Just saw the trailer. What is so special about this that the media is going gaga over it?
Reminds me of Peepli Live, only a watered down version of it. Akshay just playing up the nationalist card in every movie he makes now. Even in a thriller, he ends up in an Indian Navy uniform. Why blame him though - he is giving what the audience wants, average movies with pseudo-nationalistic messages. Hats off to him. Its great to see Canadian actors making movies about social issues in India so regularly *wink**wink*
Akshay is suddenly finding himself with scope to join the top 3 and he's taking full advantage. I'm sure his team is going all out to market the trailer to the media.
Post by palacerani on Jan 28, 2017 11:10:04 GMT -8
I'm glad you liked it. SRK is great in negative roles but he's equally great in romantic ones. There's no one today who's superb in both genres. In fact I can't think of any actor, past or present who is or was fantastic in both. So I'm glad he does both.
Post by palacerani on Jan 27, 2017 19:54:36 GMT -8
While I'm all for creative freedom, I hope there are no love scenes between the Rani and Allaudin. That would twist history and totally distort it. And that's not done. A little leeway should be given to the creative process but not that much. Rajasthani women, especially the royal women gave up their lives for honor. There's no way they would consort with another man let alone an enemy. They would rather die and that's what Padmavati does. So there can be no love scenes between them. There was only lust on the part of the Mughal ruler, not even love. He wanted to possess her so he tried to get her. She had no feelings for him except maybe disgust. This is the true story. So SLB has to be as close to the truth as possible.
That would also indicate that Padmavati was not a virtuous woman and that's not done either. So I understand the sentiments of the folks but violence is never the answer.
I loved the episode. SRK and Alia have an amazing chemistry and both were funny. Yes, the usual lame jokes were there, what can you expect with Karan. But overall I loved it especially the games they played. SRK as we all know is highly competitive but so is Alia.
I can't stand Anupama Chopra. Whenever she needs a boost in her career she interviews SRK and then disses his movies. And why does she have to laugh so much? That he's witty we all know but she laughs for no reason.
Post by palacerani on Jul 24, 2016 13:03:47 GMT -8
SRK referred to this lady's article in the Indian Express in his tweet. A long article but worth reading.
Tracking SRK’s film journey is to map the growth of the Indian middle class:But Shah Rukh Khan is not just the star who mirrored a need for wealth and success, he also taught us to find our better selves – through love.
Written by Paromita Vohra | Updated: July 24, 2016 1:10 pm
I once had a dream about Shah Rukh Khan, when I — and I guess he — was in my 20s. I dreamt I had gone to meet a friend, an assistant director on a film starring Shah Rukh. She was busy, so he kept me company. It was like talking to your college crush — excited inside, effortlessly chatting outside. As I was leaving, he said, “Wait, what’s your number? I’ll give you a missed call so you’ll have mine.” Our eyes met and I woke up. In those days, I could not afford a cell phone. Whenever it came, though, it would have Shah Rukh’s number in it. What better reason to buy one?
This is a quintessential SRK dream. SRK is the bright star who has illuminated the skies over 25 years of liberalisation. Mixing the everyday and the romantic, he has created an appetite for opportunity and a readiness for consumer goods — in this dream, for instance, a cell phone, as symbolic of Indian liberalisation as SRK. Through his on-screen and off-screen persona, SRK has helped middle-class India navigate liberalisation — its possibilities, its cultural and emotional puzzles, its anxieties and desires.
Visibly, SRK has danced, romanced, risen and fallen, married, divorced, cheated and even died against the backdrop of Punjabi mustard fields, an abbreviated New York, a thumbnail version of London, and several Eurail stops, offering a new imagination of being Indian, and where those Indians can go.
He has also provided the uneasy NRI safe cinematic passage to an immutable India, as in their nostalgic memories, and individualistically driven, as were their immigrant journeys. Where earlier films grappled with the tensions of Partition, his films have overwritten the Partition of resident Indians from NRIs.
Integrating desi-ness with global mobility, SRK not only heralded the arrival of the global market to India, he also helped create a new global market for the Bollywood film. His own life is a remarkable fairytale: a middle-class boy, with no connections to an older order, rising to dizzying financial and cultural heights, on the basis of some individual gifts and a lot of get-go. He has also played such characters on screen, exhorting Indians to shed codes of chivalric honour and embrace new cultural and emotional selves.
