Every year we hear about fall-outs and love affairs gone wrong. 2019 was no different, what with Kangana and her sister taking on everyone who is worth taking on. Here are the top eyebrow-raisers of the year.
Sanjay Bhansali-Salman Khan Split Wide Open: What really happened between Salman Khan and Sanjay Bhansali. I will tell you. The two began working on Insha Allah. But Salman’s….errr…suggestions (some directors would call them outright intrusion) got more and more aggressive. Until one day when the shooting had actually started Salman “suggested” that Daisy Shah be roped in for a dance number. That was it. Bhansali got up from the table and said, “Let’s drop it.” This ended the stormy friendship between two of the most temperamental celebrities in this world. RIP.
Taapsee –Kangana and ‘Sasti Copy’: Kangana and her sister Rangoli have a problem with anyone who is someone in the film industry. And if they don’t have a problem, it means you are not someone worth the attention. It speaks volumes of Taapsee’s escalated star value that she got tongue-lashed by the Ranaut sisters. Rangoli called Taapsee a ‘sasti copy’ of Kangana. The rate card has never been the same since then. Kangana next release is called Panga. Which is a very appropriate title for her. I am sure ‘Sasti’ Taapsee would agree.
The Manikarnika controversy: Kangana (again!) came forward claiming she had directed most of the historical Manikarnika leaving the official director Krish Jagarlamudi wondering what he was doing while Ms Ranaut was directing. Both parties came out with a string of scathing comments against each other, making the behind-the-scenes war much more interesting than the one on screen.
Kabir Singh & the Misogyny Debate: Was Shahid Kapoor’s Arjun Reddy a misogynist? Director Sandeep Vanga disagreed. The world thought otherwise. In a cringe-inducing interview to critic Anupama Chopra, Vanga gets into the defensive mode with a full-on ferocity, hitting out at critics, feminists and other detractors. About the protagonist repeatedly abusing and pushing around the girl he loves, Sandeep Vanga reasons, “If you can’t slap, touch your woman wherever you want, I don’t see emotion…I feel all the criticism the film faced is pseudo. When you are deeply in love there is honesty in the relationship. If you don’t have the liberty of slapping each other, I don’t see anything in that relation.” Later he defended the film in an interview with me saying, “No one is flawless. Even the biggest heroes of our country have flaws. It is what makes them human. I would do anything and everything with my partner to make sure I am my real self. I would drop all defences, pull down all my guards. For me the essence of a strong relationship is honesty. I wouldn’t say I’d slap my partner. Even in the film… how do I explain to the idiots that, ‘Preeti ne pehle mari hai, phir Kabir ne maara’. It’s pointless to harp on the slap. About women in the audience being offended by Kabir Singh’s proprietorial arrogance over his girlfriend Vanga opines, “I think that these women were never in love and they never experienced it the right way. The female critics were only on the feminist side. They don’t understand the difference between description and objectivity.” This guy needs to be gagged.
Ageist Controversy: It was Neena Gupta who triggered off a debate when she questioned the casting of Taapse Pannu and Bhumi Pednekar as 65-plus sharpshooters. Soon the guns and knives were out with many opinions on the issue taking the front seat. Some said age-appropriate casting is absurd. Others said, if talented actresses like Shabana Azmi, Waheeda Rehman and Neena Gupta are not cast in elderly roles, then who will? Significantly most of our male superstars are Neena’s age. Case closed.