Salman Khan was part of a talk session at an event hosted by one of the major newspaper groups in the country and during the course of it was asked for his opinion on the Padmavati controversy by a young man from the audience. The question was whether there should be a balance between creativity and hurting someone’s sensitivity.
Salman first tried to wriggle out of it by asking the questioner for his opinion. But when pressed by the host, a veteran editor, he finally relented and gave his opinion. In short, it was that feelings should not be hurt but then objecting without seeing the movie didn’t make sense either. He added that what gets definitely hurt by an issue like this is the movie itself. The theatre owners are afraid to release it once it gets controversial. Even if it gets released, the audience is scared to go there apprehending violence.
He cited the case of a movie of his, Maine Pyar Kyun Kiya, what had been a target of such a manufactured controversy, and whose release had been done on a Tuesday instead of a Friday. While the film managed to do well, its business had been affected. Salman also laced his answer with some humour. When asked whether Sanjay Leela Bhansali, the director of Padmavati, has a habit of antagonising people with his choice of movies, Salman joked that he didn’t know about others but he had definitely felt it. And that was because Salman gave him two hits at the beginning of his career but he went and cast Shah Rukh Khan in his third movie.
He was also asked for his opinion on the phenomenon of casting couch in Bollywood, something that has come in vogue following the revelations in Hollywood of sexual predators like Harvey Weinstein. He said that it was the most disgusting thing anyone could do and if he ever came across someone who exploited people in this fashion he would take that person to the cleaners. But he also said that having been in the film industry for so long, he was yet to come across someone who had said it openly. It is somewhat surprising that he should claim such ignorance. Plenty of people in fact have said that they have been propositioned in return for work. Recently, even the actor Irrfan Khan said it. It is an open secret that Bollywood has many such people.
Aamir Khan plans
a new biopic
After the stupendous success of Dangal which was based on a real life wrestler, Aamir Khan had caused some excitement when it was found that he would be assaying another biopic. And while the earlier one was set in rural hinterlands, this one was literally going to be out of the world, or rather, in space.
The character he was supposed to playing was Rakesh Sharma, the first Indian to go to outer space. Knowing Aamir’s yen for making entertaining yet movies of substance, it was a given that this one would arouse the curiosity of his fans. But they might not get to see him in this role after all.
A film magazine reported that Aamir had decided to not do the movie. The reasons were not clear. But it was said that he had been confused on which one to choose between this and a biopic of the late actor and playback singer Kishore Kumar. Given the unsubstantiated nature of the news, it could all be rumours.
Meanwhile there is a good tiding for him from another front. Secret Superstar, the movie he produced and in which he did a cameo, has just released in Taiwan and the initial collections have been very good, almost as much as Dangal did when it first hit the screens there. And then Dangal went onto mainland China where it did incredible business that no one expected. And Dangal was a big budget fare. Secret Superstar is made at considerably less cost and if it does anywhere close to what Dangal did in China, then the profits would be superlative.
But it probably doesn’t mean much to Aamir who has often affirmed that all that matters is how the audience reacts to his movie.
Rumours about affair between
Farhan and Shraddha
There have been a slew of rumours floating around about Farhan Akhtar and Shraddha Kapoor’s clandestine love affair. It is said to have begun even before Farhan’s divorce. And, once, she even reportedly decided to move in with him as a live-in partner but was dissuaded from doing so by her father Shakti Kapoor.
But in public the two continue to deny any relationship even while photographers have often shot Shraddha going into and exiting Farhan’s home. The care they take in maintaining a distance was apparent recently when Shraddha was invited to launch a marathon along with the former sportsman Milkha Singh and Farhan Akhtar. The reason why Shraddha was chosen was because she is starring in a biopic on the badminton champion Saina Nehwal. Farhan had earlier played Milkha in a movie. And while Farhan gave his go ahead for the event, Shraddha is said to have turned it down citing absence of dates. But it is speculated that the real reason was to not be seen together in public with Farhan.
Twinkle finds success beyond acting failure
Twinkle Khanna has made quite a name for herself as a writer and columnist. Her métier is humour, a difficult genre, but she has a wide following now. And this is in contrast to the general idea of Bollywood being an industry where stars have plenty of glitz but very little brains.
To be a star wife and to be taken seriously is a difficult proposition but Twinkle has made that leap over the last couple of years. But even for someone like her, born to an elite family with a well laid path to success, failure was a constant companion. This, she revealed, during an event recently where she said that she had not even wanted to enter the film industry and instead was keen on being a chartered accountant. But her parents, successful actors themselves, pushed her into this field. After some years she came to the realisation that she had failed as an actress. But that didn’t bog her down and she picked herself up to craft a new identity.
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