THE GRAPEVINE

31 Jul 2020

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Getting Catty

An old clip of actress Mawra Hocane from a television morning show, in which she appears to be accepting of the male culture of teasing and catcalling, has whipped up quite a debate on mainstream and social media. Some believe that, while it might be fine for stars to get the fun part of teasing, it’s not at all okay for many girls and women to feel harassed in public places. This is a fair point. It wouldn’t hurt our actors and actresses to weigh their words during casual chats before they utter them. Unscripted words can have a stronger impact than scripted ones.

No Eye Contact

Jhanvi Kapoor is talented, good looking and has a mature head on her young shoulders. In a recent interview, the Bollywood starlet has talked about the kind of sexism that exists in the Indian film industry. She told the interviewer that, at meetings where directors and writers narrate stories to actors, they make more eye contact with the male lead but not with the female actor. She termed it a subliminal condition. We agree with you. But could it also mean that male directors and writers are intimidated by female actors?

SRK’s Next

We thought that Shah Rukh Khan, who has been missing from the world of cinema ever since Zero tanked at the box office, would stage a comeback with Rajkumar Hirani’s next film. Nope, that’s not happening, because the film hasn’t yet received permission from the Canadian authorities for shooting (it’s supposed to be filmed in North America), and is hence delayed. Now SRK will flex his acting muscles (whatever is left of them) in October in a movie directed by Siddharth Arnand (Bang Bang, War). Not much is known about the project, except that it’s an action-packed drama and might have Deepika Padukone opposite him. Alrighty then — Rajkumar H has never failed as a director, SRK’s chemistry with Deepika P has always worked on celluloid, and Siddharth A is one of the most successful and sought-after young filmmakers. All bases covered for the star of Zero!

Direction One

On July 22, fans of One Direction felt overjoyed when they saw a post shared by the band on Instagram after a gap of four years. The caption was, ‘Tomorrow! You and me got a whole lot of history.’ Everybody knows that this year is the 10th anniversary of the band’s coming together (which got disbanded in 2015 when Zayn Malik left it to pursue a solo career). One of their admirers remarked with excitement, “2020 just got a whole lot better.” Interestingly, while Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Louis Tomilson and Nial Horan could be seen uploading their impressions of the happy past days, Zayn M, again, was the one who ditched the goings-on. According to his publicist, he wants to be taken seriously in his own lane. Hmmm… this lane seems to lack (one) direction, though.

Folklore

Pop star Taylor Swift has come out with her eighth album titled Folklore. Judging by the kind of super rave reviews that it’s getting, some are suggesting that it is her best work in terms of songwriting maturity and musical arrangement. It has 16 tracks, and they are marked by a much less fussy sound than her earlier efforts. To gauge the verity of the claim, check out the song

This is Me Trying. And you’ll know how well she has ‘tried’ to come up with something folklorishly fresh.

Theatre Artists’ Protest

Last week, stage artists from Lahore staged a protest on the city’s Mall Road against the theatre halls closure due to the coronavirus pandemic. Led by chairman of the Punjab Theatre Association, Qaiser Sanaullah Khan, and seasoned actress Shiba Butt, they demanded that the authorities allow them to do stage productions on Eid after drafting SOPs for the purpose so that they could restart earning a living. By the time of filing this news item, it couldn’t be ascertained whether the authorities had lent an ear to them, but we feel it’s a legitimate demand. Artists, like other human beings, have to put food on the table, for which they work very hard.

Published in Dawn, ICON, July 31st, 2020