Super filmi week: Picking jedi skills from Amitabh Bachchan!

Big B’s jedi skills, Bebo’s Greater Kailash aunty antics and Deepika’s red-hot moment for the ages, my super-filmi week marks a star-studded start to the year.

Monday


Hello 2017!

New year, new movies, new hopes, something so upbeat about starting things on a new slate except Om Puri’s demise continues the despondent streak of losing legends one after another.

And so in some ways, the glittering glamour and giddy smiles at the 74th Golden Globes come somewhat as a relief.

High on emotion, glamour and Donald Trump-wary sentiment, the event’s biggest high point is Lifetime Achievement honoree Meryl Streep’s rousing speech — ‘Disrespect invites disrespect; violence incites violence. When the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose as well.’

No less effective is Best Supporting Actor recipient Hugh Laurie’s sparkling sarcasm, ‘I suppose this is made more amazing by the fact that I’ll be able to say I won this at the last ever Golden Globes. I don’t mean to be gloomy. Its just that it has the words Hollywood press in the title. I suppose to some republicans even the word ‘association’ is a bit sketchy.’

On lighter, less political note, Ryan Reynolds steals Ryan Gosling’s thunder by mock making out with Andrew Garfield, the latter claims it right back with a touching tribute to his wife Eva Mendes after nabbing Best Actor for La La Land.

That jubilant response of Team Elle after Isabelle Huppert is announced Best Actress just warmed my heart.

The ‘S-U-R-P-R-I-S-E’ moment when co-producer Brad Pitt surfaces from a difficult divorce battle with Angelina Jolie to present Moonlight and the crowd is an undecided mix of ‘wait a minute, wow and whee.’

Finally there’s Priyanka Chopra and her golden, glittery presence. Not much scope to twirl in the metallic, cleavage-centric Ralph Lauren, which found its way on both — best and worst dressed — lists of fashion police.  As vivacious as PC is, Blake Lively, Lily Collins and Millie Bobby Brown get my red carpet vote.

Tuesday
Amitabh Bachchan in Kabhi Kabhie

I am in Delhi these days and it’s unbelievably cold. Even if you do not hail from Mumbai, where 22 degree Celsius is cool enough to declare winter, you will think twice before stepping out of three layers of razaais. And I just did.

Whenever I need to endure harsh weather, I try this exercise I picked from Amitabh Bachchan. (Actually, Anupam Kher was the first to mention it.)

While shooting Aakhri Raasta in Chennai, the air conditioner in his van conked off and though it was exceptionally hot, AB sat in a corner, wrapped in a bristly shawl and heavy disguise, preparing for his character without a word of complain.

‘I feel hot only if I allow myself to feel so,’ he explained to Kher who till then hadn’t stopped grumbling about the same.

To hold control over your response, I am attracted to this Jedi-like discipline.

No soon have the infamous North Indian chill begun to envelop me, I close my eyes and think of Amitabh Bachchan taking those solitary strolls in cold Kashmir bundled inside beautiful woolen coats and cashmeres, hands slipped in their warm, roomy pockets enjoying poetry, generating warmth and saving me.

Wednesday
Deepika Padukone and Ranbir Kapoor in Tamasha
Deepika Padukone is pulling out all the stops to promote her Hollywood debut opposite action hero Vin Diesel in xXx: Return Of Xander Cage, a project many of us would have little interest in if it not for the Piku star.

Her stunning red avatar in a sleek Stella McCartney at the film’s London premiere is yet another reminder of how much the colour suits Ms Padukone.

Only last week on her 31st birthday, I asked Twitter folk to share a movie scene of hers that flashes foremost before their eyes. Answers ranged from the Dreamy Girl wave on Om Shanti Om red carpet, another appearance blowing bubble gum in the second half of the same film, her lingering scenes with Bachchan and Irrfan Khan in Piku, her possessed Meenamma in Chennai Express, her sensual glow in Goliyon Ki Raas Leela: Ram Leela, the list goes on.

But it’s the throbbing, tender conflict between a distraught Deepika and distant Ranbir Kapoor leading to Tamasha’s Agar Tum Saath Ho inside Hauz Khas Social that occupies a special place in majority of memories.

