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Aishwarya Rai hits the Pink Carpet for ‘Pink Panther 2’

Aishwarya Rai, "The Pink Panther 2"
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan has been riding a tsunami of publicity
with the Feb. 6 release of the Columbia Pictures comedy “The Pink Panther 2.”

She blew kisses at fans on the “pink” carpet at the film’s
New York premiere Feb. 2, wearing an Alberta Ferretti black gown,
Jimmy Choo diamond-strapped shoes, an Armani clutch-purse
and a simple diamond necklace — with husband Abhishek Bachchan
in tow, along with Amitabh and Jaya Bachchan.

Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai

She also appeared on the Martha Stewart Show, making valentines no less,
and on The Tyra Banks Show.

While Rai was in New York to promote the film, she was accompanied
by her husband, Abhishek Bachchan, who had just finished shooting
for Mani Ratnam’s next film, “Ravan.”
Since Feb. 5 was Bachchan’s birthday, they spent it at a quiet family dinner,
Bachchan told India-West by phone Feb. 6.
“It’s been great fun,” Bachchan said of the “Pink Panther 2” experience.

Despite what some in the Indian media had speculated before the film’s release,
Rai has quite a substantial role in the film — one whose importance
can’t be given away here.
She plays Sonia, a surveillance expert who captures the attention
of bumbling French detective Inspector Jacques Clouseau (Steve Martin).

Critics have been unmerciful, calling the film “unfunny” and “dreadfully unnecessary”.
“Wasn’t it bad enough the first time?” asks Rolling Stone.
Critics have found fault with Rai’s performance as well.
Screen Daily said she was “all at sea” in her role opposite biggies like Martin,
Andy Garcia, John Cleese and Jeremy Irons, while many other outlets
seemed not to notice her presence except as exotic Indian eye candy.

“The Pink Panther 2” is a sequel to the 2006 worldwide hit,
which was a remake of the classic ’60s film comedy series starring Peter Sellers.
It is directed by Harald Zwart.

Filmed in Paris, Rome and other photogenic European locations
(including Boston, substituting for Paris and Rome), the film follows a team of crack
international investigators, headed by Clouseau, who are on the trail of a brilliant,
large pink diamond called the Pink Panther.

Aishwarya Rai

Jean Reno
Rai has earned praise from her colleagues in the film.
Costar Jean Reno, who plays Clouseau’s sidekick, said in a statement:
“Aishwarya: the green eyes, the beauty! Wow!
The surprise it is that she has a big sense of humor, always laughing,
which is fantastic for a beautiful woman. And she is always ready to act!”

Aishwarya Rai
“You’ll see her in person, and you say, ‘Wow, that’s a really beautiful girl,'”
observes producer Robert Simonds, “and then you look at the monitor
and she’s translucent. I can’t imagine anybody who we would have had play Sonia
other than her. She is so charming, intelligent, funny and powerful —
she lights up the whole frame.”

Rai herself said she was happy that there were already plenty
of “The Pink Panther” fans in India.
“When I was cast, there was a spontaneous reaction from people
where they were just happy for me be a part of this film,”
she says in the film’s press notes.

This is Rai’s fifth English-language film after “Provoked,” “The Last Legion,”
“Mistress of Spices” and “Bride & Prejudice.”

“The Pink Panther” earned $11.6 million its opening weekend,
making the number four slot at the U.S. box office.

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February 13, 2009 - Posted by | Aishwarya Rai

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