THE GRAPEVINE

Published February 11, 2024

TALAT HUSAIN UNWELL

Seasoned actor Talat Husain is our national treasure. He is an institute unto himself. These days he is suffering from age-related dementia, something that has caused distress not only to the members of his family but a large number of his admirers all across the world. Recently, caretaker Sindh information minister and president of the Arts Council of Pakistan Ahmed Shah and actor Faysal Quraishi separately met the legend at his home to inquire after his health. It’s a good gesture. We should keep reminding our heroes how important they are to us.

ATIF ASLAM AND BOLLYWOOD

It seems that the frozen cultural ties between India and Pakistan are experiencing a thaw. We repeat, it seems. Why do we say that? After a pretty long time, ace vocalist Atif Aslam is doing some playback singing for a Bollywood movie. The film is called Love Story Of ‘90s. Directed by Amit Kasaria, it has Adhyayan Suman and Divita Rai as the lead romantic pair. Yes, the movie is a romantic one with hopefully no anti-Pakistan gesture, which is why Atif A has been asked to sing one of its songs.

ONE DIRECTION PAKISTAN

We all know that Zayn Malik worked alongside a Pakistani pop band on a song. Last week, the UK High Commissioner to Pakistan, Jane Marriott, on X (formerly Twitter) gave her two cents on the musical collab. She wrote, “Time to plan your Pakistan tour, Zayn! Loving this UK-Pakistan Urdu collaboration with AUR.” This has been taken by a section of media as a hint of Zayn M’s possible visit to our country. Well, if that happens, then what ‘AUR’ do music lovers want!

FATHER FEARS

Shah Rukh Khan and his daughter Suhana were to begin working in a movie together, helmed by Sujoy Ghosh. Apparently, that project either has been shelved or put off. Those in the know say that SRK is a bit apprehensive about his offspring cast alongside him because comparisons will be drawn. The fear was augmented after Suhana’s debut cinematic venture, The Archies,was taken to the cleaners by some critics and a lot of movie buffs. Well, we think, after Ranbir Kapoor’s victory at the Filmfare Awards, where won despite SRK being nominated for two movies, SRK should start worrying about his own acting credentials.

OSCAR NON-BUZZ

Margot Robbie’s fans are disappointed that she didn’t get an Oscar nod for her role in Barbie. Despite the fact that the film grabbed eight nominations, its director Greta Gerwig, too, has got the snub. But Margot R is least pushed by it. She says, “We set out to do something that would shift culture. And it’s already done that. Way more than we ever dreamed it would. And that is truly the biggest reward that could come out of all of this.” Yeah, right! As if you weren’t expecting a nomination. Who do these stars think we are? Barbies and Kens?

JINGOISM ETC

The latest Indian film Fighter, with Siddharth Anand in the director’s seat and having Hrithik Roshan and Deepika Padukone in lead roles, is receiving quite a bit of flak for being mindlessly hyper-nationalist. One of its critics is British journalist Haroon Rashid. He has used the following words to describe the movie: “One of the most offensive, insulting, disgusting, manipulative pieces of propaganda to come out of Bollywood.” Haroon R, the way they do research on us Pakistanis (apparently we say ‘ janab ’ all the time — give us a break) you can also add the adjective ‘childish’ to your long list.

Published in Dawn, ICON, February 11th, 2024

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