News Round-Up: Mahesh Bhatt and Jio Dig Up Parveen Babi Again, Ranveer’s Next Heroine Cast, Everyone’s Talking About Sonakshi

Oh there is so much to talk about with today’s stories! Not the actual stories, they are the usual fake bland PR stuff, but what they mean and what we think about them and all KINDS of things!!!!

Mahesh Bhatt, Jio, Content Versus Infrastructure, and Parveen Babi

I could EASILY write 4 thousand words on this alone. Let’s start with Jio being the primary a resource for high speed internet in India. The Jio data sticks (I don’t understand the details of how they work, but you purchase data and stick it in your computer and have internet) have been on the forefront of bringing Internet to India. And have been the secret power behind the streaming revolution. Netflix and Prime and all that are creating Indian content because of the market Jio created. And now Jio is producing it’s own content. Such a fascinating relationship, isn’t it? Jio needs there to be content so people will want internet and buy their thingies, the streaming companies needs Jio to exist so their audience has a way to get internet in India. Netflix and Amazon may be running the world, but the challenge of figuring out how to bring internet to people in India who don’t even have reliable running water or electricity is beyond them. But Jio is able to partner up and throw together their own streaming content.

Image result for jio stick"
Look, internet! In a little stick, instead of in a cord from the wall like I am used to it. I guess it’s the same as buying bottled water instead of being able to get it from the tap?

Isn’t this fascinating? This is how radio and then TV shows started, people owned the towers and the infrastructure, but realized they needed to start making content to get people to actually use the infrastructure. Heck, this is how movies started in America! The very very earliest producers were often theater owners who wanted to make content themselves to get people in. While in India, the theaters were established and running Western films so the focus was on content alone, not theaters. Oh! Another thing to think about! The pattern is reversed in this case, the local Ambani’s own Jio, it is the westerners who are stuck providing content for their infrastructure. Or maybe in today’s world content is king and it is infrastructure that is less important? Like I said SO MUCH TO TALK ABOUT!!!!!

And second half of this story, Mahesh Bhatt producing a series for Jio about a married filmmaker and his famous actress wife (or not wife?). Mahesh Bhatt in the 1980s left his wife and mother of his two children to have a hot affair with troubled famous actress Parveen Babi. Mahesh is an autobiographical filmmaker, his best work comes when he digs into his own life in some way. Arth, possibly his greatest film, told the story of this affair from the perspective of his first wife. In other hands it would have felt exploitative of both women, laying bare the pain of his wife and revealing Parveen’s descent into mental illness that ended their relationship, but the film is made with so much love and understanding for all involved that it ends up feeling like a tribute to the dignity of everyone. However, can Mahesh really tell a similar story over again for Jio in a streaming series and still be respectful? How much ownership does he have over his own life when the story he is telling involves other people? How much trust do we have in Mahesh’s vision that he can tell this story over again and still be pure? (story here)

Image result for mahesh bhatt parveen babi"
Onscreen version of the love triangle in Arth, which you should all watch

YRF Casts Shalini Panday Opposite Ranveer

Ranveer’s next movie, Jayeshbhai Jordaar, now has a heroine in Shalini Panday. The announcement was handled with the usual Maneesh Sharma gloss, a PR statement talking about how excited they are to work with her and what a strong role this is and blah blah blah. As usual, she is described as a “new face” even though she has a history of work in the south, because actors don’t really exist until they come to Bombay (at least so far as the Bombay film industry is concerned). What I find really interesting is what it says that Ranveer’s next actress has to be a “new face”!

