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Bollywood’s Double Disaster
Although they are both a part of the cast in Karan Johar’s underproduction Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani, Shabana Azmi and Jaya Bachchan were not invited to Karan Johar’s 50th birthday party hosted at the Yash Raj Studios, because as he told me , he wanted to avoid security and pandemic issues.
Well, we don’t know about the security bandobast, though if anyone had been kidnapped we would know by now. But we do know that the Corona virus made an unwanted guest appearance at the memorable (for all the wrong reasons) bash leaving many guests(approximately 50-55) infected.
Apparently throwing all caution to the winds, hardly anyone wore a mask at the party. A prominent invitee told me, “KJo was in the party mode. We were all told to leave our scruples at the door and have a good time. Kal kissne dekha hai?”
Good times come with their warning in fineprint which can be ignored at one’s own risk. We now hear that a large number star-guests are infected with the Covid virus,and the numbers of celebrity invitees testing positive is growing as I write this.Shah Rukh Khan who danced till dawn the party has tested positive. And so I hear, have Bollywood’s newest wedded couple Katrina Kaif and Vicky Kaushal. Other names are rapidly coming forward to inform us of their infected state, rather than reports coming out first.
It is a terrible situation to be in, as the party spirit has disappeared and only the illwill remains, it’s sorry situation that Karan could have easily avoided. I am told Karan was opposed to the idea of a big bash. He wanted a small intimate dinner party at his home. Which is not to say that a smaller gathering would have ensured Karan’s guests’ immunity against the virus. Some months ago, guests at a dinner at Karan’s home tested positive.
So my suggestion after the May 25 fiasco is to layoff lavish parties. Grow up,Karan. You are 50 now. You don’t need all these fair-weather friends who hang around you for what you represent rather than who you are. They shamelessly tap your emotional vulnerability; heterosexual actors flirt with you and wink behind your back whispering, ‘Kya farq padta hai? If it makes him happy.’
So Karan, make a pledge. No more lavish parties in future. Just spend time with those who really matter to you: your mother and your two lovely children Yash and Roohi who will never judge you because they love you unconditionally. As for those who troll you mercilessly once again for a party that they are calling a hotspreader, they should remember that no one at the party was a child. They knew what they were getting into. Masks or no masks , they were there because of who you are.
The failure of Yash Raj Films and Dr Chandraprakash Dwivedi’s prestigious pricey posh and ultimately pointless Samrat Prithviraj(SP) has left producer Aditya Chopra fuming and seething in rage.
The first question being asked is, where did all the money from the estimated budget of Rs 230 crores go? Not much of it is visible on screen. The special effects are downright tacky and the film’s purported epic vision seems to have been lost in translation.
This is Aditya Chopra’s second thundering flop in a row after Jayeshbhai Jordaar(JJ) which starred Yash Raj’s blue-eyed boy Ranveer Singh. And Chopra is not amused.In the cases of both SP and JJ the failure has been of epic proportions. Shows of JJ had to be cancelled due to zero attendance. And now with Prithviraj, history has repeated itself, though not in a good way.
An atmosphere of dismay and anger prevails at Yash Raj. The onus of SP’s failure is being placed on its leading man Akshay Kumar’s shoulder.
“He wouldn’t listen,” a source in the know informs. “The film required a dedicated concentration. He wouldn’t even grow a real moustache , as he was doing other project simultaneously. When playing someone so historically important, why couldn’t he have done just this one project,and given his best to it?”
The film’s architects are blaming Akshay Kumar for the failure of SP.
Akshay could have taken a page from his father-in-law Rajesh Khanna who had to grow a beard for Yash Chopra’s Ittefaq in 1969 at the peak of his superstardom. Khanna grew the beard and allowed the continuity process in other films notably Raj Khosla’s Do Raaste ,to suffer. In Do Raaste the beard kept appearing and disappearing .
I had asked Rajesh Khanna about this and his reply was terse but revealing. “Continuity suffered in Do Raaste. But I was committed to sporting a real beard in Ittefaq. A fake one would have looked…fake.”
The beard for Ittefaq was part of Khanna’s contract. The moustache in SP should have been the same.
Suman Sinha , an enraged film exhibitor in Bihar, is hugely upset by Akshay’s false moustache. “Does Mr Akshay Kumar realize what the moustache means to Rajput pride? It is the fulcrum of a Rajput’s identity.You can’t mess around with the moustache.”
The moustache is not all that is wrong with SP. The entire project seems to have suffered from a lack of conviction. The film was originally planned by director Dwivedi with Sunny Deol and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan playing Prithviraj and Samyukta. When Aditya Chopra and Yash Raj Films decided to produce the film,Akshay Kumar came into the picture.
Alas, the rest is not history. This portrayal of Prithviraj Chauhan ranks as one of the worst on-screen treatment of the legendary Rajpur warrior. It ranks lower than even the 1959 version of the valorous Prithviraj’s exploits which starred Jairaj in the title role.
After two thundering flops Bachchan Pandey and SP, Akshay Kumar is looking at his next project Ram Setu more carefully. He should have done that earlier.