Bollywood turns out in style for Karan Johar's 40th

Plus: Gangs of Wasseypur wows Cannes but Peddlers and Miss Lovely a little less successful, SRK admits smoking charge, and Vikas Bhalla wants to return to the big screen.

@caption; Karan Johar with his mother at his birthday party in Mumbai. IANS
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From Shah Rukh Khan to Bipasha Basu, Aamir Khan to Jaya Bachchan - Bollywood's who's who, dressed in the theme of black and white, attended the 40th birthday of the filmmaker Karan Johar, held in Mumbai on Friday. Shah Rukh Khan made a rare early appearance with his wife Gauri. Other couples present were Hrithik Roshan and Suzann Khan, and Riteish Deshmukh and Genelia D'Souza. The actresses Sonakshi Sinha and Kareena Kapoor came without escorts - as did Yash Raj Films's latest muse Parineeti Chopra. Her cousin Priyanka was the party's latecomer, arriving past midnight. * IANS

Indian gangland epic woos Cannes

The longest-running entry in this year's Cannes, the five-hour Indian gangster epic Gangs of Wasseypur, won a warm welcome at the festival. "Gangs of Wasseypur puts Quentin Tarantino in a corner with its cool command of cinematically inspired violence, ironic characters and breathless pace," said The Hollywood Reporter. "There's never a dull moment in this Indian gangland epic," wrote Screen International. With a folk-meets-dubstep soundtrack and a basis in true stories, the film follows three generations of coal and scrap-trade mafia gangs in east India obsessed with traditional Hindi cinema. * AFP

Lukewarm reception for Peddlers and Miss Lovely

Also screened at Cannes was the experimental Peddlers directed by the newcomer Vasan Bala and financed through appeals on Facebook. Chronicling two youngsters who fall into the drug trade, it was panned by The Hollywood Reporter for its "confused, at times naive storytelling". Likewise, Ashim Ahluwalia's Miss Lovely, screened in the new talent section, drew a muted reception. France's Libération newspaper said the storyline, about the sleazy world of 1980s C-grade Hindi movies, had the potential to be fascinating, but was rendered "charmless" and "dull" through an overly serious tone. * AFP

Shah Rukh Khan guilty in smoking case

One of Bollywood's most revered stars pleaded guilty on Saturday to charges of smoking publicly at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Rajasthan during an Indian Premier League match last month. Shah Rukh Khan sought exemption from appearing personally before a court, his lawyer said. According to Rajasthan law, an offender could face maximum imprisonment of six months for smoking in public. Khan, a co-owner of the Kolkata Knight Riders team, was represented by three lawyers, who argued the actor's offence was petty and he was willing to pay the imposed fine. The next case hearing takes place on June 21. * IANS

Vikas Bhalla wants musical film comeback

Vikas Bhalla, the star of the popular television programme Uttaran, says he wants to take a big leap into the world of cinema via a musical. "I would like to produce and act in my own film, a musical. There will be 14 to 15 music tracks. It's too early to say anything more," revealed Bhalla, 38. "I am looking for the right person to direct it. When I find him, then filming will start." Bhalla, a trained singer, started his career in the 1995 film Sauda, but shifted to the small screen after his movies failed at the box office. He eventually found success in television shows including Sanjog Se Bani Sanjini and Shanno Ki Shaadi. * IANS