In The Indian Express, Harneet Singh on the Bollywood ‘fight of the year’ between Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan. Are the gloves really off? Is politically correct Bollywood finally coming into its own?
Bollywood scribes are already terming the recent spat between superstars Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan as the ‘story of the year.’ For the uninitiated (though with 24X7 electronic media carpet-bombing, they’re a rarity), it all happened at Katrina Kaif’s birthday bash in a suburban Mumbai hotspot. Apparently banter between the two Khans turned ugly when professional comparisons regarding their television shows cropped up — the numbers of SRK’s Kya Aap Paanchvi Paas Se Tez Hain have not met expectations, while Salman’s 10 Ka Dum has got a favourable response. Tabloids tell us that the heated discussion took a turn for the worse when SRK allegedly made an inappropriate comment about Salman’s ex-girlfriend, Aishwarya Rai.
But it’s not just the two warring Khans — the normally reticent Amitabh Bachchan recently blogged about “being privy personally to a design by certain sections of the media and the fraternity to bring down” his world tour, The Unforgettables. Meanwhile, in an unprecedented fiery tone, Akshay recently claimed to a Mumbai newspaper that negative stories about his personal life are being circulated by certain “back-stabbing, insecure people that try and ruin me.” He goes on to say that he’d “never knight them, but I’d definitely hire them for Friday night entertainment,” and that it amazes him to see how “low some of those dogs will go when they feel I’m too hot for them professionally.” Ahem, please note the knight and the dog dig. If you recollect, Aamir Khan had kicked off a storm with his (in)famous dog blog post where he said that he owns a dog called Shah Rukh who among other things, also “licks my feet.”
Heather Timmons in New York Times asks whether Bollywood is ready for Snoop Dogg, just days before the release of Singh is Kinng where Dogg makes his Hindi film debut
Is Bollywood ready for Snoop Dogg?
The rapper once dubbed “America’s Most Loveable Pimp” by Rolling Stone makes his debut in India this summer, with a guest appearance on the title track of a highly anticipated Bollywood movie, “Singh Is Kinng.” The movie is set to open in August, but the title song is already in heavy rotation on some radio stations in India.
A fusion of hip-hop and bhangra with a simple chorus (“Singh is Kinng, Singh is Kinng, Singh is Kinng”), it features Snoop Dogg giving “what up to all the ladies hanging out in Mumbai” and rapping about “Ferraris, Bugattis and Maseratis.”
Snoop Dogg wears a Sikh turban and an ornate long coat called a sherwani in a video of the title song, which was shot this year in Chicago. Geffen Records owns the distribution rights to the song in the United States and Canada and may release it later this year as part of a compilation.
Favourite all-time female star? Most accomplished actor of all time? The best funny man? Outlook readers vote for their favourites. Namrata Joshi checks out the results.
Outlook’s Bollywood Special this year looks at the very core of commercial cinema—the Hindi film star, the one who makes or breaks a film, box-office records, and people’s hearts, whose appeal is of the moment, and enduring, time-tested and timeless, give or take a bomb or two.
And who better to tell us about it than the Hindi film audience—that unknown, amorphous mass of people who vote with their feet every Friday, first day, first show. We sought them out in Delhi and Mumbai, Lucknow and Jaipur, Bhopal and Chandigarh, and asked them to cast their vote for their favourite star of all time. We had no dearth of names, old or new, starting from post-Independence India. Towering over them all was, of course, the Big B. With 32 per cent of the votes, he won this round of the Big B-srk rivalry; Khan was a distant second with just 14 per cent votes. Big B daughter-in-law Aishwarya pipped yesterday’s diva (though some would dispute that) Madhuri Dixit to the post with 21 per cent votes to the latter’s 18 per cent. Sadly, the great stars of yore seem to have faded from the memories of our moviegoers—Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand and Raj Kapoor figured behind the bland lookalikes of Gen Now.
No one dares argue with the money. But will T20 end up changing the game forever, asks Rohit Mahajan in Outlook
If money is the mortal enemy of the soul, as is believed, then cricket could be in danger of losing its soul. On April 18, when the inaugural Indian Premier League Twenty20 begins in Bangalore, cricket, as purists love it— with its bucolic beauty and quaint traditions—will metamorphose into Tamasha Cricket. The mix could be the newest opium for the Indian masses: adrenaline-pumping sport and heart-thumping Bollywood, gyrating dances and lusty sixes, sporting geniuses and dashing superstars. Sport must intermittently reinvent itself—the lure of money is difficult to resist—but soon a day may come to pass when we even fail to recognise cricket as we knew it.
And, elsewhere in the same issue, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the most expensive player in the Indian Premier League speaks to Rohit Mahajan about the unique blend of cricket and entertainment
Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the Indian One-day and T20 captain and the most expensive player of the Indian Premier League, is a man who doesn’t mind speaking his mind. He talks with conviction and frankness, dealing with each question with his customary placidity of mind and work. As we wait for the unknown in the IPL to come to light, Dhoni, in an exclusive interview, shares his views on this novel blend of entertainment and cricket. Excerpts:
What kind of changes will come into Tests and One-dayers as an effect of Twenty20 cricket?
It will depend on what form of cricket you are playing. There were Test matches to begin with, then came One-dayers. There are not too many changes in the basic approach, but yes, people started scoring at a much faster rate in Test matches as well. Three runs an over is considered the benchmark these days–if you score at over three an over, you have the upper hand, otherwise you’re slightly on the back foot.
In an era where youth drives consumerism, Amitabh Bachchan’s endorsement crown is slowly slipping to younger stars. Today his brand worth equals that of actors like Saif Ali Khan and Akshay Kumar while Shah Rukh Khan rules the roost, write Sonali Krishna and Ratna Bhushan in The Economic Times
The original Don of Bollywood seems to be losing his grip over the endorsement space as a result of what some industry watchers are calling the Twenty20 effect. In an era where youth is driving consumerism, Amitabh Bachchan’s endorsement charisma is clearly showing cracks. Box-office failures and the many political rows too seem to have hurt Brand Bachchan’s career.
Sample this: Mr Bachchan today commands the same value as Saif Ali Khan and Akshay Kumar, which stands at nearly Rs 3-4 crore per ad deal. Bollywood Badshah Shah Rukh Khan, who seems to have snatched Big B’s crown in the last one year, garners as much as Rs 5.5-6 crore per ad.