Well, that was a big non-event, wasn’t it? No, I’m not just referring to the IFFA’s that took place in Florida but the Second Quarter of 2014 in general. If the First Quarter boasted amazing female performances and some really good films, Second Quarter was all about shifting down to cruise control. With the IPL in full on cock block mode and a lack of interesting releases (with any decent film failing to cross the seven seas to dear ol’ Blighty), the Second Quarter reminded me of 2011 which was a lacklustre year for Hindi cinema.
Yes, there was 2 States which I found diverting and then right at the end came the mansplaining men behaving wrongly Ek Villain (that made me add write a decent script in my book of wishes) but nothing in between really piqued my interest which is a sad state of affairs. Where are the films that excite and inspire? But before we get too deep, let’s give props where they are due and note the significant changing of the guard taking place – with Arjun Kapoor and Siddharth Malhotra both delivering hit films in both quarters (in Arjun’s case, two 100 crore hits back to back – jellabis for your favourite trade analyst yo!), it seems the younger bunch are not only establishing themselves as box office draws in their own right but also are moving along nicely on the acting front.
If anything, one wonders if the new order with their command of social media and a firm guiding hand (thanks K-Jo Aunty!) is behind what seems like astronomical success in a short space of time. Still, if we get films like Highway and Hasee Toh Phasee, you won’t hear me griping much. As long as the audience win in the jostle for supremacy, we could be treated to some very interesting films in the next few years. That the dynamics have changed in the industry is old news – but what happens next is where the excitement lies.
Speaking of excitement, all reports that were not paid for indicated no joy was to be found at the IFFA event. Stories of tantrums, tears and rip offs were everywhere and that was just the arrival gate at the airport. To make matters worse, John Uncle and Kevin Uncle from Hollywood came along (“Oh, a cheque? You shouldn’t have! Let’s have a lahddoo together!”) and
grinded snake hipped their way with the visiting brown boys folk (“Aren’t they lovely? We don’t want them for our films but aren’t they compliant?”) and our sychophants, oops, stars were only to happy to make sure both uncles and other assorted firangs had chai paani ka intezam taken care of as well as a nightcap or two.
All snark aside, surely IFFA proved that award ceremonies in Hindi cinema now have no value at all. I am not going to see a film because it has won an IFFA plus is there any actual credible criteria? Furthermore, holding the ceremony in phoren lands outside India seems little more than an extended paid holiday for organisers and stars – after all, who cares about the crew who put blood and sweat in making the event happen(?) Let’s see an award ceremony that promotes cinema abroad with a degree of class and engages the visitors at the ceremony and at home rather than a bloated 5 hour masturbatory session that is helpfully trimmed down to 3 hours for telecast minus the adverts. Bring on the Third Quarter already!
As mentioned, only three films worth wasting time for and even then, only if you don’t have other things to do, like breathe.
Bhoothnath Returns – Actually, this is a worthy film with an eloquent message well delivered. Definitely one that will be enjoyed on DVD/telecast. See my review for it here.
2 States – Lovely cast and fairly diverting, I actually was one of the few who enjoyed 2 States. Though it was a one time watch for me, it was still the by far the best of a bad bunch. See my review here.
Ek Villain – So remember how I said women were making progress in cinema last quarterly? Here’s something to undo all of that with misogyny as the hero and logic the villain. Still, Siddharth Malhotra rises above all and gives good go to the gym inspiration. See my review here.
Taz Uncle And The City
On the way back from Tampa, everyone’ favourite trade pundit had to take some downtime before getting back to a grueling routine of trail screenings, ass kissing and dropping bombastic vocabulary bombs on Twitter for every release.
So what’s a
lonely gal critic to do? Why hit the sidewalks of NYC of course! See the sights, shop till you drop, catch a show on Broadway and sip a cosmo at the bar.
And take a creative writing course.
See, our Taz Uncle accidentally left his laptop at a Starbucks where as part of his creative writing class, he had to write a diary entry in the style of Carrie Bradshaw from Sex And The City. Fortunately, one eagle eyed
slave employee was able to capture and email to me this piece of history for my new quarterly. So here is that extract straight from Taz’s laptop for your reading pleasure. You know you love me! xoxo.
Ah New York – the city from Kal Ho Naa Ho. How did Preity Zinta manage to run the length and breadth of the city in the title sequence without breaking a sweat? And in THAT tracksuit? Gurrrrrrrrl. I’ll never know. Ah well, I’ll take that over all that extra marital action in KANK – that film may have stormed the box office but it certainly didn’t create an earthquake in my moral centre – I love Mrs Taz to bits and even bought her some Manolo’s so that she can wear them to the next success party that I am going to – I forget if it is Dharma or one of Vashu From The Block’s home production.
After taking the selfie at the Statue Of Liberty, I headed to a cafe in Little Italy for a salad when suddenly I spotted my nemesis KoNa. KoNa was my roommate at Gurukul and had also been invited to Tampa (clearly Samantha Jones was not doing the PR for THAT event). Since that drunken fumble at the frat party, we had never really spoken. At the IFFA’s, he was parading his new Prada body bag like a man who had just broken the news of a new 100 crore hit at the box office. Not to be outdone, I had picked up a hip belt bag from Gucci on Fifth which was far more current and had been worn in many a Dharma production.
Bag on hip, I walked over to say hi – my momma had taught me manners and class! After a frosty acknowledgement (or was that hurt in his eyes?) KoNa spotted my Gucci and bolted – it was like a high fashion showdown and I guess I had the five star review this time around. Later, as I came out of Abercrombie & Fitch (great baniyans), I saw KoNa clutching a Gucci bag as he went back to his hotel. I suppose imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
Retreating to the nearest Starbucks, I fired up my free Wi-Fi to see K-Jo inviting me to to a launch party for his next release when I was back in Bombay via Whatsapp (no personal invite? Bitch). I couldn’t help but wonder – was K-Jo really my friend or is it all about loving someone who could make your film flop?
