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THE GRAPEVINE

July 09, 2017

Pakistani cinema goes global

Slowly but surely, Pakistani films are making their presence felt on the international circuit. On June 29, American news channel Fox 5 ran a story on Pakistani cinema, with a focus on Waqas Rana’s film Yalghaar which was released on Eid.

Its reporter Erika Wachter interviewed a bunch of actors including Adnan Siddiqi, Sana Bucha, Ayesha Omer and Armeena Khan. The good thing about it was that the report had a positive impression of our cinema. Whether the reporter had actually seen the film ... well let’s not go there.


Ayesha’s advice for politicians

Ayesha Omer is one of those very few artists who try their best at whatever genre of art they choose to express in. But she doesn’t come across as an overly opinionated individual. Wrong. She is.

Sharing her views on different subjects recently with a journo the actress has talked about the accident that she met with a couple of years back, because of which her collarbone is still not completely healed. And yet, she stressed, she’s working in plays and films. She also gave a nugget of advice to politicians saying they should change themselves and work for the betterment of the people of the country by providing them with basic amenities such as water and electricity. Well done Ayesha O. Any advice for the actors who aren’t particularly good at what they do?


The sarI issue

What’s going on in India? First they trolled Fatima Sana Shaikh (of Dangal fame) for not being ‘properly’ dressed and now they have pointed their guns at Soha Ali Khan.

The Pataudi girl wore a beautiful Bengali sari on Eid and posted a picture with her hubby Kunal Khemu on Twitter. It unleashed a series of comments disapproving of her sartorial choice on the special day. One of the trolls stooped so low that s/he labeled Soha AK’s saree look “not Muslim enough”. Why? Because they wanted to see her in a more traditional dress, such as the gharara or sharara. Man, thank goodness there was no social media when Zeenat Aman was India’s leading actress.


She’s going to quit if…

That’s more like it. Girls should raise their voice for what they feel is wrong. American actress Michelle Rodriguez has been an important cast member of the blockbuster The Fast and The Furious franchise — she plays street racer Letty Oritz in it. She might not continue doing it because she has threatened not to get involved in future installments of the series unless she sees changes around the roles that women play in the film. In an Instagram message she’s said, “I hope they decide to show some love to the women of the franchise on the next one, or I might just have to say goodbye to a loved franchise.”

Mind you, the latest film has, apart from Vin Diesel, The Rock in it, which goes to show the franchise makers’ reliance on machismo for its success. Hence Michelle R’s decision. Way to go girl! Be more furious than fast.


Adnan, the actor

It was inevitable: musician Adnan Sami Khan is making his debut as an actor in an Indian film (he’s already done that in Pakistan when he was a Pakistani national) titled Afghan. The first poster for the project has been released in which he is seen sporting a yellow turban and a beard.

To be honest, if the poster suggests that he is playing the character of an Afghan in the movie then he’s not looking convincing in that role, at least in the released image. Also, if the film turns out to be a propaganda project, then it will prove even more unconvincing. For Adnan SK’s sake, let’s hope it’s a well-made movie and does fine at the box office. Otherwise he’ll go back to his “Thodi si tau lift kara de” phase.


A not-so-suhana scene

One can only shake one’s head in disbelief. A video of Shah Rukh Khan’s daughter Suhana has gone viral in which she is seen waiting for an elevator in a building and is suddenly hounded by a bunch of photographers. They kept clicking their cameras for as long as they got the pictures that they wanted, annoying the life out of the young girl. She was visibly perturbed, moving about trying to avoid the shutterbugs. They left her alone a little before the elevator came down.

The incident prompted SRK to appeal to the media to behave properly with his children at public places. Obviously, it will cut no ice with them. The paparazzi seldom use their ears.


Guilty as charged

Those of us who take a keen interest in the art of copying scenes in films (from other films), here’s something interesting.

On June 30, the Uttarakhand police filed a charge-sheet against film director Rakesh Roshan (father of Hrithik Roshan) for allegedly plagiarising bits of a story written by Roopnarayan Sonkar for his film Kkrish 3 (2013). The novel from the bits were taken is titled Sooardan. The novelist’s lawyer claims that there is sufficient evidence against the filmmaker and requested the court to send summons to him and take necessary action.

Hmm … so it takes a bit of stealing and cheating to create a superhero.

Published in Dawn, ICON, July 9th, 2017