Compiled by Poorva Rajaram
Bye bye White house
No, Politics of Love is not another academic treatise on Brahmo Samaj women in 19thcentury Bengal. It’s Mallika Sherawat’s new Hollywood film in which she plays an Obama groupie straining in an inter-cultural romance with an African-American man. Sherawat, who has met Barack Obama twice, says she has now turned down a White House invitation. There is ample evidence of her in-demandness in the US: she has blogged about Obama on huffingtonpost.com, using germane California slang (“Hella”!). It’s only a bit surprising this ‘message’ movie hasn’t found a distributor.
The Festival de Cannes provided its usual amount of misworn canonical designer gowns (Armani, Versace) by Indian actresses too scared to experiment. So, perhaps the straitjacketed environment was auspicious enough for Madhur Bhandarkar to announce that Aishwarya Rai Bachchan would be starring in his upcoming film,Heroine. We hope to pre-emptively avoid the film because the premise is already a little rich. The film industry peddling morality tales about horrible things that happen to actresses, things no one will admit to, is a little too fact-meetfiction- meets-fact for us.
Mani Ratnam’s visionary project of adapting Ponniyin Selvan, the Tamil epic by Kalki, has been canned. The 100-crore worth of expensive actors, period finery and haiku-level compression writing will not go to waste though. Rumour has it that he has cleverly decided to use the same cast and crew to make a crowd-pleaser. While we want to mourn the lack of financial backing for ambitious projects, we are tempted to sigh in relief and wait for some well- picturised Mani Ratnam songs.
An Ocean Apart
The Indian Ocean’s Eleven has come about starring Vinay Pathak, Ranvir Shorey and Arshad Warsi as bank robbers. It will be directed by Sagar Ballary and is tentatively called A Simple Plan. We know the obvious way to Indianise the franchise is to slot it into our own heist-gangster- Mumbai underworld genre complete with dons who make scatological jokes. But, we are convinced that would be a grievous mistake. For a moment, we will allow ourselves to imagine all the Khans together with the suave production values of Farhan Akhtar’s Don.
‘Most of Mumbai gets my name wrong’
WHO Son of film producer D Suresh Babu, Daggubati is the nephew of Telugu actors Venkatesh and Nagarjuna. He is a qualified industrial photographer. In 2007, Bommalata, a film that he produced, won a National Award in the Best Film in Telugu category. As an actor, he made his debut in the Telugu film Leader. With Dum Maaro Dum, he forayed into Bollywood and will be seen next in Ram Gopal Varma’s Department.
By Sahithya Jagannathan
When did you realise that your father and grandfather were famous people?
Growing up in a house full of filmmakers was like being in a film school from Class I. As children, it seemed like any other profession to us. The only difference was my friend’s father went to a bank and mine to a film set.
Were you a nerd in school?
I didn’t fall in the category of doing well in school. Whenever I think about my schooling, I remember what I told my mom in Class VII. I said don’t let school interfere with my education. That was the last time she slapped me.
Do you believe in the institution of marriage?
A good friend of mine, Allu Arjun, got married recently. I thought, “Damn, I’m the same age.” But I am not in that space yet. I am open to a live-in relationship. But it has to be a woman. There is no way I can connect that way with a man. I am too male for that.
Have journalists ever put you off?
My full name is Rana Daggubati and most of Mumbai says it wrong. My take-off to every single interview I have ever done is “What is your name again?” I have to spell it out and pronounce it for them.
Did you have any weird encounter with a fan?
Once my sister and I were at a wedding, and then a girl approached me and started pulling my shirt. It was weird because my sister was standing right next to me.
Looking back, is there anything you would want to change about your life?
Well, I would have studied physics a little more when I was younger. I loved the subject. When I was running a post-production facility, I realised that the knowledge of physics would have come handy. I remember sending my father an SMS, saying, “I think I’ll probably would make a good engineer.” He replied, saying, “It’s still not too late.”