THE GRAPEVINE

Published September 12, 2021

Butt of All Jokes

September 1 was BTS member Jeon Jungkook’s birthday. Given the massive size of the Korean boy band’s manic fan base, which exists in every part of the world and is called the BTS Army, the celebrations were just as huge. Some of his Pakistani admirers actually put up a big billboard of the 24-year-old pop star in Gujranwala to wish him on his special day. The billboard was credited to the “Jungkook BTS Gujranwala Army” and it was to remain there for a couple of days. But within hours, as per media reports, a local politician, Furqan Aziz Butt, had it pulled down, believing the billboard was out to “promote homosexuality”. “The people who put it up call themselves the Gujranwala army,” said Butt to international news media. “There’s only the Pakistan army here.” All we can say is, never a dull moment in Gujranwala.

Easy Oscar?

Last week, the Pakistani Academy Selection Committee, headed by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, invited Pakistani filmmakers to submit their films for Oscar consideration in the ‘International Feature Film Award’ category for the 94th Academy Awards. The deadline for entering the movies is September 20. Sadly, we don’t see any mind-blowing film coming out of our beloved country in the last year or so, largely because of the coronavirus pandemic, which doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon. We guess, this time round, the Pakistani Academy will have an easy job on its hands.

The Turkish Connection

Folks, Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif may not be an item anymore (or are they?) but their recent activity together has made tongues wag one more time about their relationship. The two met with the Turkish tourism minister, Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, during the filming of Tiger 3 in Turkey. The minister was happy interacting with the two of them as he shared some pictures and his thoughts on Instagram in the following words: “We came together with the famous actors of Bollywood, Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif, who are in our country for their new projects. Turkey will continue to host many international cinema projects.” Afterwards, Salman and Katrina K had lunch at a high-end restaurant. Wonder what Vicky Kaushal, Katrina K’s reported beau, had for lunch that day… his heart?

Yasir’s New Drive

It has now widely been reported that Yasir Hussain is playing the role of the infamous serial killer and rapist Javed Iqbal in an upcoming film called Javed Iqbal: The Untold Story of a Serial Killer. It’s a bold decision on the actor’s part. Expanding on that Yasir H has said he’s for ‘real content’ and wouldn’t just want the negative characters and their nefarious deeds to be highlighted; he also wants films made on the lives of great individuals such as Abdul Sattar Edhi, Dr Abdus Salam and Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan. In fact, he has expressed his wish to play Edhi sahib’s part in the future. Hmmm… hold your horses buddy. Let someone else do the philanthropist character. Not that you can’t play it; it’s just that, give someone else a chance too.

Hollywood Again

After a moderately successful experience working in XXX: Return of Xander Cage four years ago alongside Vin Diesel, dimpled doll Deepika Padukone has disclosed to the media that she is going to star in another Hollywood film, details of which have not yet been revealed. What’s been told is that the budget of the project is 75 million dollars and, wait for it, Deepika P is one of its producers. Okay. She’s the producer and a certain Mr Ranveer Singh is not in the movie. Let’s not jump to conclusions. The cast is yet to be announced. We will jump to conclusions only once the cast has been finalised, and he’s not in it.

The Big Break-Up

On September 3, the star of the iconic sitcom The Big Bang Theory, Kaley Cuoco, and her husband Karl Cook, announced through a joint statement that they were separating. The statement read, “Despite a deep love and respect for one another, we have realised that our current paths have taken us in opposite directions. We have both shared so much of our journey publicly, so while we would prefer to keep this aspect of our personal life private, we wanted to be forthcoming in our truth together. There is no anger or animosity, quite the contrary.” Good note to end the marriage on, guys, because given the net monetary worth of both parties, it could have proved a ‘big bang’ for one of them.

Published in Dawn, ICON, September 12th, 2021

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