Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday Gossip feat. Another SRK Detention Story.

Are you in Moscow? Check out the Indian Cinema Cultural Festival!

Okay, prepare yourself for today's news...

* I'll get to the follow up on Priyanka in a minute but let's hit the big story today - Shahrukh Khan was detained at JFK airport for two hours.

Obviously, the people most affected are the celebrities, who were also outraged. Twitter has been subjected to quite a few bon mots though my favorite comment from this article gathering celebrity reactions was from Aamir Khan.

Superstar Aamir Khan, who was at the press meet of his new TV show, was asked if he has faced a similar detention while travelling abroad.

"I was never detained, I never faced that problem," he said.

Can we all calm down for a second and recognize that Shahrukh is not be detained at airports in the United States because he is Muslim. That's just far too simplistic an explanation. I know Muslim people who travel to and from the US without getting detained. I'm sure you do, too. Look a sentence or two above to see that Aamir Khan never has problems.

Then why is Shahrukh getting detained? According to this article SRK's name is "flagged" in the system, which is what causes the trouble. Now, this is where it gets complicated because there are any number of reasons Shahrukh's name could have been flagged. His name could be similar to somebody suspected of terrorism (which is where a bias against people with Muslim names would come in) or his name could have shown up as a contact to somebody sketchy involved in organized crime (something not outside the realm of possibilities considering the way Bollywood works - especially considering he was traveling with the majorly sketchy Ambanis) or maybe his name was flagged because he was caught with drugs a while back (again something not outside the realm of possibilities considering the way Bollywood works.)

We don't know why Shahrukh's name was flagged for further screening. It is, of course, extremely possible that Shahrukh has been snared in the anti-Muslim bias built into the American Homeland Security apparatus but we can't leave aside the possibility that is was something else. After all, I'm sure I'm not the only one who remembers the rumors of why he was really detained for questioning in 2009 and even celebrities aren't above the law.

Still, I do know that the anti-Muslim bias (which bleeds into a more general anti-brown men bias) of our Homeland Security System is hard on many people. While I am extremely skeptical of the claims that Shahrukh was stopped because he was Muslim, I do understand that the anti-Muslim bias of the American security apparatus is a problem for many travelers.

The sad thing is that this incident won't even make the American press, meaning that most Americans have no idea that this kind of thing happens on a regular basis - which is why the press conference feels kind of disingenuous. The only people he's talking to are the Indian press who are already plenty outraged on his behalf... just in general, about everything.

(And another look at the incident that includes a take on India's idol worship.)


* Priyanka Chopra to get paid nine crores for Zanjeer. ARE THE PRODUCERS CRAZY?! Did they not see my list of films on which Priyanka had no significant fiscal impact?

This was going to be my opener today but... yeah. I want to thank everybody who read and commented so thoughtfully. You guys know I have no problem being disagreed with, in fact I like to have my opinions challenged and debated. Wouldn't the world be boring if everybody thought the exact same things?

I did some more thinking about PC yesterday and I think the reason I dislike her so much as an actress is that (for me) I want to escape into whatever film I'm watching and get taken out of myself. Piggy never seems to blend enough with the rest of the cast and the film in order for me to do that. I always feel like there's "The Film" and then there is Piggy self-consciously "acting" in it. Like with Agneepath everything felt very real that PC and her stage make-up and stylized sarees (and stylized face) and over-the-top acting came on, she just felt jarringly fake to me. Especially standing next to Kanika Tiwari with her bare face and modest school girl outfits.

Does that explain things a bit? I just feel like she is never really connecting with her co-stars or her surroundings. It's like she's in a PC box. So, for people who are maybe more concerned with individual acting technique or overall story or other parts of the film the PC box doesn't bother them but for me it ruins every film she's in. I don't get that with Kat or Bebo, both of whom actually seem to me to connect with their co-stars and to blend into their films. Can you imagine Priyanka wearing Bebo's board shorts and t-shirts from Golmaal 3? No. I can't either.

To be fair, Katrina has been looking very plasticy lately and I did say as much both for MBKD (changing lip plumper levels through the film) and Agneepath (MASSIVE BOTOX FACE.) Lip plumpers are distracting, definitely, though the botox is worse. If she has that look in her next film, believe you me I will be complaining about it. I am an equal opportunity plastic surgery/cosmetic filler hater. That stuff doesn't make anybody look younger or better - just wealthy enough to afford it. Give me a strong-featured heroine with a little belly fat anyday over one with a surgically given button nose and lipo'ed abs.

