Karan Versus Kangana on Koffee and Beyond

Success!  I found the Kangana Koffee!  Despite it being “not available in your region” on the HotStar website and “content pulled at the request of…” on most other sites.  I did finally find it on one site, which I am keeping to myself, and successfully watched it!  So now I can talk intelligently both about the episode and about Karan’s recent comments.

I think I’m going to start with the end?  Recently at a talk at the London School of Economics, Karan gave his perspective on Kangana’s comments about him, to his face, on the latest episode of Koffee.  He said:

“She was my guest and I had to hear what she had to say. She has a right to have an opinion….I appreciate that she (Kangana) had a great perspective and point of view and everyone lauded her when she came on my show and ‘gave it off to Karan’ — according to what everyone said — and I am like, ‘Of course’, because I have been gracious enough to keep everything. I cut out none of it. I kept all of it, as it is. I could have edited so much out of it, as it’s my show. But I said, ‘No, let the world see this. This is her opinion, she must say it and voice it’. I gave her the platform.”

So naturally, I had to see this episode!  Especially when Karan went on to give specific examples of what Kangana had said:

When she says ‘Flag bearer of Nepotism’, I just want to say her, I am glad she knows what it all means. I don’t think she has understood the entire meaning of the term. What is nepotism… am I working with my nieces, nephews, daughters, cousins? And what about those 15 filmmakers, who are not from the film industry, who I have launched and who did the movies. That we’re not going to talk about! Tarun Mansukhani, Puneet Malhotra, Shakun Batra, Shashank Khaitan… they all come from no film background. You give these people film careers and they have a platform to stand on and that’s the reverse of nepotism

And finally, the mic drop headline comment:

I’m done with Kangana playing the woman and victim card. I am done! You cannot be this victim every time and have a sad story to tell about how you’ve been terrorised by the bad world of the industry … leave it.

So, okay, I don’t want to say I went into this episode with an open mind exactly.  Because I had read Karan’s remarks before I watched it.  I wouldn’t say I went into it prejudiced exactly either.  Maybe that I went into it with awareness.  Ultimately, this is about kindness and courtesy.  Not because you want something from someone else, or because of the “movie mafia”, but because this is another person in the room with you and they deserve to be treated kindly.  Karan explained his reasoning, that she was his guest and he had to sit there and take it because she was his guest.  And he has let us know that even though in the moment he didn’t show it clearly to the camera, her remarks were hurting him.

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Karan couldn’t show it as the host of his TV show which meant that, in that room at that moment, Kangana had all the power.  She could do whatever she wanted, and the 3 men with her would just sit back and let her, because they were gentlemen.  In all kinds of other rooms, of course, Kangana has no power.  And that’s where her bitterness and comments came from.  But honestly, even in those other rooms, she must have gotten SOMETHING!  Because look at where she is!  If she really was as powerless and put upon as she claims, then how could she be the major star she is now?  So, yeah, I agree with Karan a little more than her.  You cannot be a victim over and over, as your career keeps shooting higher and higher.  At some point, it has to stop.

One final example before I get into this more.  Look at Jacqueline Fernandez!  She is as much an outsider as Kangana.  She had at least one (if not more) sad romances in her past in which the power dynamic was slanted towards the man.  Her career has lagged and lagged much more than Kangana’s.  But she was delightful and cheerful and charming on her episode of Karan, showing by her attitude and comments that she was aware of the favor Karan was doing by having her own the show, and grateful for it.  And generally grateful for Karan’s interest in her and courtesy towards her, which he offered for no particular reason besides just to be nice.

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The same was true of Nargis Fakhri, of Frieda Pinto, of dozens of other outsider actresses that we have seen on Karan’s couch.  Heck, how about the Dangal girls! No one can argue that they didn’t get their chance on merit alone.  We don’t get to see how he is with these actresses off the couch, but we can assume it is something similar, courteous and giving them a chance he doesn’t have to offer.  If nothing else, we know he is kind and generous enough to arrange for them to appear on his show and get the inevitable career bump, not so trapped by nepotism to keep the Koffee Kouch for only his closest friends.


And now here is Kangana, who uses her opportunity on his show to insult him, and everything he believes in, to his face.  Maybe it is just social tone deafness, but it is a pretty extreme example of it.  Even if she isn’t able to read faces and body language, couldn’t she just think about the words that are coming out of her mouth?

