Babli (2005), the Godfather tribute Sarkar (2005), and Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna (2006). All of them were successful at the box office. His later releases in 2006 and early 2007 were Baabul (2006), Eklavya and Nishabd (2007), which failed to do well at the box office but his performances in each of them were praised by critics. He also made a guest-appearance as himself in the Kannada movie Amruthadaare, directed by Nagathihalli Chandrashekhar.

In May 2007, two of his films Cheeni Kum and the multi-starrer Shootout at Lokhandwala were released. Shootout at Lokhandwala did very well at the box office and was declared a hit in India, while Cheeni Kum picked up after a slow start and was declared an overall average hit.

In August 2007, a remake of his biggest hit, Sholay (1975), entitled Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag, proved to be a disaster at the box office and was also poorly received by critics.

Bhoothnath, in which he plays the title role as a ghost, was released on May 9, 2008. Sarkar Raj, released in June 2008, was a sequel to his 2005 film Sarkar. Sarkar Raj received a positive response at the box-office.

Bachchan was scheduled to co-host the second Live Earth event, Live Earth India 2008, with Jon Bon Jovi, in Mumbai India on December 8, 2008.

On January 26th 2009, Amitabh was the chief guest for the opening of Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital in Andheri, Mumbai.

In November 2005, Amitabh Bachchan was admitted to Lilavati Hospital's ICU once more, to undergo surgery for diverticulitis of the small intestine. This occurred after Bachchan complained of pains in his abdomen some days prior. During the period and that following his recovery, most of his projects were put on hold, including the television show he was in the process of hosting, Kaun Banega Crorepati. Amitabh returned to work in March 2006.

Bachchan is known for his deep, baritone voice. He has been a narrator, a playback singer and presenter for numerous programmes. Renowned film director Satyajit Ray was so impressed with Bachchan's voice, that he decided to use his voice as commentary in Shatranj Ke Khiladi since he could not find a suitable role for him. Before entering the film industry, Bachchan applied for an announcer's job with All India Radio, although he was rejected.

In the runup to the Uttar Pradesh state assembly elections, 2007, Bachchan made a film extolling the virtues of the Mulayam Singh government. His Samajwadi Party was routed, and Mayawati came to power.

On June 2, 2007] a Faizabad court ruled that he had illegally acquired agricultural land designated specifically for landless Dalit farmers. It was speculated that he might be investigated on related charges of forgery, as he has allegedly claimed he was a farmer. On July 19, 2007, after the scandal broke out, Bachchan surrendered the land acquired in Barabanki in Uttar Pradesh and Pune. He wrote to the chief minister of Maharashtra, Vilasrao Deshmukh, to donate the lands that were allegedly acquired illegally in Pune. However, the Lucknow Court has put a stay on the land donation and said that the status quo on the land be maintained.

On October 12, 2007, Bachchan abandoned his claim in respect of the land at Daulatpur village in Barabanki district. On December 11, 2007, the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court gave a clean chit to Bachchan in a case pertaining to alleged fraudulent allotment of government land to him in Barabanki district. A single Lucknow bench of Justice said there was no finding that the actor "himself committed any fraud or manipulated any surreptitious entry in the revenue records".

After receiving a positive verdict in Barabanki case, Amitabh Bachchan intimated to Maharashtra government that he did not wish to surrender his land in Maval tehsil of Pune district.

In January 2008 at political rallies, Raj Thackeray, the chief of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, targeted Amitabh Bachchan, asserting that the actor was "more inclined" towards his native state than Maharashtra. He expressed his disapproval of Amitabh's inaugurating a girls' school named after his daughter-in-law, actor Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, at Barabanki in Uttar Pradesh, rather than in Maharashtra. According to media reports, Raj's censure of Amitabh, whom he admires, stemmed out of his disappointment of not being invited to Amitabh's son Abhishek's marriage to Aishwarya, despite invitations to his estranged uncle Bal and cousin Uddhav.

