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Salman clad in khaki

MUMBAI: Before anyone groans “Not again!” at the thought of another cop film, let’s quickly get the facts straight — ‘Garv’ is a cop film with a difference because it has Salman Khan as the khaki clad law enforcer. This is a privilege he has never had before. Even in his home production ‘Auzaar’, it was Sanjay Kapoor who got the cop’s role while Salman stared sullenly from the other side of the fence.

While all the other cop-players like Amitabh Bachchan and Akshay Kumar recently returned to the uniform in ‘Khakee’, ‘Dev’, ‘Aan’ etc, Salman gets into the uniform for the first time to play an upright and idealistic law enforcer. Can he keep a straight face? More importantly, can the audience? Will the audience accept Bollywood’s resident enfant terrible as a straitlaced principled ideologue?

Sceptics feel Salman’s overpowering image as an iconoclast could come in the way of audiences accepting him as a guy from within the establishment. After bottling crime can Salman battle it? That’s the question. Going by the advance booking all over the country, Salman has another winner on his hands. He has amassed a massive following, particularly among teenagers who see him as a rebellion. Salman’s two releases last year ‘Baghban’ and ‘Tere Naam’ were huge successes. Though he had nothing substantial to do in the former, his role as Amitabh Bachchan’s ideal foster-son won him favourable reviews. But it was the role of the rebellious campus goon in ‘Tere Naam’, which brought this Khan a heap of best-actor nominations last year. ‘Garv’ is also an acid test for first-time director Puneet Issar.

Pakistani star in Bhatt film

MUMBAI: A Pakistani actress, Meera, is to star in a Mahesh Bhatt movie, ‘Nazar’. To be directed by his talented wife Soni Razdan, it is a supernatural whodunit about a woman who gets paranormal visions.

Court stays Sunny Deol

PATNA: The Patna High Court stayed for two months the arrest of Bollywood star Sunny Deol in connection with a case of cheating after he deposited Rs.1.3 million with it for payment to the complainant. The court ordered that no action be initiated against Deol, who is also director of Vijeta Film Company, in the interim period of two months before the matter came up for hearing again. Patna film distributor Arvind Kumar had alleged Deol’s company had not returned Rs.2 million that it had taken in lieu of distribution rights of a film titled ‘Gandhi’ that had not been completed for various reasons. Kumar claimed Deol had not returned the payment despite several reminders. Deol’s lawyer informed the high court that negotiations were going on with Kumar for the payment of the remaining Rs 7,00,000. Kumar had filed a police complaint on the direction of a district court in Vaishali and a Patna court issued a non-bailable warrant against Deol May 26. Deol had then appealed against the Vaishali court’s decision, but it rejected his plea June 22, saying there was “substantial evidence” against him.

Gere brothers to fight with art

NEW DELHI: Hollywood star Richard Gere and his brother are looking at art forms that are uniquely Indian to help in their fight against AIDS in India, home to the second largest number of people afflicted with the disease. Their quest has enabled them to identify some 50 Indian artistes and activists from various creative fields to help spread awareness against HIV/AIDS. Gere’s role is limited to supporting and consolidating brother David Gere’s initiative — Make Art Stop AIDS — born out of the belief that “art has the power to save lives”. “India needs methods for communicating information about prevention and treatment that don’t depend on the written word,” explained the younger Gere, professor of art and culture, University of California, Los Angeles.

“The array of artistic projects being developed in response to AIDS in India is stunning in its creativity and markedly different from projects previously produced elsewhere in the world,” David Gere said. “Artistes not only enjoy an edge over others in communicating messages of social relevance to the people, but they have the responsibility of getting it across to the people,” Richard Gere noted.