It’s not just Karan either who is showing by his body language and reaction that he is uncomfortable with what she is saying.  As almost always, Karan had two guests at once.  He likes that, because it keeps the conversational ball going, and it’s fun chemistry.  But this time, not so much.  Saif was sitting on the very very edge of the couch the entire time.  And he spent most of it looking just physically ill at how this was going.  Over and over again, Kangana would come out with some clunker, and Saif would try to rephrase it, to soften the edges so the conversation could continue.  The poor man!  The poor poor man!

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(Poor Saif!  A baby at home, and now this at work!)

It starts right from the beginning.  Karan gives Saif a soft intro about how he was the guest on Karan’s very first taped show, back when they were making Kal Ho Na Ho, and there is some nice commentary about how long it has been and so on.  And then Kangana goes straight into the point she wants to make, how her first interaction with Karan was when he told Adi to turn her down for a role (I think.  She was talking very fast here, and sort of jumping around in the story, so I got confused).  And how Aditya has apologized to her now for the mistake he made.  And how meaningful that was.  Karan and Saif both try to move past this, the implication that Karan owes her an apology, Karan kind of jokingly saying that he is apologizing now, that he just did in her intro, and Saif backing him up.  But Kangana just smiles and doesn’t engage.

And it just keeps going!  Karan asks some soft question about if Kangana has friends in the industry, the same kind of question he asks everybody.  It’s a good one because it is so open, if you have an anecdote locked and loaded about anyone you know, this is your opening.  But Kangana doesn’t go that way, instead she talks about how you can’t “really” be friends with anyone in the industry, all those friendships are false (essentially).  Which, again, LISTEN TO YOURSELF!!!  You are sitting with a man who married his co-star, and another man who considers those he works with his family and his family are those he works with.  Saif jumps in to say something general about how he has had “lovely experiences” with friendships, and then moves into a sort of rambling commentary about traveling and being recognized.  It’s clearly just a placeholder, something to say while the situation calms down.

Karan bounces the ball over to Saif and asks about the Taimur controversy.  Saif is ready for this, clearly something he wanted to say while he had this platform, and explains that they liked the name as a Persian name, they wanted something unusual because so many names had already been used at some point in both their families, they were aware of the historical Timur but their name was from the Persian tradition, not that one.  It’s not the most riveting or convincing stuff, but it does the job of explaining his position, and clearly he had pre-arranged with Karan to ask this question so he could say his little piece.

And then Karan tosses the ball to Kangana to try to include her in the conversation.  And instantly she goes into this whole thing about negativity in the world today, and how there is so much hatred and so on and so on.  Which is depressing for a talk show, but also kind of takes the focus off of Saif and Taimur where it should belong.  And kind of puts it back on Kangana, you know?  Maybe she didn’t mean it that way, but it sure feels like she is saying that the negativity poor baby Taimur suffered on the first day of his life, and his innocence in the matter, is equivalent to the experience of a movie star with bad press.  Really, Kangana?  You are LITERALLY as innocent as a newborn babe?  And as defenseless and as unfairly brought into controversies?  That’s kind of a big statement to make.

Karan brings it back to Kangana for specific questions, asking her about Alia’s comment as to how she always has such great airport looks but no one ever knows where she is going!  It’s another good open question.  Talk about fashion, talk about plane travel, talk about your vacations, anything!  But instead, Kangana, goes back to how Alia only said that because Karan had asked her a leading question, it was Karan’s fault for asking this thing.  All this while Karan just has to sit there and smile and shuffle through his cards and try to figure out what he can ask next that may save this disaster of a conversation.  And Saif continues to look like he might throw up.

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The next question, finally, gives Kangana something she wants to talk about.  Karan asks if she feels she has lost out on something because of her refusal to be at awards shows and so on, if it affected her career by her absence?  It’s an intelligent question, he’s not talking about the value of the awards themselves, just the value of being talked about.

