Tag Archives: 2017

Virushka, Baahubali, Dangal, Padmavati: A complete A-Z glossary for everything Bollywood got up to in 2017

Ah, 2017! A year that kept us Bollywood watchers on our toes, busy as bees. If only it would slow down some! While that shows no signs of happening, here’s a quick recap of all the particularly attention-grabbing things Bollywood said or did over the past 12 months, arranged here as an A to Z glossary for your reading convenience. Don’t stop till you get to the end!

A

Azaan

Awoken from his slumber by the sounds of the azaan from a nearby mosque, a disgruntled Sonu Nigam shot off a tweet that had TV channels buzzing, talking heads talking, and debaters debating. Matters reached a ‘head’ (ahem) when a fatwa was issued against Sonu by a cleric, who promised a princely sum to anyone who’d shave the singer’s hair and parade him around the country. Sonu shaved his hair off himself and demanded the bounty. Last heard, he still tosses and turns in bed, bemoaning the azaan and the loss of his silken tresses.

B

Baahubali 2: The Conclusion

It came, it saw — and it conquered the box office. Long before it petered to a stop with its handsome earnings of Rs 1,700 crore, Baahubali 2: The Conclusion was already a sensation. That was due, in no small part, to the success of the original film. But SS Rajamouli, Prabhas, Anushka Shetty, Prabhas and Ramya Krishnan created magic yet again in the franchise’s concluding part — a few controversies notwithstanding in the run-up to its release. Not only did Baahubali 2 go on to become (for a while, until Dangal‘s China release) the highest-earning Indian film, it also had a slew of other records to its credit: first film to cross Rs 1,000 crore, fastest Rs 100 crore earner, only Hindi film to cross Rs 500 crore in domestic collections and so on.

For Bollywood watchers, 2017 marked the best of time,s the worst of times

C

Central Board of Film Certification

After a highly controversial tenure, CBFC chief Pahlaj Nihalani was replaced with adman-lyricist Prasoon Joshi. The film industry heaved a sigh of relief, Nihalani went on to produce the skinfest Julie 2, and Joshi settled down to the task of balancing creative freedom with censorship laws.

D

Dangal

Dangal should have been 2016’s biggest news. And it was. Then, it opened in China over May 2017, and became the talking pint for this year as well. From its original earnings of Rs 700+ crore, Dangal‘s dream run in China (it would collect over Rs 1,200 crore from that territory alone) helped catapult it past PK and Baahubali 2 to become the highest earning Indian film of all time. Odes were written to Aamir Khan’s genius, and Bollywood had the shining figure of Rs 2,000 crore to aspire to.

E

Ed Sheeran

Also, eugenics

First, there were the million variants of ‘Shape Of You‘. Then, there were the hysterical fans that greeted him when he performed in Mumbai. Just when Ed Sheeran began to think that India (and Indians) had treated him pretty damn well, he was subjected to a Bollywood party (thrown by Farah Khan) that made him the butt of all memes. As photos of a somewhat dazed-looking Sheeran began to do the rounds of social media, Twitterati (who hadn’t been invited to the party) wondered if he’d been held hostage by the celeb crowd, or if he made do with wearing trick glasses that had eyes painted onto them (to cover up the fat that he was snoozing behind them).

As regards, ‘euegenics’, see N for Nepotism.

F

Fairness creams

In a year that saw rampant attacks on Africans living in India, Abhay Deol chose to highlight the casual racism of Indians by taking aim at fairness creams. He ‘named and shamed’ celebrities who did endorse these creams on his social media account — and got into a minor tiff of sorts with Sonam Kapoor, who pointed out that Abhay’s cousin Esha Deol had also appeared in a commercial for said unguents.

G

Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Insaan

Perhaps the self-proclaimed godman had an inkling that his luck would soon run out. And s, before he received his 20-year jail sentence in the latter half of 2017,  MSG (the ‘Messenger of God’) squeezed in not one, but two films that had a theatrical release. Hind Ka Napak Ko Jawab — MSG Lionheart 2 and Jattu Engineer were works of such inspired creativity, that we do not have words to describe them. We’ll just leave you with this little gem instead, and let MSG do the talking:

H

Hrithik Roshan

After it dominated the entertainment industry discourse in 2016, the Hrithik Roshan-Kangana Ranaut feud was back in the spotlight. This time, because of a long and impassioned social media post written by Hrithik Roshan, in which we asked why there was no trace of an alleged seven-year-long passionate affair, except for a series of one-sided emails that had already been sent to the Cyber Crime Cell? Kangana responded, and the slugfest continued.

