Well, Kangana is now publicly spiraling out. And the response is STILL “gee, so outspoken, so honest!” Well, at least from the comments and analysis on her pet site Pinkvilla, I think other sites are a wee bit more “this woman is crazy”.
You ready for her quote?
I reached out to Alia (Bhatt) and asked her what makes her think Manikarnika is my personal controversy, it’s a film whole nation is talking about and wondering why Bollywood is keeping quiet on such a relevant work…I asked her if I can be courteous and gracious to acknowledge her requests for encouraging relevant work that she does, why is she so scared to see my film. I suggested that she grows some spine and supports an important film about woman empowerment and nationalism…if she doesn’t have a voice of her own and her existence is all about being KJo’s puppet then I don’t consider her successful…I told her if she is only focusing on earning bucks and not raise a voice, then her success has no value…hope she understands the true meaning of success and her responsibilities, Nepo gang life is simply restricted to give and take favours hope she rises above that.
Someone in the comments of the original post (along with all the Kangana-fans saying “wow, she speaks the truth, Alia’s garbage!”) pointed out that Pooja Bhatt, Alia’s big sister, was one of the people to speak up and support Apurva Asrani and Krish. So it’s possible this is all a revenge attack. I don’t think it is, because I don’t think Kangana is capable of thinking in such a complex way at this point. But it did start me down an interesting path of thinking.
Kangana is all about the “nepo gang”, right? But look at it from the other direction, she is saying having family in the industry makes you strong, but it can also make you weak. Or at least, vulnerable. Alia can be attacked for something her big sister did, Pooja can be hurt by someone hitting back at her through her sister. Whether or not Kangana is hitting at Pooja, she is explicitly hitting at Karan through Alia. Kangana has no one, has made no close friends at all. There is no way to launch a similar attack against her. Which is kind of sad, isn’t it? She has been in this industry for over 10 years, and there is no one besides herself that she cares about enough to be hurt through them. Or who cares about her enough to be hurt by someone speaking against her, she’s right, no one is going to support her.
And here’s something else to think about. If we read that statement, and then picture Alia’s mentor reading it, her father, her mother, her sisters, her boyfriend, her best friends, all of those people would be hurt and want to defend her, right? But that’s “nepotism”. Because her father happens to be the head of a small studio and her sister happens to be a director and former actress, they lose the right (according to Kangana’s argument) to say anything at all to support their family member. If Karan calls her up and privately lays into her for attacking his “daughter” in a misguided attempt to get at him (which I honestly think he has a perfect right to do, his relationship with Alia goes far beyond the professional, and he can complain to Kangana about her actions privately and non-professionally), then Kangana will turn around and report it to the press as another example of the unfairness of the world.
What Kangana is now labeling as “nepotism” is any simple human feeling or connection for one another. In her version of the world, the film industry should be a dark place where no one cares for anyone else and relationships and people are completely disposable. There are certainly issues with outsiders getting chances in Hindi film, but GOOD LORD, it is allowed to have personal feelings about people you work with, good or bad!
I hope she isn’t right, I hope she and her little minions haven’t succeeded, and I hope that this story is followed by responses from people who have a perfect right to respond. If someone said something like this about someone I knew and liked, family member or close friend or just someone I had worked with, I certainly wouldn’t stay silent. “Grow a spine” is not a professional attack, it is personal, and people are allowed to respond with their personal feeling seven if they also happen to have professional opinions.
Oh, and just a reminder, Kangana did the EXACT same thing to Sonam, and Sonam apologized and her family did not get involved. It was a different situation, Sonam is older than Alia and the attack was a little less lengthy. But this is the pattern I am seeing, any attack on Kangana is an attack on Truth and Justice by Nepotism, and you don’t dare defend yourself or let anyone around you defend yourself: https://dontcallitbollywood.com/2018/10/09/people-talking-about-talking-about-things-sonam-versus-kangana/
And now the rest of my stories, will all be about how “nepotism” is good. If “nepotism” is defined as “people caring about each other”.
Kareena and Babies
And on to nicer things! Kareena has agreed to be the face of a baby vaccination campaign in India. Which is perfect, she is a well-known mother of a famous baby. I know Polio in particular was Amitabh’s thing for years, but then he cured it (no really, Polio is not in India any more and Rotary International gives the credit to Amitabh). And really, a woman as the face of baby vaccines kind of works better. (story here)
I look forward to seeing a bunch of adorable ads with Kareena and babies hanging out together. And maybe also Taimur? Would that be too much to hope for, for him to be part of the campaign?
