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Asking for His Own Encore

Rajeev Masand is entertainment editor at CNN News18
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Asking for His Own Encore • The Big Bollywood Break-up • Family Failures
Twitter can be a harsh place, as Abhishek Bachchan and Uday Chopra have realised since the campaign for Dhoom 3 unfolded a few weeks ago. Catty tweeters have made innumerable jokes about Abhishek and Uday’s diminishing prominence in each of the Dhoom movies, and their likely insignificance in the latest installment, which stars Aamir Khan as the antagonist and Katrina Kaif as his leading lady. So much so that Abhishek made it a point to assert his position and role in the franchise during a recent interview, in which he was quoted as saying that “Dhoom is my film and I am the hero. Nobody can take that away from me.” Referring specifically to the fact that each film in the series has added more popular stars to feature alongside Uday and himself (John Abraham, Hrithik Roshan & Aishwarya Rai, Aamir & Katrina), Abhishek added: “You can be the biggest or the smallest star, but Dhoom is about Jai and Ali. It’s as simple as that. If the characters of Jai and Ali are not in Dhoom, the film won’t be there.”

Ouch! An actor scorned…

The Big Bollywood Break-up

The news of Hrithik Roshan and his wife Sussanne’s separation—announced last week by the actor in an official statement—couldn’t have come as a surprise to filmwaalas, who’d been murmuring about their troubled marriage for months. The cracks became clear for all to see when word got around that Sussanne had, in fact, moved out of Hrithik’s home some months ago, or when she arrived for father-in-law Rakesh Roshan’s 70th birthday party with her parents and sister, and posed reluctantly with Hrithik for pictures.

In the US undergoing treatment for his still-not-fully-recovered cranium when he released the statement, Hrithik was reportedly keen to make the facts known before his upcoming thirteenth wedding anniversary. If anything, fans and industry- folk alike were surprised by the tone of the actor’s statement, in which he makes it clear that the split was his wife’s choice. ‘Sussanne has decided to separate from me after our 17 year relationship...’ the statement begins.

Sussanne, who quickly issued her own statement the following day, insisted that both her husband and she were committed to ensuring that their two sons were raised with love, and repeated Hrithik’s plea to the media asking for them to be allowed their privacy during this difficult time. When some tabloids attributed the breakdown of her marriage to her alleged closeness to Arjun Rampal, the D-Day star wasted no time in issuing his own statement rubbishing such rumours.

Family Failures

A TV star-cum-sometime film actor has turned director in order to relaunch the acting career of his son, whose first inning in the movies was as unmemorable as the films he’d signed. After a botched romantic relationship with an older, more famous female star and a string of unimpressive duds, the young man found himself suddenly out of work, out of sight and, as a result, out of mind.

No wonder Daddy Dearest put his own acting assignments on hold and decided to make a movie to showcase what his son had got. Problem is, Daddy’s no professional filmmaker, so the film’s reportedly turned out bunkum and no studio wants to touch it.

Worse still, it’s not just the beta who has a starring role in it; Daddy’s made sure he features in the film quite prominently too. Easily in his late 50s, Daddy got himself spruced up and all buff for the role, so those who’ve seen the film haven’t stopped laughing about the wannabe impression he leaves. The son hasn’t improved too much either, say those who couldn’t escape a preview.

No wonder baap-beta are releasing the film themselves, hoping for a miracle to turn their fortunes. They’ve been enquiring, apparently, about “co- operative” critics who might throw a few extra stars their way in exchange for fancy gifts.