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Don’t Write Her off Yet

Rajeev Masand is Entertainment Editor and film critic at CNN-IBN
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A Family That Sticks Together | Nothing Unreasonable About It

Industry big shots who predicted that Kangana Ranaut’s career was over after her pow-wow with Hrithik Roshan and the subsequent failure of Simran may not have expected a power player in the league of Ekta Kapoor to bankroll her next film. But it’s happened. Earlier this week, Ekta announced she was producing a new movie that will star Kangana and her Queen co-star—and current ‘it boy’—Rajkummar Rao.

‘Experts’ had also predicted that no actor would be willing to work with Kangana given her ‘difficult’ reputation, but Rajkummar has reportedly been saying he’s looking forward to working with Kangana in this phase of her “creative peak”.

It’s true she doesn’t have any A-list projects lined up, but that could change depending on the box-office fate of her ambitious Rani of Jhansi project, Manikarnika, expected to be released later this year. She has also reportedly buried the hatchet with Karan Johar. Perhaps Bollywood is indeed thawing towards the controversial star.

A Family That Sticks Together

It’s true that grief can bring people closer. That’s what appears to have happened in the case of Boney Kapoor’s children—Arjun and Anshula, and Sridevi’s daughters Janhvi and Khushi. Tabloids that have been stalking the families on social media report that both sides have made familial overtures.

Anshula recently shut down a troll who attacked Janhvi and Khushi, asking her to ‘refrain from using abusive language especially towards my sisters’. Janhvi, who turned 21, this week, began following Anshula on Instagram. Sonam Kapoor, daughter of Boney’s younger brother Anil Kapoor, who is known to be very close to her older cousins Arjun and Anshula, wrote a post wishing Janhvi for her birthday, describing her as ‘one of the strongest girls I know, who became a woman today’. To that Janhvi replied, ‘Love uuuu’.

Arjun, meanwhile, who has consistently avoided responding to questions about Sridevi and the girls, may have revealed his own current mood through a not-so-cryptic post on social media. Quoting American author RM Drake, Arjun wrote: ‘You’re brave because life gives you every reason to want to give up and still, you rise, you pick yourself up and carry on.’

Friends of the families have revealed that Sridevi’s untimely passing, and particularly their father’s fragile condition in its wake, has brought the children closer. “There used to be hurt on both sides. After all, there is long, painful history there. But that hurt seems to have changed into compassion,” says a filmmaker close to the bereaved husband.

Nothing Unreasonable About It

A reasonably popular actor—whose currency took a nosedive after he allegedly got involved with an A-lister’s missus—was recently invited to attend a film award ceremony in the Middle East. The good-looking star demanded that a showreel of his work be played before he was presented with the award, and reportedly went mental when the video could not be played for technical reasons.

Eye-witnesses say he refused to take responsibility for the fact that it was his team that sent the video in an incompatible format. The organisers claimed they had alerted his team a few days earlier that the file wasn’t playing, but no effort was made to replace it. The star would listen to no excuses. He went on a tireless tirade in full public view, and reduced two interns to tears.

For his own part, he has clarified that he didn’t “push” for his showreel to be played. All winners had been asked to submit a video. He commissioned—“at considerable cost”—a video to be produced. He claims the organisers didn’t ditch the video because it didn’t work, but because other actors hadn’t submitted theirs and they thought it would be “awkward” to play only his. “Not fair,” he insists, admitting that he lost his cool—but for good reason.