Posts Tagged ‘saris

04
May
12

Retirees Find Hope, Love & Adventure in Romantic Comedy

Dame Judi Dench posed for The Ravi Report

Dame Judi Dench poses for The Ravi Report

What do you get when you mix a powerhouse of gifted British actors, a brilliant director and an exotic Indian hotel? You get one of the best films you will ever want to see!

Academy Award-winning actress (and “M” persona) Dame Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Maggie Smith, Tom Wilkinson, Penelope Wilton, Ronald Pickup and Celia Imrie are thrust  into a world that is so foreign yet so familiar in the new romantic comedy “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” directed by the ingenious John Madden (Shakespeare in Love) The movie also stars super talented “Slumdog Millionaire” actor Dev Patel and beautiful  newcomer, actress Tena Desea who plays Patel’s love interest. The story is based on the novel “These Foolish Things,” written by Deborah Moggach.Dame Judi enters wearing her new Indian accessories!
But first, let’s start with the basics here folks, Dame Judi Dench rocks. At 77, the captivating actress has NO PLANS of retiring anytime soon. And why should she? The silver-haired captivating lady is one of the most sought after and versatile actresses in the world today and after you see her latest film, you will see why. And what would happen to Bond? He needs “M”!
When Dench enters the room, it’s as if an aura of royalty has trickled into the air trailing behind elements of grace, sophistication and beauty. “Judi is beautiful, classy and a gifted actress whose work is  such a privilege to see,” said a gorgeous, tall, blue-eyed British lady to The Ravi Report  as she  waited hours just to get a glimpse of the star at the recent NY premiere held at the world famous Manhattan Ziegfeld majestic theater.
Tena Desea, John Madden and Penelope Wilton at NY press eventWithout giving much of the story line away, the film focuses on a group of recent retired British folks who decide go to India for a life of tranquility, serenity and relaxation. What they get in return is anything but and the glamorous hotel that they all had signed up for, turns out to be well, NOT what they signed up for. Dench plays the part of Evelyn, a recent widow whose character is an “independent soul” who takes a chance on exploring a new life  and comes to India  and faces uncertainties and unexpected incidences along with the rest of the group. OK, that’s it folks. No more giveaways. You must watch the film. It is a terrific movie full of hope, dreams, desires and beauty.

The cast recently attended a “yellow carpet” premiere in NYC with marigold flowers laced along the walkway bringing a bit of India to the premiere.  Dressed in a shimmering blue jacket matching her captivating blue eyes, Dench spoke about her love for India. “It’s an assault on your senses” she tells reporters “and I loved every bit of it,” she added.

India  can be in fact an overwhelming experience for first timers.  The people, the crowds, the colors, the food and the traffic is all part of what makes the country of over one billion people so mesmerizing, welcoming and challenging. I love it!!

The Ravi Report exclusively asked  both Dench and gifted actor Tom Wilkinson  what there experience was like for them during their filming.
RR: India means many different things to people. What did being in India for 9 1/2 weeks mean to the both of you- both professionally and personally?
Wilkinson: For me, being in India was one of the most brain-curdling experiences ever. I couldn’t even begin to guess
what I was going to see when I got there. And if you have never been there, you don’t even begin to know the meaning of the word “culture shock” until you get there. I never quite fully recovered but I recommend it to everyone.”
Dench: I never had a desire to go to India although some of my family lived there for a while. But within 24 hours of landing there, I was completely fascinated and bewitched by the country.  The beauty of the people I thought was astounding, the colors, the noise, the smell everything about it is completely staggering and I can’t wait until I go back there.”
The renowned television and stage actress  also said she made many friends while she was there.
Dench: I made some remarkable friends who are very keen on their mobiles and if my mobile goes off now, it’s probably one of them! (laughs)
RR: You have done a phenomenal job Dame Judi and you are a true delight and privilege to watch on-screen.
Dench: Thanks for that. I’m coming to you for the next part! (laughs)
RR:  How are you dealing with the overwhelming and amazing response from the UK audiences? The film already has cleared over $70 million in box office receipts.
Dench: This is so exciting. But at the same time, you are hopeful  that people will enjoy your work. You know, there is no guarantee of that and that is a plus if they like your work.  I was in India for 9 1/2 weeks with great actors you can’t get luckier then that frankly.
Director John Madden spoke to The Ravi Report on why he choose to show real India to his audience.Director John Madden speaking to The Ravi Report
RR: It’s indeed an honor to meet you sir. Your film is a treasure. You have shown the world the “common man’s India.” Did you have any second thoughts after the film was made about your choice?
Madden:  Thank you.  I really stuck to my guns  with showing  the real India. I shot what inspired me about the place and what I thought was interesting. I had no wish to say anything beyond that. I literally drove around for months before we were shooting. I love the country.
The film opens May 4 in the US and May 18th in India. For more information, log onto www.foxsearchlight/thebestexoticmarigoldhotel/
Don’t miss this one!!
The journey continues…and with marigolds and curry!
Ravi
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11
Nov
11

