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Newsmakers 2021: Entertainers Who Made Headlines

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Tovino Thomas

Pandemic or  no, 2021  showed  our  entertainers  zipping off for exotic holidays every three months in  their best  ‘airport looks’. In one way  or another our stars  insisted  on remaining in the news. Moving away  from the social-media butterflies here are  the entertainers  who made real unfixed headlines.

  1. Tovino Thomas:  There are heroes. And then there are  super-heroes. And beyond them  there are  the Malayalam heroes. Kerala has a tradition  of great  actors , from Mammootty and Mohanlal  to Prithviraj and Fahadh Faasil. Now there is another generation of great Malayalam actors ready to spawn the marquee. Tovino Thomas  gave impressive  performances  in   Guppy,  Oru Mexican Aparatha, Godha, and Mayanadi .Tovino’s rise  in  2021 snowballs  from  his anti-heroic stunts in Kala to his super-heroic  hijinks in Minnal Mural   …to Tovino goes the  credit for being the  first successful pan-India Indian superhero  on screen. His  popularity now  cuts across the borders. He is   the most  interesting new talent seen in 2021.
  2. Aryan  Khan:   Unlike many self(ie)made   stars  of  Bollywood,  Shah Rukh Khan’s son made news  in 2021 for no fault of his. Without trying Aryan  became the  most talked-about  Khan  of the year in the entertainment industry, when on  October 2 he  was  arrested for  possession/consumption(or whatever)  of drugs. During the month that he  spent behind bars Aryan became the poster-boy of  privileged persecution. No one knows why   he was arrested, or denied bail repeatedly. The Kafkaesque twist  to the tale of persecution  and  imprisonment  made Aryan the most sensational wannabe star of Bollywood. The   boy has received  offers from Aditya Chopra, Karan Johar, Sajid Nadiadwala and  Ashutosh Gowariker.
  3. Jacqueline Fernandez:   Not much  was seen  of Jacqueline on screen. But she  made headlines  towards  the end of  2021 when her name was linked to alleged  scamster  Sukesh Chandrasekhar. Typically, the actress denied  knowing the  incarcerated  wheelerdealer. And then  clammed up, hoping that the troubles would  vanish like a  bad dream.But  with pictorial evidence  carpeting the  internet, Ms  Fernandez faces the stickiest situation in her career so far. Jacqueline claims she  wasn’t aware  of  Chandreshekhar’s  business activities.He  showered her  with attention and expensive  gifts.She fell for it.She probably didn’t check his  identity.  Which is as bad as Shilpa Shetty claiming she didn’t  know what her  husband was  up to. If you’re  dating/marrying someone you can’t be  blind  to what he does. Years  ago Raj Kapoor’s discovery Mandakini of Ram Teri Ganga Maili fame  was  caught in highly dubious company . It killed her career. Nothing as drastic  is likely to  happen to Jacqueline’s career. However.this is  not a  good time to be Jacqueline Fernandez. The   Kick actress, said to be  extremely close to Salman Khan , had to opt out of his Da-bangg  concert in Riyadh on December 10.
  4. Akshay Kumar :   In these trying times of the pandemic and the lockdown Akshay Kumar was seen  in  three  films in 2022. In the tepidly received  Bell Bottom which came earlier  during the  year Akshay was an intelligence  officer in the  1970s trying to look  fashionably cool . In  Sooryavanshi ,the  only boxoffice hit in  2021, he was  a cop. And at the year-end he was a ghost in Aanand Rai’s Atrangi Re. Quite  a variety to choose from. Akshay  says he  has reached a place in life, where he does things because  he wants to do them and not because he has  to.We hear you. We see  you.
  5. Kartik Aaryan:  From taking on   Karan Johar’s  might by  refusing to work in  weak-scripted  project, to  delivering the first  blockbuster   on OTT  from an  A-lister, Kartik Aaryan’s rise  in 2021  has been swift steady and surefooted. He  has  proved his popularity among viewers  of  all ages. Going to  No 1  on the day it started streaming,  the viewership for Dhamaka has  grown exponentially , crossing the viewership of  all  previous premiers in Netflix featuring A-list superstars. Dhamaka has shown an  insane growth  ever since  it began steaming on November 19.Even when two big-screen  ventures Antim: The Final Truth and  Satyameva Jayate 2 with A-listers  Salman Khan and John Abraham in the lead, released  the following week on November 26,Dhamaka remained steadfast in its supremacy.Kartik Aaryan’s  rise to the  top  in 2021 was phenomenal.