News Round-Up: Weddings, Storage Rooms, Scuzzy Exes, and Controversial Titles All Burn Down

Still no really juicy news items, at least not my definition of juicy (stuff related to studio investment structures), but some stuff that is at least worth repeating.

PC’s Brother’s Wedding Doesn’t Happen

I’m a little uncomfortable with this story, because it feels like bringing in an innocent bystander who never asked for this. But the facts of the story are available to the public, and maybe we can make them an interesting discussion of the price of assuming life is predictable and will have a happy ending. (story here)

Priyanka’s brother’s wedding isn’t big news, but it is news. The mere fact of it happening is worth reporting, at least with it being a big sized wedding. The expectation is that Priyanka herself will attend in a big dress and the media will take pictures of that, maybe we will get a few sentences telling us about the venue and so on. Maybe a few more celebrities will show up, making it worthwhile for the paparazzi to wait out front. If everything goes smoothly, it is a story worth a few paragraphs, forgotten a day later. Or not a story at all, if the family wanted to, they could keep the marriage of a non-celebrity relative quiet and small. That wouldn’t be normal for a wedding (celebrity or otherwise) necessarily, but you could take extraordinary measures and do something simple and then no celebrities would attend and the press would never find out, or even care. In this case, the family counted on it going smoothly and decided to let it be a minor news story. Twice.

In 2014, Priyanka’s brother was supposed to get married in that just-barely-a-news-story kind of way, a big enough ceremony that there would be a photo of his celebrity sister and maybe some other celebrity friends, worth paying attention to just so the media could show up and get shots and then leave. And it didn’t happen, all of a sudden. That still wasn’t really headline news, it’s not that people care a whole lot whether or not Priyanka Chopra’s brother gets married, but it was worth mentioning. And now it has happened again. Priyanka came to India for his engagement ceremony and then returned a few weeks later, presumably for the wedding. The media knew because they saw her going in and out of the country and PC shared engagement photos on instagram, officially making the wedding part of her public world.

And now the wedding isn’t happening again. I don’t want to speculate on why, that is none of our business. But what is our business is a discussion of the dangerous game celebrities play when they assume that everything is going to go by the script. I suppose it’s true for everyone now, thanks to social media. You try to edit your life, to only put the big fun happy things out there in the world. But you can’t control everything, no matter how happy and perfect and safe something seems, life finds a way to embarrass you.

Ness Wadia is Arrested

This time, I have no problem making the story public. Ness Wadia is the heir of Bombay Dyeing, one of the oldest companies in Bombay. He went to the best boarding schools in India (was in the same graduating class as Saif Ali Khan), then took over the family business. And in the late 90s he started dating Preity Zinta. They were together for 4 years, and bought a Cricket team together through a joint corporation. Then they broke up and Preity took a year off. But they still had a Cricket team together, and had to share custody and see each other. 5 years ago at a Cricket match, well after the break up, he sexually molested her and wouldn’t stop. She called the cops on him and filed a police report with witnesses. And then went on to marry one of her witnesses, her nice husband Mr. Goodenough. Now, with all of this in mind, spoiled prep school brat and abusive ex, do you see why I am kind of okay reporting that he was arrested for drug possession in Japan? (story here)

I wouldn’t be happy if it was hard drugs, addiction is terrible. Or if it was hard jail time, imprisonment is terrible. But this time, he was just a spoiled rich man who didn’t bother hiding his marijuana while getting on an airplane, was detained briefly and then his lawyer arranged his release. Suck it, Ness Wadia!!!! That’s what you get for being a jerky spoiled boyfriend!

Related image

Dharma Loses Their Stuff

After RK Studios, here is another fire and loss of priceless items. I was thinking if this is a pattern or something, but I think it is more that people are storing artifacts now, and the media cares about these fires. I am sure there were plenty of storage space fires in the past, and plenty of stuff that never made it into storage, and plenty of disasters that weren’t reported. (story here)

Still kind of sad though! All the props and costumes and everything that Dharma has been saving, destroyed. All that sentiment lost, and also all that value. Those things could be used over and over again as needed for future films. But now, they have to start from scratch.

In the director’s commentary, Farah explains she got the costumes for everyone in the party scenes by borrowing them from Karan, he had that many fancy gowns just sitting in storage, in case he needed them for a party scene. Not famous or extra pretty stuff, just a money saving when you have to costume 3 dozen extras.