The Ravi Report Hits The Hamptons- Part 2

The dining table was an Indian masterpiece complete with golden chairs!

Once in a while, we get invited  to a stylish and  glamorous  dinner that we  talk about even after it’s over. Well, that’s just what I’m going to do here folks.  The Ravi Report was recently  invited to an exotic Indian dinner hosted by the captivating  Kelli Delaney-Kot of KDHamptons.com  and her husband, the charismatic and well-known  Dr. Mark Kot at their beautiful and historical  house in Water Mill, a hamlet of the town of  Southhampton.

India Night At The Kots”  spared no details in making it one of the most enduring and glamorous dinner parties  ever to be seen in the affluent town of beautiful people.  Gorgeous ladies dressed in silk designer sexy saris, the aroma of Indian food coming from the kitchen (later served by the wait staff) and traditional Indian music playing,  all were a part of the cultured event. It felt like home people!

The special invited guests mingled and nibbled on tasty vegetarian samosas and bajias catered by one of the top celebrity attended restaurants in NYC called  Chola and drank  champagne while getting to know each other.  I have to be honest here, I felt like I was at back in Mumbai  at one of those fancy Bollywood dinners that are attended by Bollywood stars, dignitaries and famous politicians.

Honored guests include Chris Clarke, the stunning Kelli Delany Kot, Dr. Mark Kot, Bernard Schwartz and his sexy wife Kimberly

Jennifer Lancaster, Ravi Yande, Alyssa Heim, Dr. Kot & Marie Caroline Caiola wore their best Indian clothes for the event!

Delaney had been preparing weeks for the dinner paying close  attention to every small detail.  “It was such a joy putting this dinner together that it did not seem like a lot of work at all. I wanted the food & the decor to be perfect for our guests.  We  wanted everyone to have fun and have a taste of Indian culture- in the Hamptons!”said Delaney. And boy, did we ever! Kelli told me that I inspired her to host the Indian themed dinner as I am always sharing my culture with her.

“With readers of KDHamptons being cultured, well-traveled and curious about the world, I thought it would be appropriate to introduce a little bit of Indian culture to them by way of our dinner.” added Delaney.

Guests dined like Maharajas!

The dining table was a masterpiece. Plain and simple folks. The table-cloth was made from Banarasi silk saris (heavy, expensive hand-woven silk saris from the  holy place of Benares)  Indian vintage statues served as showcase pieces, gorgeous red and pink rose flower arrangements lined the table and designer dinnerware complete with  gold-plated drinking glasses and light blue silk napkins made the dinner fit for a Maharaja!

The delicious cuisine consisted of traditional chicken and lamb dishes, mouth-watering palak paneer (a spicy spinach and cheese dish), rice,  Naan, (Indian bread baked in a clay oven) and spicy chickpeas called Chaana served with  a yogurt based salad called Raita.

The ladies complemented  the men who were wearing traditional tunics called Kurtas, a fancy Indian shirt made of silk. A sari, has most of you may know, is the Indian dress that is worn by  ladies and consists of 6 years of fabric wrapped around the body and the tail end is then draped over the shoulder. I will be honest here, I was so amazed at the way the beautiful ladies carried themselves since they had never worn a sari before and they walked around like pros! They completed the Indian look  with Bindiyas (the Indian circle shaped mark on the forehead) and an arm full of colorful bangles.

The Kot home was decorated with vintage silks saris, Lord Ganeshes, Indian bracelets placed in trays and traditional fall  flowers both inside and outside the house welcoming people  just as they do in India. The driveway was decorated with white candles lighting the pathway for the guests as they entered the home. A sheer touch of class!

“India Night At The Kots” was one of the most enjoyable dinners I have ever been to and sincere thanks to Delaney and Dr. Kot for  bringing Indian culture into their home in such a stylish and glamorous way.