There’s five possible reasons behind this:

  1. YRF’s power and prestige has fallen, top actresses are not willing to risk taking a role with them after seeing what happened with Anushka in Sui Dhaaga, Fatima in Thugs, and so on. If a top hero takes a YRF film and it flops, at least he benefits from being the face of the film and getting the YRF promotion campaign. But an actress gets even less of that and ends up just wasting a year in the intense YRF filming process. Even if it hits, she will get only minor recognition for her contribution. Maybe none of the name actresses are willing to take that risk?
  2. Ranveer’s prestige is up and up and up, any name actress knows that acting opposite him means he will over-shadow her to such a degree she will not be noticed. A tribute to him, this is the same status the Khan’s reached in the 2010s, suddenly “newcomers” had to be discovered to work with them.
  3. We are hitting a transition point in actresses. The last batch of established stars are all married and slowing down, we need to find a new batch. Again, the 2010s problem.
  4. YRF loves Ranveer and wants to make sure he isn’t overshadowed. Remember his last YRF film also had an unknown opposite him, Vaani Kapoor. Even if the script gives the actress a strong part, Ranveer will shine brighter if she is a new face.
  5. YRF is using Ranveer to carry a film alone. In this case, they have picked up the option of Shalini Panday and want to make her big, and are using Ranveer to get people to watch this film and give her a chance before they launch her alone.

What do you think?

Sonakshi Sinha is the Most Talked About Indian Celebrity on Twitter

WHAT THE HECK??? WHY??? I can’t even begin to come up with a reason for this! What has Sonakshi been doing that I don’t know about? What is there even to say about her? Is it a bunch of people saying “wow, Sonakshi is underappreciated and under utilized as an actress”? Because that’s all I can think of to say about her, but it doesn’t seem very twitter-y. Maybe everyone on twitter is nicer than I thought?

Image result for sonakshi sinha kalank"
Is the hashtag #SonakshigaveasubtlebeautifulperformanceinKalankanddeservesmoreattention trending and I missed it?

49 thoughts on “News Round-Up: Mahesh Bhatt and Jio Dig Up Parveen Babi Again, Ranveer’s Next Heroine Cast, Everyone’s Talking About Sonakshi

  1. 6. They want to make a low budget movie and don’t see the point in wasting more money for an A-list actress when they already have Ranveer. YRF has always been in the business of bringing on newcomers, whether it was Ranveer himself or Anushka or Parineeti or Vani. They tried with Adar Jain and Anya Singh too but nobody remembers the failures. Giving new people careers creates loyalty for them and they can always rely on those guys to do films for them in the future. They usually make them sign 3 or 4 film contracts too so they are cheap to use for quite a while. It’s a great business model.

    Sonakshi went viral because she went on KBC and couldn’t answer an easy Ramayan-based question. It was funny for people because her house is actually named Ramayan and her brothers are named Luv and Kush, also from the Ramayan. So she was basically trolled.

    Like

    • Hmm. So your “6” idea kind of speaks poorly to Ranveer since he would still be considered low budget unless paired with a top actress. Like, it doesn’t matter who you cast opposite SRK/Salman/Aamir, it’s always a top budget film. But on the other hand, it speaks will of him that there is an implication their entire small budget will be blown on him. Unlike Sui Dhaaga where they could hire Varun and Anushka and still be low budget.

      Poor Sonakshi! Although at least her name is out there. But I wish my twitter trend idea was a reality.

      Like

      • YRF has always used new or sort-of-new actresses with Ranveer. His first movie had Anushka who had previously only done one movie before with YRF. Their pair worked so they made a second movie for YRF where Parineeti, another new actress was introduced. Then they gave him a movie with Vani, who was also just onto her second movie. She had previously done one YRF movie with Sushant.

        I think the main reason is that he is YRF talent (they have their own agency and their newcomers are part of that) and they pair him up with other YRF talent.

        I think they already had a role for Anushka in Sui Dhaga. Wouldn’t be surprised if they wanted the main role to be done by Ranveer but he didn’t have time or it didn’t work out for whatever reason. Varun is the only younger actor that could have taken his place although he isn’t YRF talent. Ranbir does not do low budget movies so that wouldn’t be an option. He also has no loyalty to them because he is also not YRF talent.

        Like

        • Although Ranbir does do YRF films? He did Bachne with them, and Rocket Singh, and has Shamshera coming up. But then, Shamshera is a big big movie. Oh hey, Vaani Kapoor is the heroine! I didn’t know that. I wonder if YRF is still trying to make her happen, or if her role is going to end up be tiny? Either they are dumping her opposite Ranbir knowing he will insist on all the best parts of the film, or they are using Ranbir’s fame to prop up Vaani, just like this story I guess.