Mental Hai Kya Title May Go

I’m not really surprised, this is the only smart decision and Ekta Kapoor is very smart. The mental health professionals of India are speaking with a united voice, saying the title has got to GO. Which means a cloud will be over the film until it is removed, and also probably means the title really is a problem, if everyone is agreeing that it is. So rumor has it Ekta, is now thinking about changing. (story here)

This is how these things are supposed to work. A producer, director, writer, just are not aware enough to know when they are being offensive. A community speaks up with one voice and educates them as to why it is not okay. And then the make the decision to change. There is no legal blackmail, no big violent protests, just calm moral pressure. I wish more protests against films in India were this, well, sane!

Image result for mental hai kya poster

39 thoughts on “News Round-Up: Weddings, Storage Rooms, Scuzzy Exes, and Controversial Titles All Burn Down

  1. Whoa, that photo of Rajkummar & Kangana is literally edgy. I want to see this film but Kangana has so much baggage now that it will be hard to lose myself in the character.

    Re: Priyanka’s brother, I feel sorry for the family but I don’t think she did anything wrong? It’s normal to put a sibling’s engagement photos online. It’s a shame he’s getting more attention because of her status but I kind of think that’s going to be true for whatever he does.

    Meanwhile, did you see that Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner got married in Vegas? It was the antithesis of the Nick-Priyanka extravaganza. I’d like to think Joe & Sophie were like whoa, just being a guest at those wedding receptions was exhausting, let’s just get the deed done as simply as possible.

    Like

    • Your comment about Kangana is maybe the biggest result of her behavior. She has become bigger than her films, the films have to scramble to catch up and try to make the audience take them as their own thing instead of as an extension of her. And in this particular case, her choice to personally attack Deepika and issue statements before the producers or film team had decided what to say is not helping.

      I don’t think Priyanka did anything wrong either. That’s where I landed, in the world of social media we unthinkingly put up every part of our life and never think “what if this goes terribly wrong, what will I do then?” I just went through this myself with Dog Hazel, I put up all kinds of photos and things thinking “what could go wrong? It’s a fun happy story to share”. And then it went bad and I was left stuck with either mysteriously never acknowledging it, or explaining things that I wouldn’t necessarily have chosen to share otherwise. The only choice is to either act unnaturally and be pessimistic and assume anything could go wrong and so you shouldn’t share any of it, or end up with these weird moments where you shared the happy public start of the story but don’t want to share the sad private end.

      Like

      • There are celebrities who keep their families away from the media as much as possible so it can be done. Has anyone ever heard of Ajay Devgan’s siblings or John Abraham’s or whoever? PC wants her family as part of her image and also uses her celebrity to help them. For instance, she had called the paps just recently to get media exposure for her mom’s new clinic. Instant free advertising. So you have to take the bad that comes along with the good.

        When you’re a celebrity, everything you put up on social media is a media story so I don’t think anyone is doing it without calculation.

        Like

        • Heck, I don’t even know if I could recognize John Abraham’s wife! He keeps her pretty downlow. No idea if most actresses even have siblings. Although to be fair, if they were having a wedding, I think we would find out. Unless they went to extraordinary lengths to keep the wedding quiet.

          Like

          • I fully second Anonymous’ post. There is always a choice you do.
            PC very frequently has proved (and not only she) that she w a n t s to use public interest. Keeping herself in the talking is like keeping herself relevant. Family members, co-stars, projects…all this are tools.
            I don’t want to judge about ‘right’ or ‘wrong’…it is just a way to keep herself in the public eye (imo).

            Like

  2. Or it could be that Priyanka’s brother’s fiancee really is having surgery and they really do have to postpone. Given the extent of an Indian wedding you certainly would NOT want to be post surgery at your own wedding!! Let’s hope its “only” that.

    Like

    • Yeah, there are so many stories like this. Where there was a big public plan that had to be changed, and now it is weird because the reason for the change is private but everyone knows it happened and is wondering why and BLECH. This is why I don’t tell anyone my plans so I don’t have to be embarrassed when they don’t pan out. I feel bad for the bride, her medical whatever is now public knowledge just because of timing. And it would be anyway, even if PC wasn’t an actress, they have to notify everyone invited for the wedding and explain what happened over and over and YUCH.

