THE GRAPEVINE

Published December 17, 2023

BEST DIRECTOR

Here’s another feather in the already well-feathered cap of team Kamli. For the uninitiated, Kamli is a film directed by Sarmad Khoosat and has Saba Qamar, Hamza Khwaja, Nimra Bucha and Sania Saeed in the cast. The latest on that count is that Sarmad K has won the best director award for his movie at the DC South Asian Film Festival. It is definitely heartening news for those who want to make serious cinema in the country and don’t overthink about the box office. Congrats to the filmmaker!

UNGRATEFUL REVIEWERS

Vasay Chaudhry doesn’t mince words. He shouldn’t. He’s a writer. But on a talk show, he expressed his candid views on many subjects, including the bloggers who are invited to film premieres. He expressed frustration that, despite getting privileges, they often give negative comments on films. He asked the film industry to reconsider “relying on social media influencers.” Oh, so, guaranteed positive reviews is why filmmakers invited them, is it? The thing is, mainstream media too, oftentimes, dishes out bad reviews. Media is just incorrigible, isn’t it Vasay C!

NAUSHEEN, REST IN PEACE

Actress, host and television producer Nausheen Masud passed away on December 6 after bravely battling cancer for six years. She had shot to national fame after working in a soap Jaal and went on to do serials such as Ghar To Aakhir Apna Hai and Colony 1952. Her work in Dolly Ki Aaey Gi Baraat was particularly liked. She also hosted a few television shows including Andaz Apna Apna. Ms Masud’s untimely death was widely mourned across the entertainment world spectrum and it was remarkable to see how many lives she had touched. She had also trained as a therapist and was seeing clients until about two months ago. Actor Adnan Siddiqui wrote a message on social media immediately after her death, calling her “a beautiful soul.” May she rest in peace.

ANIMAL ON THE LOOSE

Despite the fact that director Sandeep Reddy Vanga’s Animal,starring Ranbir Kapoor, Anil Kapoor, Rashmika Mandanna, Tripti Dimri and Bobby Deol, is not officially deemed fit for people under the age of 18 to watch because of graphic violence, the film is doing roaring business at the box office. According to trade experts, it had the best ‘Monday’ collection (which means the first working day after the weekend after a film opens) of all time in India. If we take a look at some of the recent big Bollywood hits [Jawan, Ghadar 2 and Animal], all are violence-stricken. Meanwhile, Pakistan’s biggest grosser ever was also the ultra-violent The Legend of Maula Jatt. What does that say about our societies?

THE AI MENACE

Indian film actresses are being targeted through deepfake technology but not in the way you might think. Last week, a video of Priyanka Chopra went viral in which she’s seen promoting a brand and talking about how much money she makes. Whoever is behind the shararat has edited out her face but joined sound clips of her voice from a variety of interviews to create a new image. This is a dangerous practice. The sooner showbiz stars take a legal preemptive course to counter the menace, the better. It’ll help them get rid of at least one aspect of their artificial lives.

ANGELINA IS LEAVING THE BUILDING

All you Angelina Jolie fans, you have our sympathies. The international heartthrob has decided to quit the glitz and glamour of Hollywood… soon. She said so during a recent interview. Reason? One of them is her ongoing post-divorce legal battle with Brad Pitt. Also, she doesn’t find tinsel town important anymore. She claims she was never impressed with the showbiz culture. “I never bought into it as significant or important.” Hmmm… Angelina J, we think you are still both important and significant for your fans, admirers, lovers and exes.

Published in Dawn, ICON, December 17th, 2023

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