Bollywood actor Anil Kapoor is expected to be at the Cannes Film Festival, which runs from May 11 to 22. He will be promoting his upcoming project, Cities. Roger Donaldson-directed Cities will be launched at the Cannes Market, and Clive Owens will star in it along with Kapoor.
A press release describes Cities as “a cautionary tale about greed and ambition that takes place on a global scale in three colliding story lines set in the exuberant months leading up to the Dow Jones all-time stock market high”. There is a New York-based hedge fund manager (Owen), who has everything he wants -- money, sex and power -- but he wants more. There is a young couple in London that just wants to buy their first home, something that seems impossibly out of reach; and finally, we have a Mumbai cop who fights corruption involving his colleagues (one of whom will be played by Kapoor) and property speculators.
Filming will begin this October in London, New York and Mumbai.
Kapoor, best known internationally for his role in
, will be next seen in
Mission: Impossible -- Ghost Protocol
There cannot be a better place to launch a movie than the Cannes Film Festival that takes place every May on the scenic French Riviera by the Mediterranean Sea. Movie production houses, directors, actors, scriptwriters and, who knows, even light-boys and spot guys, would love to see their work of labour being launched at Cannes.
Not just this, even future projects find the quaint little French city hosting the world’s biggest film festival an apt venue for announcements and media events. After all, 4500-odd media men and women assemble at Cannes every year, and just about any launch is sure to find print space or television time.
India has been making up for its rather pathetic show in the festival’s official sections by launching a product or two every year. Few years ago, Reliance Big Pictures brought Rakesh Roshan, son Hrithik and Mexican actress Barbara Mori to Cannes, and at a lavish party hosted by Kingfisher’s Vijay Mallya on an island off the city, the movie, Kites was promoted. It is another story that the Anurag Basu helmed film bombed at the box-office, despite a massive PR exercise. Later, Hrithik and Barbara, rumoured to have been in love, drifted apart with wife Suzanne making sure that the two stayed as far as possible from each other.
Last year, two movies were announced. Mani Ratnam’s Reliance produced bi-lingual Raavan in Hindi and Raavanan in Tamil were given all the publicity at Cannes. Ratnam could not be there as he was busy giving the finishing touches, mixing music I think, to his work. But his wife, Suhasini, and the lead actors from the film, Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai and Vikram, were in attendance.
But Cannes seems to be a bit of bad luck for Reliance. Ratnam’s movies disappointed critics and audiences, with the Tamil version (with Vikram) doing marginally better than the Hindi Raavan though.
Shekhar Kapur was another Indian movie-maker who announced his Paani last year. The film about the global water crisis would soon go on the floors, he said. To inject a dramatic Bollywoodish element, he mixed the highly polluted water from the slums of Dharavi in Mumbai with drinking water, and served it to journalists and others at the press meet. I do not know how many people actually drank that water, but Kapur did sip it. The question is, was the water really from Dharavi. Be that as it may, nothing has been heard since then of Paani.
(Gautaman Bhaskaran will be covering the Cannes Film Festival for the 21st year this May)