To track the on-screen journey of SRK is to track the journey of a certain middle-class India, which has not partaken of Nehruvian India’s structures for mobility. Those who have not gone to IIT or IIM, or joined the armed services or IAS, who have limited engagement with public life, and do not adhere to older proprieties. Their entrepreneurial energies, frustrated by older systems, took centre stage in the new regime of liberalisation.
But this narrative alone is insufficient to explain the persistent meaningfulness of SRK to liberalised India, because it is too literal. Perhaps, it is more fruitful to understand SRK as one does a dream — a mixture of the explicit, reflecting social and economic currents, and the implicit, a mix of unconscious feelings that infects our consciousness and transforms it.
SRK suggests this in interviews himself, where he presents success as a thing to be worked hard for, but also as something intangible,“something which connects with people in a way that you can’t describe. I always tell people that if it was describable, (then anyone could do it).”
Until then, glamour was something television received from cinema. And cinema’s glamour, as we knew from our avid consumption of one of pre-liberalisation India’s great cultural institutions, Stardust magazine, was a seamy mix of feudality and sex. Star sons were launched — Sunny Deol, Aamir Khan, Salman Khan — and star daughters married off. On screen, star sons romanced lower-status girls, as zamindars do.
SRK took the middle-class avenue of television and opened up a different route. He also did what only art and love can do. He made the ordinary extraordinary. With his baggy pants and dimples, his roomy irreverence and crooked smile, his Top Gun glasses and brash flirtation, coupled with a Dilli University vibe, he gave the TV screen — till then, worthy, nation-building and instructive — an electric, youthful makeover.
Most importantly, he gave us someone to love. Teenagers of the 1980s had been making do with hand-me-down loves of older cousins and even parents, from Rishi Kapoor to Dev Anand, Amitabh Bachchan to Dharmendra. Sanjay Dutt and Kumar Gaurav had been unconvincing blips on the radar. SRK gave us someone to love our way, someone to long for, someone to conceivably be. Our parents could not understand this — “He looks like a monkey! He can’t act!” they exclaimed. There lay his charm — he was ours alone. We were willing to run away with him.
In films like Baazigar (1993) and Darr (1993), early SRK was many unpleasant things — a fixated lover, a stalker, a killer, qualities previously embodied by villains. Except, he was called an anti-hero. His misdeeds were contextualised by the injustices of social (not economic) class. We feared him but helplessly empathised with him, and so, loved him – complex, ambiguous emotions not normally engendered by Hindi cinema for central characters.
A social outsider, wounded by rejection from the club of adarsh men, he lashed out in anger. But he also eventually killed off this persona. From its ashes emerged a softer version — the goofball of Yes Boss (1997) and Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman (1992), with that same libidinal energy and flexible morals in the truth and lies department. Before his good-natured, pragmatic charm, rich, pedigreed men came off badly (Deepak Tijori, Aditya Pancholi). It was no longer déclassé to want money and advancement. What option did you have but to game a system invisibly rigged against you by an old boys’ club?
The most memorable of these roles was in Kabhi Haan Kabhi Na (1994), where he suffers consequences lightly and losing does not make him a loser. As the amoral goofball of Duplicate (1998) and Badshah (1999), he played out themes of a counterfeit self – mirroring nouveau riche anxieties about being impostors and abandoning “authentic” Indianness. SRK’s madcap wit and lightness made us look at piracy and the inauthentic (right down to the fake six-pack in Badshah’s metal shirt) as likeable entrepreneurship – it glamourised jugaad.
Of course, he was the NRI loverboy upholding a family tradition of “Loveology mein paas, baaki sab mein fail”, from Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge (1995) to every Karan Johar movie he ever did. There have also been forays into an older Nehruvian nationalist self with Chak De! India (2007)and Swades (2004), even Dil Se (1998). All of it has culminated in a phase where SRK has become, as myths do, a meme — the self-referentially remixed SRK of Om Shanti Om (2007) and Chennai Express (2013).
Playing these several versions, he has also constantly remixed past and present Indian selves, combining them in one persona as a way of managing the psychological schisms that a changing culture throws up. At least one of these internal crises revolves around ethics. When you replace loftier goals (of nation-building or social justice) with material ends, and replace codes of sacrifice and self-denial with flexible, instrumental approaches, how do you define goodness? What is your moral compass?
The moral compass SRK provided was love — the idea that threads through his films and his persona the way zari threads through silk. This was not simply romantic love, but a concept that develops individual ethical frameworks, allowing us to look at the opposition with loving eyes, that takes others into consideration. Without this capacity, we are only selfish slaves to material advancement, uncaring of the hurt we cause and the relationships we discard.
