Bollywood is full of babes. Every Miss India winner these days has a fair shot at making it in tinseltown if she keeps off the potato chips. Nahin to there is enough demand from makers of music videos.
But where are the young hunks? The Khans are all pushing 40. Leave aside Saif Ali Khan and the newly cool Abhishek Bachchan. In the minor league, John Abraham alone holds some swoon value. But as we ask ourselves at JAM, how many times can we publish the fella's poster?
The thing is, there are small fry male stars in Bollywood - Riteish Deshmukh types - but they are not the kind girls would ooh and aah over. The time was just right, for a hot new hunk to be born. And he was.
Yes, a male model who's actually made a smashing debut with 36 China Town. The kind of debut models like Milind Soman or Arjun Rampal must have dreamt of but never managed. John Abraham did make an impact with Jism but Bipasha realy stole the show in that one.
In 36 China Town, Upen looks awesome, fits the role to a T and carries it off with flair. Believe me, playing a Casanova with lines like "Is your father a terrorist? Because you are a bomb" is not easy!
The surprising bit is that the guy is very relaxed and natural, unlike most models in their debut films. I still remember Aishwarya Rai in Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya - her expressions would have put the finest Burmese teakwood a complex...
Now Upen has been smart enough to dub his voice . That's where once upon a hunk Deepak Malhotra tripped badly. Poor man, when he opened his mouth and squeaked "Pallo" in Yash Chopra's Lamhe, the man's life was ruined forever. For Godssake, he even changed his name!
An interesting sidelight is that Dr Neeraj Dubey, a pathologist, has been plagued by fans of Upen ever since the film's release. That's because the duh filmmakers gave Upen aka Rocky the number 9820420420 in the film. The number actually exists - it belongs to Dr Dubey.
"If I don’t switch off my phone, I get at least a 1,000 calls every day, till 4 am.... While the guys ask for tips on physique, the girls beg for a date. I’m sick and tired of having to explain the situation to every caller. I’m also bombarded by lovey-dovey messages from women."
There are apparently girls who would like to go for 'long drives' as well ...
Since Da Vinci Code has not released and there's hardly anything else worth watching in the theatres I suggest you see 36, China Town. It's not as bad as many of the critics have made it out to be.
Sure, it has little merit as a suspense thriller but it's fun nevertheless. I give it 2.5 stars (half extra only for Upen :)
You can read my review of the film here.
pic 1: credits - Midday
pic 2: credits - Telegraph