Compiled by Poorva Rajaram
The first and last look
Film publicity is a layered, almost-concentric endeavour. First, you publicise the shooting, then the lack of an affair between the two big stars, then complain about the ‘leaked’ stills and then set a release date: for the trailer (hopefully it won’t clash with other trailers!). Eid brought us glimpses ofDirty Picture, Agneepath and Rockstar. Hrithik Roshan wielded his retro, revenge-seeking clenchedjaw and Ranbir Kapoormade Rock On look like an authentic documentary. But the winner was Vidya Balan in an already sumptuous looking Dirty Picture.
Carla Bruni’s Undead Singing Career
Don’t believe every ‘Preity Zinta falls to Bollywood age discrim – ination’ story you read. She is on a two-pronged mission. Her new talk show Up Close and Personal with PZ has just kicked off with Salman Khan as the first guest. And Preity will produce her own upcoming film Ishq in Paris, directed byPrem Soni of Main Aurr Mrs Khanna fame. Early rumours clearly befit a shiny global project: Carla Bruni turning Bollywood playback singer and Preity working out with Madonna’s trainer in LA.
It seems oddly wrong to write about Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s future plans without using the words “dream project” indiscriminately. All we are hearing from him (other than the obligatory spat with Sonam Kapoor) these days is on X Factor India. So finally we hear news of the new-old movie Bajirao Mastani, a long-abandoned project that Aishwarya Rai and Salman Khan never found the time to take up. Now, vague plans of a revival have been sketched out, but procuring funding and promising a hit might get even murkier.
The Surfers’ Code
If you find some of the winners of the Vodafone Crossword Book Award unfamiliar, does that mean literary circles are shedding their inbreeding in nano steps? Ashwin Sanghi, author ofChanakya’s Chant won the netizen-chosen award for popular fiction. Anjali Joseph and Omair Ahmad split the fiction award forSaraswati Park and Jimmy The Terroristrespectively. The ridiculously unmatchable VS Ramachandran won the non-fiction award for his book, The Tell- Tale Brain. NS Madhavan and Rajesh Rajamohan won the translation award for Litanies of Dutch Battery.