THE GRAPEVINE

Published March 24, 2024

ACTING TIP

These days a play titled Ishq Murshid, starring Bilal Abbas and Durefishan Saleem, has garnered a huge following. The merits of the drama aside, seasoned actor Waseem Abbas’s comments on Bilal A’s performance in the project recently became the talk of tinsel town. According to him, the youngster is ‘overacting’ in Ishq Murshid. To be honest, we don’t understand this term ‘overacting’. Does that mean there’s something called ‘under-acting’ or ‘just-the-right-amount-of acting’, too? If yes, then what’s the right amount?

THE MAQSOOD RUMOUR

Last week, the entire showbiz fraternity and admirers of writer Anwar Maqsood felt utterly disturbed when social media became abuzz with the rumour that he had been abducted and roughed up. It didn’t take him long to make a video from the Arts Council of Pakistan’s premises to refute it. He reasoned that he is 84 years of age and therefore couldn’t survive even a slap, much less more serious manhandling. While it’s good that he rubbished the rumour, it is important to find out why and from where it originated. Who actually gets their rocks off making up stuff like this?

HINDUTVA BOLLYWOOD

It seems that the Indian film industry has become a blatant mouthpiece for India’s current ruling political elite. After the onslaught of jingoistic, ultra-nationalistic and shabbily acted movies in the last few years peddling a right-wing point of view, now a film targeting the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) is being made, dubbing the reputed institution as the Jahangir National University. No points for guessing the Islamophobic agenda here — JNU was the venue for some of the most vociferous protests against the BJP’s anti-Muslim citizenship act. The word ‘sickening’ comes to mind. When will India’s artist community realise that they’re only constraining their own creative future?

WHAT’S IN A NAME?

Sanam Saeed appears in her hubby Mohib Mirza’s talk show. Cute little gesture, no! For some reason, he asks her about her name. She, like the true straight-shooter that she is, says there was a time when she didn’t like her name because it was frequently used in Indian songs and even behind rickshaws. However, that time is behind her, and now she likes her name. Hmmm… Have you ever realised, Sanam S, that way before the advent of moviemaking, Urdu poets were also using your name?

BOYFRIEND WITH BENEFITS

Last week, pop icon Taylor Swift was in Singapore for the last leg of her world tour. Her boyfriend Travis Kelce flew in to be with her. The following are the details of the trip that he gave during a podcast: “Fun times in Singapore. I got to check out the world’s largest greenhouse. How about that? I’m a big plant guy. Loved seeing ***** enormous trees. It was cool as ****. They had the world’s biggest waterfall in a greenhouse, too. It was awesome man. Everything was blooming at the same time, it was so unique and so nice.” Well, this guy appears to be enjoying the vegetation more than his GF.

PALESTINE AT THE OSCARS

We were expecting that a considerable number of Hollywood celebs would be advocating for peace in Palestine at this year’s Academy awards, but that didn’t happen in a resounding way. The likes of Mark Ruffalo, Ramy Youssef, Riz Ahmed and Billie Eilish wore Artists4Ceasefire pins and director Jonathan Glazer (whose film The Zone of Interest won in the best international film category) had to face a negative reaction for saying the following in his acceptance speech: “[Producer] James Wilson and I stand here as men who refute their Jewishness and the Holocaust being hijacked by an occupation which has led to conflict for so many innocent people, whether the victims of October 7 in Israel or the ongoing attack on Gaza.” Wake up, Hollywood!

Published in Dawn, ICON, March 24th, 2024

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