We often see DDLJ as something that made love sanskari and consumable, robbing it of radical potential. But we can also see it as love working to transform older ideas of feudality, dissolving the hard-edged patriarchy represented by Amrish Puri to make room for dreams and desires of the young — and for daughters. To be newer, more liberated beings from within.
The characters SRK played find their better selves through love, using it to find new resolutions and solutions. It creates a very different masculinity from the wounded, lonely warrior-hero of earlier films, where women and love are peripheral to the quest.
While providing a liberating ideal for men, he created space for women who were not adarsh heroines — neither noble nor chulbuli. It is impossible to remember female characters from the films of Salman Khan and Aamir Khan, so much do they overwhelm the screen, allowing women only to be objectified or uplifted by men.
But we remember SRK’s co-stars. They are women with quirks and desires, monobrows and accents, their beauty and glamour by the way. In his Devdas (2002), the impulses of Paro, Chandramukhi, and even Paro’s mother drive the film. Chennai Express ends with SRK asking Meenamma’s father to recognise her desires. Even in Chak De! India, both SRK and the women’s team are underdogs and outsiders — to rise, they need each other.
In this universe, a woman with ambitions is not weird, selfish or unfeminine, but natural and desirable. She is not domesticated by marriage but partnered through fun and sexual passion. Not for SRK the literal expression of a mouth-to-mouth kiss, that spurious example of liberation. Rather, there is his signature move — best seen in Dil Toh Pagal Hai — of kissing a woman on the curve of her neck, a move both sexual and aware of women’s bodies and pleasure.
There had to be an SRK at home with both his masculinity and femininity — whether in a Lux rose petal pool, or holding Anushka Sharma’s handbag (Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, 2008) while riding pillion — to love a woman at home with both her feminine and masculine energy. With this fantasy of a passionate yet light romance, SRK has pleasured and ruined a generation of women, while making them open to a whole other kind of man.
Of late, though, as the flip side of liberalisation becomes clearer, as the dream reveals its violent, exclusionary side, SRK’s relationship with his audience has begun to falter. It is manifested in the flawed but marvelously mythic Fan. The fan’s fixation with the star (recalling SRK in Darr) is the greed of consumption, based on a false promise, a darshan which creates no connection. It is an empty advancement, disconnected from love and from the world (notably this is a film without important women characters). The star advises the fan to live a full life of love, work, family and community. By symbolically killing the old fan, is SRK killing an old self? Is he hoping for a new gaze that he can meet, so he may renew himself?
This question is important because if SRK’s value to us as a society was limited to his symbolic function in the era of liberalisation, he would have faded faster. His constantly shifting avatars, like Vishnu’s many shifting ones (coincidentally, perhaps, his films are always Diwali releases, a festival connected to Vishnu’s most revered avatar, Ram) speak of his importance in both expressing and defining something far more fundamental to Indianness, South Asianness, even.
SRK’s defining quality is heterogeneity. His ability to hold two ideas in one place, two selves at the same time — discernible and indescribable, public and private, male and female, desi and global, straight and queer, Hindi and Urdu, Hindi and English, intellect and passion, beauty and goodness, individuality and social commitment has an important resonance. At its most political, it is in how he wears his Muslimness — overtly, without constantly justifying it with the language of secular sameness. SRK has also played Muslim characters, foregrounding the political implications of that identity (My Name is Khan, Chak De! India), without flattening everything into that identity: an assertive claim not only to Indianness as a Muslim but also Muslimness as an Indian.
Perhaps, the answer will lie in Raees, where a new SRK seems to be rising, his sexual charge differently concentrated, his implication of having a “baniye ka dimag” and “miyabhai ki daring”, hinting at a future possibility of joining some missing Indian self, partitioned by liberalisation.
He's not saying the audience is stupid or that he dumbs down movies for them. But there is a vast population in India and elsewhere who likes mindless entertainment. They have their own problems in life and just want to be entertained. Or they just like these kind of cinema. Lots of educated, intellectual folks love slapstick comedies. That doesn't mean they are stupid. What I get from his statement is that these kinds of films may not be what he watches but he makes them for the vast, diverse audience who does. And to make films that are not his type is a challenge that he enjoys. I don't see anything condescending in that.
SRK is unique. There are fans who love Salman's mindless films and there are fans who love Aamir's so called 'intellectual' films. SRK is the only one who does both and many other kinds. But he is the only one who's judged on both genres and found wanting. He makes mindless films and folks wonder why a man with such potential makes such films. He plays challenging roles and folks wonder why there's no song and dance and where's the romantic hero they loved so much. Seems like he can never please people. Small wonder that he's frustrated and confused.