Responding to Raj's accusations, the actor's wife, SP MP Jaya Bachchan, said that the Bachchans were willing to start a school in Mumbai, provided the MNS leader donated the land build it. She told the media, "I heard that Raj Thackeray owns huge properties in Maharashtra, in Mumbai—Kohinoor Mills. If he is willing to donate land, we can start a school in the name of Aishwarya here." However, Amitabh abstained from commenting on the issue.

On March 23, 2008, more than a month and half after Raj's remarks, Amitabh finally spoke out in an interview to a local tabloid saying, "Random charges are random; they do not deserve the kind of attention you wish me to give." Later, on March 28, at a press conference for the International Indian Film Academy, when asked what his take was on the anti-migrant issue, Amitabh said that it is one's fundamental right to live anywhere in the country and the constitution entitles so. He also stated that he was not affected by Raj's comments.

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Jodhaa Akbar

Jodhaa Akbar cover

Jodhaa-Akbar (Hindi: जोधा-अकबर, Urdu: جودھا اکبر) is an Indian epic film released on February 15, 2008. It is directed and produced by Ashutosh Gowariker, the director of the Academy Award-nominated Lagaan (2001). It stars Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in lead roles. This film also marks the debut of newcomer Abir Abrar. Extensive research went into the making of this film which began shooting at Karjat.

The film centers around the romance between the Muslim Mughal Emperor Akbar the Great, played by Hrithik Roshan, and his Hindu wife Jodhabai, played by Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. The music is composed by acclaimed music composer A. R. Rahman. The soundtrack of the movie was released on January 19, 2008. The film has won the Audience Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the São Paulo International Film Festival, two awards at the Golden Minbar International Film Festival,, seven Star Screen Awards and five Filmfare Awards, in addition to two nominations at the 3rd Asian Film Awards.

Jodhaa Akbar is a sixteenth century love story about a political marriage of convenience that gave birth to true love between a great Mughal emperor, Akbar, and a Rajput princess, Jodhaa.

Political success knew no bounds for Emperor Akbar (Hrithik Roshan). After having secured the Hindu Kush, he furthered his realm by conquest until his empire extended from Afghanistan to the Bay of Bengal, and from the Himalayas to the Godavari River. Through a shrewd blend of diplomacy, intimidation and brute force, Akbar won the allegiance of the Rajputs. This allegiance was not universal. Maharana Pratap and many other Rajputs always considered Akbar as a foreign invader. Maharana Pratap also banned inter marriages between Rajputs who had given their daughters to the Mughals and the ones who did not. But little did Akbar know that when he married Jodhaa (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan), a fiery Rajput princess, in order to further strengthen his relations with the Rajputs, he would in turn be embarking upon a new journey – the journey of true love.

The daughter of King Bharmal of Amer, Jodhaa resented being reduced to a mere political pawn in this marriage of alliance, and Akbar’s biggest challenge now did not merely lie in winning battles, but in winning the love of Jodhaa – a love hidden deep below resentment and extreme prejudice. Jodhaa-Akbar is their untold love story.

The director has admitted that about 70% of the movie is based on his imagination. However, many of the events portrayed in the movie are based on real events. Certain Rajput groups claimed Jodhaa was married to Akbar's son, Jahangir, not Akbar. They also demanded a public apology from Ashutosh Gowariker. The film was not released in 30 cinema theatres in Rajasthan.

Several historians claim that Akbar's Rajput wife was never known as "Jodha Bai" during the Mughal period. According to Professor Shirin Moosvi, a historian of Aligarh Muslim University, Neither the Akbarnama (a biography of Akbar commissioned by Akbar himself), nor any historical text from the period refer to her as Jodha Bai. Moosvi notes that the name "Jodha Bai" was first used to refer to Akbar's wife in the 18th and 19th centuries in historical writings. In Tuzk-e-Jahangiri, she is referred as Mariam Zamani.

According to historian Imtiaz Ahmad, the director of the Khuda Baksh Oriental Public Library in Patna, the name "Jodha" was used for Akbar's wife for the first time by Lieutenant-Colonel James Tod, in his book Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan. According to Ahmad, Tod was not a professional historian. N R Farooqi claims that Jodha Bai was not the name of Akbar's Rajput queen; it was the name of Jahangir's Rajput wife.