And Kangana gives a good answer, but one that I think kind of missed Karan’s point.  In a telling way, the same way she is missing the point of this entire Koffee appearance.  Karan, I think, was asking if she felt she was missing out both on the public love for her, and on making those industry connections and fellow feeling.  And Kangana turned it right into money.  And “values”.  She talked about how her “values” don’t let her do ads for fairness creams, or other kinds of campaigns.  And her “values” don’t let her do live shows.  But it pays off, because the few brands that do come to her are willing to pay 3 times as much. She didn’t see what I think was Karan’s question, about the “payment” she is getting in friendships with her fellow film people, and the “values” they are promoting of inclusion by presenting a united front.  The same way she seems to be missing the real value of this TV appearance, that it can serve to solidify her relationships with all sorts of people, as well as making the public fall more in love with her.  It’s not just a platform for her to air her views.

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(she did show up for her National Award.  In a really great dress!)

And her final comment of this period, a question about what she is like on set.  To which she says that if a set doesn’t have creative conflict, it’s not right.  There should be conflict.  She doesn’t want a director who just tells her what to do, she wants to fight over it.  Which, firstly, explains why directors and co-stars have such a hard time with her!  And secondly, is yet again a MASSIVE insult to the man sitting opposite her, who has invited her onto his show.  Everyone knows that Karan’s sets are full of good feeling and closeness and talking it out.  He doesn’t fight, he discusses.  At the end of the shoot, everyone is closer than at the beginning.  So, Kangana is either saying that Karan isn’t creative enough to fight.  Or that he is too egotistical to listen to someone else’s opinion enough to fight with them.  This is just my opinion, but I don’t think she sat there and planned to insult his working methods.  I think it was just a lack of awareness of how what she was saying was coming across.

It’s more like it’s just random words and thoughts coming out of her mouth with no thought as to the person listening to them.  She probably thought she did a wonderful job and they all had a great time.  And probably thinks that Karan’s comments afterwards are more unfair clique-y meanness.  Because he didn’t say anything at the time, and everyone on the show says stuff like that.

What’s really interesting is that, if Kangana weren’t on the show, the big story would be Saif.  During the shots round, when they have to take a shot of something (surely not alcohol.  Maybe cold coffee?) every time they’ve done something Karan lists, there is a debate whether two women kissing means they are gay, and whether two men kissing means they are gay.  Saif repeats multiple times that two women can kiss and not be gay, but if he ever kissed a man, he would be gay.  Karan doesn’t let this go, he leaps in to clarify that sexuality is a continuum, people can be curious, can be questioning, and so on.  And Saif is not willing to agree.

But, see, they can understand each other.  At a level below the smiles and laughter for the camera.  Saif sees at a certain point that this is legitimately painful for Karan, and backs off.  And Karan sees that Saif is not going to be convinced right now on camera, and moves on.  I’m sure Karan talked to Kareena and she talked to Saif and this was not the end of it.  But they handled it as friends, both on the show in the moment and later.  They held back during the on camera segment because they were on camera, and that meant they both had to be polite, so it would be an unfair advantage for one of them to press the point since the other would have to give in for now.  And later, I am sure this is something that will be discussed and worked out in private, not through a public statement.

Meanwhile, Kangana is now relaxed enough to reach the big finish with her statements, to completely cross the line with no idea that she is even crossing it.  Karan asks her the name of the biopic question he always asks (I think because Kindle is sponsoring this season?), and she takes it and says that in her biopic, when she writes it one day, Karan will be the villain.  The flag-waver for nepotism, the movie mafia, snooty.  Karan kind of jokes and says that’s okay, so long as it is just for book sales.  And Kangana doesn’t quite join in the joke, like she doesn’t get it that Karan is asking her to back-off, just like he had just indicated to Saif.  That this is something which matters to him, which hurts him, and she needs to say for now, while the cameras are on, that it would be just for sales and she really loves him.  And then they can talk about it later, off camera.  But, she doesn’t back off and make nice in front of the public.  And so he isn’t doing it either, she brought it out on camera first, and he is just following her lead.

And then we end with a few minutes of Shahid, and everyone breathes a sigh of relief.  It really makes you see how painful the rest of the episode was to see how much easier it is once Shahid shows up.  Now Karan has two people who know how to have a conversation to help him out.  And Saif has someone to help him on the Kangana patrol.  And it is a patrol!  Oh my goodness!

