After making headlines for several months, Padmavati suddenly dropped off the radar once the release of the movie had been postponed. Or rather, the postponement was forced upon the producers because of the large-scale mindless protests against it by politicians who were clearly making an issue out of nothing.
What was even more problematic was that the government, which should have been trying to protect the movie, instead caved in to the agitators because they felt that their vote bank might be affected. This was because there were elections happening in two states and the ruling party did not want to take a chance by being seen as endorsing the movie. Meanwhile, a number of state governments said that they would not allow the screening of the movie. And then the Central Board of Film Certification, the body that oversees the censoring of movies, refused to give it a certificate citing an absurd technicality. The CBFC can at the most demand cuts to scenes that it doesn’t approve of, but that it wouldn’t even take a look at the movie showed that it had clearly been arm twisted by its political bosses.
For some weeks now there has been no news on the fate of the movie. Recently Shahid Kapoor said that a date would be announced soon but it seems like he spoke too soon and was over-optimistic. The CBFC doesn’t seem to be in any hurry to clear the movie. Some news reports have appeared quoting anonymous sources in the organisation saying that they would now form a panel of historians who will see the movie to judge whether it was accurate. And the reason they are doing so is again blamed on the movie itself because apparently it has disclaimer in the beginning that it is part historical.
Further, it is being said that there are so many movies pending to be certified that Padmavati will again have to go back in the queue before the CBFC finds time to look into it. All in all, it was reported that the movie was not going to be certified any time before March next year. The delaying tactic is so obvious that it leaves the CBFC’s already tattered reputation even worse. Perhaps they expect tempers to cool down before the movie is released but it still does not justify coming up with procedures that are only applicable for Padmavati.
Kangana says film
awards are rigged
You can’t keep Kangana Ranaut away from controversies. She has now jumped into one more but, to her credit, it was over an issue that everyone in Bollywood is aware about but no one except a few like her talk about.
And that is about how the giving of awards is rigged in the industry. In an interview to a media house, she gave specific details about how it was rigged using examples of her own experience. She said that once she was supposed to receive an award and that while going to the ceremony had got stuck in a traffic jam. And because she couldn’t make it in time, it was given to Soha Ali Khan.
She also gave the example of Filmfare Awards, which is one of the coveted ones. Some years back when she had been doing a course in the US she got a call from them about being selected for an award. But she was needed to come for a day to India to receive it at the ceremony. When she said that it would cost her a lot to just come for a day, they gave the award to another actress. The editor of Filmfare however refuted her allegations on Twitter as being untrue. Meanwhile, Kangana is admitting in interviews that her market value has come down because of recent controversies but that no one should be writing her off yet.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui to play as Bal Thackeray in biopic
There has been news for some time about a biopic on the politician Bal Thackeray, who once upon a time, through his party Shiv Sena, exerted almost complete control over Mumbai where Bollywood is based. It had been said that Nawazuddin Siddiqui would be assaying Thackeray’s role in the movie. And then some days ago, there were reports that the makers of the movie, who were also associated with the Shiv Sena, had decided that they would cast Ajay Devgn, instead of Nawazuddin.
But then there was another flip last week, when the movie was officially announced and turns out that it was going to be Nawazuddin after all. There was a strange quotient to him being chosen for the role. Thackeray and his party had been openly communal in claiming to be anti-Muslim in sentiment. Even in the 1992-93 riots of Bombay, his party members had been involved in attacking Muslims. That choosing of Nawazuddin, a Muslim, to play Thackeray’s part seemed very ironical, to say the least. But then Mumbai is a very different city now with much of the communal enmity having mellowed down and the Sena itself is trying to shed its earlier image given that it does not get them any political dividends. Nawazuddin seemed to have no problem in taking on the role and took to Twitter to express his gratitude by writing, ‘It’s an honour and pride to portray the Real King of the Country on Scree.’
Tiger Zinda Hai is going to be a bumper hit
After the debacle of Tubelight, Salman Khan took the safe option of a commercial entertainer for his next release. Tiger Zinda Hai, which released last week, is the sequel to the super-hit Ek Tha Tiger and franchises have a history of succeeding in recent Bollywood history.
It looks like Salman’s strategy has paid off. While it is too early to say how big a hit it will be, if early numbers are indication, then Tiger Zinda Hai will be one of those bumper hits that Salman is used to. In fact, even before the movie released it was expected that to easily do Rs 100 crore over its first weekend. That is a number that would qualify most movies as a big hit but in Salman’s case he has to at least clock double that number to justify his standing.
Given that this is the Christmas-New Year holiday season, chances are it will be an easy ask. Meanwhile, in the top 100 Indian celebrity list brought out by Forbes magazine, Salman again ranked number one with Shah Rukh behind him by some distance.
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