2023 will go down in the history of Indian cinema as one of the most controversy-ridden years for Filmistan, most of them unnecessary, and irrelevant, though it didn’t seem so at at the time of their occurrence.
Looking back, it seemed rather ominous(and suspicious) that Ranbir Kapoor’s wipe-that-lipstick-off confession from his better-half Alia came just months before Ranbir’s monstrously misogynistic film Animal, which is to Hindi cinema what Meir Zirchi’s I Spit On Your Grave was to American cinema in 1978: a blatant brazen backlash at feminism with lines like, “Your pelvis is large, good to produce babies.”
Don’t try that at home or in public unassisted.
Deepika Padukone, poor thing, she got some section of the , shall we say, more alert communities all lathered up , first by wearing a saffron coloured bikini in Pathaan(in hindsight, was it really saffron or just orange, or maybe saffron-orange?) , and then by saying on Karan Johar’s show that she was “open” to other relationship while being committed to Ranveer Singh during their early days of togetherness.
Just how anyone , man or woman , remains simultaneously committed and “open” in a relationship is something only Deepika can explain. This was the only controversial episode of Koffee With Karan this year. Karan maintains he didn’t provoke anyone this year on his show, as there was enough of provocation going on all around him.
By far the ugliest controversy of 2023 was the custody/distribution of wealth battle between actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui and his wife.Blow by blow, the Missus made sure all the details of the battles in the courtroom and outside , were outed.I am not sure how this helped her cause. But it most certainly damaged Nawaz’s career. Producers complained in private(washing dirty linen in public is not everyone’s scene) that the actor was not able to concentrate on his career.
To end with two religious controversies. Adipurush director Om Raut’s extra-warm hug and kiss for his Sita, Kriti Sanon on a temple premise and Ranbir Kapoor shouting Jai Mata Di while cutting a Christmas cake ,generated a lot of heat.
My advice to film folks: do your kissing and chanting in private.