      On Thu, May 2, 2019 at 11:02 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

      Like

        • Yeah, whatever it is, it’s been 5 years and something they thought had changed hasn’t changed and that does not sound like a happy thing.

          On Fri, May 3, 2019 at 10:30 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

          >

          Like

    • She did have surgery in Delhi. She put a pic from the hospital on her instagram account. But people started suspecting things immediately because Sid wasn’t there with her and instead enjoying himself in Mumbai. PC, Sid and Nick also unfollowed her. Soon after she also unfollowed them and deleted all the pics she had with Sid on her instagram account. Not only that, she started liking negative comments about him that people were making. Someone said Sid is a shitty person and she can do much better and she liked it. She also liked another comment that said something is seriously wrong with him if two women ran away days before the wedding. After that she made a new post saying something like “new beginnings and goodbye to endings” or something like that. And now her whole account has been deleted. (one more curious thing – before she deleted the account, both the first runaway bride and second runaway bride were following each other!! How weird.)

      It’s obvious it’s cancelled. PC’s pr did initially try to spread articles about it just being postponed but nowadays people keep track of social media and it’s easy to figure things out. It’s also more of a story because it happened twice. Even if this happened to an average nobody, the whole neighborhood would be talking about it. In India, weddings are a big, big deal and it does NOT look good if a relationship breaks after an engagement has already happened.

      Like

      • Yeah, I was thinking that even in America if the wedding was close enough that engagements were sent and then it was canceled, and it happened TWICE, that would be something to talk about. I hope the media stays fairly restrained and doesn’t give in to the temptation of stalking the bride or whatever to find out what the real story is, but I think the bare fact of “PC’s brother was engaged and now he isn’t” is deserving of being reported. I mean heck, if he was an Ambani we would be talking about it! Any semi-public figure whose engagement was in the news and then the wedding canceled. Nothing to do with PC (beyond her being the reason for him being semi-public), or film world, or anything, it’s just the story.

        Like

  3. One more thing: Priyanka has two distinct modes: I come from a loving, warm family with whom I had a wonderful childhood and I adore both parents (see: tattoo of Daddy’s handwriting) But there is another strain of: I am hard working, self made and I’m tough because I’ve had to fight for everything I’ve got. Now, both those things can be true at the same time, but maybe she is very protective of her “baby brother” because she had to be or had a lot of responsibility for him. We will never know of course and that is as you say, fine.

    Like

    • If PC lived in the USA for the bulk of her teen years, then there are limits to how protective of, and responsible for, her brother she could have been – 12 hour time diff, 1990s = dial up modems, pre smart phones, pre texting, maybe pre IMing, etc.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I have no idea if this is true or not so I’m just assuming. But living under a celebrity sibling’s shadow would be so difficult. You would always feel like a failure for not making it in the same way. Sid has always seemed to be kind of rudderless. He went to school to be a chef and then opened a restaurant. It didn’t last long and closed down and I think (?) he was arrested too for selling alcohol there without permits. Then he gave up the chef thing and said he was trying to become a producer but I don’t think that panned out. PC must be providing financially somewhat for her family which would make things even more awkward for a grown adult to live on someone else’s kindness.

      Like

  4. PVs bro looks like Maddy in that photo. Does he look like Maddy IRL? If so, good looking family!

    I’m down for any KR-RR collab. RR doesn’t need the paycheck anymore and is still choosing to work with KR, so that tells me the KR hype might be somewhat worse than KR actually is IRL.
    Notice that I said “somewhat”. Maybe the negative publicity is pitched to an 11 but would more accurately be an 8 (where 0 = no deserved negative publicity).

    Ness Wadia getting away with drug posession on a plane is him laughing at us, not us laughing at him. Us mere mortals don’t get to get away with such stuff. Japan was too kind.

    What I recall reading of the cricket match incident is that NWadia insulted or disrespected PZinta verbally (or passively with non acknowledgement), not that he sexually molested her. But she filed an “outraging the modesty of a woman” claim, a far reaching outdated patriarchal statute that includes anything that could bring public shame or embarrassment to a woman (thus reducing her “marriageability” and honor) like even a rude comment. Can you share a link where the sexual molestation is discussed?

