Ranbir’s daku aspirations, Alia’s magical transformation, Aishwarya’s mommy love and more in my Super Filmi Week.
It won’t be out any time before next year, but Ranbir Kapoor’s fierce bandit face and trite slogan karam se dacait… dharam se azaad is sure grabbing eyeballs after an impressive peek of Sanju. Its uproarious samurai meets Robin Hood meets Rambo meets Baahubali meets Bollywood Daku vibe screams M-A-S-A-L-A to me.
A poster is a curiosity generator. Its most basic purpose is to tell the audience, ‘go watch my movie.’ Shamshera’s appears to be channeling a lot of 13 Assassins and The Wild Bunch, no?
Bottomline, Director Karan Malhotra is sticking to his comfort zone and derivative vision. This is his third project since Agneepath, which worked more as a tribute and that god-awful Brothers remake.
The film-maker may have moved from Dharma to Yash Raj but as far as sensibilities go I don’t see any revolution.
Make no mistake, I am all for pulp as long as it presses all the right buttons and doesn’t take itself too seriously. Malhotra’s last outing may not inspire much confidence, but Ranbir’s presence in mainstream action mode insists I wait and watch.
The world is divided between people cringing about Sonam Kapoor-Anand Ahuja’s minute-by-minute wedding coverage and those devouring it as though it’s their own family affair.
You know the whole apne Anil ke beti ki shaadi hai yaar sentiment.
Here’s what I noticed about #SonamKiShaadi:
My Twitter timeline is finally talking about something other than Avengers: Infinity War‘s final scene. The bride looks stunning, but not the high priestess of fashion that magazines would want you to believe. The easygoing groom is handling the media circus rather well. The family is looking stronger and closer than ever after a difficult time in their personal lives. The film industry is ecstatic to be part of #EverydayPhenomenal. The photographers are doing a fine job of documenting it round the clock. As is its celebrity guest list and their overactive Instagram accounts. News channels, Web sites, social network accounts are gushing over the newly weds like South Delhi aunties. Schmucks are comparing how the couple fares next to another celebrity pair Anushka-Virat and wondering why the groom wore sneakers to his reception.
Across continents, Priyanka Chopra and Deepika Padukone are walking the red carpet for the Met Gala in New York City.
The whole idea behind this event is to comply with whatever the year’s theme is (this time it’s Heavenly Bodies: Fashion & The Catholic Imagination) and NOT hold back.
Deepika’s look is nice for any other day, but for the Met Gala it’s the very definition of meh. PC gets points for trying, but her costume doesn’t stick out like Blake Lively or Zendaya’s does.
Maybe she got the idea after seeing Kumar Gaurav lip sync to the lovely RD ditty Dil Ke Aasman Pe Gham Ki Ghata Chayi holding a mop and bucket in Romance.
The sight is so hilarious you almost don’t notice the wooden leading man’s stuck sneeze expression.
Even the most random celebrity here makes it a point to attract attention by dressing up to the nines or being loud and conspicuous. Meghana’s humble, approachable, aura is a welcome relief.
Minutes later, Alia Bhatt emerges. She’s taller than I expected and gladly obliging for pictures with fans in a pale pink salwar kameez. There’s nothing snobbish or sensational in the way she wears her stardom. Alia is surprisingly low key.
But the minute the credits rolls and she appears on big screen, it’s like complete domination. She is magical and larger-than-life. In Raazi, her plain, genial, face acquires complex understanding of a character that needs to be conflicted and compelling.
Like I mentioned in my review, ‘I feel dizzy thinking about the heights she’ll attain in future.’
I can’t believe I hadn’t seen it until now. Now that I have I can see how much of it Rahul Rawail ripped off it to rehash into half his Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya, which marked Aishwarya Rai’s Hindi film debut opposite Bobby Deol.
Here’s the common bit — Girl is looking for a guy with a specific name, said guy shows up, they flirt, fool around and fall in love, guy admits he faked his identity, girl is angry and breaks up, then another guy of the same name shows up, turns out the first guy only asked him to masquerade as the guy she’s chasing so that she’s turned off, girl finds out and is super upset and confused but all’s well that ends well.
Except in Only You these developments transpire around scenic Italy with a lot of zany wit and sexy chemistry. Whereas Aur Pyar Ho Gaya turns this about warring families and exhausting melodrama relying on Ash’s sartorial elegance and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s mellifluous soundtrack to keep us around (and awake).
Or just twenty topsy-turvy shots of Lord Shiva idol inside the temple would rescue the hero from half a dozen bullets. Pregnancy was confirmed on first attempt and it would rain any time the director cried A-c-t-i-o-n.
Rishi Kapoor’s 1983 fluff, Bade Dilwala is a relic of these times. But that’s another story. Here’s what I noticed only now.
Throughout the film, his co-star Tina Munim is seen dressed in hip Western wear. She appears in a sari only once in a scene where she’s kidnapped by a bunch of goons. That too because there’s no rope, only one wide-open window, in the room and the director must have thought what can be more ingenious than using the heroine’s sari for the same. And so Tina has her Eureka moment while sobbing into the pallu when she miraculously realises she could use this as a bait to escape. After the said episode, she goes back to her regular wardrobe of dresses and dungarees.
So much for suspension of disbelief.
It’s always take-our-kid-to-work day when Aishwarya Rai Bachchan arrives in Cannes with daughter Aaradhya.
The six year old seems to enjoy the attention quite a bit. Is that unusual?
My first response is slightly judgmental in nature until I remember accompanying my mother to every single event she was invited as chief guest or judge a school’s annual day function. It was so thrilling then, limelight by association. And when it wasn’t possible for me to go, I’d anxiously wait for her to return and give me the welcome bouquet she’d always receive.
Subconsciously, it made me value my mother, her achievements and place in the world even more.
We tend to scrutinise everything about stars from a cynical perspective. Sometimes it’s uncalled-for. Sometimes we have reason to. Sometimes it’s better not to.
This column was first published on rediff.com.