          Like

          • Yeah, she’s part of YRF talent so they can keep throwing her into big projects. It was a small role but they still forced her into War. Now they have her in Shamshera. I think she’s one actress nobody outside YRF wants anyway. They gave lots of movies to Parineeti also until she completely flopped out.

            If this new-ish actress opposite Ranveer works out, maybe they will move on to her. At this point, anyone is better than eyesore Vani.

            Like

          • I really liked Vaani in Befikre, and she wasn’t bad in War. But agree that she has an odd look that is distracting. Being optimistic, I will hope there is a way to change her face with make so that it is less distracting.

            Like

          • He would be so TORMENTED and TORTURED and Anushka would have to do all the work.

            On Wed, Dec 11, 2019 at 3:10 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

            >

            Like

          • It’s true, everything bad happens to poor Ranbir.

            On Wed, Dec 11, 2019 at 3:41 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

            >

            Like

  2. I’m home sick again so you are going to get a lot of attention from me today, lmao. Okay, my thoughts!

    In the US the studios owning theaters had to be busted up using antitrust laws but presumably India doesn’t have antitrust laws so what will happen if Jio is able to completely shut out other content providers from accessing the audience through their devices? Is that even possible anymore with the internet revolution? Or maybe Jio simply extorts a huge amount of money from US content providers to access the market. How much are US companies willing to pay? And do consumers have any say in this, if the only way to get online is through Jio, then Jio could presumably just completely throttle all of their competition even if it pisses off the audience. So many ways this could go really bad for consumers.

    Mahesh Bhatt, will he be able to exercise creative freedom while working through Jio or is he going to get into a deathmatch with the marketing team?

    Ranveer, I don’t know but I have to say I find most of the younger actresses to be terribly bland. There’s no one with charisma and talent comparable to Sai Pallavi in the south. Alia is overrated, IMO. Kriti is okay. I’m not a Taapsee fan for some reason, I find her grating. I haven’t seen Sara in anything yet so no opinion but she’s very cute in interviews. Anyway, the point I’m making is Bollywood needs to step up the talent pipeline for women, it’s not looking great at the moment.

    Sonakshi was #1 on Twitter because she said some stupid/tone deaf things like no one wants to see Madhuri romance Ishan the way Salman and Akshay romance young women (ahem, speak for yourself!). Also this stuff: https://www.bollywoodlife.com/news-gossip/yosonakshisodumb-hilarious-reactions-flood-twitter-after-sonakshi-sinha-uses-lifeline-for-a-simple-ramayana-related-question-on-kaun-banega-crorepati-11-1483455/

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yaaaaay!!!! Alisa comments! Bring them on!!!!

      Reliance already owns their own theater chain, and their own studio, and they have crazy massive anti-trust stuff going on all the time (it’s the reason the Ambani’s are so careful to keep control of the government). I can’t follow the details of all the stories, but there was one story a few years back (possibly related to Jio?) that argued the Ambani sons faked a family feud in order to explain splitting the company, and then faked a reconciliation once the two halves of the company had managed to corner their respective markets meaning a deal between the sons created a total monopoly. With Jio, if they could figure out a way to do it, I think they would absolutely hold up Netflix and Prime for kickbacks in order to deliver the audience to them. Except right now they are still focused on getting the Indian public addicted to internet. Another story that I can’t quite follow was about Jio announcing almost free data plans as an introductory offer right before the government put down some new regulation which would mean they couldn’t get the profits they expected anyway (almost as if the Ambanis knew the regulation was going to come down before it was announced, how about that). The end result was millions of people signing on to the Jio system while it was free and the Ambanis being able to plan how they wanted to use that audience once they were addicted. Since Jio is already a data plan basis, the consumer is already paying them more for streaming than they are for just checking their email, so they are already getting that profit from the consumer so long as the streaming services keep growing their Indian market. That’s me being stupid though, right? If Jio can get Netflix to pay, and also the consumer to pay, they will do that and get paid twice.