The whole reason they are on this show is to plug Rangoon.  And it is hugely gracious of Karan to help them out this way.  And Shahid seems aware of that as soon as he comes out, much more relaxed and open even than he was on his own episode.  He sits in his own chair, by the way.  Everyone else can sit 3 on a couch on Koffee, Saif and Shahid and Kangana can’t stand to be that close to each other.  Or at least not with Kangana, Saif and Shahid seem fine.  There is a little back and forth and talk about filming, and then Karan jumps into how he has heard there are some very sensuous scenes in Rangoon, can you talk about that?  And Kangana takes offense!  That he is reducing their Art to just sexy scenes!

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(See the nice 3 feet gap everyone keeps around Kangana?)

KANGANA!!!!  HE IS TRYING TO SELL YOUR MOVIE!!!!  IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU!  It’s not about her in ANY WAY!!!  He isn’t saying she is a bad actress or just a sex symbol, he is talking about all three of them just now.  And he is talking about them in context of their film and scenes in their film.  And he is doing it to get people to buy tickets!  That’s it!

Shahid gets it right away and jumps in as soon as Kangana finishes defending herself.  He helps Karan to get her un-offended by talking about the different kinds of sensuousness and how it is part of their characters and so on and so on.  And, finally, with an almost visible sigh of relief, Karan ends with a blatant Rangoon plug and washes his hands of all 3 of them.


You know Tejaswini Ganti?  Who wrote Bollywood: A Guidebook?  She wrote that in the middle of a massive research period.  And the final result of all the research was a huge academic text called Producing Bollywood.  She did two major research trips, each of them involving almost a year spent interviewing people and observing film sets, and then turned it into this amazing book.  Now, I promise I am going to tie this back to Kangana.

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(It’s a great book, even though she hides some of the names so you have to guess who she is talking about)

Ganti tells a story about an acquaintance who helped her out on her first research trip back when she was a young grad student.  He was an aspiring filmmaker, he helped her get into studios and onto sets.  And then Ganti just sort of talked to people, the dressman and the lowly ADs.  They gave her a job as a continuity person, she had her notebook and wrote down who was wearing what.  They didn’t pay her, but they let her hang out on set all day and take notes.  And eventually the director noticed her, and then the actors.  And she sort of got to know people.

Several years later she came back for another research trip, she had stayed in touch with some people from the first trip and was able to get back into the studios and work towards some big interviews.  She was curious about Yash Raj, so she asked one of her contacts to her get in touch with Pamela Chopra because she wanted to get her perspective.  She spent hours interviewing Pamela (and the interview is fascinating).  And then Pamela suggested she talk with her son Aditya, and so she got the call to interview Aditya (the biggest possible “get” in Hindi film journalism).

Now, she met up with that earlier acquaintance again.  And he complained about how his career was still going no where, it was all about who you knew, it wasn’t fair.  And he couldn’t believe it when he found out that she was interviewing Aditya.

Now, see, here is an objective example.  Ganti did nothing that relied on connections or nepotism.  And at the “start”, she had even fewer connections than this acquaintance.  He had to help her out.  But then she took time to build relationships and get to know people.  She was sincerely interested in all of them.  And, eventually, it paid off.  Not because she “cheated”, but because she used a skill she had to help her out, the skill of making nice conversations and building friendships.

And I think that is what Kangana is missing here.  Where she sees unfairness and nepotism, based on how this televised interaction went, I think it is just a basic lack of social skills.  And not like “oooo, she used the wrong fork!” social skills (again, see Jacqueline!).  But awareness of how your words are affecting others and the price you pay for that in loss of friendship.


19 thoughts on “Karan Versus Kangana on Koffee and Beyond

  1. First of all, thank you for summarizing the Koffee episode, which I have not yet been able to find. It rounds out the whole story.

    One of the things I also noticed in Karan’s remarks at LSE with Anupama is that he was careful to acknowledge Kangana’s real talent as an actress. He made it clear that no one can take that away from her, and her performances and national awards speak for themselves. He didn’t really have to say all that, but he did and I think he deserves credit for it. And that’s especially true because I think you’re right about how hurt and upset he must have been with Kangana on the Kouch.

    Did you read Faridoon’s piece on Bollywood Hungama about all this? (http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/news/features/karan-johars-outburst-kangna-ranaut-justified/)
    Faridoon defends Karan in the piece, and says what others have apparently been whispering for some time–that Kangana is difficult to work with. I thought it was pretty amazing for Faridoon to be so openly negative about an actress, since I think of him as everyone’s buddy. Not here!