(of course, Kareena is only getting this role because she has an adorable son. But, yeees? That does actual qualify her to be a good spokesperson, and probably makes her care more about this issue and be more knowledgable about it)
Pankaj Tripathi’s Career Continues
This is exciting! Pankaj got his first international production. Well, kind of international. It’s an India set action film starring Chris Hemsworth produced by Netflix. So, to me, it’s pretty clearly an attempt by Netflix to make something that will cross their market base, it’s not like Pankaj is breaking into an all-white world, it was already pretty desi (story here).
Manoj Bajpayee and Randeep Hooda are already in it. Which means all the stories I am seeing today are specifically about Pankaj Tripathi. That is, the news isn’t “oh wow, Chris Hemsworth is in a movie with a desi actor, we should be proud as a country”, it’s specifically “oh yay, Pankaj Tripathi got a good part! We all love him and are super happy for him, in particular!” Isn’t that nice? The sort of warm embrace of the industry and media and general public for this one character actor because, yes, we do all love him and are super happy for him!
(terrible nepotism here, the way everyone really likes Pankaj and wants good things for him because he is a nice guy)
Sid and Tara Sutaria Fake Date
Does ANYONE think this is a true story? Supposedly Sidharth Malhotra and Tara Sutaria (one of the actresses from SOTY 2) are dating. Coincidentally just in time to raise her profile for her launch film, and keep him in the public eye while he is between movie releases (story here).
I don’t mind them fake dating, I wouldn’t even mind them real-dating. Tara is the ringer in SOTY2, looks like a little teenager being launched but actually was a child actress on Disney Channel, oodles of experience and talent. She can make Ananya look good and keep up with Tiger, and I am glad to see that Karan is doing what he can to make sure she gets as fair a launch as Ananya is.
(so, I guess this is the Karan Johar version of “nepotism”. The one where you pick two people from average families with no film connections and give them amazing careers.)
“Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.”
I really hope Alia and her family won’t answer or apologize Kangana. They should ignore her totally.
And why she’s so obsessed that nobody is talking about her movie? What does she want? That people will thanks her and kiss her foot for having done this film?
I don’t understand her argument either, if she is saying that the film is a box office hit (which it isn’t), than she doesn’t need the support of the industry and she can ignore them. But if she is saying she does need the support, than she should also be admitting that her film is struggling and will take a loss.
And I love that quote! Where’s it from?
On Fri, Feb 8, 2019 at 10:51 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:
“Let us be thankful for the fools; but for them the rest of us could not succeed.” ANOTHER Mark Twain quote that applies to Kangana.
Mark Twain’s quotes still applicable today.
Alia did respond very nicely and apologized to Kangana. It’s the worst thing she could have done. Now Kangana has launched another attack on her and is calling her “Karan Johar’s puppet.”
The only way to deal with someone like Kangana is to ignore her completely. She responds with viciousness even if you are nice to her so what is the point?
At this point, I don’t even understand what she has to gain by deliberately picking on everyone and constantly fighting especially people like Alia who had done nothing to her. I think she is mentally ill and needs to get some help but since the media loves people who cause drama, she will keep on doing this instead of going to see a psychiatrist.
You’re right, Alia’s been moved into a position where any response will be seen as either a defense or an attack on Karan. I don’t think she is nasty or unfair enough to dump Karan, to say “I’m not his puppet, he’s awful”, and anything short of that, I am sure Kangana would spin into “she’s just saying what Karan is making her say”.
Kangana’s fans, or whoever is funding them, are still with her too. The PV comments is till about 50% in support of her, or it was the last time I looked. And twitter is all about Kangana!
You’re right, Angie! Never argue with an idiot. I’ve heard that somewhere myself. I also hope Alia and everyone else just continue to give her the cold shoulder. She’s really gone too far here. It’s a public temper tantrum and nothing more. She was the critics’ darling for so long (Anupama and Rajeev worshipped her and protected her in their interviews) and I wouldn’t even say that the industry turned against her and rallied behind Hrithik. They gave her a long leash and now she’s completely rabid. It’s a shame…she has undeniable star quality, but there’s a lot more said for just being a decent person. And since she’s never disclosed that she does have a mental health issue or she’s neuro-atypical, I’m done to my last thread of sympathy for her, too! Poor Rajkumar Rao has to do publicity with her soon.
