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THE GRAPEVINE

May 06, 2018

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SHEIKH SAHIB AS DIRECTOR

It’s nice to know that veteran actor and filmmaker Javed Sheikh is directing a film after a long, long time (he has previously helmed successful films such as Chief Saab and Mushkil). This belies the notion that contemporary filmmaking in Pakistan is only about ‘young’ people calling the shots.

Also, it’s great to know that Sheikh Sahib, as he’s fondly known to his colleagues, at his age has the kind of passion that’s required for as arduous a task as directing a movie. Wujood is the name of his upcoming film and the trailer suggests it’s an intense emotional drama starring Danish Taimoor, Saeeda Imtiaz and Aditi Singh. 

Good luck sir, we hope that all your experience in the industry — both here and in Bollywood — is reflected on screen. 

THEY AIN’T GOING OUT

A few weeks back, a picture published in a daily newspaper of the gorgeous Jennifer Lawrence and critically acclaimed director David O Russell walking hand in hand in New York sparked the rumour that they’re an item. Nope, that’s not the case! At least that’s what a source close to the actress is claiming.

According to the source, the two are not romantically involved, and the reason that they’re seen together is: “They’re always working on new projects and he’s always writing parts for her.” What? Always writing parts for her? If that’s not romance, then what is!

PAPA DOESN’T PREACH

The very name Shakti Kapoor conjures a terribly negative image in cinephiles’ minds. To be honest, he, like most actors, is not a bad guy in real life. Check this out: when a journo recently asked him about whether he will have his say in his pretty-as-a-picture daughter Shraddha Kapoor’s marriage, he replied that she will marry a man of her choice.

Good on you, Shakti S. Just make sure that when she gets married, the villain in you doesn’t get woken up. 

SANA SAYS

Pakistani cricketer Sana Mir is known for her fine timing with the cricket bat. And her timing for criticising advertisements promoting fairness or ‘smooth skin’ for girls is no less praiseworthy. 

Irked by an advert for a hair removal cream featuring Mahira Khan on a basketball court, last week Sana M posted a message to her Facebook page saying, “I have seen very few sponsors or celebrities actually take a stand to support women being comfortable in their skin.” She pointed out that “You need strong arms, not smooth arms, on a sports field.” She ended her message suggesting girls should be shown a path that gives them confidence rather than making them self-conscious. 

Spot on, girl! You’ve hit the ball right out of the park.

FLIRTING WITH DANGER

Hollywood A-lister Tom Cruise is known for his penchant for doing dangerous stunts himself and not using a body double in his films. For a sequence in the next edition of the Mission Impossible franchise, M:I — Fallout, the actor decided to skydive from an altitude of over 25,000ft.

In order to prepare for that feat, the director of the movie Christopher McQuarrie ordered his production design team to construct the ‘largest wind tunnel in the world’. The team obliged, and also made a special glass helmetwith oxygen and lights so that cine-goers could actually see it was Tom C himself jumping out of a C17 and chasing a stuntman falling at 200mph. The filming for the small sequence consumed three days. It was such a hazardous undertaking that the superstar’s colleagues Henry Cavill, Simon Peg and Rebecca Ferguson thought that Tom C might not survive the act. Well, he did, and the scene, though not easy to watch, has apparently turned out to be a cliffhanger. 

Hmm … there’s a reason Tom C is single.

He likes to flirt only with danger.

BIG B AND RK

Ever since the teaser for an upcoming film Sanju has hit the airwaves, everyone is raving about how effortlessly Ranbir Kapoor has transformed himself into the character of screen icon Sanjay Dutt (on whose life the film is based). And commendatory words are coming from not just his fans, but from those who know the art of acting inside-out as well. 

The legendary Amitabh Bachchan is one of them. In an interview Big B has lavished praise on Ranbir K saying he is an exceptional artist who “doesn’t do anything yet does a lot.” He added that he is an admirer of Ranbir K. Wow! Big B hasn’t said anything and yet said a lot.

Published in Dawn, ICON, May 6th, 2018