Last Edit: Jul 2, 2016 21:41:56 GMT -8 by palacerani
This open letter from a mother of Aryan Khan's classmate will give you an insight into private life of the Khans!
Wed, June 8, 2016 5:14pm IST by Preeti Kulkarni
Don’t you want to find out how Gauri is as a mom?
Over the weekend, we got to hear Shah Rukh Khan’s amazing speech at the Dhirubai Ambani Public School. While we oohed and aahed at the way SRK spoke about parenting and education in his characteristic style, there was one parent Preeti Singh who wrote an open letter on her brief encounter with Gauri Khan and of course SRK while daughter was studying with their eldest born Aryan in the same school.
It is daunting and crazy to be a celebrity mom coz face it, all eyes are on you. Well you can imagine the pressure on SRK and Gauri as parents. Preeti writes how Shah Rukh and his family were the ‘centre of their universe’ while her daughter was classmates with Aryan and how she wished their association grew longer. While, this letter is an unabashed account of a fan girl, she sure lets us on in a secret. Well, like all ‘normal’ parents, Gauri too is equally worried about her kids and is equally real. Hear it from the horse’s mouth.
"Last week, my Facebook timeline lit up with pictures and videos of the graduation ceremony of my daughter’s erstwhile class in Mumbai. When I saw the chief guest, I smiled. It had to be him. Shah Rukh Khan. No one deserved it more because he and his family were at the centre of our little universe in that school, and we were his “Jabra fans”.
Look, Shah Rukh Khan’s wife is here. That means Aryan is going to be our kids’ classmate,” commented an excited father as we took the conducted tour through the new school our five-year-olds were joining. I had been gushing over the clean bathrooms – with toilet paper, soap, paper towels and an attendant. As someone who went to schools with toilets so dirty that I have suffered from digestive problems ever since, I was thrilled that my children would be spared the agony.
I turned to see Gauri Khan. Of course I knew her face; as SRK’s wife, she was almost as famous and frequently photographed as her Bollywood husband. As a Dilliwala (as I called myself then), there was a certain possessive pride about SRK… the Delhi boy who came to Mumbai and conquered it. In her dark glasses, Gauri stood alone with her son, until she met some other Bollywood friends and started chatting. Covertly and overtly, all of us watched Gauri. How she talked, what she wore and if she looked arrogant or friendly. No one, including me, dared to walk up to her to make introductions, like we had been doing with the other parents. It could be a very public snub.
I didn’t know it then, but the next decade that my children attended school with SRK’s children would be eventful. Not only because the school was exceptionally good. Or that the library, bright classrooms, cheerful artworks, and yes, the clean bathrooms made the school a happy place to be. Not only because the school ensured safety of our kids at all times, and the teachers were dedicated and worked harder than anyone I ever knew.
The pixie dust that made everything look even better, shinier was SRK.
In that school, there were many celebrity parents – other Bollywood stars, legendary sportspersons, super-rich business families and top professionals, but SRK was SRK – the first among equals. While SRK and Gauri had no clue who I and dozens of other parents were, their pixie dust changed our lives. Some mothers lost weight to dress up like Gauri, some planned their holidays or bought holiday homes close to the Khans, and others did everything in their power to get their kids to be friends with the Khan kids. And the outside world thought we were royalty too, and best friends with the Khans.
One afternoon my daughter came back with a birthday card from SRK’s son. The party was at Mannat (SRK’s house on Bandstand), and I called on the number provided. Gauri answered the phone. She was sweet, polite, and told me to drop the child at 4.30pm and have her picked up by 7.30pm. Yes, I could send a maid along. That afternoon my phone pinged non-stop. Who was going to the party? One mother said, “My child will cry if I let her go alone. So I will have to go.” Another’s driver was going to be on leave that day and she was driving him all the way from Cuffe Parade, so she would have to attend the party. Yet another would go because her son was Aryan’s bestie.
I had learned my lesson. I assume Gauri told every parent the same thing, making it clear that only kids were invited, because the mothers hung out at the Cafe Coffee Day on Bandstand while their children attended the party that evening. And many of these were townie mothers, who thought anything beyond Prabhadevi was Oh So Far.