Did not know anything about how Tara is a ringer in SOTY2! Thanks for the info. Now I’ll start rooting for her, until Ananya makes some better film choices or gets a better mentor. Not that I cared at all about this movie because it’s Tiger. Sid was also tap dancing around the Jacqueline stuff on KWK. Definitely fake-dating.
Random complaint: why isn’t Namaste England streaming yet?!!!! I don’t care how bad it is, I need some Arjuneeti in my life right now. I’ve been listing to Tere Liye on repeat lately. Did you do a best songs of 2018 list and I missed it? That one would be on it for me…the song alone is full crescendo romantic catnip and even though the picturization is just OK, the scene on the motorcycle which mirrors earlier scenes in Ishaqzaade really got me. Ishaqzaade is definitely the cult romantic classic for me!
Ooo, you made me think about a thing! As we discussed back when Anupama announced Film Companion wouldn’t be reviewing Sanju or Sacred Games, the critics/industry connection is super incestuous. If Kangana was being as persecuted as she claims, and if the industry was as closed off as she says, then the critics wouldn’t be kind to her. Anupama is married to Vinod, Vinod is close to Ranbir thanks to Sanju, Ranbir is close to Alia and Karan. If there was some kind of aggressive war on Kangana, and some kind of “Nepo gang” running things, then the connections are there for the critics to abandon her too, and they never have. I don’t want to say there isn’t nepotism in the industry, but it is hardly the closed off cruel mafia like world Kangana is painting it as.
I like that you describe SOTY 2 as simply “it’s Tiger”. It’s true, it is very very Tiger! And now there are stories about Baaghi 3 and that sounds like it will be very very tiger too.
Just hold out until next month and their delayed film will come out! And that’s supposed to be the actual good one.
On Fri, Feb 8, 2019 at 11:59 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:
I hope Sandeep aur Pinky will be good, but I’m really superficial and disliked their very dated costumes in the few shots we’ve seen from the set. It better be set in the 90s or something. Plus I’m not quite sure I like Banerjee yet…I liked Byomkesh but it had a few discordant moments and his Lust Stories contribution was my least favorite and a bit boring. So we’ll see. Black comedy is something I don’t think either Arjun or Parineeti have done so there’s still hope. Of the three Arjun films this year, this is the one that worries me the most. I’m rooting for India’s Most Wanted the most because it’s the Raid director and, duh, Arjun in uniform could be even better than Ajay in his fancy tax collector pants. But Panipat is the wild card…it could so easily be the next Mohenjo Daro or if my dreams come true, the next Jodhaa Akhbar. Kriti talked a bit about her early experiences on the set with Rajeev yesterday and it sounds good. She reminds me of Anushka early on in her career, so fingers crossed.
“Fancy Tax Collector Pants”-Possible new fashion line name? Or alternatively, a description for a very particular style.
On Fri, Feb 8, 2019 at 12:22 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:
Filmilibranian! Namaste England is on Zee5, I think it’s without subtitles, because looks like they never have subtitles. Oh and you must have Premium account but you can make free trial, or do like me, and watch it from “other sources” (with subtitles).
In my opinion the movie is not that bad. Definitely not the worst movie of the year. I enjoy it, and I’m sure you will enjoy it too, because Arjun is super sexy in it.
Thanks, Angie! The Zee5 link doesn’t work in the US yet…supposedly it will be coming soon. I think I will end up watching it from “other sources.” I used to do that more often with torrent files, but I felt guilty but I can’t wait for this one! Yeah, I could tell that the bad reviews were just piling on and most of the reviewers were not really the target audience. I mean how bad could a romantic comedy be if the leads have a modicum of chemistry and there are some good songs and pretty clothes. I’m prepared for the regressive stuff…and it’s not like it’s alone in that department…after Badrinath and every other romantic film that has a stalker-y hero or bad gender politics. It can’t be worse than Half-Girlfriend and even that had some good moments.
When Kangana says lines like ‘mein waat laga doongi’ and ‘i will expose them all’ in a public meet,I’m so reminded of Raakhi Sawant.
Except that everyone treats Raakhi Sawant as a joke who is clearly just doing these things for publicity. Oh well, Kangana will get there.
On Fri, Feb 8, 2019 at 11:44 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:
I think Kangana is lashing out because Gully Boy is about to be released, and will further take audiences away from Manikarnika. And since she can’t really accuse Ranveer Singh of nepotism, she’s going after Alia instead. I mean, at a certain point, when you’ve attacked and bitched about every single person in your job, maybe the fault isn’t with them, but with you? (And I’m sad at the hash that was made of Manikarnika, because the Rani of Jhansi is certainly worthy of being commemorated on film; sadly, apparently there are no prints of Sohrab Modi’s Jhansi Ki Rani extant, because it sounds amazing.)