And I got some pushback on my lassiez faire attitude towards the Real Housewives treatment of Piggy but I stand by my previous opinion. Priyanka has been crowing her acting bonifides since she won the National Award but, honestly, if she was interested in doing serious acting or actually getting cast for acting ability, then the Gauri brigade couldn't prevent her from getting work. Serious directors don't care what the Gauri Khan cocktail party invite list looks like. The problem is she wants her cake and to eat it, too. She wants the benefits of paling around with the Khans and their crew but none of the downside. (Look at Bipasha Basu who has carved herself a fine career with NO KHANS whatsoever and - uncoincidentally - no Real Housewives drama for a counterexample.)

So, Piggy got caught messing around with Shahrukh and now is getting shit for it. Is that any worse than Vivek Oberoi's banishment after messing with Salman? Stuff like this happens when you play in Bollywood high society. You get the fanfare while you're in the "in crowd" but then you mess with the wrong person's husband or girlfriend and you're out. You play with fire and you will get burned.

* Anil Kapoor: Tezz isn't for white people.

It is a Hindustani film made with international technical finesse but not the kind of film that the gora aadmi would go for - quiz master Anil Kapoor of Slumdog fame in the lead notwithstanding. "It's made for the local," he stresses.

* I hope Aamir Khan's show gets uploaded somewhere so I can watch - he seems really passionate about it.

"The show is for everyone. It's an effort to understand ourselves, to make our lives better. The show gave me a chance to connect with common people from different states and cities," he said.

* "Exotic import" Jackie Fernandez is adorable; thinks John Abraham is hot.

Fernandez was asked about John Abraham as well since after ‘Housefull 2’, she will once again play a role opposite to him in ‘Race 2’. “John’s very sweet. On one hand, he can make a rice sack look sexy, and on the other, he’s polite and a perfect gentleman; the kind of boy you can take home to daddy."

* It looks like Balaji is starting a paid internship program.

* Fact: Akshay Kumar is awesome.

* One of those annoying Rediff slide shows on celebrities who have a stake in various brands.

* Will it be Katrina with John and Shahrukh in Farah's Happy New Year?

* Shahrukh will be hosting his own show on the BBC Asian Network for one week in June.

* A small piece on Hollywood's efforts to promote The Avengers in India through music.

OMG! Avert your eyes - sometimes hiring "exotic imports" for your items just leaves you with a dance that contains an embarrassing lack of dance ability. "Dan Dan Cheeni" from Department.


Sal said...

I love that you brought up that point regarding an actor's connect with the rest of his/her cast. That's one of the reasons I don't feel as passionately about the newer crop of actresses as I did about Madhuri and Sridevi, Karisma and Kajol, Rani and Preity. With them, you saw the warmth radiating when they interacted with the supporting cast; you believed that these were their parents, brothers, sisters. Nowadays (and the fault also lies with the directors here), I see that all too rarely. The thing is, so many mainstream "commercial" films these days seem to be directed like photoshoots, with the actors posing for the cameras, rather than acting in earnest. They never quite feel like real people (as the actresses I mentioned did, even in the most unrealistic situations), and they never quite feel like mythic, unattainable STARS either (as an Aishwarya does). They just come across as models. This sad situation is, I think, a confluence of actors who don't work enough at their craft and directors who don't push them enough, since what they want is merely a pretty film.

Nerdypanda said...

OH Filmi girl, I am now going to ship Jackie and John. We can call them the JJ couple. I know its lame but I need a cuople I can ship. Saifeena just don't do it for me.

Bombay Talkies said...

I think it was White Plains airport he was detained at, not JFK. He was on a private flight and one of the security personal at the airport knew who he was but still wouldn't let him leave.

maxqnz said...

Thanks for the link to the livemint piece - always refreshing to see another perspective well-presented.

Thelondongirl said...

hey that comment about the Ambanis (i'm about to google it right now), you know you might be on to something there. I do think its very possible that its the mafia connects, who knows what they are having him do (AAAHLEGEDLY) Shady is as shady does. thanks for the laughs though, i love that you dont try to be all up anyone arse on here. we know who you like and who you dont, its all good. As women we come with a clause that says " subject to change"
>>>googling Ambanis.

Note from Filmi Girl:

I love Bollywood - and all the ridiculous things that happen in Bollywood - but it doesn't mean that I can't occasionally make fun of various celebrities and films.

If you don't like my sense of humor, please just move on by - Trolls are not appreciated and nasty comments will be deleted.

xoxo Filmi Girl
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