Soon enough, boys and girls did what they do at that age. They refused to hang out with each other. A whole new stream of gossip opened up among the girls’ mothers – the boys’ parents felt the Khan pressure. While the boys played and made friends, parents began to group up. The fight was subtle and full-fledged. Who would be Aryan’s best friend? Who did he share confidences with? Who was doing the class project with him? Who would be invited for a sleepover, and later for the IPL matches? Mothers complained that others kept secrets from them, not revealing details of play dates and sleepovers because they wanted Aryan all alone with their sons.
When Aryan Khan left school in grade eight I felt terribly cheated. Bad timing, because boys and girls were beginning to be friends with each other. I had grand dreams that my daughter would be friends with Aryan Khan; like the mothers of other boys of the class, I would now become friends with Gauri, and exchange SMSes and notes about our kids. Maybe my daughter would go for the IPL matches and be photographed with the boy. I was deprived of that opportunity, and will never know what would have come of it.
The children were indifferent to the celebrityhood. Aryan was a classmate and a friend. All the aunties and uncles would bombard my daughter with questions, “So you are in Aryan’s class. How is he? Is he naughty and ill-mannered? What does he like? Who are his friends? Have you been to his house? How are his parents?” Her standard response became, “I am not in his class. He is in MY class. And he is as ordinary as the rest of the boys.” To her amusement, the questions followed her to the US as well, and in her new school, the desis wanted to know about SRK and his family.
On the fringe, I became a minor celebrity. Colleagues wanted to accompany me to school functions so they could chat with SRK. I made it clear that they could do what they liked, as long as I was not around. I was crazy about SRK but it would be undignified to behave star-struck.
Of course, the only person I could not have controlled was my own mother. She came for a sports day function and chatted up SRK while I was busy elsewhere. So far so good. Then my dear mother decided she wanted a picture with him. I tried to dissuade her, telling her that SRK would disappear as soon as the event was over. She said nothing. My husband and I collected our kids from their classes and I saw mom standing guard over SRK. He sat meekly next to her as she looked around for us. Before I could slip out of view, mom saw me and waved out. Resigned, I walked towards them. She told SRK that I had arrived; he stood up immediately, and chatted and posed happily for pictures with my mother. I was mortified as mothers of my daughter’s classmates stood around laughing at my discomfort. While I took pictures, my daughter’s face had turned deathly pale. She looked like she had seen a ghost. She skirted around SRK and by the time we reached our car, she was crying inconsolably. She had seen Kal Ho Na Ho the previous week and thought SRK was dead. I had to explain the difference between real and reel life to the distraught child. In the car I complained to my mother that I had been so embarrassed. Unfazed, my mother said, ” At least I am honest, not hypocritical like you all. None of you were looking at your spouses in the race.” She was right. When SRK participated in the parents’ race, none of us noticed our husbands or friends huffing and puffing behind him. Our eyes were locked on SRK, and googly-eyed we had drooled, “Karan Johar knows how to make SRK run… he looks like a dream.” And he really did.
Fringes of celebrityhood is a great place to be. Everyone thinks you lead a charmed life. You must be friends with the celebrities and have insights on and insider gossip about them. It is not true, but who was I to shatter those illusions? My knowledge was acquired from film magazines, gossip among my producer friends, air crew that had flown them, and other mothers whose kids were friends with the Khan kids.
The only time I ever talked to Gauri was when we were both waiting for our kids after school. She realised that our children were classmates, and asked me if I had put my daughter in any academic classes after school. I said “no”. She enquired if I sent her to sports classes after school. I replied in the negative again and said that I believed in unstructured play. She asked if I spent time teaching her. I said “no”, because I wasn’t brought up by a helicopter parent. She sighed and said, “Thank god. I thought I was the weird one. But my mother let us be, and I let my kids alone as well.” They would all grow up just fine, we both agreed."
Last Edit: Jun 8, 2016 7:15:53 GMT -8 by palacerani
Post by palacerani on May 27, 2016 13:55:41 GMT -8
Salman has always been like this. Full of ego and abusing his star power. Vivek Oberoi was a victim to it. The sad thing is that the whole fraternity backs the star and not the person who's right. They close ranks.
Post by palacerani on May 24, 2016 22:17:14 GMT -8
This is what happened - at an awards show a couple years back, Salman was presenting the award for best male singer and Arijit was the recipient for his song Tum Hi Ho from Aashiqui 2. Arijit looked like he was sleepwalking and Salman asked - are you sleepy? to which Arijit replied - your hosting made me sleepy. Salman immediately replied - don't blame me. If you sing songs like Tum Hi Ho it'll put everyone to sleep. Then he asked Arijit to sing a few lines and when he did Salman mimicked him. You could see that Salman was irked by Arijit's hosting remark.