Aishwarya Rai’s Hollywood releases coming up

Aishwarya Rai had made her Hollywood debut with Gurinder Chadha’s musical, Bride and Prejudice; however, this movie did not receive the success and appreciation that the lovely Miss Rai was expecting. The year 2006 has three Hollywood releases lined up for Aishwarya. Her three movies are Mistress of Spices, Provoked and The Last Legion.
In Mistress of Spices, Aishwarya plays Tilo. It is a love story based on the theme of immigrants. Tilo is from India, but comes to live in America, where she has to learn to adapt to the changes of living in a new country. Tilo runs a spice store in San Francisco and she is gifted with the magical powers of being able to read into her customer’s lives and desires.

Tilo provides her spices not only for cooking, but, so that her customers are able to achieve their heart’s desires. However for the magic to continue to work, Tilo must always follow these rules-never leave the store, never touch another human and always love only the spices. Her life takes a turn when Doug, a handsome and enigmatic American, with a secret past enters the store. Tilo starts to fall in love with this stranger and her heart’s desires awaken. However, as passion for this man grows the spices she gives her customers start to misbehave.

Tilo must decide whom she will chose, her culture and heritage that has given her this unique and magical gift or love and passion for an American. Will Tilo forgo her culture for that of another? The casting of the movie consists of Aishwarya Rai, Dylan Mcdermott, Ayesha Dharker, Padma Lakshmi and Anupam Kher.

In Provoked, Aishwarya plays the real life character of a Punjabi woman, Kiran Ahluwalia who leaves India and goes to London to marry a man from there; however, she is badly beaten and abused. She ends up in prison for murdering her abusive husband. This is a real life story, which depicts domestic violence, marital discord and the injustice that many Asian women face across the globe. The film has Aishwarya Rai, Naveen Andrews and Nandita Das in its cast.

Provoked is based on the real life story of an NRI woman, Kiran Ahluwalia who showed exemplary courage after suffering mental, sexual and physical torture for more than ten years. Then she thought of making her husband Deepak realize some of the suffering that she had been going through. She decided to burn his feet so that he would not be able to run after her and thus not be able to torture her.

She tried to set fire to Deepak’s bed while he was asleep, but Deepak woke up during that time. Kiran was petrified and in her terrified state, she threw the matchstick onto his bed. Deepak was seriously injured in this incident; he was hospitalized and after ten days was declared dead. Kiran was arrested for murdering her husband; she was convicted with life imprisonment, ignoring the fact that her husband tortured her for ten long years. Later on, an NGO took up her cause and forced the courts to review their laws on crimes of passion. Kiran was released after three years and three months of imprisonment. She wrote her autobiography, which will now be produced into a movie titled Provoked.

The Last Legion, part fact, part fiction is an epic adventure based on acclaimed author Valerie Massimo Manfredi’s international best selling 2003 novel of the same name. The film is set against the fall of the Roman Empire in 470AD and its last emperor Romulus Augustus.

Over run with rebellion, Rome is a city on the brink of chaos and destruction. Romulus, the last emperor is imprisoned by rebels on the island fortress of Capri. However, he manages to escape from the island aided by the clever strategies of his teacher Ambrosinus and the heroic skills of legionnaire Aurelius. Despite the turbulent events around them, this small band of Roman soldiers, accompanied by Byzantine warrior Mira were determined to continue to restore this crumbling empire. Aishwarya plays the role of warrior Mira.

The movie is directed by Doug Lefler and has a stellar cast of Aishwarya Rai, Sir Ben Kingsley, Colin Firth, Thomas Sangster, Peter Mullan, John Hannah, Alexander Siddig and James Cosmo. It is an epic film about courage, loyalty and unfailing resolve.

The movies are slated to have a 2006 release. Let’s hope that with these movies Aishwarya is able to make a strong foothold in Hollywood. Here’s wishing her all the best on her forthcoming releases.