The portrayal of ethnic Rajput people in the movie was criticized by members of the Rajput community as misleading, politically motivated historical revisionism that minimized Rajput history and scapegoated them as evil . The community's protests against the film in some states and it has been banned by the States of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana and Uttarakhand. However, the producer has moved the Supreme Court by challenging it. Later, the Supreme Court of India lifted the ban on screening the film for now in Uttar Pradesh and some towns of Uttarakhand and Haryana. The court scrapped the Uttar Pradesh government ban as well as similar orders by authorities in Dehradun in Uttarkhand and in Ambala, Sonepat and Rewari in Haryana.

Ashutosh Gowariker hired a research team of historians and scholars from New Delhi, Aligarh, Lucknow, Agra and Jaipur to guide him on this film and help him keep things historically accurate. He clarified that the name of the film remains Jodhaa-Akbar, and not Akbar-Jodhaa as reported by sections of the media. Over 80 elephants, 100 horses and 55 camels were used in the movie. Name Of Main Titled “Azeem O Shan, Shahenshah”, the song featured about one thousand dancers in traditional costumes, wielding swords and shields at a grand location in Karjat. The budget was about 37 crore Rupees (approx 7.42 million USD).

The first television promo was aired on December 9, 2007.

Rotten Tomatoes, the online review aggregator, rated the movie 75% fresh based on 10 reviews.

The New York Times gave the movie a positive review, comparing Ashutosh Gowariker to Cecil DeMille.

Deepika Shetty, a Singapore film critic, called the film a " visual treat " and gave it a good 4 stars out of 5.

The popular film critic Rajeev Masand gave the film a 4 star rating out of 5 in his show aired on CNN-IBN, "Now Showing", one of his highest ratings ever for a film.

The official soundtrack contains five songs and two instrumentals. The music was released on January 18, 2008.

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Raincoat (film)

Raincoat is a 2004 Hindi film directed by Rituparno Ghosh, and starring Ajay Devgan and Aishwarya Rai. It tells the story of two lovers, separated by destiny, who meet again one day. This encounter allows each to realize the truth about the lives they are living. It is an adaptation of the short story The Gift of the Magi by O Henry.

The film was nominated for the Crystal Globe for Best Feature Film at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. Rai also won the Zee Cine Award for Critics' Choice Best Actress and was nominated for the Filmfare Best Actress Award.

The story begins with unemployed Manu (Ajay Devgan), in search of money to finance his new business as he has lost his earlier job at a jute mill. On his quest, he visits his former intimate friend Neeru (Aishwarya Rai) in Calcutta, to whom he was once engaged six years ago. During the rainy evening, the couple reminisce about their former love and how each ended up in their current situation.

The story goes along the girl who pretends to be in happy and prosperous situation. The gestures made by her to former lover has many interesting instances, particularly when the door bell rings and she persuades Manu not to open the door. They go on talking about their past and present with director skillfully transcends in flashback to get the clearer picture.

The raincoat comes to role when Neeru adorning it goes to fetch some food. The landlord speaks of the real situation of the household, and prompts Manu to give his borrowed money as outstanding rent for the house. Manu left a letter under the bed sheet explaining things. Meanwhile, when Neeru returns he does not say anything about his encounter with her landlord. After some time Manu leaves. Later, when he puts his hand inside the pocket of his raincoat, he finds a pair of gold bangles that belonged to Neeru, along with a letter saying that she had a lot of money and he should have told her about his financial situation. She had actually read a letter that was inside the raincoat that informed her about Manu's condition.

Debajyoti Mishra experimented with the music of the film and it paid off. The film had 2-3 songs, all being background numbers. Famous classical singer, Shubha Mudgal lends her voice for the title track. Songs are listed below.

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Jeans (film)

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Jeans is a 1998 Tamil musical and romantic film. Directed and co-written by Shankar and produced by Ashok Amritraj and Murali Manohar, its stars Prashanth Thyagarajan, Aishwarya Rai and Nassar in multiple lead roles. Raju Sundaram and Lakshmi, prominent actors from the south Indian film industry, played the roles of the lead characters' relatives in the movie.