    Like

    • Your cricket match recollection is probably correct. I got the “molest” from the BH article I think, which was probably just trying to summarize “outraging the modesty of a woman” into something tidier. Based on nothing, my personal guess is that what she really wanted was a restraining order, something that would force him to keep his distance because he was harassing her as a nasty ex, and filing an FIR did the job and warned him to leave her alone. Somehow I just have a really gross feeling about Ness, maybe simply because he is privileged and she seemed to take the break-up harder than he did (leaving the country and taking time off work and all).

      From what people have said, sounds like KR can be perfectly sweet and easy and nice to work with and then all of a sudden not. Maybe the Mental Hai Kya shoot was a breeze, professional and pleasant, and now all of a sudden she is going off on twitter. Whether or not RR likes working with her, it seems like the risk of getting drawn into a firestorm after the job is over would be too much. Which is to say, I agree with your 11 (meaning she is always horrible to be around) versus 8 (meaning she can be perfectly pleasant for large stretches of time and then snap).

      Like

  5. I came from “Oh, Rajkummar and Kangana in a movie together. Will watch for sure” to “I won’t watch this film, even if Kangana would pay me”.

    Like

    • And if you are like me, you made that journey just in the time this film went from announcement to release!!!! A year ago, I was all “oh that will be interesting”, and now I am “oh man, this will be painful”

      Liked by 1 person

      • I had to force myself to watch Tanu weds Manu today because even though I’m a Hindi film/gossip newbie, I get vibes about people (like Aamir being India’s Dustin Hoffman), and I have a hard time shaking them. KR seems to be a whack-job, and even if she can manage to work with some people, she still strikes me as one of those bat-shit crazy people who goes off the rails without any warning. (I have relative or two like that!!) Plus, all her feminism this and woman power that is really difficult to buy into when you’re distracted by her obviously overdone lip job onscreen. (**whine**) Do I *hafta* watch the sequel?

        Like

        • I am not the one to ask, I didn’t manage to finish either movie. I think I got about half an hour into Tanu Weds Manu and found the heroine just so irritating, I couldn’t take it. This is back before I had any opinion on Kangana, it wasn’t related to her, it was the way the character was written. And then I skipped Tanu Weds Manu Returns entirely.

          On Thu, May 2, 2019 at 5:31 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

          >

          Like

          • I feel ever-so-much better! (Although, my son didn’t finish JHMS ‘cause Sejal was so irritating, and I’m still working on him.) I was legitimately wishing a car crash for Tanu. And, not even reparative owl eyes for her. Just car crashiness.

            Like

        • I’m not sure if it will help you, but I suffered thru Tanu Weds Manu, and liked the sequel very much (except the ending). It’s better in my opinion. Maybe because bad Tanu has less screen time, or maybe because Maddy is super hot.

          Like

          • I feel the latter could be the reason (I watched both movies because of Aanand L. Rai as the director)… Kangana leaves me indifferent…she has lost my interest since long.

            Like

  6. Man I was super interested in the Kangana-Rajkummar movie all the way back when it was announced but the way how it’s been handled is really making me not want to see it at all

    Like

  7. I really wonder about the fire at Dharma’s godown… I already wondered about the Kapoor studios…so much veiled interests behind…

    Like

    • Maybe. But then, it’s also a massive fire hazard, a big building filled with flammable costumes and cheap props. Could just be a coincidence.

      Like

  8. I don’t have much to say on the news, but I agree on the Kangana view. I couldn’t watch her movies before all the crazy stuff that came last year and now – the only one I did was Rangoon when I hardly knew anything and it wasn’t one I liked as much as Bhardwaj’s other work, And now I just refuse to because its hard to separate the two.

    Also in other news it seems that Shahrukh’s criticism worked. This happened just a little while ago!

    And it’s official now!

    https://www.filmcompanion.in/why-film-companion-will-not-have-stars-ratings-in-movie-reviews-baradwaj-rangan/

    Like

    • I just saw SRK’s tweet! That’s so great. And why I have never used stars for my reviews, or even honestly thought about using stars. It didn’t even occur to me as an option until about 2 years into blogging when a reader started nagging me for them and I had to think about why it didn’t occur to me. The title says the main point, just read that if you don’t have time for a whole review. Writing for “stars” or towards a conclusion of “this is good” or “this is bad” just doesn’t make sense and leads to bad writing.