    On a related topic, for me, the whole Hrithik/Kangana mess had me suspicious about her all along, and the more that is written about her, the less I trust anything she says, about that or anything else.

    Finally, I was so scared when the rumors were floated that Kangana was being considered for Aanand’s “dwarf” movie with Shah Rukh, because we all know how important a happy set is to him. I thought at the time that Shah Rukh must know the truth about her volatility and unpleasantness, and would never consent to work with her. Now I’m pretty sure–and thankful–it will never happen.


    • Thank you for the link! I have some issues with Faridoon’s piece pulling in rape accusations along with everything else. I’d be more comfortable if he hadn’t tried to make Kangana into part of some larger narrative about “false” victims.

      But I’m glad for his factual discussion of how and why she is so hard to work with. Getting her PR machine to call just because he reported something he had been told about her by someone else, that matches the vague sense I have from reading the news stories about her. She ALWAYS comments, or has someone else respond on her behalf, doesn’t seem comfortable just letting things go by. It seems like a sign of her own insecurity and thin skin, and I kind of picture working relationships going the same way, someone says something not even related to her, and suddenly she gets all angry and defensive and blows it up into a whole big “thing”. It’s kind of what she did in this episode when Karan made his remarks about Rangoon, and she took it personally, instead of thinking it was addressed to one of her co-stars or just about the film in general.

      I still think this whole thing could blow over if Kangana just calls Karan and they talk it over (same thing she probably could have done with the Hrithik situation). But I bet she won’t do that, I bet instead she will make it a huge public issue. Again.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Turns out you’re right of course. Have you seen her latest comments? She gave an interview to Mumbai Mirror and had a few choice words: http://mumbaimirror.indiatimes.com/mumbai/cover-story/kangana-ranaut-mr-karan-johar-i-was-playing-the-badass-card-not-the-victim-card/articleshow/57546936.cms?utm_source=mumbaimirror

        I agree with you on Faridoon’s poor choice of examples. Seems he could have come up with something else. Or just talked about this without trying to put it in some sort of context that doesn’t really work.

        And now, if reports are to be believed (but as we know they can’t always be), Kangana apparently has angered Aanand L. Rai, who gave her the Tanu movies, saying he’s writing a script for her, which he has denied. Here’s the piece in Filmfare: http://www.filmfare.com/news/aanand-l-rai-too-is-upset-with-kangana-ranaut-19188.html

        She should just let it go, but she just seems unable to do that. And maybe you’re right also that this kind of stuff happens because she is insecure–despite the “badass” public persona she’s trying to cultivate.


        • There is so much stuff thrown at everybody, and they all manage to just shake it off, but not Kangana! It’s a hard balance, because on the one hand, I like the public message of being a woman and refusing to just sit down and take it. But on the other hand, someone like Anushka who just lets these comments roll off her back, is also able to produce and star in movies like NH10. Which, ultimately, might have a bigger effect on improving society than Kangana giving yet another interview. Or Shabana, who has given up on being a “movie star”, and is just an actress instead. And in the meantime, is active in all kinds of social agencies and groups that are on the ground helping people. And there’s also the point that she herself makes that the film industry is a great place for outsiders to be welcome. She’s right, which is why she is far from the most vulnerable person in it! Karan’s gay, his best friends are Muslim, everyone’s got a “card” to play. But they don’t play it, they just keep their heads down and do their work. Even here, Karan could have easily made the same arguments and then added on that she only felt able to make these comments because he had just been attacked by the MNS, or because he isn’t “normal”. But he kept it professional.

          Kangana also seems to have missed the idea that by playing the “victim” and “woman” card, she is cheapening those arguments for woman like her sister who really need them. Which is kind of what Faridoon’s article shows. If Kangana is so clearly thin-skinned, it is easy for someone to draw a line from her to other woman who really shouldn’t be made part of the story.


  2. At the price of sounding judgemental, I somehow find Kangana too narcissistic and prejudiced. Especially in this particular case study (I know it’s a big word), she turned me off more than ever. Rangoon was a femme fatale and I guess her presence made that feeling more strong for me.