I

IFFI

The International Film Festival of India (or IFFI as it’s known to one and all) found itself talked about less for its heavy star presence and programming than it did for what was seen as an attempt at heavy-handed censorship. First, the films S Durga and Nude were dropped from the festival line-up, prompting IFFI jury members Sujoy Ghosh and Apurva Asrani to resign. Then, despite a Kerala High Court order directing the IFFI officials to screen S Durga, director Sanal Kumar Sasidharan was kept on tenterhooks until the eleventh hour of the fest as to the fate of the screening. Amid a notice issued by the regional office of the CBFC in Thiruvananthapuram, S Durga was not screened after all.

J

Justin Bieber 

Also, jauhar and Johar

Jagga Jasoos

The ‘Sorry‘ singer’s much-hyped concert in Mumbai came down to a mostly lip-synced performance. But apart from his lacklustre onstage act, Justin Bieber did manage to set off some fireworks between Sonakshi Sinha and Armaan Malik, who had a nasty Twitter feud over whether or not Bollywood actors should sing professionally.

For jauhar, see P for Padmavati; check N for Nepotism for Johar; and U for under-performers for Jagga Jasoos

K

Kangana Ranaut-Karan Johar

When Rangoon stars Saif Ali Khan and Kangana Ranaut (joined later by Shahid Kapoor) appeared on Koffee With Karan, the episode began normally enough. But then Kangana got into her groove, calling Karan out for having made fun of her when she first became part of the industry, and labelling him the ‘flag-bearer for nepotism’. And thus was triggered an exchange that kept Bollywood watchers engaged for several more months to come.

Johar had some good news to celebrate as well this year: see under M for memoirs and Y for young ‘uns.

L

Lipstick under my Burkha

Also, legs

The film deemed too ‘lady-oriented’ by the CBFC finally released to much acclaim across India this year. Lipstick Under My Burkha triggered much-needed conversations about women and sexuality, while its triumphant path to the theatres was an inspiration on its own.

Legs — specifically Priyanka Chopra’s, when she met Narendra Modi. When PeeCee and the Prime Minister happened to be in Berlin at the same time, the actress dropped by for a meeting. The off-white dress she chose to wear was demure enough, but for some ‘patriotic’-minded Twitterati, Priyanka’s bare legs were too much to bear, and they launched a vicious attack against the actress. Her reply? Another image of herself, with her mother Madhu Chopra, both of them showing off their shapely legs. Scoreboard — PeeCee: 1; Sanskaari Trolls: 0.

M

Mahira Khan

Manushi Chhillar

Also, M for Memoirs – Karan Johar, Rishi Kapoor’s

Mahira Khan’s Raees released in India in January. The actress, however, could neither participate in the film’s promotions, not celebrate her cross-border release, because of the boycott on Pakistani artistes issued in 2016 after the Uri attacks. Later in the year, photos of Mahira — sharing a smoke with Ranbir Kapoor while on holiday in New York — went viral, causing a further backlash against the actress. Twitterati picked over everything from the act of her smoking, to her choice of clothing (a casual, white halter-neck dress) and companion (a Bollywood actor).

Manushi Chhillar brought home the Miss World crown after a gap of 17 years and quickly became India’s favourite ‘daughter’.

The memoirs of Rishi Kapoor (Khullam Khulla) and Karan Johar (An Unsuitable Boy) had readers and Bollywood fans talking for a long, long time with their mix of style and unabashed truth-telling.

N

Nepotism

Also, National Awards; North-eastern cinema

Triggered by the Kangana-Karan spat, ‘nepotism’ became the word most commonly brought up in discussions about Bollywood (for a while at least). At IIFA, Saif, Karan and Varun Dhawan put up a skit which took jabs at Kangana and ended with the trio proclaiming: “Nepotism rocks!” Varun issued an apology after the incident, Saif got into discussions of eugenics, and Karan put up Instagram pics of his babies. Many thinkpieces were written, some soul-searching may have been engaged in — what all of it resulted in remains to be seen.

The National Awards witnessed some high drama after Akshay Kumar was named the Best Actor winner for Rustom this year. That filmmaker Priyadarshan — who has been a longtime collaborator of the actor’s — was the head of the jury that awarded Akshay the honour drew much comment.

And the cinema of the North East got some inadvertent (but not unwelcome) attention when Priyanka Chopra called her home production Pahuna the first film to emerge from the region and referred to Sikkim as a state ‘troubled by insurgency’. PeeCee was subjected to a social media backlash and a swift lesson on the North East. Amid calls for her to be removed as the tourism ambassador for Assam, Priyanka issued an apology and the matter was resolved.