      My biggest conspiracy theory with Reliance is that they are shooting for killing the traditional theater system entirely. For example, they produced Padmavat, which had a massive detrimental effect on the industry in the lead up to release as theaters were empty for months while Padmavat got rescheduled. Big Cinemas can’t possibly be bringing in as much money for Reliance as Jio, the best thing for them would be to drive all other entertainment sources out of business thereby forcing people to sign up for Jio in order to access any kind of entertainment online. Like Netflix is doing with American theaters in order to drive people to streaming.

      Shalini was the heroine in Arjun Reddy and the “best friend” in Mahanati, so I’ve seen her twice. She was fine in both movies, but didn’t blow me away. It’s possible this YRF relaunch will make her bring something new to the table, but right now, I see her as more of the same blandness.

      Poor Sonakshi! She is so good at being an actress, and so bad at being a Star.

      On Wed, Dec 11, 2019 at 10:39 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

      Like

        • I haven’t read A Suitable Boy but I am assuming that Ishaan will not be successful? Because surely Tabu is better than that.

          On Wed, Dec 11, 2019 at 11:09 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

          >

          Like

          • I also looked it up and the wikipedia article started with ” the book is one of the longest novels ever published in a single volume in the English language.” So, I’m out! I watch movies to think, I read books for brainless fun. If/when the movie releases, I’ll either take a day off work and try to power through, or just give up and let it go. Most likely the second option.

            On Wed, Dec 11, 2019 at 11:18 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

            >

            Like

    • That seems right.

      Alisa, remember when I was trying to describe what it was like when Saif and Amrita got together and I compared it with if Aryan Khan had fallen in love with Katrina Kaif, announced he was marrying her and getting a job while she stayed home and took care of the kids? In our gossip hopes, should we replace Kat with Tabu in this potential story and start praying for that?

      On Wed, Dec 11, 2019 at 11:24 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

      Like

    • Yeah, and now I am worried about the miniseries! It’s written by the guy who did the classic P &P Colin Firth adaptation, and that was basically scene by scene line by line the entire book. If this is the same, the miniseries alone will have to be at least 20 hours.

      On Wed, Dec 11, 2019 at 11:44 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

      Like

        • Oh I was right!

          BBC TV series

          As of October 2019, a six part TV series adapted from the novel, also titled as A Suitable Boy, directed by Mira Nair, written by Andrew Davies and starring Tabu, Ishaan Khatter, Tanya Maniktala and Rasika Duggal is in production.

          Like

          • Yep, and Davies is the same guy who did the classic 1995 P&P adaptation, so based on that I am assuming a faithful line by line and scene by scene adaptation.

            On Wed, Dec 11, 2019 at 11:59 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

            >

            Like

          • Have you seen the BBC Les Mis and War and Peace? They do stick to the main story and he wrote them so they ended up at some points silly and a lot different from the source material. Example, making Enjolras a brunette with a moustache and sexying it up in both War and Peace and Les Mis. Though, could also be the director’s fault in that. War and Peace is good, but the Les Mis one was something I couldn’t finish for the life of me. Too many changes to that one.

            But considering Mira Nair is now directing I expect it will be much better than either of those adaptions.

            Like

          • I realized why I am nervous, I am that person who actually watched Midnight’s Children. Which has no creative partners in common with this (I think?) but was another adaptation British adaptation of an Indian set English language novel by an Anglo and it was TERRIBLE.

            On Wed, Dec 11, 2019 at 12:20 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

            >

            Like

          • Yeah adding on to this and the sexying stuff up in recent things is definitely Davies. Don’t know if you guys seen the 2008 sense and sensibility adaptation but he also tried to make that sexy and edgy. Don’t know how the suitable boy adaptation will turn out but I guess I’ll watch it when it eventually drops on PBS.

            Like

          • If Tabu’s playing a courtesan, that’s already plenty sexy for me!