Later on in midtown, as I exited Chicago The Musical (I’m sure I spotted a few scouts from Vishesh Films there – sex and music IS their forte after all), I felt pretty happy. Life was good. I had been part of the in crowd at the IFFA’s – even John Travolta said hello to me (though he kept calling me Tory Burch – I guess he read my name tag wrong). The gang of hip actors promised to invite me to their next party and I couldn’t wait to wear my new Old Navy hoodie.
But as I walked through Hell’s Kitchen, I saw the A-list of B’Town exit a Hummer and walk into a nightclub arm in arm, in Manish sequins – and KoNa was with them. My heart sank – just when I thought I was an ALL TIME BLOCKBUSTER, I was now in danger of becoming a trade disaster – OMFG, I was becoming Sajid Khan! I quickly hailed a cab and the Jatt driver took me to Jackson Heights where I drowned my sorrows with a peg of lassi. Later, as the same cab dropped me off at my hotel (and charged me the price of tweet), I realised that I would never be part of that A-list gang. I was just too NormCore.
But as I munched on a jellaby and looked at my Gucci belt bag, I felt nourished – what more could a top trade analyst want? As NYC buzzed around me, I went to bed triumphant – I may not shatter all records or have a historic opening at the real box office but I was a silver jubilee in my own world and for me, it’s the success you have at your own box office that is the most crucial. And in that respect, I was HISTORIC.
Fashionista Of The Quarter – Aishwarya Rai Bachchan
So whilst the IFFA’s were a dull-a-thon, it is was over to the delectable Mrs B to save the day at Cannes and whattaway to steal the show. Looking ethereal in a gold Roberto Cavalli dress and red lip, the entire world went ga ga over Ash’s strut down the red carpet and rightly so. The most beautiful, stylish, fashionable thing that she had? Her confidence. Each kiss blown to the crowd was a big f*** off to her critics who have had a field day trying to provoke her out of a dignified silence, with everything from her weight to her film choice under ridiculous scrutiny.
A lesser person perhaps would have crumbled – but not Ash. Was her dress the best at Cannes? Probably not (my personal favourite was Blake Lively who made me swoon so much I still can’t stand up too fast) but when it comes to attitude, presenting the best of yourself to the glaring critical eye of the world media and inspiring countless people in your wake, Ash was the best, no question. And it proves that with fashion, even more important than what you wear is the confidence and attitude you project which can make all the difference.
(Also don’t forget to check out my conversation with another gorgeous person, the lovely Beth Watkins (@bethlovesbollywood) on all the Cannes Hoopla)
Others of note this quarter include
Sonam Kapoor – Do not adjust your monitor or change your password. I have not been hacked and actually did type that myself. Never let it be said that I won’t praise good style when I see it. I may not be a fan of Sonam but even I can’t deny she is killing it here with sass to spare. The hair and makeup is so en pointe that I am in danger of finding her beautiful (oops, too late). I also love the Anamika Khanna which stands out for the right reasons, is event appropriate and well worn. Now if Sonam can bring this to her acting game, we may yet go for cupcakes and lattes one day.
Deepika Padukone – See, listen here now kids, I always reserve a spot for DPad in my fashion bit because I know she is going to bring it every quarter. I JUST KNOW OK? And did my girl disappoint? HELL NO SHE DIDN’T. This Vogue India cover (styled by Anaita Shroff Adajania) was just so amazing I had to have a lie down after seeing it. Hotter than the surface of the sun, styled within an inch of a megapixel and just fuggin awesome, there is a reason why DPad is numero uno. Bring on that next release PR blitzkreig stat.
Alia Bhatt’s Hair in 2 States – The best thing about a Dharma film is always the styling/hair/makeup design – and Alia’s gorgeous tresses made me want to buy cheap hair extensions from the dodgy stall outside the cinema after seeing the film and rock them with my boho chic kurtas. Whether it was waves, a braid or poker straight, I fell hook line and sinker for these hair styles. Observe and then appropriate for yourselves dear reader.
What To Watch Out For in Third Quarter
FINALLY looks like we is going to get some overcompensation for this crappy quarter. So here goes!
Bobby Jasoos – Vidya, Vidya, Vidya. Quit your jabbering, book your ticket and go see it. We can discuss after, its Vidya yo!
Kick – Yes, everyone is already going to see this etc etc. But this might just be the new guilty pleasure we have all been craving.
Mardaani – Rani out of her comfort zone and building on that No One Killed Jessica character? Yes please. This is exactly the kind of film I want to see her doing. Let’s encourage by going to see it.
Dawaat E Ishq – I thought this would release this quarter. Oops. Still want to see it.
Creature – Ditto. We want Bips. Give us Bips. Where is Bips? (to the tune of We Want Billy from Chicago The Musical – LOOK IT UP AND LISTEN).
Oh alright, here it is you lazy but fabulous people:
Finding Fanny Fernandes – After we stop laughing at the word fanny (ie never) this is one of the most awaited films this year. Quick, look at DPad’s Vogue India cover to calm ourselves down!
NH10 – I do like Anushka though she better not be playing ANOTHER bubbly Punjabi girl put into life threatening situations here. OK, but only if it has a equally bubbly Punjabi soundtrack.
Ugly – Have heard so much about this that I want to see it for myself to make up my own mind.
And that’s it for now folks – have a great third quarter!