Not People Like Us

Grumbler No 1

Rajeev Masand is Entertainment Editor and film critic at CNN-IBN
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Image Defying Leap | A Deliberate Lapse of Memory

Remember Govinda? Yes, him of the yellow pants and infectious dance moves? Well, the 50-something actor grabbed headlines recently when he dissed old friends and colleagues while speaking to the media during promotions for his latest film. Chi Chi, as he was once fondly referred to, lashed out at frequent collaborator David Dhawan, accusing him of turning his back on the actor when his chips were down. He suggested that Dhawan—with whom he’d made 17 films— pointedly avoided him when he desperately needed work, and even ‘stole’ a movie idea that he had come up with.

He was equally dismissive about his once-close friend and Partner co-star Salman Khan, who he admits was helpful to a point but won’t work with him anymore. “[When we worked together], I was praised in such a manner that Salman was told ‘You shouldn’t come in front of Govinda’.”

That same feeling of persecution raises its head again when he talks about Karan Johar, who, he says, never invited him on his television talk show despite having featured several other film industry folk. He is equally bitter about not being invited to parties and being left out of important camps, but insists he still wants to keep the “Govinda brand” alive, and compares himself to that other ultimate survivor, Amitabh Bachchan.

Industry insiders were unperturbed by the ramblings. A top producer requesting anonymity says Govinda merely got left behind when the industry took a more professional turn. “He just didn’t change with the times. He still shows up hours late to shoots, and has that mindset where he believes the producer exists in order to be exploited by the star. The tiny detail he tends to forget is that he isn’t a star anymore.” It’s a sentiment echoed by many in Bollywood who prefer to keep a safe distance from him professionally.

Image Defying Leap

Kangana Ranaut, who’s back on the circuit promoting her new film Rangoon, does not want to be pitied. The actress appears to have firmly decided not to spend any more energy discussing her failed relationship with Hrithik Roshan, although she is aware that’s the only thing nosy journos want to talk to her about.

Instead, she apparently let it drop that she’s in a fulfilling romantic relationship currently, and some media outlets have reported that she hinted she was hoping to tie the knot sometime this year. It’s a bold change of heart from her once headline-grabbing declarations that she isn’t cut out for marriage, and that she had an allergy to the idea of spending her whole life with one person.

So, who belled this cat? We’ll find out soon.

A Deliberate Lapse of Memory

A once-top filmmaker, who used to be considered ahead of his time during his golden years in the 90s, is feeling slighted by a current-day leading Bollywood actress. The director, who had a solid reputation especially when it came to mounting slick productions, directed a top female star of the 80s in one of her biggest runaway hits. But now he can’t get this actress to so much as return his calls or respond to the messages he has sent her through multiple common acquaintances.

The filmmaker is not unaware that he is commonly regarded as a spent force, but also feels it is only fair that the actress should hear him out before making up her mind about him. The director has a script that he thinks she will be perfect for, and is open to the idea of the actress producing the project under her fledgling outfit.

But insiders of the actress’ team say they have already communicated to him that she is not interested in making the kind of film he has reached out to her with—a dark thriller on the same lines as one she recently produced. She is looking to expand her range and not repeat herself.

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