            On Wed, Dec 11, 2019 at 2:11 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

            >

            Liked by 1 person

  3. With the Ranveer movie couldn’t it be #2, #3, & #5 all at the same time? I don’t think it is #4 because I doubt Ranveer can be overshadowed, and I don’t want it to be #1.

    If Jio charges by the data, how much does it cost a person in India to stream a movie vs. watch a movie in the theater? And are people in India streaming onto their phones, tablets, laptops, desktops, or smart TVs?

    I love reading all the comments on this post.

    Like

    • Great Jio question! I googled for it and found lots of stories about Jio slashing prices and driving competitors out of business at the same time they benefit from new tariff rules in some way. So yeah, Reliance is hitting hard and killing any competition. Anyway, their plans break down to GB per day. From what I can see, 1 GB is about 1 hour of streaming content. Their most expensive best plan is 24 GB per day, which is basically what Americans enjoy (if you think about it in terms of how much content you stream per day, in a single household you would easily hit 24 hours between multiple simultaneous users. This is the plan Netflix is working under, that they should provide multiple streams of content to break the family down into separate viewing audiences). But they also go all the way down to just 1 GB per day or even just top offs of less than a GB.

      1 GB of data top up by itself is 21 rupees, times 3 for a movie would be slightly less than the cheapest movie ticket at 100 rupees at a single screen. So Jio is just barely undercutting the cost of a movie in theaters. And of course if you pay for 3 GB on your phone, your whole family can watch it, versus paying for movie tickets for each of them. I believe phones are the main source of streaming in India, because somehow they are able to get very very cheap phones from China (probably some import/export thing I don’t understand that makes the price lower). If you have a Jio Phone, you keep topping up straight through them. Or if you have a laptop you can top off with the weird Jio toggle thing.

      The key of course will be to get a monopoly, kill the movie theaters and satellite TV market, and then crank the prices through the roof when people have no other option. Reliance has deep pockets, they can keep operating Jio at a loss for a very long time until the time is right to triple the prices.

      On Wed, Dec 11, 2019 at 11:49 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

      Like

    • Oh, and I think it could definitely be 2,3,5 combined. The basic issue is a limited resource of name actresses, because the biggest names right now are working less. YRF needs to build their own new batch, the few still out there don’t want to be overshadowed by Ranveer.

      On Wed, Dec 11, 2019 at 11:49 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

      Like

    • Mostly the phone. Especially the teenagers.Families prefer smart TVs.Desktops have become more or less redundant.Laptops are used mostly in college hostels and the like.Jio really changed the game by offering data dirt cheap.For the first 3-6 months it was totally free.Their competitors tried to keep up for a while.But they are closing shop one by one.Which was Reliance’s original plan after all -monopoly.

      Liked by 1 person

      • When you think about it, monopoly is easy if you have unlimited money to back it up. Reliance could keep offering data at a loss for the next ten years and barely feel the hurt of it. And eventually, once everyone else is driven out of business, they can reap the reward by cranking the price up to the sky. It’s a war of attrition, how long can the other businesses afford to stay in business without getting a profit from data sales. Reliance will always win.

        On Wed, Dec 11, 2019 at 12:11 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

        >

        Like

        • There’s an article I read a while back basically mourning the end of that. “Tent theaters” or “Traveling theaters” is what they were, and yes it was a thing. But the lack of physical films, the changing expenses, and so on, have all killed that. What I hate about the “internet revolution” in India is that it is leaving an enormous number of people unscreened. Even Jio does not cover the whole country, and that’s just in terms of data, not even talking about the population who can’t afford a data plan or a cell phone but might have been able to afford a ticket for a tent theater.

          On Wed, Dec 11, 2019 at 12:46 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

          >

          Like

  4. It’s interesting. Having the family watch a movie on a phone is cheaper, but all things considered, watching a movie on a phone isn’t THAT much cheaper than a movie ticket for an individual, and I imagine it is much less the event than seeing a film at a single screen. If bookstores still exist after Amazon it seems like Jio won’t really be able kill the theaters. Hurt and reduce their numbers yes, but I doubt the theaters will die. (sarcastic comment: of course I can say this with confidence after reading your & your commenters five paragraphs of info.)