      And of course, the first few comments on the post are “but I don’t have TIME to read a review, or watch a bad movie!!!!” Who are these people that want to only see the bestest films in the entire world as agreed upon by everyone everywhere, but also don’t care enough to read a whole review? And have they never enjoyed a movie that only got 2 stars in a review, or hated a movie that got 5, and realized why the star system is flawed?

      Just to throw this in the discussion, I think the exception to the star/grading system is when you are rating a series of the same thing. The TV reviews I read all use grades, but they are episode reviews, and they are grading each episode against the season/series as a whole. So an “A” grade is in contrast to a “B” grade for the exact same show. It’s not apples to oranges but oranges to oranges. I was thinking if you could do that with film, and I don’t think you can. Theorists keep trying to do that, genre theory or auteour theory saying “this subset of films is all the same and can be compared to each other”. But it’s not true, an early Hitchcock, or an early Yash Chopra, can’t be graded compared to a later film from the same director. And a rom-com like DDLJ can’t be graded compared to a rom-com like Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani. They are similar, but they are still from different eras with different stars and different directors. Each film is unique and can’t be made to match together.

      Oh, this is fun! You may have just inspired another Hindi Film 101!

      On Fri, May 3, 2019 at 9:14 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

      Like

  9. Have you kept abreast of the huge Akshay Kumar controversy? He recently did a “non-political” interview with Modi which of course made a lot of people angry. It fired up social media enough that they started digging into Akshay’s citizenship claims. Then it turned out that he didn’t vote. It became so big on social media that finally a reporter asked him about not voting at an event he attended the day after. A visibly annoyed Akshay did not reply and walked away. This clip went viral and the criticism against him increased even more with the media FINALLY putting out articles and stories related to Akshay’s questionable citizenship. There are other videos from the last few years circling around where he says he is an honorary citizen of Canada and how it’s just like getting an honorary doctorate and Indians should be proud of him. Other times, he’s claimed he has dual citizenship. Then there are even older videos (from pre-Modi times) where he announced to a Canadian audience that Canada is his home and that he intends on retiring there after he finishes with the industry. Later, they found an article from a Canadian newspaper from 2012 that mentioned what a hard time people were having getting citizenship but BW star Akshay Kumar was able to get it within weeks of applying.

    Today Akshay has released an absurd statement which is again full of lies. He has the audacity to feel upset about being questioned while he supports a party that regularly abuses minorities and gives them passports to Pakistan if they dare say a word. He’s proud of paying taxes as if it’s some charity he’s doing.

    Here it is – https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D5ou-j4W4AARenk.jpg

    This is utterly obnoxious. This man has been using nationalism to not just make multiple propaganda movies but also to sell advertising. He sells tiles and oil and whatnot based on hyper-national ads. He goes to colleges and waves ABVP flags (youth wing of the BJP) and dresses up in army uniforms to meet soldiers. When he releases a movie, he advertises it on his twitter account with hashtags like #patriot and puts out videos literally saying “I’m a proud Indian” as part of the marketing. His movies get tax-free status because of his sucking up of the BJP and he’s even squeezed out an undeserved National Award while being one of the worst actors around. He was getting away with everything scot free and being hailed as a perfect patriot until he crossed the line with the pathetic Modi interview. People online had always known about his shady citizenship lies but the media almost always let him get away with it until now.

    Reshma Shetty is not such a genius after all, is she? She went too far in the fake nationalism image with that Modi interview and now the public statement is making things worse for him because even people who weren’t paying attention to this are now watching. He would have been better off staying quiet and letting it blow over. Reshma’s sleazy practices were always going to come back and bite one day.

    Like

    • I am aware of these stories, but have avoided bringing them up here because I try to keep the blog a happy politics-free zone. Not because my readers don’t care, but because we care too much. We need an escape, I need an escape.

      Like

  10. Akshay is a decent actor and not too bad looking. But I could never figure out why I don’t like him. Now I can.

    As to Tanu/Manu. I watched the first because I ‘m a Madhavan fan and knew nothing about Kangana. I thought she was good as an annoying scene-hog, although I found her transformation at the end unbelievable. By the second movie, I knew a bit more about her but still watched for Madhavan only to find that this time, it was Kangana times 2! I barely made it through.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.