Karan Johar made news again, and for two different reasons. The first was the startling disclosure that he was now the father of twins born through surrogacy.
Karan is gay and that makes it all the more of a pioneering decision. The precedent he followed in Bollywood is speculated to be of Shah Rukh Khan and his wife Gauri, who had a surrogate child some time back. Karan’s kids were also born in the same hospital as their’s, making it all the more probable that he had got advice from them.
He announced on Twitter that their names were Roohi and Yash and that they would be his first priority from now on. He wrote that it was an ‘emotional yet well thought out decision which I have taken after considering all the responsibilities and duties that come with being a parent…My work, travels and social commitments would have to take a back seat and I am prepared for that.’
The second bit of news that he featured in involved Kangana Ranaut. He had invited her to his chat show and she had not just been her candid self but in fact used the opportunity to give a piece of her mind to Karan also telling him that he was a flagbearer of nepotism, intolerant to outsiders and part of a movie mafia in Bollywood.
Karan laughed it away at the time but that it rankled was evident when during an event he said that he had had enough of Kangana playing the victim and woman card. He mentioned a list of directors whose movies he had produced and said that none of them had any family connections, so what was the nepotism that he is said to have fostered.
He also added that if Bollywood was such a bad place to work in, then Kangana should just leave.
Some days later Kangana retorted through a tabloid that she was unrepentant and that she would play whatever card was available. She wrote, ‘At the workplace, it’s the badass card to fight cutthroat competition. With my family and loved ones, it’s the love card. When fighting the world, it’s the dignity card, and for a seat in a bus, it’s the woman card. What is important to understand is that we are not fighting people, we are fighting a mentality. I am not fighting Karan Johar, I am fighting male chauvinism.’
A trade website had an interesting analysis of Raees, the Shah Rukh Khan movie which had started off well at the box office but then lost its momentum after the first week. What they found was that the producers of the movie made a nice profit thanks to selling the cable and music rights, and what the distributors paid them.
But the distributors themselves did do so-so, not making much of a profit. But the appeal of Shah Rukh is still evident in how much his next movie has raked in even though it is a long way from being released.
It is being directed by Imtiaz Ali and stars Anushka Sharma opposite him. According to reports, the movie has been picked up for Rs125 crore by a distributor for the domestic and international markets. But that is not all. There will also be the music and cable rights revenues on top of it.
Will a Shah Rukh movie earn that much? Going by past performance it will barely match it, which is no comfort since anyone who puts in Rs125 crore expects at least a decent profit margin on top of it. But the whole thing about superstars is you never know when the tide will turn and their movies become Rs300 crore grossers, leading to windfall profits. Just look at how Salman’s career has turned!
Ram Gopal Varma once again got into a controversy and it is understandable. He has a movie coming out in Sarkar 3 and needs to keep himself visible. The moment he chose to provoke an issue was the International Women’s Day. He tweeted, ‘I wish all the women in the world give men as much happiness as Sunny Leone gives’.
Sunny has a background of being a porn actress and is a sex symbol for many men. Varma’s tweet came in for immediate criticism from a wide range of people, both men and women, because it was thought to be denigrating women and also Sunny.
She herself tweeted a cryptic line about watching what one speaks, ‘Change only happens when we have one voice, so let’s choose your words wisely! Peace and love!!’
Varma then tried to make amends with another tweet, ‘The negative noise towards my tweet on @SunnyLeone arises from ultimate hypocrisy. She has more honesty and more self respect than any woman’.
And then finally he was forced to tweet an apology, ‘Was just expressing my feelings but I apologise to all who were offended due to my unintended insensitive tweets in context of women’s day’. But then he immediately put in a rider that the apology was not for those who had trolled and threatened him for publicity.
Sanjay Dutt’s comeback movie is being shot at present and ironically work is also going on the biopic based on his life by Raj Kumar Hirani in which Ranbir Kapoor plays Sanjay.
As a preparation for it, Ranbir is spending some days in Bhopal jail. This is so as to get into the character of Sanjay who has been imprisoned for long periods more than once in his life for possession of illegal arms.
Manisha Koirala, who has played Sanjay’s romantic opposite in quite a few movies, is going to play Nargis, his real mother. And as for the actor who will play his father there is an interesting story doing the rounds.
Apparently, the actor Hirani first approached to play Sunil Dutt was Aamir Khan and as he was narrating the script to him at a meeting, Aamir said that he had thought he was being asked to assay the role of Sanjay Dutt and he had no interest in playing the father. Ultimately the part went to Paresh Rawal.
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