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The 65th Cannes International Festival got underway on May 16 and will go on till May 27. This being the 50th year of Marilyn Monroe’s death, Cannes put her on its festival poster by way of honoring the legendary prima donna of Hollywood. The festival opened with Moonrise Kingdom, directed by Wes Anderson about a tender tale of two 12-year olds Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward. The 12 day festival will showcasing the best of cinema from around the world.

So far, the Cannes has featured movies such as Jacques Audiard’s Rust and Bone, Andrea Arnold’s (who is also this year’s jury member) Wuthering Heights, Chinese director Lou Ye's Mystery (opened the Un Certain Regard section) and Italian Director Matteo Garrone Reality. There are also documentaries of two of greatest directors of our time namely Roman Polanski: A Film Memoir and Woody Allen: A Documentary both of which promise to provide a glimpse of the biggest creative minds of the century.

Curiously, India did not make a big splash this year at the festival. Although new mother and Cannes regular Aishwarya Rai is supposed to attend the festival with husband Abhishek and father in law Amitabh, she has not shown up on the red carpet as yet. Her appearance is being much anticipated in the media – both for her designer gowns and her appearance itself. Earlier, when her pictures appeared in the media after the child birth when Oprah visited her, Ash looked fuller – in other words a far cry from her hour glass figure that she nonchalantly flaunts at the Cannes. According to the Bachchan camp, Ash and family will fly off for a little holiday after her red carpet appearance.

Arjun Rampal, with wife Meher Jesia, is also expected to appear on the red carpet owing to his contract with Chivas Regal. The only other Indians who were spotted at the festival include – although they are not much of Indian Indians as much as they are NRIs – Frieda Pinto and Mallika Sherawat. While Mallika made a rather non-pompous appearance, Frieda grabbed a few eyeballs. Thanks to the international celebrity she has become what with her Hollywood assignments, Frieda is a known name in the festival circles. Sonam is also expected to walk the carpet as part of her agreement with L’Oreal.

Just as you think, it’s only to promote products – and themselves – that Indian actors are present at Cannes, there is news that Gangs of Wasseypur will be screened at the festival. The only Indian movie to be screened at the festival's Directors' Fortnight section - a non-competitive section at the festival - Anurag Kashyap’s Gangs of Wasseypur is said to be a gritty tale of - well, what the title implies.

While there are talks, and it is evident from the line up, that the Cannes film festival this year is dominated by European arthouse auteurs, this year’s winner hopefuls include Ken Loach’s – who won the Palme d'Or in 2006 with The Wind That Shakes the Barley – The Angels' Share, a whisky-heist comedy, Michael Haneke’s Amour, his study of an elderly couple coping with the after-effects of a stroke, and Romanian director Cristian Mungiu’s Beyond the Hills, the story of a nun whose childhood friend tries to persuade her to leave a convent. Perhaps, the most curious and glamorous of the films will be Twilight star Robert Pattinson in the film Cosmopolis, directed by David Cronenberg. This is an adaptation of a Don DeLillo book and is about a stock trader stuck in a stretch limo for 24 hours.

Meanwhile, it’s pretty exciting times for the cast and crew of Kashyap’s Gangs of Wasseypur. Not only will they attract international attention – and probably invitation to more film festivals across the globe – the publicity has generated enough curiosity for the movie back home as well.

Still though, of all the excitement about the festival, for an average Indian, it would be Aishwarya Rai’s appearance that would make headlines. Indeed, we need to know what has motherhood done to Ash’s beauty after all. 

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