As Padmavati’s release comes closer, the protests against it by lumpen elements are also increasing. Specifically, some leaders of the Rajputs, a powerful community in the state of Rajasthan, are up in arms.
The movie’s story is based on the legend of the 14th century queen Padmini, also known as Padmavati, who is an icon for the Rajputs. She is believed to have self-immolated along with thousands of other women in the face of the defeat of the kingdom by the Delhi Sultan of the time Allauddin Khalji, thus protecting the honour of the people.
Things took an ominous turn with the protests when it spilled over to direct threats of assaults. The leader of one group called the Karni Sena said that they would cut off the nose of Deepika Padukone, who plays Padmavati, if the movie was released. Another group said they would give a letter written with their blood asking the Censor Board to not pass the movie.
The Rajasthan government is not taking action against these people because it fears losing its vote bank. The police in Mumbai, where Deepika resides, has increased security for her. The reason why the threats are getting more strident is because these groups are competing to garner publicity using the movie.
Deepika had spoken against the agitation saying that the nation was regressing if such absurd protests were encouraged and that filmmakers should only be answerable to the Censor Board to get movies cleared. Meanwhile, there was even a bounty put on the head of Deepika and Sanjay Leela Bhansali, the director. Bhansali meanwhile is said to be trying to calm the waters and might show the movie to some of the agitating groups before it is released. Bollywood however has come out in support of him. But mere words don’t really help in the face of irrational rage by powerful vested interests.
Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif are together again?
Are Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif back together? There are plenty of rumours floating around. There is his gradual distancing from Lulia Vantur, the Romanian model, who he had been seeing the last few years.
All this happened while the shooting of Tiger Zinda Hai, in which Salman and Katrina are the main leads, was ongoing. In fact it said that when Lulia wanted to visit him on a shoot in the Middle East, she was refused. Lulia subsequently left India for a while and has just returned but even now she is not said to be getting in touch with Salman. The signs of a break up having already happened might be there.
Meanwhile, Salman and Katrina are rumoured to have increasingly come closer during the shooting of Tiger Zinda Hai. He had anyway been a pillar of support to her ever since her break up with Ranbir Kapoor. Her career is also not going well and Salman might have had some help to give in that too. In recent media interactions too he has been all praise for her hard work. And the two are being seen together both personally and professionally. They will, for example, be performing at the inauguration ceremony of a sports event. A recently released still from a song of the movie too got rave reviews about how great
the chemistry between the two was.
On the other hand, the whispers of a relationship could just be a rumour too. Salman is known to maintain a good equation with former girlfriends and this might very well be a part of that. But if there is anything brewing then, as they say, time surely will tell.
Vidya Balan’s performance in Tumhari Sulu is laudable
After The Dirty Picture in 2011, Vidya Balan had the crown of being the most saleable movie actress in heroine oriented movies. She followed this up with Kahaani further bolstering her position.
But then gradually she went into the background as movies failed. She also got married in the interim and seemed to have reduced her focus on career. Kangana Ranaut took over her spot in the hustings. Last week Vidya was back with the release of Tumhari Sulu. In the comedy, she plays an enterprising housewife who becomes a radio jockey. The reviewers have been completely gung ho over her, lauding her performance.
This is of course nothing new to her. She is recognised to have fantastic screen presence and has rarely ever disappointed critics. What could however ultimately count is how the movie fares at the box office. Chances are it might not do so well because the audiences are fickle masters and once a star drops out of their mind-space, then it is hard to return to the same pedestal. Early this year Vidya’s movie Begum Jaan made barely a whimper at the box office. Last year, the sequel of Kahaani also didn’t do well. But Tumhari Sulu is a low budget movie and so even if it does minimum business riding on Vidya’s name, everyone should have made a profit.
Priyanka Chopra charges
high fee for one short appearance in a show
Priyanka Chopra has been on a roll ever since she decided to explore a career in the West. She is choosy about what to do in Bollywood now and so the Indian audience only gets to see her once in a while.
But her market value in the country is right at the top. An instance of this came across when it became known what she was charging for a short appearance at an awards ceremony. The amount is a whopping Rs12 crore. A top actress like Deepika Padukone would charge such a sum to do an entire movie. Even most male stars wouldn’t be able to get this much. And what Priyanka is getting is for just 30 minutes of her presence.
A couple of months ago, in a list of the highest paid actresses in the world, Priyanka had been ranked in the eighth spot. Her annual take home was $10 million or somewhere around Rs65 crore. This, it was said, was also because of lucrative endorsement deals she has been getting after the hit television thriller Quantico. But considering how much she made in India for a small appearance, looks like she might beat her earlier record quite easily.
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