Happy Cyber Monday! If my website loads slowly today, it’s not my fault, it’s The Internet. Well, more accurately, The People on The Internet. So, be patient, and load this whole story, and you can read a bunch of not very exciting news stories.
Diljit Dosanjh in an Awesome Biopic
This is definitely one of those “too crazy to believe but it’s true” kind of stories. Sandeep Singh, a member of the National Hockey Team, on a train on the way to the World Cup, is hit by an accidental gunshot, told he will not walk again, spends two years fighting his way back to health, rejoins the National Hockey Team and becomes their top scorer. Then retires and becomes a police officer.
(and the tagline is a pun! Truly, they know the way to my heart)
Now, if I were writing a movie based on this, I would focus on the “honest cop in the Punjab” part, with a final epic fight scene in which he uses his scoring ability to defeat the bad guys. Like, hits grenades into their hide out with his hockey stick or something. But these filmmakers have less imagination than me, and are focusing on the “recovery from terrible injury to rejoin National Team” part of it. Oh well, not everyone can be a real visionary the way I am.
Most importantly, Diljit Dosanjh is starring! Which is perfect, he is so talented and it would be kind of insulting to not cast a Sikh to play this role. I was a little uncomfortable actually with Farhan playing Milkha Singh. And it’s also a sign that the Hindi industry is being a bit more serious about solidifying their dominance in the North. They’ve woken up to the Punjabi film industry threatening them and are swinging more northern in content and stars. Oh, and also Diljit is dreamy and I am all excited about seeing more of him.
IFFI and Censorship
This is related to a question Claudia just asked me about Padmavati and censorship. It is legal for a film to leave India without a censor certificate so long as it is only played at a film festival. So what has been true since Indian independence in 1947 is that brilliant art films come out of India, win awards at film festival overseas, but are never played at home, or are only played in a heavily censored version, or are played after years of delay and appeals to the censor board. For example, the award winning film Fire only played in India over a year after it’s international release, and only after every reference to the two heroine’s names was removed (because they were named “Sita” and “Radha”).
(It’s okay for them to be lesbians, so long as they aren’t named for Goddesses)
There are two films that applied to play at the International Film Festival of India, one of the biggest film festivals in India, which are being held up. One of them, Sexy Durga, has already won awards in international festivals. The other, Nude, has not played elsewhere and supposedly was rejected because it was not complete at the time the submissions closed. Sexy Durga changed it’s title to “S. Durga” at the request of the censor board and was given its certificate. But IFFI is still not committing as to whether or not it will play. The issue is that the jury officially selected the films to be played, but the festival director is not putting them on the schedule. The Nude filmmakers have now backed off (ha! That’s a funny sentence!), but the Sexy people (couldn’t resist another funny sentence) are determined to take the fight as far as they can.
Siddharth Fashion Designer?
I don’t know if he will really be “designing” or more just “picking stuff out and promoting it”. But it is a brilliant idea, he has always been very good at having stuff put on his body and making it look good. Wouldn’t you want to buy something that makes you look as good as Siddharth?
(See, you just need to buy that blue shirt, loafers, and red pants, and you will look exactly as hot as he does)
Deepika After Padmavati
This isn’t exactly news, it’s just the first time I’ve run across details of what Dips has planned after Padmavati. A film produced by KriArj and Vishal Bhardwaj, directed by Honey Trehan. So, let’s unpack this. KriArj started just a year ago with Rustom, they currently have Padman and Pari in production. Their specialty seems to be jumping on an idea that’s already been developed by someone else and putting it together with the money people. For Padman, it’s Twinkle Khanna’s idea. For this film, it looks like Vishal got it started and then KriArj jumped on.
So let’s look at Vishal. He produced Talwar most recently, before that the two Ishqiya movies. And he co-produced Ek Thi Daayan with Balaji Films. So mostly he does lower budget interesting films that make a small profit and get some critical interest.
And then there’s the director Honey Trehan. A casting director and assistant/second unit director who’s worked with Vishal for years. So looks like he has the training and could be talented, but I can’t be sure just because Vishal is backing him since there is also the personal relationship to be weighed in the balance. And I can’t be sure because KriArj is backing him, since they seem to just back whoever their partner tells them to back instead of using their own judgement.
So, what are we looking at here overall? We are looking at, most likely, a very small film that may or may not be a success. I don’t Vishal has never produced a hit movie, and Ek Thi Daayan was a minor flop, so his record isn’t perfect. And a first time director is always a little nervous making.
(A flop that had a really good cast and script and all, just somehow didn’t gel with the audience)
The whole thing sounds like Dips is not looking for another hit, not looking for a “Top Box Office Actress” kind of role. But rather looking for something that will have low expectations, and let her take an interesting lead role (I assume lead since no one else has been announced opposite her). Which goes along with my theory that Padmavati is her last big blow out film before she takes a calculated step back in her career and goes in more of an artsy direction.
Kangana is Told to be Quiet and Cast in an Imaginary Movie
This is two stories combined. First, supposedly, the producers of Kangana’s Jhansi Ki Rani movie have forbid her from speaking on anything outside of their talking points, and possibly from speaking at all, after Simran arguably sunk based on her hijacking every interview to complain about Hrithik. (my latest coverage of that whole thing here)
I’ve been wondering how much Kangana damaged her career with her interviews around Simran. This film was already well into pre-production when Kangana started her spiral on the Simran tour. Her next film after that, there have been conflicting stories coming out that makes it sound like production has been pushed back.
This isn’t petty retribution or anything, I don’t think. I think it’s just practical. Kangana has shown herself of not capable of doing part of her job, correctly promoting her films, and therefore is going to have a harder time getting hired for more work. And the proof is that this film, which has no other stars besides Kangana, would rather not use her at all for this part of her job than risk her doing it wrong. And this is also a basic part of mental health diagnosis, if her situation is so bad that it is affecting her ability to function at work, then she really needs treatment.
And related (to me) is that the newest film rumor for her is a movie with Shekhar Kapur. Because Shekhar Kapur films are all imaginary. For the past 5 years at least, since I’ve been closely following the news, once a year or so Shekhar announces another new film and it never happens. It’s kind of like that little kid you know who tells stories about his imaginary friend. Everyone indulges him because it’s kind of cute that he thinks his films will actually get made, but no one “really” believes it. So if Kangana’s only film being talked about is the usual Shekhar Kapur imaginary one, it means no one is willing to hire her for something that is actually coming out.
(My theory is that the industry is just refusing to work with Shekhar on anything else until he makes Mr. India 2, the movie we all really want to happen. More probably it’s just that he is really really hard to work with and no one is willing to risk it)