Full disclosure: I’m coming up on my 1 year blog anniversary in a few months, and I want to make it to a thousand posts before then. So get used to lots tiny little posts where you think, “wait, why didn’t she just combine this with the earlier post?”
Amitabh is NOT HAPPY!!! With a media outlet, again. I, on the other hand, am delighted! I love this feud! Amitabh versus Mumbai Mirror can join the ranks of Aamir versus FilmFare and Shahrukh versus CineBlitz! I love feuds, but I am also very soft-hearted, so I don’t like it when people’s feelings get hurt. But I don’t care about a news outlet’s feelings! So Amitabh, be as mean as you like!
As you can see from the following tweets, Mumbai Mirror printed a photo and claimed it showed Amitabh walking by a fan who wanted a selfie. But Amitabh hastily tweeted an angry correction, that he was merely changing clothing, and of course took the photo!
I also love that this is all over the terrible accusation that he was unwilling to take a selfie with a fan! Personally, I wouldn’t blame Amitabh if sometimes he just wanted to go home and soak his feet at the end of a long day shooting. But apparently, Amitabh has higher standards for himself than I do, and not only takes every photo every time, but is horribly hurt and insulted by the implication that he doesn’t.
Amitabh is famous and all, and this was a fun little story, but in terms of industry discussion, I am much more excited about the statement from boring old non-famous head of the censor board, Pahlaj Nihalani. And it isn’t even a statement about censorship controversies! No, all he said was that The Flying Jatt could be another Jai Santoshi Maa.
Now, that is an old-school reference! It doesn’t come up much (or at all, really) in “official” Indian film histories (I don’t think I even referred to it in mine), but Jai Santoshi Maa was the “other” big hit of 1975, after Sholay. And it was the complete opposite of Sholay. While Sholay was all about the male characters and “public” actions, Jai Santoshi Maa was all about the women’s realm and “private” actions.
Moreover, while Sholay embraced an almost completely secular vision of society, Jai Santoshi Maa had a clear religious perspective. What I find fascinating with the comparison of The Flying Jatt and Jai Santoshi Maa, is that it is merely saying “having a firm religious grounding for your film is good”, but not making a judgement call as to which religion you should use. From what little I know of both films (Jai Santoshi Maa=very hard to find with subtitles), that is accurate. They aren’t saying “everyone should worship Santoshi Maa!” or “everyone should be a Sikh!”, but they are saying “religion is a source of strength and security for these characters in a very real way and we are going to show that, not brush past it.”
(How often do you see a superhero praying as part of his training montage?)
Oh, and so long as I am doing a post, here are a few more news things that I don’t have much to say about, but you can feel free to discuss in the comments. Deepika was on the top ten highest paid actresses Forbes list, but they miss-spelled her last name (FORBES!!!! GET IT TOGETHER! I don’t even do that any more, and I am a terrible speller (Dharmendra’s last name, meanwhile, continue to elude me)).
There are some very very early rumors about Shahrukh, Kangana, and Bhansali coming together for a film. Which answers the “why was Shahrukh okay with rumors about him replacing Ranveer/how did Bhansali dare spread those rumors?” question. It’s because they were actually meeting about something else, and Shahrukh’s team didn’t want to bother clarifying/denying because it would break the news about this other project too soon. I’m excited about the idea of these 3 working together, but I am trying not to get my hopes up, because with the other projects Kangana and Shahrukh already have planned, we are talking about a film that would go on the floors in late 2017 in the latest, probably more like 2018. And there are many many things that could go wrong between now and then
And finally, remember Happy Bhaag Jayegi? That nice little film that I liked? First, it’s holding steady at the box office. It’s made a pitiful little amount compared to the big releases (crawling towards 13 crore at the end of the first week), but it’s still doing decent business and proving that there is an audience for these small simple cheap movies. Which is good, I’d rather have more Happy Bhaag Jayegis than more bloated Fitoors. But, for no reason I can see, it was banned in Pakistan!!! This movie is so good to Pakistanis and Pakistan! Heck, I found myself halfway through thinking “boy, I kind of want to visit Lahore! It looks so pretty and pleasant and the people are so nice!” The director of the film had a similar reaction and wrote an open letter to whoever in Pakistan made the decision not to let it play.