The film revolves around a Non-resident Indian man, Rajamani, who has twin sons, Vishwanathan and Ramamoorthy, and as a result of his separation from his twin wants his sons to be married to twins. However Vishwanathan falls in love with a woman, Madhumitha, who visits the USA to help her grandmother remove a brain tumour. Vishwanathan, after helping the woman's grandmother to live, tells her his father's plea. Eventually Vishwanathan and Madhumitha put on a double act attempting to deceive the father, however their plans are foiled. How the couple manages to change his father's decision to marry his sons to twins forms the crux of the story.

The film opened to Indian audiences after several delays, on 24 April 1998 just after the Tamil New Year, and in the process, became the most expensive film to be made in India at the time. Despite receiving mixed reviews on the actors' performances and the basic storyline, the film became a major hit at the South Indian box office. Owing to its success, it was later dubbed into the Hindi and Telugu language and released with the same name. The film was nominated by India as its entry for the Best Foreign Language Film for the Academy Awards in 1998.

Rajamani (Nassar) is a restaurateur in Los Angeles, USA. His twin sons Vishwanathan and Ramamoorthy (both played by Prashanth Thyagarajan), are both medical students, who help him out in the evenings and on weekends alongside with the restaurant's chief cook, Gino (Senthil). One evening, Vishwanathan goes to the airport to check on the family's supply concession and sees that some fellow Indians – Madhumitha (Aishwarya Rai), her brother Madhesh (Raju Sundaram) and their grandmother Krishnaveny (Lakshmi) – have difficulty with an address. He pitches in to help and learns that they just flew in from India so that Krishnaveny can undergo a crucial surgery to remove her brain tumour.

The story shifts to the hospital where Vishwanathan, an intern, visits Krishnaveny's room after the operation, and notices she has been operated on the wrong side. Vishwanathan appeals aggressively to the doctors and has the error corrected by another surgery and then spearheads an angry fight for compensation the hospital gives in preference to avoid a messy court case.

When the grandmother realises that Vishwanathan and Madhumitha have fallen in love, she extends the family's stay in the United States and takes a liking to Vishwanathan's good nature. However, Rajamani objects to the budding romance and wants his sons to marry identical twins because he himself has an identical twin brother. They both had married for love in their youth, but are now estranged because the wife of Rajamani's brother showed such tyrannical behaviour towards Rajamani's wife (Sundaramba, played by Raadhika) that Sundaramba perished.

Krishnaveny solves the problem by telling Rajamani that Madhumitha has an identical twin, Vaishnavi. The story spun by Krishnaveny is that Vaishnavi has been brought up in an orthodox Brahmin household. At this point they ring in Madhumitha's alter ego, contrasting Madhumitha with a very demure, typically traditional Indian version. Ramanathan, falls for the act, unaware that Vaishnavi and Madhumitha are the same person. The secret finally explodes, with Vishwanathan breaking his relationship with Madhumitha finding out that his brother has come out depressed. Following eventual consultations, the pair are reunited.

The cast featured three actors, who all appeared in multiple roles. Like in previous films by Shankar, the supporting cast was elaborate with guest appearances from prominent artistes.

The entire production of the movie took about a year and a half to be completed and released. Prior to Jeans, Shankar had directed three films, Gentleman, Kadhalan and Indian, all three of which had been successful ventures at the box-office. Jeans, unlike the others, was his first film which was shot outside of India, for the majority of the film.

Producers Ashok Amritraj, Michael Soloman and Murali Manohar all made their Tamil film debuts with Jeans, respectively, in producing the most expensive film till date in 1998. Critics felt that Jeans, if it became a hit like Shankar's previous films, would capitulate him into the top bracket of directors as both the lead actors, Prashanth and Aishwarya Rai had been labelled as "flop" actors. The film was made by many of the same filmmakers involved in Indian which won several National Film Awards. The casting of the film was left to Shankar after he had finalized the story. Genes was the title selected but Shankar felt it would not apply to the masses so he used the homonym, Jeans.