O

Om Puri

Om Puri’s demise was among the first celebrity deaths of 2017. The 66-year-old actor was found collapsed at his Mumbai home.

P

Padmavati

A controversy that came to define Bollywood in 2017, the Padmavati row began with director Sanjay Leela Bhansali being roughed up by Karni Sena members while shooting in Rajasthan. The trigger: a rumour that there would be a dream romantic sequence depicted between Rani Padmini (Deepika Padukone) and Allaudin Khilji (Ranveer Singh). From that incident, a major conflagration ensued, which saw death threats being issued to Deepika and SLB, much discussion over Rajput pride and Rajput history, and an indefinite postponement of Padmavati‘s release.

Q

Quarrels

We wish it had been on a Qantas flight just so this entry could have been more alliterative, but even without the aid of such literary devices, the quarrel between Sunil Grover and Kapil Sharma was dramatic enough. On a flight from Australia to India, mid-air, the two collaborators had an argument that led to an inebriated Sharma attacking Grover. Grover walked out of Kapil’s show, leading to a phase that saw its TRPs plummet, the show being taken off air for a while, and Kapil himself entering treatment for stress-related issues.

Another not-so-saucy spat: the one over writing credit for Simran, that ufolded between Apurva Asrani, Kangana Ranaut and Hansal Mehta.

R

Raees vs Kaabil

Also, Rajkummar Rao; Reema Lagoo

Raees vs Kaabil was the big box office clash of 2017 for Bollywood. The Shah Rukh Khan and Hrithik Roshan starrers went head-to-head (or toe-to-toe if that’s the phrase you prefer) at the theatres; the Roshans cried foul, the Raees team (Excel Entertainment + Red Chillies) pleaded helplessness (their film had already been delayed because of the Uri aftermath), and amid furious reportage of the box office numbers, the SRK-starrer pulled ahead.

With starring roles in Behen Hogi Teri, Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana, Bareilly Ki Barfi, and the Bose web series by ALTBalaji, it was a good year for Rajkummar Rao. Along came Newton, which not only cemented Rao’s position as one of Bollywood’s finest actors today, but also became India’s entry to the Oscars — and 2017 can indeed be considered a year full of high points for Rajkummar.

Tu Tu Main Main and Hum Aapke Hain Koun…! star Reema Lagoo passed away this year, aged 58.

S

Shashi Kapoor

Also, small-town India

Shashi Kapoor, Bollywood’s handsomest leading hero of all time, passed away aged 79. Tears were shed, hearts were broken, and the end of an era was noted.

Small-town India had its moment in the spotlight as Bollywood celebrated stories set outside the metros and tier-I towns. From Toilet: Ek Prem Katha to Babumoshai Bandookbaaz, small-town India provided great characters, settings and stories to Bollywood in 2017.

T

Tubelight

The Salman Khan-starrer was supposed to shine bright, but instead flickered and died out at the box office. Why this deserves an entry of its own? Because when was the last time you remembered a Salman Khan release not being accompanied by a wave of juggernaut-like euphoria that swept everything in its path? Of course, Tiger Zinda Hai has brought some balance back into the world of shell-shocked Salman fans in the time since.

U

Under-performers

Tubelight, Jagga Jasoos, Jab Harry Met Sejal, Rangoon, Raabta, A Gentleman, Chef — 2017 seemed like a graveyard where big-budget/banner/highly-anticipated films went to die. While some received a critical drubbing, others couldn’t bring in the box office megabucks they were expected to. Will 2018 be any better? Such at least, is the hope.

V

Vinod Khanna

Also, Varun Dhawan; Vidya Balan; Virushka

Bollywood bid adieu to Vinod Khanna, who passed away aged 70 after a battle (reportedly) with cancer.

Meanwhile, Vidya Balan and Varun Dhawan had a good year — Vidya for what was widely hailed as a return to form in Tumhari Sulu, and Varun for his moneyspinners (Badrinath Ki Dulhaniya and Judwaa 2) in a year that saw few films cross the Rs 100 crore mark.

For Virushka, see W for weddings.

W

Weddings!

Or rather, *the* wedding. We’re talking about Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma nuptials of course. Airport sighting, Tuscan getaway, Delhi-Mumbai reception, it seemed like there was no end to the couple’s shaadi-related updates. Not that we’re complaining — rarely have we seen a pair more photogenic than these two. And we’re sure wedding planners are going to see a stream of requests for Virushka inspired events.