Not just the actress but also the frames and emotions filling them are wearing the warmest shade of red.

Thursday
Bina Rai in Anarkali

It’s legendary composer C Ramchandra’s birthday.

There’s an amusing anecdote around one of his most famous melodies from the period romance, Anarkali – Yeh Zindagi Usi Ki Hai Jo Kisi Ka Ho Gaya, which I believe plays thrice in the movie.

Released in 1953, the Pradeep Kumar-Bina Rai starrer was a big success. Around that time, my grandfather was teaching Physics in Meerut College. One of his students who lived right across, if I remember correctly, Nishat theatre in Begum Bagh, could not only hear the film loud and clear but also time his study schedule around the song, an alarm of sorts.

When it played the first time, the student opened his books and started studying. When it played the second time, he would take a tea break. And on the third occasion, he would take a nap. He followed this routine through the three shows Anarkali ran every day and eventually topped his class dedicating his achievement to Yeh Zindagi Usi Ki Hai.

Now this is what I call cinema at its most constructive.

Friday
A still from Ok Jaanu

And I am back to braving Delhi chills to review Shaad Ali’s remake of Mani Ratnam’s Ok Kadhal Kanmani.

So OK Jaanu is not something you need to watch if already familiar with the original, which hits you hard with its infectious charm and Nithya Menon’s lively energy that seems to shoot out from every pore.

For me, the script isn’t about live-in relationships at all, it’s about connection, cluelessness and Ratnam’s eye for details, which don’t surface so magnificently under Shaad’s direction and actors placing glamour above gusto.

Saturday

The 62nd Filmfare Awards are in full swing and I am busy grabbing a glimpse of who wore what.

And there’s fashion queen Sonam Kapoor looking absolutely dreamy in a delicate Elie Saab gown.

Talking about her Filmfare journey on the red carpet, the actress who won the Critic’s award for Neerja, momentarily abandons her ladylike demeanor to babyishly inquire, “Raaahul (presumably Nanda), you know how many times I’ve been nominated?”

Her entitled tone just screams STAR KID.

Sunday

A photo posted by Star World (@starworldindia) on

In complete contrast is the boringly guarded Sonam Kapoor of Koffee With Karan.

Her savoir-faire is all the more conspicuous, jarringly misplaced considering the show’s gossipy format and fellow guest Kareena Kapoor Khan’s impish impulses. The episode shot while the latter was still pregnant has since given birth to baby boy Taimur.

What the ho-hum episode tells us:

KJo can get away calling Kareena a Greater Kailash Aunty!

Priyanka Chopra speaks really well.

Vegetarianism is hilarious.

Karan Johar, Ranbir Kapoor and Kareena form Bollywood’s unofficial tattletale triangle.

‘Ah-mazing’ is the new ‘vaatavaran.’

Arjun Kapoor is a Koffee With Karan stalker.

Sonam is not dating some businessman from London and loves to say ‘very’ very, very, VERY much.

This column was first published on rediff.com

Previously:
Mera wala Shah Rukh
Ranbir-Ranveer, sigh sigh!
When Tabu struggled with a 500 rupee note
Of post-festival blues and toilet titles!
Finding links of life in Dhoni’s Ranchi and Madhuri’s Mujrim!
Inside Dharmendra-Hema’s intensely private world
Power of Pink
The irrepressible cuteness of Pooja Bhatt
Indradhanush was our Stranger Things
When Saif Ali Khan wore Rishi Kapoor’s sweater
Getting nostalgic about the 1980s, Winona Ryder & Kishore Kumar
Rediscovering Gulzar’s Ghalib & finding Free Love
Applauding NTR’s Superman on screen!
Tripping on A R Rahman
A millipede and Kimi Katkar’s monsoon romance
Udta Punjab, worst casting decisions, and naheeee…!
Of warring Khan bhakts and meeting Mogambo!
Ranbir’s forgotten romance in Bachna Ae Haseeno
Funnier than Aishwarya’s lips
Clashing superheroes and crying Khans
OCDing on Neetu Singh’s LPs!
Garam Dharam, Mantrik Origins, Rockstar Cruise

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