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You may be right. My head version of Kangana now (which may or may not be correct) is that she is so impulse driven, she has lost the ability to even think to the level of “I should lash out at Gully Boy to protect Manikarnika”. But I think she might be at the level of “everyone is talking about a different actress and a different film instead of me and my film, I am jealous and angry and will lash out.”
And it’s always possible we will get another Manikarnika! Remember when the two films on Chattisgarh released right next to each other? Sometimes historical topics get two different looks right away.
Yeah, I think you’re probably right that this attention-seeking behavior isn’t as calculated as I implied (in the interview she both says “I don’t need anyone because I’m so successful and awesome” [paraphrase] AND lashes out at Bollywood for not supporting her as though it’s their duty to talk up the film because it’s about the Rani of Jhansi.)
I used to really like Kangana’s films because she’s an excellent actress, but her off-screen hyper-nationalism, performative feminism, and all-round nastiness is starting to make me not want to watch her onscreen.
I suspect a lot of people are feeling that way and her offscreen persona is starting to seriously damage her films. I wouldn’t be surprised if they don’t let her promote Mental Hai Kya at all, or only under tight supervision.
On Sun, Feb 10, 2019 at 8:02 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:
Think Kangana is a genuine sociopath and narcissist. I’m not using those terms as insults but as diagnosis. She can’t and won’t stop and I’m sorry sweet Alia responded. On that score, we could even feel sorry for her ( Kangana’s) problems. But what I’ve said before and will keep saying is how I HATE that Anupama, Rajeev and even Priyanka have made her a feminist hero. Why??
Did you know the concept of social hegemony? It says that there are certain accepted truths that are bigger than their creators. That’s how I feel about Kangana as a “feminist icon”. It started out with her being in Queen and Tanu Weds Manu Returns and giving a bunch of interviews. And then the BJP and their followers started partnering with her. And suddenly it just became the thing everyone believes as a basic fact. Like, did you see the recent tweet from Anupam Kher? It was some kind of “ask me anything” twitter interaction, someone asked him about Kangana and his immediate response was to say she is a wonderful actress and a feminist. I don’t think he meant to speak to the current debates, but it was just the kneejerk response “Kangana-Feminist!” Everyone has been brainwashed into it, it’s become bigger than any one person.
That’s why I called it performative feminism. What kind of feminism is constantly attacking and denigrating other women? What kind of feminism is refusing to stand up for Deepika when she was being attacked by the Karni Sena? And now she’s conflating herself with Rani Laxmibai, as though not supporting her mediocre and highly innacurate film is somehow attacking Rani Laxmibai’s legacy. *eyes rolling so hard*
Has Kangana spoken positively about alia’s movies before? Did Kangana say all of this because Alia has remained mum and didn’t say anything about Kangana’s film? If that’s the case I can see why she might be annoyed but the whole verbal attack is unnecessary.
I don’t know, I think even annoyance is kind of crossing a line. Like, if I compliment someone’s haircut because I think it looks nice, and then 8 months later I get my haircut and they don’t compliment me, I don’t really have the right to get annoyed. Lots of things could be different within 8 months, and maybe they just didn’t like my hair as much as I liked their hair. I understand there is a social contract where people compliment each others films, but I don’t think it is a straight quid pro quo, especially with an 8 month gap. Maybe Alia is too busy right now to see Manikarnika, maybe she saw it and honestly didn’t much like it, maybe she just doesn’t like doing the “wow, see this movie!” game on twitter. Plus, Kangana is admitting that she only said nice things about Raazi and did all those other nice things because she thought people would pay her back, not because she liked the movies she said she liked, or even because she sincerely wanted to do a nice thing for people she liked. With the haircut comparison, wouldn’t it be weird of someone confronted you and said “Hey! I said I liked your hair 8 months ago even though I was really busy and didn’t want to, how DARE you not say you like my hair!”
On Sun, Feb 10, 2019 at 4:20 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:
Yeah, I agree to all of that. Her behaviour isn’t understandable but I was referring only to that social expectations aspect. Not that that would excuse her behaviour in any way. I didn’t know that Kangana had said all of that about why she speaks out on others’ films. I don’t really follow her antics anymore lol it’s too much