Controversies Roll On! Nawazuddin and Salman and Dhoni

All of these are more “controversies” than actual controversies, the very definition of a tempest in a teapot.  But if I mush them all together into one post, then they are worth discussing.

First, I posted already on Nawazuddin’s sister-in-law accusing his family of dowry pressure and abuse.  There’s an update on that, the police have received security footage which seems to show the sister-in-law leaving their house unrestrained in the company of her relative.  I’m not quite clear on how this absolves Nawazuddin and his family of culpability, unless her complaint was specific to that particular night and actions on that particular night.  There could always have been a history of abuse leading up to that moment which wasn’t on camera.  But Nawazuddin seems to be saying it does absolve them, and the police maybe agree, so I guess maybe the complaint was that specific and easy to disprove?


Second, Salman’s remarks about Pakistani artists being artists have sparked protests in Indore, his birthplace.  Not sure why we should really care about protests in Indore (protests in Bombay I care about, because the Bombay box office is really important and protests can effect that.  Indore, not so much), except that Salman Khan’s name was mentioned.  Which is probably a big reason for the protests to begin with, the local Bajrang Dal student group burnt a Salman effigy and then probably made sure their actions hit the local newspaper and crossed their fingers that it would be picked up nationally.  And, in fact, it was!  And the leader of that particular group even got his full name listed.  Congrats!  You have successfully ridden the national/international obsession with film stars to a brief moment in the limelight!


And finally, and I was kind of wondering about this, why was it that Dhoni’s biopic never mentioned his brother?  His relationship with his mother, his father, and his sister were all extremely important to the narrative.  But there was no brother in sight.  Bollywoodhungama Bollywoodhungama is reporting that there is a bit of a family feud, and Dhoni’s parents and sister and himself haven’t spoken to the brother in years, thus cutting him out of the biopic.

My first reaction was “whooooooo cares?”  It’s an authorized biopic, thems the breaks, sometimes your subject is going to ask you to ignore something, and skipping over a sibling who you weren’t that close to and you don’t feel really effected your development as a person or an athlete (the presumed topics of this biopic) isn’t that big of a deal.

But then I started to think about it, and this whole biopic, a big point of it is the importance of family and loyalty and humble beginnings and and the general idealization of the middle class Indian family.  Which is a lie, apparently, because his Indian family wasn’t ideal and loving and perfect, they had conflicts and doubts and real hatred in there, just like everyone else.

(Whole different movie if you include the shady brother resentfully watching his success on TV)

So, on the one hand, I don’t want to say they should wash their dirty laundry in public.  But on the other hand, maybe think about the lie you are selling in your promotions that this ideal is achievable, and other families should feel bad if they fail to attain it?  And really, I could have enjoyed a different kind of movie, that acknowledged the potential for toxic family relationships, and how there are some people you just have to cut out of your life.


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