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AMERICAN BORN - CAST DESI
By Ritu Chugh
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The Samuel Goldwyn Theater at the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences was hustling and bustling this past Thursday, Dec. 28 evening as Cinema Central from Bombay was here. O'doveries paved way to sheekh kabobs and samosas, and evening gowns to hip salwaar kameezes. In the heart of Beverly Hills, was taking place a First. It was Bollywood first bom in Hollywood.
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - 'Raju Chacha'- conceived and gestated in India was born on Dec 28 in America. To witness this 3 hour musical comedy, billed as the most expensive film ever made in India, there was almost a 1,000 people audience., The stars, Kajol and Ajay Devgan were at hand, accompanied by significant others.
The primer was brought thousands of miles over the seas by SmasHits.com, one of the most . popular Indian music websites today and is ranked among the top 20 Indian websites in the world They hope to bring Indian entertainment closed to non-resident Indians and to Hollywood. The CEO of SmasHits.com, Abhesh Verma alongwith the CTO, Arthur Sieler, and their country head in India, Manoranjana Singh, presented an evening of exclusive interviews and chats with the stars and makers of the movie.
The proceeds from the premier will benefit the Indian American Cultural & Educational Foundation, a non-profit organization. Founded by Inder Singh, the organization is aimed towards young Indian across the US.
The movie, a high production cost feature is a Devgan Entertainment Film. It is directed and produced by the Devgan cousins, Ajay and Anil under his father's production firm.
To promote the film, the Music Directors, Jatin and Lalit Pandit; the villain, Govind Namdev; dialogue writer, Javed Akhter; and the VP of Devgan Entertainment, Misha Gautum were all present. MayurVerma, a child actor turned actor was also present.
The cohesive force that put everything together here in Los Angeles, was the Vice President of First Serve Entertainment, Munish Gupta. He said, " the over 1.5 million Indo Americans here love and miss India, the one thing that keeps them connected is In- dian movies." Also present among the celebrities was First Serve's President, Vijay Amritraj.
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Of the hundreds of movies churned out of Bombay each year, the debut of 'Raju Chacha' in the US is a representation of the Indian cinema aggressive marketing to the Indo-American market. " We were quite satisfied and proud of the fact that we could manage to ment Film. It is directed and pro- duced by the Devgan cousins, Ajay and Anil under Ins father's produe tion firm. To promote the film, the Music Directors, Jatin and Lalit Pandit; the villain, Govind Namdev; dia- logue writer, Javed Akhter; and the VP of Devgan Entertainment, Misha Gautum were 0 present. MayurVerma, a child actor turned actor was also present. The cohesive force that put ev- erything together here in los An- geles, was the Vice President of First Serve Entertainment, Munish Gupta. He said, " the over 1.5 million Indo Americans here love and miss India, the one thing that keeps them connected is In- President, Vijay Anu-itraj. Of the hundreds of movies churned out of Bombay each year, the debut of 'Raju Chacha'in the US is a representation of the In- dian cinema aggressive marketing to the Indo-American market. " We were quite satisfied and proud of the fact that we could manage to make a film like this ... it will be appreciated not only in India but by Indians here," said Ajay Devgan.
"It is to have the synergy work together. " said Devgan of Hollywood and Bollywood. It only seems apt to premier a high cost movie as this one in an affluent setting of Beverly Hills. The movies cost over $7 million in the making.
Promoted as a "Family entertainment movie", 'Raju Chacha' is a 3-hour melodrama. A tangled story line features love, bedroom farce, car wrecks. There is a bit of everything ... Sound of Music, Lion King, Home Alone ... it is an all-in- one.
The movie center around 3 rich kids and their wildly decorated fairy tale castle. This was one of the most lavish sets in the history of Indian Cinema. It was erected Ooty at a cost of $1 million - a sum often enough to fund a Hindi movie in its entirety.
Of the movie, Devgan said, "It is ... like you have a fantasy kind of a thing and at the same time it's a surreal kind of a thing." The orphaned kids are mothered by the orphaned Kajol who gives them the loved that she herself missed. There is a high charge of emotions intermittently.
Animation is combined with the scary movie 'stuff. A love story is combined with a tale of Robin Hood. Quite a lot of action packed with a large cast. It is non-stop entertainment. A major portion of the movie is shot in Austria, a setting that goes with the Sound of Music theme.
'Raju Chacha' is a film primarily aimed at children but some parts of the movie are gruesome and traumatic and somewhat inappropriate for kids. The character of 'Raju Chacha' arrives a bit too late, but nevertheless does come as a huge surprise.
The makers have attempted to replicate a Disney movie with music and animation with a catchy theme slogan "courage come sin all sizes." The movie is family entertainer with a few snips here and there. Remember, in The Lion King, Mufasa, Simba's father too is killed ... Prepare the kids for some dips and tragedies along with the fun and fantasy.