The film's launch was held at the AVM Studios in Vadapalani, Chennai in December 1996. The Jeans invitation was printed, wrapped in Jeans cloth and was hand delivered by Shankar to his close colleagues and friends in Chennai, which included prominent actors in the Tamil filmdom, making it the grandest Tamil film launch to date in 1996. Aishwarya Rai, Prashanth, and S. Shankar and just about anyone else associated with the shooting of the film, wore their favorite pair of blue jeans as per request from the producers.

The original actor considered for the roles of Vishwanathan and Ramamoorthy was Abbas, an upcoming artiste at the time, but the offer was rejected by Abbas citing that his dates were booked for the full year of 1996. The second choice for the lead role, prominent actor Ajith Kumar also opted out due to call sheet problems. The roles eventually went to Prashanth, whose career in films was not as successful as the previous actors enquired. Prashanth dedicated almost a year and half to Jeans, sacrificing seven films in the process, as he considered it "a once in a lifetime" opportunity which would have straighten up his career. Aishwarya Rai, a former Miss World, was the original choice for the roles of Madhumitha and Vaishnavi. Despite having a huge fan base and publicity, Aishwarya Rai hadn't given a hit in her two movie career despite her debut movie, Iruvar directed by Mani Ratnam being critically acclaimed. Amongst the actors in the film were Senthil, Nassar and Raju Sundaram, all three of them appearing as supporting actors with Nassar starring in his first Shankar film. Prominent supporting actresses Radhika, Lakshmi were all signed up for the film, with Lakshmi joining the team later following the death of her father-in-law. Furthermore popular singer S. P. Balasubrahmanyam who was selected for a role, left the project and S. V. Sekhar replaced him.

The other substitution in the project involved the cinematographer. Despite popular belief that Shankar would again sign on Jeeva, whom he had worked with in Kadhalan, Gentleman and Indian. However Santhosh Sivan was announced as the cinematographer for the film but between the time of the announcement and the finishing stages of the film, cinematographer Ashok Kumar was publicized as the official cinematographer for the film. In mid-1997, film organisation FEFSI striked and in the midst of this, the film's art director Thotta Tharani, a FEFSI supporter, refused to sacrifice his position in FEFSI in order to continue filming Jeans. Without much choice, Shankar signed a newcomer Bala to take over the set design and art work for the film. The film's art direction is credited with both Thotta Tharani and Bala. Venki was signed up to deal with the special-effects in the film, with Jeans containing the most number of minutes of special effects amongst any film made til 1998, including Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park. The film also were assisted in graphics of having the effects created by the Pentafour company in Hollywood.

The filming of Jeans, broke the record for the number of different foreign locations featured in an Indian film. The initial scenes of the Rajamani family's catering company was filmed in Las Vegas. Other scenes were shot in California at the Universal Studios, who usually does not grant permission for foreign films to conduct shooting there. However with influence from the film's producer Ashok Amritraj they were able to obtain special permission to film a few scenes inside. Besides the King Kong set, Jeans was also shot in the "simulated earthquake experience" sets. The filming in Los Angeles received much publicity as well as the filming at the Grand Canyon in Arizona. Other Jeans shooting locations in the United States of America included the Valley of Fire, Manhattan Beach, Malibu Lake and many scenic spots throughout California. The song Columbus was picturized at the shores of Venice Beach, California with some foreign male and female dancers. Shankar also filmed in New York at the World Trade Center when co-producer Michael Salomon and his wife, Luciana Balusia visited the sets of Jeans.

After a 45 day schedule in the United States, Shankar and the team returned to India to film a couple of scenes in the climax. The team then visited several other countries to picturize the song Poovukul, with featured scenes with six prolific buildings in the world, dubbing Aishwarya Rai as the "seventh wonder of the world". Shankar admitted that due to no real list being present, thought had been put into which wonders were selected. The team made a thirty day trip around the world stopping to can scenes at the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Empire State Building, the Great Wall of China, the Taj Mahal, the Egyptian pyramids, and the Eiffel Tower. During the shooting in Paris the death of Princess Diana had taken place and shooting was delayed in the France, due to her death. For the most part, Jeans was surrounded by world events of all sorts and for Shankar, the cast and crew of the film described the experiences as "tremendously vivid and memorable". Three week prior to the release of the film, on 1 April 1998 a screening was held labelled the Making of Jeans with prominent personalities invited, however the short film showed the real manufacture of jeans. The prank was claimed by Shankar and his crew who utilized an April Fools joke.

