SABC dishes up best of Bollywood as film festival returns in April

2009-03-29 00:00

WHETHER you are a connoisseur of Indian cinema or are just curious, you’ll be glad to know that the SABC2 Bollywood films festival makes a welcome return to our television screens.

Film fans can look forward to 13 highly entertaining weeks of thrills, chills, laughs and drama, sometimes all in the same movie.

Sports lovers will not want to miss either Race or Chak De India, but even those who are not horse-racing or hockey fundis will still enjoy these movies for the acting, the plot twists and the great soundtracks.

Hunky South Indian star Jayam Ravi also shows off his versatility with great performances in the thriller Dhaam Dhoom and the romcom Santosh Subramaniam, while Jodhaa Akbar and Gandhi My Father offer fascinating perspectives on historical personalities and events.

All the films will be broadcast on SABC2 on Mondays at 10 pm, starting on April 6.

Kicking off the festival is Tashan, in which Jimmy Cliff (Saif Ali Khan), a call centre executive, and Bachchan Pande (Akshay Kumar), a guy with dreams of becoming a gangster, team up together.

They are joined by the sexy and beautiful Pooja (Kareena Kapoor) on a journey across India that will alter the course of their lives in more ways than one.

On April 13 you can watch Veer Zaara, a love story with political and emotional repercussions for Veer Pratap Singh (Shah Rukh Khan), an officer and pilot in the Indian Air Force, and a beautiful Pakistani heiress (Preity Zinta).

Chak De India (April 20) tells the story of a man mentoring a hockey team of young and feisty girls.

Next up is Gandhi My Father on April 27, in which director Feroz Abbas Khan draws parallel life sketches of Mahatma Gandhi and his son, Harilal. The movie begins in 1948 with an ill and infirm man being brought to Bombay Hospital on a stretcher in an unconscious state. The dying man is Harilal Gandhi and the film is a series of flashbacks contrasting Gandhi’s activism with his son’s life.

U Me Aur Hum (May 4) is a love story which begins with a young man called Ajay enjoying a cruise with his friends when he meets and falls in love with Pia.

On May 11, SABC2 will screen Om Shanti Om, a film about Om (Shah Rukh Khan), who meets Shanti (Dipika Padukone), the love of his life, but then suffers an untimely demise.

Om is then reincarnated and the story flashes forward to the present day. Haunted by memories of his past life and his true love, he attempts to solve the mystery of his death, and to reunite with Shanti.

Next up is Race on May 18. This gripping thriller tells the story of two brothers, Ranvir Singh (Saif Ali Khan) and Rajeev Singh (Akshaye Khanna), whose business is horse racing. Set against the high-flying social fabric of modern South Africa, Race is about betrayal and greed, intrigue and revenge.

Jodhaa Akbar (May 25), directed by Oscar-nominated director Ashutosh Gowarikar, stars Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan as Akbar and Jodhaa. Set in the 16th century, it is a love story about a marriage of alliance that gave birth to true love between a great Mughal emperor, Akbar, and a Rajput princess, Jodhaa.

On June 1, film fans can watch a story about two guys Kunal (John Abraham), a photographer, and Sameer (Abhishek Bachchan), a nurse, who meet while they are searching for an apartment and end up picking the same one to rent. But the owner only wants to rent apartments to girls since his niece, Neha (Priyanka Chopra), also stays there, so Sameer and Kunal pretend to be gay lovers to see if the owner will agree to let them stay. The plan works, but both of them end up falling in love with Neha.

Dhaam Dhoom is the movie being screened on June 8. This thriller tells the story of an Indian doctor who leaves for Russia for a week-long conference just two weeks before his wedding.

There he meets a Russian girl and while trying to help her, gets himself involved in a conspiracy.

On June 15, SABC2 will show Taare Zameen Par, a film about a schoolkid who suffers from the adverse effects of dyslexia and how his shortcoming creates bridges between him and the world. This untypical Bollywood movie focuses on the serious theme of disability and presents it as a funny, yet sad, magical adventure.

Another family movie is Santosh Subramaniam on June 22. This remake of Telugu Bommarilu is a Tamil musical and romance starring Jayam Ravi and Genelia D’Souza.

The final film in the festival is Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi on June 29, which tells the tale of what happens when Surinder Sahni (Shahrukh Khan) — a simple, honest man working for Punjab Power and leading a humdrum life — meets his total opposite and finds love in the fun-loving, vivacious, Taani (Anushka Sharma).

All the movies will be screened in their full theatrical length, with English sub-titles supplementing the original Hindi or Tamil soundtrack.

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