    • I had a little bit of a harder time with this because of Rangoon too. Because she really wasn’t that good in the film. Which I don’t mind, sometimes actors just can’t connect to the character or the director gives them bad advice, it’s not her fault. But for her to be claiming she suffered with not getting roles, and then be the central character in a big budget film that same week, where another actress might have done a better job, it just made her argument seem weak.


  3. Karan Johar has always stressed upon KwK being a fun show where statements need to be taken with a pinch of salt – case in point, the infamous Deepika Padukone-Sonam Kapoor episode where all three of them ganged up against poor Ranbir. I don’t get why he’s getting so worked up about this episode. Maybe because the “joke’s” on him? Anyways, I wonder what would have happened if Karan had gotten Kangana and Shahrukh together.. Shahrukh is way too smart and witty to have let Kangana get away with saying all that she said. It would have been an interesting dynamic..


    • I would have loved to see Kangana and Shahrukh together! Or anyone who didn’t have a vested interest in her looking good. Saif can be witty too on occasion, and so can Shahid, but it felt like they were holding back a little from taking her down for the sake of Rangoon. And for the sake of being able to finish out the promotional tour with no more issues.

      I kind of think he is getting so worked up about this episode exactly because the joke is on him. With the Ranbir episode, it felt spontaneous, like the girls just egged each other on once they were on the show. And Ranbir didn’t have to sit there on camera smiling while they talked about him. But in this case, it felt like Kangana came on the show ready to use it as her platform. And she made Karan sit there and take it, because he really couldn’t defend himself as the host of the show.


  4. Kangana is a drama queen.No question about that.And she loves being the center of attention and loves to play the victim card.But she got it right this time.Look at the way Karan inserts Alia in each and every meaty role in Bollywood by using his connections.She’s a good actress and is on the way to becoming great.But you can’t deny that she got to be where she is in half the time it takes other actors.Varun is spaced out more and it isn’t that irritating.And it is unfair to compare Jacqueline with Kangana.The former is part of Salman’s ‘haram’ and isn’t much of a threat for anybody.None of Kangana’s link-ups are quite as famous or influential.Sure there might be producers or directors among them.But nobody willing to do quite as much for her as Salman does for Jackie.My advice to Kangana is “If you can’t beat ’em join ’em.” Get your PR agency to manufacture a romance with a Bollywood insider.Go to parties together.Make connections.That’s the way the way the world works.Though after the Hrithik fiasco, a lot of her male stars will give her a wide berth.


    • That would be my advice for Kangana too! Just go to parties and get to know these people. She is calling it “nepotism”, but it’s not because these people have an unfair advantage from birth. They found “godfathers” in the industry by going around to parties and being nice to people. No reason Kangana couldn’t do that too. Heck, she HAD a godfather! Mahesh Bhatt helped launch her. If she had stayed in touch with him and stayed friends, he probably would still be helping out her career.

      It’s also not necessarily like the other actresses are sleeping their way to the top, or being sexually harassed, or anything “wrong” like that. Alia is obviously not sleeping with Karan, he just likes her and thinks she is talented. Bipasha didn’t sleep with Mahesh Bhatt, but he is still helping her out in her career, almost two decades after he launched her. And Deepika and Anushka, they are liked by their co-stars and producers and regularly get work all over the industry, without one particular godfather.


  5. There is nepotism in Bollywood -perhaps more than in any other industry.And it’s a widely accepted fact that almost all heroines(barring the starkids) have to sleep their way up.Talent and beauty aren’t enough.It’s natural that outsiders like Kangana have a bone to pick with the insiders like Alia or Hrithik who didn’t have to work quite as hard to get a foothold inside.Alia was clearly too young to play the role in 2 states.She looked like she was playing with her older sister’s stuff.And Dear Zindagi would have been better if someone older was cast -like Deepika or Priyanka.But these roles were offered to Alia in a platter thanks to Karan.

    Rebelling against the system(or being bitter about it) is not going to do any good.That’s the way things work there.There’s no changing it.Forget the past and accept the olive branches extended in your direction once you’ve become successful.And watching her words would be good.As it is everybody is just waiting for Kangana to fall.Let’s see the list of people she has managed to offend. Karan, Shahid, Hrithik, Anand L. Rai, Deepika.

    I don’t think Mahesh Bhatt could do much more for Kangana.The Bhatt heroines (other than Bipasha) generally have a short shelf life(in fact I don’t even remember most of their names) and are there just for showing flesh.