Jeans was released worldwide on 24 April 1998 soon after Tamil New Year's Day, over three months after its original release date of 14 January 1998. With 240 prints, the films holds the 1998 record for a Tamil film. Upon release the film was subsequently dubbed into two languages, Telugu and Hindi. Owing to the success of the film, the number of reels grew, it was estimated that the film garnered about Rs. 5 crores (50 million) in India. The film completed 100 days of screening in the theaters in the state of Tamil Nadu. In local parlance, this is considered to be one of the measures for a film's success. The reception for Jeans in Malaysia was equally as celebrated, releasing in six major metropolises for a run which lasted up to 9 weeks, collecting $114,883 (then approximately Rs. 5 million) within its 50 day run. In Singapore, $ 125,000 on its opening day setting a nine year record, before the figure for the biggest Tamil film opening was surpassed by Sivaji. Furthermore, the film was nominated by India as its entry for the Best Foreign Language Film for the Academy Awards in 1998.

Jeans opened to positive reviews from most critics, however the film was also negatively reviewed by others. Rediff praised the lead characters Prashanth, Aishwarya Rai and Nassar as "ever dependable", whilst singling out praise for Radhika whom she describes that " with her startling cameo, sweeps the acting honours". Rediff praises the technical crew describing Venky's FX as a "virtual reality", Ashok Kumar's cinematography as "throughout and outstanding", Raju Sundaram's choreography as "memorable" and A. R. Rahman's score as "entirely hummable". Shankar's directorial attributes were described to be to a "perfect flow of narrative and a penchant for demanding and getting perfection out of every element of his cast and crew" and that the film was an "easy fit".

Balaji Balasubramaniam, a prominent critic, labels Jeans as "glossy and extravagant" and comments that the "film clicks". The lead actors were mixed with Prashanth labelled as "impressive", while Aishwarya Rai is described as "pretty" and that she "exhibits grace in dancing" but that "her performance leaves lots of room for improvement" and that she "overacts" iin the character of Vaishnavi. Nassar, Lakshmi and Raju Sundaram were all appreciated for their roles. Rahman's musical composition of the film was described as "one of his best soundtracks", whilst Vairamuthu's "terrific lyrics" also stood in the song Poovukkul.

The Jeans soundtrack was released by Westop on 1 April 1998. The original scores from the film's composer, A. R. Rahman, form the tracks on the album. The lyrics are by Vairamuthu. The songs were dubbed into Hindi, using Javed Akhtar's lyrics when it was released in North India.

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Endhiran

Rajinikanth and Aishwarya Rai as pictured at the Machu Pichu, Peru site for a song picturization

Endhiran (Tamil: எந்திரன்) is a forthcoming science-fiction Tamil–language film being directed by S. Shankar, who with Endhiran, directs his tenth feature film. Despite several rumours regarding the lead actors, Rajinikanth and Aishwarya Rai have been formally announced to portray the lead roles. The film is expected to cost 120 crores, one of the highest ever film budgets of the Chennai film industry.

Initially titled and referred to as Robot, the project was launched by Shankar and producer C. Karunamoorthy, chief executive of Ayngaran International who were set to distribute the film along with Eros Labs. However, in December 2008, both production companies backed off, amidst filming schedules, due to financial problems led by the currently ongoing global market recession. Production rights have now been sold to the Chennai-based Sun Pictures.

After completing Nayak: The Real Hero in 2001, Shankar announced a project with Kamal Haasan and Preity Zinta titled Robo, to be produced by the now-defunct production company Media Dreams. Despite, announcing the project, due to a lack of backing the project was cancelled and Shankar began work on Boys. In 2005, Shankar made another project, Anniyan, this was mistaken to be the renamed title for Robot.