    When it comes to new actresses and YRF, I always think of Anushka. I thank them for bringing her into films, and at the same time I found her first few performances boring. It seems like only theatre people, like SRK & Ranveer, start out with a bang.

    Like

    • And of course now Amazon has bookstores! I was just thinking about this because I walked by one of their bookstores on Monday. It’s hilarious, it’s the exact same kind of store they put out of business and now here they are recreating it. Maybe in 20 years Jio will have almost killed the theaters, and then in another 10 they will have their own theaters to show streaming content in a crowd setting.

      Some commentator here, not me, argued that YRF is good at finding talent but terrible at ultizing it. For instance, Dips signed with them right after Om Shanti Om, had a series of terrible movies, and her career was almost over before she was finally freed from her contract with them and able to find new projects.

      On Wed, Dec 11, 2019 at 12:23 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

      >

      Like

      • Wow, I never knew about the YRF-Deepika contract. I can never imagine her being a YRF product. Somehow YRF is not able to match the right talent with the right script. I find Dharma is much better than YRF when it comes to this.

        Like

        • Agree! I forget about Dips and YRF because her roles with them were soooooooooooo forgettable. Bachne Ae Haseeno and Lafingay Parinday.

          On Wed, Dec 11, 2019 at 2:27 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

          >

          Like

          • Why is Deepika considered YRF talent? To me, she wasn’t “discovered” by YRF nor do I remember any big 3-4 film deals signed by her.
            She did Bachna Ae Haseeno and Lafingay but also big ticket roles like Chandni Chowk and Love Aaj Kal in between.

            Like

          • I wasn’t thinking of anything beyond YRF snapping her up for two films right after OSO. They had first shot at her, and they stuck her in boring love interest roles.

            On Wed, Dec 11, 2019 at 6:00 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

            >

            Like

    • But a phone isn’t just a device to access movies, it’s your lifeline to the entire world. That’s why the value of a phone can’t just be measured in relative cost for a film or even how much crappier it is to see a movie on a phone instead of a theater. You can watch movies on the phone but also get calls for work, use WhatsApp to stay in touch with family, access breaking news, etc. When I lived in Downtown Los Angeles I organized a blanket giveaway for homeless folks on a cold night and someone on Skid Row saw my Facebook posting about it and sent me a message telling me where his tent was located so we were able to swing by and deliver blankets to him. The value of a mobile phone for the poor is incalculable.

      Like

    • It is not only about the cost. Traffic, pollution, timings and sometimes adult/violence content. For example, I have a 6 year old and 2 year old kid. For a movie on a Saturday evening, 1 hour before that for the wife and kids to get ready, I would need to start at least 1.5 hours ahead, 3 hours of movie and minimum 1 hour post movie driving. Start at 7.30PM to be in multiplex by 9PM for a 9.30 show – movie gets over around 12 midnight – return home around 12.45 -1 AM.
      And we have to juggle our kids’ dinner and our dinner in the meantime.
      And then, we need to worry about violent content and some adult/vulgar content in masala movies.
      Better, get the kids to sleep by 9PM at home, open Amazon Prime or any OTT on our Smart TV + Home theater and watch in comfort of our couches. Even if my daughter watches for half of the movie until 11PM, we have the luxury of having remote to forward some scenes.

      OTT is the big thing now – and also causing disputes between TV channels (like Star/Sony/Zee/Sun) that already pay hefty for TV rights and the likes of Prime that list a big budget movie with a month of release.

      Like

      • And this goes back to the damage already done. I live in the same neighborhood now where my Grandfather grew up, so I knew for sure the difference, and 80 years ago when he was a little boy there were 3 movie theaters a 5 minute walk from my apartment. Now, if I want to go to the movies, it’s the same experience as you describe. Find the right time, drive, find parking, and so on and so forth. It would be so much easier if I could choose between multiple theaters near by with multiple showtimes, and just walk to them. My impression is that, at least in urban areas, it used to be more like that in India.

        On Thu, Dec 12, 2019 at 4:06 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

        >

        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.