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THE GRAPEVINE

July 16, 2017

THE BIGNESS OF SMALL ROLES

Sajal Ali is over the moon. She should be. Her first Indian film Mom has been received well by critics on both sides of the Wagah border.

In fact, Indian and Pakistani cinegoers have liked her performance quite a bit. As far as her role in Mom is concerned, its screen time is not that lengthy. Sajal A says it doesn’t matter if an actor has a small part to play in a story, it’s how s/he performs it that matters. Right on, Saj! After all, who would get a bigger role in a film that has Sridevi in it?

BROMANCE OF THE KHANS

For some people Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan’s newfound fondness for one another is getting a trifle dramatic.

After SRK’s cameo in Sallu mian’s Tubelight, the latter is doing the same for the former: he is going to make a guest appearance in Anand L Rai’s film in which SRK is playing the character of — as the Indian media puts it — a dwarf.

But that is not the dramatic part of their relationship. Rumour has it that King Khan has gifted a brand new car to Mr Tubelight.

What? A car! And Salman K has accepted it! It is a very teenage thing to do, and both of them are half-a-century old.

In the immortal words of the late pop icon Prince, act your age not your shoe-size.

IT AIN’T INSURMOUNTABLE

Ratna Pathak is one of the most highly-respected Indian stage and movie actresses (she is also Naseeuruddin Shah’s wife). She has not only worked in films involving Pakistani actors but has also performed on the Pakistani stage.

Ratna P is miffed because Pakistani artists are not allowed to work in Bollywood anymore. When a friend recently asked her about the seriousness of the issue, she replied that it is a big problem but not an insurmountable one. True that, Ratnaji! The thing is: the problem is not an insurmountable one, but the level of idiocy of those who have created this problem surely is.

ROLLING IN DOUGH

Amidst all the debate about the difference in fees between male and female movie stars of Hollywood and Bollywood and the kind of roles women get to play in movies, comes the news of how much the dimpled doll Deepika Padukone is these days charging for a single movie project.

Well, guess what, it carries a ginormous 12 crore rupees cheque. Yep, that is how much she’s getting for working in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s next film, Padmavati. It is indeed a huge number, and given the recent reports about Deepika P getting back with Ranveer Singh, it has to be said, again, that Ranveer S seems to have hit the jackpot, in more ways than one.

FAMILY AFFAIR

Ranbir and Kareena Kapoor have a cousin by the name of Aadar Jain. He is the son of their aunt, the daughter of their illustrious grandfather Raj Kapoor.

Following the family tradition, the young man has entered the world of acting by signing a Yash Raj film to be helmed by Habib Faisal. Ranbir K is happy about it, and to show his happiness he has used the word “gratefulness.” And then there is the worrisome factor. He is worried about how his cousin will face the ‘nepotism’ talk once he gets to the business end of things. Well, don’t worry Ranbir K, you are still facing it, hai na! You will definitely have a thing or two to teach him.

COLD FEET, WARM FEELINGS

Fans of pop star Miley Cyrus and her actor beau Liam Hemsworth were expecting that they were going to announce their wedding date on July 4. They were expecting it because the singer had indicated so a couple of months ago. Not to be. Both were pretty mum on July 4, making tongues wag about cracks in their relationship.

Actually, cracks have begun to appear because the two have not been seen together in a while. Insiders say that Liam H gets cold feet every time the subject of marriage is brought up by Miley. Interesting. If Miley C still wants to marry him, she should take him to a hot place like the Sahara Desert or the southern part of Pakistan so that his feet remain warm.

WALKING OUT

Now that he is an international superstar, Irrfan Khan can afford to throw a tantrum. There is a great deal of hype about a film titled Gustakhian based on the relationship between poet Sahir Ludhyanvi and writer Amrita Preetum.

The Hindi Medium actor was supposed to play an important role in the movie. News is that he has developed some creative differences with the director of the film, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, and has walked out of the project.

Tch, tch, tch ... I have a feeling he will rue this.

Published in Dawn, ICON, July 16th, 2017