After a stupendous response from his previous project, Sivaji: The Boss, there were speculations regarding Shankar's next film. However Shankar stated that he was going to be involved with his production house, S Pictures for 3 months. Several websites claimed that he was set to take his maiden Telugu language film with Chiranjeevi, while others claimed that it was set to be with Mahesh Babu. Ajith Kumar was also considered for the film and several sources reported this news as confirmed but Kumar claimed that he wasn't yet approached. In July 2007, Shahrukh Khan was signed on to be the male lead of Robot and also the producer of the film. However, in October 2007, Shah Rukh Khan and Shankar officially called off the project. Khan commented that the script was "half-baked" and "dull" in comparison to his other films at the time. Shankar commented that Rajinikanth had commented on Shankar being a "trusted" and "excellent" script writer. Thus the two weren't able to compromise on one another opinions.

The film was unable to keep its name, Robot, due to the English title in Tamil Nadu, whose government present tax exemption to films with Tamil titles. Likely titles suggested to proceed Robot as the title, included Iyandiran or Iyandira, both literal translations of Robot. However it was confirmed in September 2008 that the film has been renamed to Endhiran The film's scripting is going on as told by Shankar in two interviews. It was subsequently announced that all those who have been committed for Robot should sign an agreement accepting that they will not commit themselves to any other project for the next two years of its production, with an exemption to the female lead, Aishwarya Rai.

However in December 2008, a sudden turn of events led to the production and distribution rights of the film being substantially altered.. The production company, Eros International, cited the failures of Drona and Yuvvraj for putting them in financial pressure. Furthermore, Ayngaran International were affected by the Global financial crisis of 2008, forcing both productions to sell the project. Immediately Sun Pictures bought the film from the previous producers for 165 crores, taking over all rights for the film. Sun Pictures is negotiating a deal with HBO to release an English subtitled version of the film in the West.

Apart from the original decided casting of Rajinikanth in the lead role, Shankar as director and A. R. Rahman,, who sets a new record for the most expensive musician of India, the rest of the cast was named over the following year. Several heroines were approached to essay the lead female role with Aishwarya Rai, Priyanka Chopra, Deepika Padukone, Asin Thottumkal, Trisha Krishnan, Shriya Saran, Priyamani and Nayanthara being linked with the role. In late January 2008, Aishwarya Rai was announced as the heroine of the project, and she later confirmed her appearance in the film to the news channel, Aaj Tak for a fee of 6 crores, becoming the highest paid actress in India with her salary for Endhiran. In a subsequent interview Aishwarya Rai expressed how much she always wanted work with Shankar and Rajinikanth, and is eager to work on the project. For the lead antagonist role Amitabh Bachchan, J. D. Chakravarthy, Narain and Arjun were considered, however regional Indian actor, Danny Denzongpa was signed for the role. Comedians Santhanam and Karunas were signed up to portray important roles in December 2008. Sujatha Rangarajan originally announced as the dialogue writer of the film, died during the production stages, with Balakumaran being named as his successor.

Along with Shankar's usual directorial assistants, Manoj Bharathiraja, son of noted fimmaker Bharathiraja, was signed on to be an assistant director. Sabu Cyril was signed up as the art director while Rathnavelu has taken up the post of the cinematographer, after K. V. Anand, Manikandan, Nirav Shah, Thiru and Ravi K. Chandran all had opted out. The music composed from A. R. Rahman would feature lyrics from Vairamuthu and Pa. Vijay, while Raju Sundaram will choreograph dance moves. The film will be edited by Anthony, with Manish Malhotra and Mary E. Vogt dually in charge of costume designs. Yuen Woo Ping will be the stunt co-ordinator for Endhiran, making his foray into Tamil films, whilst Stan Winston Studios will take care of the animatronics in the film.

The film began on February 15, 2008 in Chennai when portfolio photographer G. Venket Ram did a photo shoot with Rajinikanth. Following this initial shoot, Shankar and the cinematographer R. Rathnavelu went on a world tour to location-hunt. The team visited Vienna in Austria, Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and Hanoi in Vietnam to pick suitable locations. The first three photo sessions were held with Rajinikanth in Mumbai and Chennai with Aishwarya Rai featuring in the fourth session..

