Damned if you do, damned if you don’t—that is the predicament facing the Central Board of Film Certification, also known more popularly as the Censor Board, led by its chairman Prasoon Joshi. First it was accused of stalling Padmavati in the face of protests against it by powerful caste groups. The Board delayed giving the movie a certification citing a technicality. It further announced the setting up of a three member committee of historians and a member of the royal family that Padmavati, the 13th century queen on whom the movie was based, is said to have belonged to. And belatedly it did give a certification to the movie but even then no one is happy.
For starters, they demanded a few changes if the movie had to see the light of day, one of which was that the name of the movie should be changed from Padmavati to Padmavat. This dropping of an ‘i’ was so that it would be clear that the movie was not historical and only fiction since Padmavat was the name of the 15th century tale that glorified the queen.
But the demand, which the filmmakers agreed to, instantly brought on a lot of ridicule on the Board with social media making jokes on it. There was also the fact that there is no historical reference to the queen at all before Padmavat, where she first appears. The story is therefore the history of Padmavati and changing the name of the movie was thus a somewhat senseless thing to do. From the Board’s point of view, they had to do something to mollify those agitating against the movie and so came up with this compromise. But the tactic has not really worked. One of the historians in the three member committee said as much and opined that the movie should not be cleared. Ultimately, it is said that Prasoon Joshi put his foot down to give the go ahead. The fact is that it is impossible to satisfy those agitating against the movie.
Nothing that anyone can do is going to satisfy them. But, at least, one hurdle has been removed and the movie will probably release either end of this month or early February. This makes it difficult for other movies planning to release then, like Akshay Kumar’s Pad Man. No one wants to compete against Padmavati which is going to be huge blockbuster because everyone is now curious to see it.
Anushka, Virat enjoying
in South Africa
After a hectic wedding and the events following it, Anushka Sharma left with her husband Virat Kohli to South Africa where the Indian cricket team is on a tour. But the couple did manage to get in some honeymoon time together and the Internet has been full of their adventures.
Anushka, for example, was shot dancing in a public place with abandon and the clip went viral. And then there was the time when the two went shopping. Nothing exceptional in that except that the marketplace carried an advertisement offering a 50 per cent discount. The natural question was why Virat and Anushka, who have more money than they will ever be able to spend in one lifetime, would still go searching for discounts. And that then led to a riot of online puns.
Meanwhile, Anushka has her plate full when she returns to work. There is Zero, in which she is acting opposite Shah Rukh Khan. Reportedly, the film’s director tweaked the schedule so that Anushka could enjoy her honeymoon. She gamely offered to return early to get the shooting rolling but they wouldn’t have it. Anushka is also in Rajkumar Hirani’s movie based on Sanjay Dutt’s life and that is going be released mid-year.
Whopping fees charged
by Bollywood actresses
An online Bollywood gossip magazine recently came out with what actresses were charging for movies nowadays. While there was no official source to indicate that these numbers were true, it was in keeping with what the industry already suspected.
Deepika Padukone, for example, was said to be charging Rs13 crore while Priyanka Chopra was the second most highly paid at Rs10 crore. Then there was the trio of Alia Bhatt, Anushka Sharma and Kangana Ranaut who were all said to be paid Rs6.5 crore per movie. Katrina Kaif was at Rs4.5 crore.
What however came as something of a surprise was a disconnected report in another publication and this had to do with Aishwarya Rai’s fees. Aishwarya was not even mentioned in the other list but this snippet said that she had taken on a movie after demanding and getting Rs10 crore. It is a remake of a black and white Hindi film and Aishwarya is said to have quoted such a high number because it is a double role which would take up a lot of her time. Even so, Rs10 crore is what Priyanka gets and she is a true blue star with cross country appeal. Aishwarya has nothing but flops to show since her return to acting and doesn’t really have the appeal to draw an audience big enough to make up for the cost of a big project.
Rumour about Sonam Kapoor’s wedding
After Anushka Sharma, the next actress to line up for a wedding album seems to be Sonam Kapoor. She has been seeing Anand Ahuja, a businessman. They have never confirmed the relationship but lately a surfeit of social media posts of them together has left little scope for doubt on the front.
For the New Year celebrations too, Sonam posted selfies of them while on a trip abroad. Even otherwise, they haven’t been shy of being seen in each other’s company. The date for the wedding, obviously not confirmed either, is said to be April this year. If that does happen, then the old phenomenon of actresses calling it quit after marriage is set to undergo a radical shift.
Anushka and Sonam are both far away from giving up on their careers. Sonam is going to soon be seen in Pad Man, the movie starring Akshay Kumar, and there are plenty of other offers on the line for her. There was one disappointment thought. She was going to be playing the central role in a biopic on the artist Amrita Sher-Gil. But new reports indicate that she is not in it anymore.
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