The journey continues….namaste!

Ravi

01
Mar
09

NY EVENT: BOLLYWOOD COMES TO THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART

bollywoodatmoma

"Delhi 6" award winning team being introduced at MoMa premiere.

For a minute I thought I was back in Mumbai at some  glitzy movie premiere when I entered the world famous  Museum of Modern Art In Manhattan on Sunday February 16, 2009 and saw Bollywood movie stars, larger then life Indian movie posters and a line of fans dressed in silk saris and tunics waiting to get into the museum.  MoMa had welcomed  Bollywood for the first time with the  premiere of “Delhi 6″  along with the cast and director of the film, celebrities, Indian film devotees and of course The Ravi Report was front and center to capture all the exciting parts of the movie event.

abhishekenteringtheater

Indian superstar Abhishek Bachchan enters MoMa for the screening of his film "Delhi 6"

“There he is!” screamed one very pretty Indian girl trying to get a glimpse of the “Brad Pitt” of India, Abhishek Bachchan the star of the film. “Please just one hug” shouted another stunning Indian beauty with almond shaped eyes among the hundreds of fans who showed up for the premiere.

The crowd had waited hours in line just to get a quick photo or hand shake (security permitting) of  Bachchan Jr, son of legendary and world famous Indian filmstars Amitabh & Jaya Bachchan. Dressed in a Hugo Boss suit complete with silk tie and silver cufflinks and sporting a new hair style, (for a role he is currently playing) Bachchan Jr. did the usual signing of autographs, posing for pictures and shaking hands among the well wishers who waited hours to catch a glimpse of  Indian film star in person who on Feb. 5 celebrated his 33rd birthday in NY. Married to global international star Aishwariya Rai, who recently had her own movie premiere of “Pink Panther”in NY,  the young actor whose decade long career in the Indian cinema industry has made him into one of India’s finest leading actors and part of what many term “Young Bollywood”.

Bachchan Jr. came  with the lead actress of the film, the ravishing Sonam Kapoor daughter of Bollywood top actor Anil Kapoor who has become an household name because of  his role as the host of  “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” in the Oscar winning film  “Slumdog Millionaire”. The father and daughter team have reached international fame from their hard work, talent and of course great movies.

Kapoor, dressed in a tradition red and black Indian dress, decked with  Indian jewellery, the stunning and very humble actress spoke to reporters about her role, loving NY and “Slumdog Millionaire”.
“I am so excited to be in NY especially with the film. New Yorkers have always embraced us (Indian films) so I am grateful to be here again” stated the Indian beauty.

MoMa welcomed Bollywood in full swing!

MoMa welcomed Bollywood in full swing!

Although Indian movie premieres  in NY are still few and far in between, they are slowly becoming part of the NY movie premiere culture. Only the  big budgeted films with box office appeal and of course big talent from India make it to NY but now due increased interest from the western audiences,  Indian films are getting global recognization more so now than ever before thanks to brilliant Indian directors like  Mira Nair, Deepa Mehta, Reykesh Omprakash Mehra and Sanjay Leela Bhansali.

Acclaimed filmmaker Reykesh OmPrakash Mehra being interviewed at this MoMa premire of film "Delhi 6".

Acclaimed filmmaker Reykesh OmPrakash Mehra being interviewed at the MoMa premire of his film "Delhi 6".

Acclaimed and internationally known director of “Delhi 6″, Reykesh Omprakash Mehra whose previous box office megahit “Rang De Basanti”was India’s official entry for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Film at the Oscars in 2006 was heard telling reporters how this movie was extremely personal to him in many ways. More on what the film meant to him and his journey as a filmmaker in my in depth interview with Mehra and the stars  of the film in the next The Ravi Report.

One star missing from the premiere was musical genius A.R. Rahman who was in LA preparing for his Oscar night performance. The world knows by now that Rahman won two Oscars for his musical scores for “Slumdog Millionaire“. The music for “Delhi 6″ is simply awesome.

I really must commend MoMa for doing an outstanding job at the premiere. It was such a pleasure to see the world famous museum have such a strong  interest in Indian films and to embrace it with such style, elegance and respect. You must visit MoMa  www.moma.org when you get a chance and membership has many, many benefits.

The special night also included international movie director Mira Nair, beautiful stage and screen  actress Sarita Chaudhury,  actor Manu Narayan from the superhit film “Love Guru” and several NY social personalities and business leaders.

Ravi




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