X

xXx: The Return of Xander Cage

Following close on the heels of Priyanka Chopra, Deepika Padukone too made her Hollywood debut this year with the Vin Diesel film. Making a fair impression as she did the rounds of late-night chat shows and red carpets, Deepika also got Vin to come down to India where he charmed fans.

Y

Young ‘uns

Ishan Khatter. Jahnvi Kapoor. Sara Ali Khan. Young Bollywood was ready for its moment in the spotlight, preparing for their debuts, all that nepotism talk be damned. Meanwhile, the youngest of the lot — Taimur Ali Khan — continued to rule social media, chubby cheeks, green eyes et al.

Z

Zaira Wasim

The Dangal actress had a mixed year: She was viciously cyber-bullied for a meeting with Mehbooba Mufti, then got into a war of words over Twitter with politician Vijay Goel, before speaking out against an alleged harassment incident, and being praised for her role in one of the year’s best films, Secret Superstar.

IPL 2017: Delhi Daredevils must shed underachievers tag to deliver on their pending promise

Every summer, when Premier League football gets underway, there is one certainty. Arsenal FC begin every season with renewed vigour, which dissipates by the end of the year, and at the turn of February-March, they are struggling to stay afloat, hoping to finish fourth again. Arsenal fans, the world over may not agree with this, but regardless of whatever their argument, this yearly routine is a fact.

Now, starting from its very genesis, the Indian Premier League has forever been drawing parallels with the Premier League. Never mind the fixing saga and ensuing ban, Chennai Super Kings were seen as Manchester United, as they won everything they came across – multiple IPL trophies and the now-defunct Champions League T20. ‘Perennial winners’ is the phrase that comes to mind.

File picture of the Delhi Daredevils team . AFP

Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore are the rich clubs, like Manchester City and Chelsea, throwing out large cheques at player auctions. Kolkata Knight Riders have the most passionate supporters, like Liverpool. Obviously, when it comes to ‘perennial underachievement’ then, Delhi Daredevils find themselves in the same classification as Arsenal.

2012 was the last time this franchise had anything to cheer about. They finished top of the league table, but failed to get going in the play-offs, finishing third. They qualified for the Champions League too, and finished top of their group therein, but failed in the semis again. With the likes of Virender Sehwag, Kevin Pietersen, Mahela Jayawardene, Aaron Finch, David Warner, Ross Taylor, Glenn Maxwell, Andre Russell, Morne Morkel and Umesh Yadav, this season didn’t seem like a total loss though.

Instead, it seemed the dawn of a new hurrah, with these names laying the foundation of a new era of success. It didn’t happen, thanks partly to downturn in the form of some of the oldies, and the rest down to poor decision making on part of the team management as they sold off (or failed to retain the other players) who could have made an impact in the years to come.

Again, it is similar to the Arsenal story. They won the 2003-04 Premier League title, and every time they win a side-trophy like the FA or League Cup, it seems there is dawn of a false new era. It has been eons since Arsenal provided a firm challenge, and no, finishing second to Leicester City doesn’t count (Arsene Wenger should have been fired for losing out last year when City, Chelsea and United were all in doldrums, but that is a different debate).

In that sense, 2012 is Delhi Daredevils’ 2004. Five years is a long, long time in T20 cricket and their current squad isn’t a patch on the one they had all those years ago. Finishing eighth (2013), seventh (2014) and eighth (2015) subsequently, they have become more than under-achievers now. It is a pity there is no relegation system herein, for the Daredevils needed to be put out of their misery. Perhaps, it was the rude jolt their team management needed in order to buck up and make intelligent decisions.

2016 had seemed a little different then. Their squad was heavily inspired by the banned Rajasthan Royals’ outfit, bringing in the Rahul Dravid and Paddy Upton combination to manage, and the much-celebrated Gary Kirsten was let go. The message was clear – the Daredevils had bought into the youth-first policy and heavy invested by putting their eggs in one basket. The result was okay – finishing sixth – but stayed in the hunt for a play-off spot for long, only running out of steam at the very end. Almost like Wenger had been fired from Arsenal, and the new manager had hit the reset button, overseeing a period of transition at the club.

This is where the analogy ends, for Wenger is still there and on the verge of signing a new contract. More pertinently, in the context of this upcoming 2017 IPL season, the Daredevils are in a familiar territory. It is a make or break season for them, for next year all players go back in the auction pool, and the teams will be reshuffled. Maybe there will be an option to retain or buyback by matching the highest bid, it is undecided. Even so, it puts firm onus on this season’s performance, to gauge if this ‘youth’ blueprint even works.

