Starting today, beings to you a special weekly feature, where we will bring to you the news and trade reports from the same week, from years ago. Enjoy!

Bollywood in 2003 (May 4 – 10)

Shahid Kapoor, Aishwarya Rai, Kareena Kapoor

Ishq Vishk Opens Well: Shahid Kapoor’s debut film, ‘Ishq Vishk’, opened on 9th May to a superb response in Bombay and a generally good response elsewhere. The correct promotion of the film by producers Tips ensured that the film opened well in the big cities and the multiplexes. The film went on to make Shahid a dependable hero.

Bhoot’s Climax Revealed?: Reminiscent of the controversy over the climax of Dum Maaro Dum being revealed, in May 2003, an sms stating that Saif Ali Khan was the bhoot in Ram Gopal Varma’s Bhoot was doing the rounds. It was a spoiler of a message for ‘Bhoot’ which was due for release then. But it turned out, Saif wasn’t the bhoot. In fact, Saif Ali Khan wasn’t even a part of the film which starred Ajay Devgan, Urmila Matondkar, Rekha, Nana Patekar and Fardeen Khan.

Ash Or Kareena?: Kareena Kapoor delayed her departure to Montreal (Canada) for the shooting of Boney Kapoor’s Bewafaa – The Unfaithful by a day as she had to meet Sanjay Leela Bhansali for Bajirao Mastani. Aishwarya Rai was to have played the heroine opposite Salman Khan in the film but once Ash made it clear to Bhansali that she would not co-star opposite Salman (after their break-up), the filmmaker considered Kareena for the role. Kareena had also auditioned for the role in a photoshoot a week before that. Of course, ultimately, the film never got made.

Passing: Filmmaker Mani Ratnam’s brother and Tamil film producer, distributor and financier G. Venkateswaran committed suicide on 3rd May by hanging himself from a ceiling fan at his Madras residence.

Bollywood in 1998 (May 3 – 9)

Duplicate Movie Poster, Satya Movie Poster

Duplicate Opening: Yash Johar’s Duplicate, starring Shah Rukh Khan in a double role, opened on 8th May to a start which wasn’t very exciting. The trade had assumed that ‘Duplicate’ would take a flying start because Shah Rukh’s last two films were Dil To Pagal Hai and Pardes. However, ‘Duplicate’ did not command a bumper opening because its music had not become very popular. Yes, even Shah Rukh needed the support of hit songs.

SRK Goes To Court: Shah Rukh Khan, Juhi Chawla and the story writer, director and producer of Ram-Jaane were directed to appear in the court of the senior chief magistrate of Kota on 21st May. The order was issued by the magistrate while rejecting Shah Rukh’s appeal to dismiss the case filed against him in 1997. The case was filed by a group of pleaders of Kota, objecting to the derogatory remarks against the pleaders in ‘Ram- Jaane’.

Satya Gets Censored: Ram Gopal Varma’s Satya was passed by the censors (CBFC) on 5th May. Certified for adults, the film was cleared with a lot of four-letter words in it! Varma denied that he had to show his film to the police before it was cleared by the CBFC because, according to him, it didn’t side with anybody – neither the underworld nor the police.

Aunty No. 1 Opens Well: Govinda-starrer Aunty No. 1 dropped after a reasonably good weekend no. 1. The comedy film did not live up to the expectations of the earlier Govinda starrers in the ‘No. 1’ series.

Bollywood in 1993 (May 2 – 8)

Dhaal Movie Poster, Satyajit Ray

Sunil Shetty’s Hat-trick: Those were the days when Sunil Shetty was in great demand. Three films of the actor went before the cameras in one week. They were Dhaal, Takkar and Dwand.

National Blunder: The National Awards function on 5th May was a disaster. The mikes at the function failed one after another so that the president could not even make a speech! Even the compering of the function left a lot to be desired. The function itself was postponed by a day due to the death of the Sri Lankan president, Premadasa, on the scheduled day (May 4).

Tribute: Glowing tributes were paid by directors, actors and critics to late Satyajit Ray at a seminar organized on the occasion of his 72nd birth anniversary, May 2, at Calcutta’s Nandan film centre.

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