The first schedule of the film was started on September 8, 2008 at Peru, where a song picturization featuring Rajinikanth and Aishwarya Rai was shot under the choreography of Raju Sundaram, at the historic site of the Machu Picchu. Other scenes for the song were finished off in the United States and then Brazil. The shooting for the second schedule, continued in Goa, India where the initial talkie portions were filmed for ten days. The third schedule for the film included shooting in Himachal Pradesh for a song, which was then followed by scenes being canned in and around Chennai. Scenes featuring a Robotics conference involving Rajnikanth, Aishwarya Rai, Santhanam and Karunas were carried out at SSN College of Engineering as well as at the Vellore Institute of Technology, with over four hundred students being used as extras.

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Provoked (film)

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Provoked is a 2007 UK based English language film, directed by Jag Mundhra. It stars Aishwarya Rai, Naveen Andrews, Miranda Richardson, Robbie Coltrane, Nandita Das and Steve McFadden. The film is based on the true story of Kiranjit Ahluwalia who killed her abusive husband.

Cinematography for the film was handled by Madhu Ambat. The film's score and soundtrack was composed by A. R. Rahman, and the theme song for the film, "Alive", was composed by Rahman and sung by Karen David, who has a small cameo in the film. Shot in London, the film was released in April (Easter Weekend) 2007.

Kiranjit Ahluwalia (Aishwarya Rai), a battered Punjabi homemaker and mother of two, living in Southall, UK with her 2 children and abusive, alcoholic husband, Deepak Ahluwalia (Naveen Andrews). Unable to bear the brutality and repeated rapes at the hands of her spouse, she sets fire to his feet, unintentionally killing him. Charged with murder, her case comes to the notice of a group of South Asian social workers running an under funded organization called the Southall Black Sisters.

After being sentenced to life imprisonment, she befriends her cellmate, a caucasian woman named Veronica Scott (Miranda Richardson), who teaches her English. Veronica is also friends with several girls in the prison and stands up for Kiranjit against the local prison bully. Veronica realises what a good person Kiranjit is and enlists her brother, Edward Foster QC (Robbie Coltrane), a highly respected Queen's Counsel, to aide in Kiranjit's appeal. Edward, in turn, realizes Kiranjit's importance to his sister and the importance of her case. His sister's request has additional meaning given that Veronica would not let him help her with her own appeal due to their on off relationship since childhood.

Before Kiranjit's appeal hearing the Southall Black Sisters bring her plight to the attention of the media by organizing rallies to gather public support for her freedom. She is ultimately freed by the judicial system in a landmark case called "R v Ahluwalia", redefining provocation in cases of battered women in the UK. (She was reconvicted from murder to manslaughter; but released with time served). Kiranjit is reunited with her children and subsequently given an award by Cherie Blair, for her crusade against domestic violence. (The award is not shown on the film although it is accredited at the end).

This film was screened in the Marché du Film Cannes Film Market during the Cannes Film Festival in April, 2006 . Aishwarya Rai was present with director Jag Mundhra to promote the film through press conferences and parties. In June, the film opened the 2006 IIFA (International Indian Film Academy) Film Festival in Dubai. The screening was attended by many prominent Bollywood personalities including Amitabh Bachan and Shabana Azmi, as well as by international media. Aishwarya Rai flew down from her shooting schedule for the day to attend the premiere.

The Southall Black Sisters, who helped the real-life Kiranjit Ahluwalia, have criticised the film for being riddled with "factual and legal inaccuracies". Two members from the organization, Pragna Patel and Rahila Gupta, whose characters have been merged to create one person, played by the Indian actress Nandita Das, said it took "a lot of artistic license".

Rahila Gupta, who co-wrote Circle of Light and the script, added: "It's a shame that film is an artistic form in which you have to make a fair amount of compromises to make it happen." She criticised the film's characterisation as "one dimensional", and the portrayal of Kiranjit Ahluwalia's husband as an alcoholic.

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Source : Wikipedia