So how are the Daredevils shaping up this season? Two of their important imports are out of this season – Quinton de Kock and JP Duminy. Both players are mercurial in their own definitive way; de Kock can blow hot and cold, it is all a bit moody time for him. If he gets going, like in 2016 (445 runs in 13 matches), he can be a firecracker both in front and behind the stumps.

Duminy is a bigger miss. Zaheer Khan, now 38, will never play every single match of the IPL season. The South African was the obvious choice to step in as skipper in his stead, and his experience in the lower-middle order will be sorely missed.

All is not lost though. For once, the Daredevils’ management spent good money (read judiciously) in the player auctions and their purchase list this year is pretty impressive. Take a look – pacers Pat Cummins and Kagiso Rabada, all-rounders Angelo Mathews and Corey Anderson, plus keeper-batsman Aditya Tare and spinner Murugan Ashwin. They released Nathan Coulter-Nile, Imran Tahir and Pawan Negi, freeing up important spots in their first-choice line-up.

Mathews, who has played for Daredevils before, can step up as captain when Zaheer needs a rest. Additionally, the injuries could be a stroke of inadvertent luck. Players like Carlos Brathwaite, Sam Billings and Anderson can get a long run of games, and these are impact players, in the Chris Morris-mould. Cummins is coming off the back of a fantastic two Tests in Ranchi and Dharamsala, while Rabada is already a rising star in every format of the game.

They can be used alternatively with Zaheer, in bolstering the pace attack, whilst the return of Mohammed Shami is always a good thing. Tare covers up for de Kock adequately, while the evergreen Amit Mishra, Jayant Yadav and Shahbaz Nadeem have the spin department covered between them.

And so, the focus once again will squarely be on the young guns. Shreyas Iyer and Karun Nair have a lot to prove given the lofty standards they have set themselves. Sanju Samson is in search of a fresh start to his promising-but-faltering career graph.

There is Rishabh Pant who has a hard-hitting reputation to live up to. This batting foursome will sew up the top order, along with Tare, and together they boast of enough firepower with the T20 experience of Brathwaite, Anderson and Morris/Billings to boost up the run-rate as needed later.

On paper, much like Arsenal every season, this squad promises a lot once again. Delivering on the field of play, however, is a different prospect altogether.

DD squad: Zaheer Khan (c), Shashank Singh, Mohammed Shami, Shahbaz Nadeem, Jayant Yadav, Amit Mishra, Sreyas Iyer, Sam Billings, Sanju Samson, Chris Morris, Carlos Brathwaite, Angelo Mathews, Corey Anderson, Kagiso Rabada, Pat Cummins, Ankit Bawne, Aditya Tare, Murugan Ashwin, Navdeep Saini, Karun Nair, Rishabh Pant, CV Milind, Syed Ahmed, Pratyush Singh.

Jolly LLB 2, Toilet, 2.0 and Pad Man: What Akshay Kumar’s slate of films looks like in 2017

Mumbai: On New Year’s Day on Sunday, Bollywood star Akshay Kumar shared with his fans his line-up of films for the calendar year, asking them for love and luck.

Akshay Kumar. File photo

He tweeted: “Busy summing up the year gone by? It’s time to not look back, but look ahead. Here’s what my 2017 looks like. Your thoughts, love and luck needed.”

The actor then went on to share the names of the films along with their photographs.

The first one is his upcoming courtroom comedy drama film Jolly LLB 2. Directed by Subhash Kapoor, the film also features Huma Qureshi and Annu Kapoor.

In the trailer, Akshay looks promising as a lawyer while he tackles the corrupt with some comical elements.

Toilet — Ek Prem Katha is the second. Directed by Shree Narayan Singh, it also stars Bhumi Pednekar and Anupam Kher, and is slated to release on June 2.

Then Akshay will be seen in Tamil science-fiction action thriller 2.o along with superstar Rajinikanth.

In the film, which is being directed by Shankar, Rajinikanth plays a scientist, and he will also be seen as Chitti robot. Akshay plays the prime antagonist in the film, which will hit the screens worldwide during Diwali 2017.

The fourth project that Akshay has in his kitty for 2017 is Pad Man. It is said to be a biopic on Arunachalam Muruganantham, and will chronicle his journey of finding a way to make cheap, affordable sanitary napkins for women in his village.