It was so nice not reporting Priyanka news for years and years. But now she is back and I can’t escape her. And I really don’t like it, because it makes me sound a little mean and a lot crazy, but on the other hand, it is what it is and this is the only way to interpret it. Other stuff is more interesting though, so I can talk lots and lots about that and little little about PC.
Hrithik Will Dance in His Not-Biopic
Hrithik’s Super 30 was announced ages back and I went “really? Hrithik? As a brilliant mathematician?” But then I looked up the guy it is based on, Anand Kumar, and learned he isn’t actually a mathematician, he’s just a guy who is good with numbers. Totally different.
See, my sister works in math, so I have been in the world of actual mathematicians. Like, Fields medalists (no Noble prize in math) and legit geniuses who spend their days fiddling around with paper and pencil and dealing with abstract logic puzzles and games. Real mathematicians don’t use numbers, because numbers are boring, they use the ideas of numbers.
Anand Kumar doesn’t have a PhD (so far as I can tell) or any publications, beyond the two that are listed on his own website. There is a story, told by himself, that he was given entrance to Cambridge University but couldn’t go because of financial hardship. Which seems odd because Ramanujan (the person who Anand named his training school after) also had financial hardship but was a true genius mathematician and so his entrance was sponsored and everything taken care of. When you are at that level, that is what happens, people get you to come work with them no matter what. And you go, no matter what, because there is such a drive within you to work with people who can understand you.
(Ramanujan and Hardy, started corresponding and understood each other on a deeper level, Hardy sponsored his travel to Cambridge and they worked together. There was no tuition or expense or anything like that in their conversations, they were far beyond those concerns)
So I was already a little doubtful about this guy going around introducing himself as a “mathematician” when he wasn’t that at all. And then he started a training program for underprivileged kids to get into IIT. Which is fine and good, although again not something a real mathematician would be any good at because IIT entrance exams aren’t pure math. But it also had that slight taste of “is this too good to be true?”
It’s the kind of narrative India likes. Smart guy who succeeds on his own and then turns around and helps others succeed WITHIN THE SYSTEM. Ramanujan, the guy Anand named his school after, did not succeed within the system, because he was too smart for it. He was a clerk who did work on his own and sent his papers off to be published and made direct connections with other brilliant mathematicians around the world. If there had been an IIT entrance exam, he probably wouldn’t have passed it because he couldn’t slow his brain down enough to work that way. And that’s setting aside that the test isn’t a simple aptitude test, something you can do well on without studying for (for instance, I never studied for the standardized college entrance tests in America, they were just short things based on stuff I had already learned in school), but something that requires intensive coaching. Immediately limiting it to only the very very highest class of student who can afford coaching.
Or, the lucky students in Anand Kumar’s program! See, the solution isn’t to break free of the coaching/test concept, the solution is just provide free coaching to underprivileged kids. Easy-peasy! Don’t upset the apple cart, don’t think to hard about breaking the system.
(See also, Hichki)
And so, with Anand already going around lying a little bit by saying “I’m a mathematician!” and with his school being the exact kind of story that India likes, I am not super surprised at the reveal that he fudged his numbers. He promotes constantly that 26 out of 30 students got into IIT. But, nope! Only 3. And he was supposedly heavily pushing his for-pay classes instead of his free classes for underprivileged. Which, yep, passes the smell test. If I guy is going to lie about his background, and no one is going to check it even to the point of figuring out if the papers he claims to have published were published, then why wouldn’t he also lie about his coaching success in a story everyone wants to believe and so WILL believe?
Oh, but that’s not the story today. The story today is that Hrithik’s movie might no longer be called a “biopic” as they distance themselves from the real person. And, more importantly, THERE WILL BE A SONG!!!!!!! YAAAAAAY! Hrithik is supposed to dance and everything. I guess they have to bring us in somehow since the “true story” hook is no longer there.
Salman in the Russian Circus
Yep, it’s confirmed, a large part of Bharat will take place within a Russian circus. How strangely specific! This is also a large part of Mere Naam Joker, complete with Russian female performer love interest.
It’s supposed to be in the 60s-70s, so same era as Mere Naam Joker too. I am assuming that Salman, our hero growing up with India, will work in the circus as a young man and possibly have a tragic failed love affair with Disha Patani. There are supposed to be two action sequences, so maybe she dies in one?
We know Katrina is playing the ultimate love interest, not Disha, so Disha has to die. Or maybe this movie is old-school and Disha is just an adopted little sister? I would love that! It’s been so long since we had a hero adopting a young woman as his sister and rescuing her from stuff in a non-romantic way.
Priyanka, Oh Please
I know this makes me sound crazy. But I’m really not! Priyanka is the only actress with this kind of PR game, the only one that I am seeing this constant leaks not about a film she is in, but about her herself. Often at the expense of the film. And I really don’t want to keep harping on her to be mean, it’s just that this is what the story is, and this is what my analysis of it is showing me. I am hoping eventually I will stop sounding like a crazy conspiracy woman and you will see what I mean. (link here)
So, today’s PR story is about Priyanka in The Sky is Pink and rests on two themes. First:
Says a source close to the project, “Not for a minute did Priyanka hesitate in saying yes to Shonali’s film. The subject grabbed her attention immediately. Nor did she have a problem with playing Zaira Wasim’s mother. The problem is, she looks way too hot and sexy to be an 18-year old’s mother.”
“She has played a mother to a teenage girl 9 years ago in Yash Raj Film’s Pyaar Impossible. So why would she have problems playing another teenage girl’s mother now? The problem is a practical one. How to make this sensuous stunner look like a mother to an 18-year old?” says the source…It’s interesting that our leading ladies no longer have a problem with playing a mom on screen. A decade ago Aparna Sen had to shelve her Hindi film because no major heroine was willing to play mother to a 12-year old. Bipasha Basu had almost been finalized. When she chickened out at the last minute.
So, Priyanka is braver than Bipasha Basu and others who aren’t willing to play mothers. But, at the same time, she is way way too beautiful to be believable as the mother of a teenager.
This is just the most ridiculous blatant spin story. And it benefits no one but Priyanka, if anything it makes the film sound WORSE because the audience won’t be able to believe one of the main leads in their role. And it makes Bips sound bad and all the other actresses who aren’t “brave” enough to play mothers. Just, UGH!
Oh, and on the similar “no really, I’m not crazy!” level, check out this story from rediff:
And this story from Bollywoodhungama:
They are literally word for word the same thing, despite carrying different bylines. Which means they are just PR statements being reprinted by different sources. Which means someone is feeding those statements to the media. And the only person that possibly benefits in any way from those statements in Priyanka. By slamming Kat and making her look bad so Priyanka looks golden in contrast. It’s just, SO NASTY!!!!
And now half of you are thinking I am insane, and that’s okay, I know I sound that way. But hey, Salman agrees with me! He was asked about PC at the Loveratri trailer launch and his response was very similar in tone to Shahrukh’s. Apparently the people who have to live with the mess that PC’s PR strategies cause are just Over It. (link here)
“I have not been reading the newspapers from the past few days as I have been busy with Loveratri. Once I read it, I will call you and tell you about it.”