    • Agree completely about 2 States. I couldn’t believe it when I heard the casting. Especially because Arjun was so spot on, young enough to be believable as a college kid, but also old enough that a slight change of costume and hair made him look like a grown man moving forward in his career. And then Alia was there, looking like a little girl playing dress up. Although, I also thought she did a really good job with the role. Her age and her look was wrong, but her performance was perfect. Same with Dear Zindagi, she did a phenomenal job, even though she looked just a little too young for it. And Kapoor and Sons. Even Shaandar, I was a little uncomfortable with how young she looked next to Shahid, although her performance was great. I wish she would do more roles like Udta Punjab where her youthful looks add something to her performance instead of detracting. Or even Humpty and Badrinath! Where she is at least playing a young lover type who still lives with her family, instead of some career woman. I feel the same way about Jennifer Lawrence in Hollywood. They are both such great actresses that they make any role work, but they shouldn’t have to fight against the cognitive dissonance of how they look versus the character they are playing.

      Even Mahesh Bhatt doesn’t seem to be in her corner any more, I forgot about this until just now, but back when the Hrithik story first broke someone went to him for a comment and he held back a little. Chose not to take sides, instead of being all “Kangana, right or wrong!” It seems like she has people she’s offended, and people who are still neutral, but no one who is really willing to stand up for her.

      On Thu, Mar 9, 2017 at 9:19 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  6. despite being one of the richest safest and powerful person in the country karan always played the victim card and one of the whiniest person .now he has a problem with kangana playing victim card? funny


    • Karan is certainly very rich, but I don’t know if he is that safe or powerful. At least compared with what a big target he is. It seems like film celebrities in India are in this odd position of being clickbait and good for headlines. But not having the “real” power that someone like Mukesh Ambani or Rahul Gandhi might.

      And you know, I don’t think he is even that rich? Very successful, certainly. Much much richer than most people, nice house and vacation house and all that. But I could believe that Kangana herself could have more liquid funds than Karan. His profits come from and go into his films and his production house, it’s not a publicly traded company. I’m sure he pays himself a nice salary, and he could always close up shop and take out all his profits and retire very very wealthy. But in the meantime, in terms of being able to buy influence, and lawyers, and everything else, he doesn’t have as much cash around as an actor like Kangana might.


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  9. As always, a great analysis! I have particular issues with the nepotism tag over and over again being levied at KARAN. But I do have an anecdote to share – this might be a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend story, and I don’t know how legitimate it is. (All disclaimers in place.)
    My friend worked in the office of a boutique in Delhi that recently supplied a bunch of decorative items to Mannat (it might have been items for Abram’s nursery? Toys? They specialize in custom made cushions – like spiderman cushions, bedding, etc). Her boss usually makes the delivery/visits in person because it is Mannat, and it is Gauri Khan requesting it. One of the stories he (the boss) came back with is that Kangana is in-a-way on a permanent do-not-invite list for Mannat parties (which also his company/brand helps organize). And the objection seems to be not from Shah Rukh (who you’d think is hurt on behalf of his best friend), but from Gauri, who usually stays away from industry politics. But this is one time where she seems to have been affected by Karan’s humiliation, or so it seemed from the boss’ account.
    I found it fascinating, because if this story is true (And that’s a big IF) – it goes to show how good Karan is at building solid friendships/relationships, and the exact opposite of the woman accusing him. Also, can I just say I really like the idea of Gauri sort of being that source of comfort for Karan? That they had a conversation about it maybe, where he vented, and she just – decided she was Team Karan, everyone else, even her husband be damned.


    • Absolutely believe this story. It rings true to me that Gauri is more loyal than Shahrukh. That’s always been my impression, both that she is closer to Karan in a lot of ways than Shahrukh is, and that she has more of an undiplomatic “I don’t care if these people don’t like us, we could lose everything tomorrow and move back to Delhi and I would be happy” attitude towards things.

      I wonder if it was because of Kangana versus Karan, or Kangana versus Hrithik and Suzanne? I think Suzanne is good friends with Gauri too. Not as close as Karan, but then what Kangana did to her (in the “washing dirty linen in public” kind of way, I make no judgements on the rest of it) was so so so much worse than what she did to Karan.


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