Special Article: Needless Debate On Nepotism & Talent


 
By Apoorva Raturi

Nepotism has been an ongoing topic of discussion for many this year. The term used to describe the mind-set of a few who believe that they are privileged and that they deserve certain perks because of the family they are born in, was used by Kangana Ranaut in an episode of Koffee with Karan, which then triggered a fire amongst the people within the Hindi film industry and opened ground of discussions amongst the fans as well.

As she tagged Karan Johar as the “Flagbearer of Nepotism” and “A Movie Mafia” on the show, the entire industry rose to how the actress had questioned the judgement of a well-established filmmaker who was known to have given chances to many Bollywood biggies.

What followed was a public backlash from KJo that acted like fuel to the fire and led to the common people talking about the preference that is given to those who already have a Bollywood connection. With mixed reactions over the issue from various levels of the society, many actors came forward stating their opinions too, while some decided to stay mum.
While actors like Arjun Kapoor, Shraddha Kapoor, Alia Bhatt have played safe, Ranbir Kapoor, openly went on record to say that he is a “disarming product of nepotism” and a few others chose to scream at the top of their voice taking digs at Kangana and not just stopping there but going on to say in front of thousands that “Nepotism Rocks”.

The IIFA act by Varun Dhawan (son of filmmaker, David Dhavan), Saif Ali Khan (son of actress, Sharmila Tagore) and Karan Johar (son of late filmmaker, Yash Johar) had further got the entire nation by surprise. When the three big names of the industry boasted of how they had been born with a silver spoon and that it “Rocked!”
Viewed by millions of people, the three self-designated privileged men were flaked by the common people on social media. What they termed as a ‘Joke’ was clearly not taken down well by those who looked up to them. Owing to such reactions, Kjo, Varun Dhawan and Saif Ali Khan decided to make public apologies to anyone and everyone who had been hurt by their humour.

Saif even further, went down to pen an Open Letter on Nepotism which led to more backlash than what its actual purpose of calming everyone down was. He said that biologically a person was much more competent to do what his ancestors had been doing and so justified how acting was in his blood and that he was obviously supposed to follow his ancestor’s footsteps. Kangana retaliated back with a witty response saying that if the profession of the ancestors determined the value and capabilities of a person, then she would have been instead farming rather than have made a place for herself.

This ongoing war of words is something that seems will not calm down easily. With the struggles that the people who have no connections in the industry whatsoever face to those who feel it’s their birth right to be able to get a place in the industry is both a matter of opinions due to the background that they belong and also the connections that they are easily available to. As for many common people like us, Talent has just become a word that has lost its meaning in this whole feud.

I Am Not Going Anywhere Mr. Johar, Kangana Fights Back


Mumbai FFB (Filmi Files Bureau)Director Producer Karan Johar and actor Kangana Ranaut are going through an acrimonious fight. This public spat has gone worse with Karan Johar asking her to leave the industry if she didn’t like the way Bollywood functions. 

Now in an interview with ‘Mumbai Mirror’ Kangana has blasted Karan Johar for his remarks against her. Here is what she reportedly said in the interview 
I can’t speak for Karan Johar’s understanding of nepotism. If he thinks that it is restricted to nephews, daughters and cousins, I have nothing to say. But, to say that he chose not to give me work is to mock an artiste. As importantly, his memory appears to be poor because we worked together in a movie (Ungli), which was produced by him. And quickly realised our sensibilities did not match.
I’m also at a loss to understand how he gave me a platform by inviting me to be on his show. I’ve been on several platforms before with several global icons. To say he helped me voice my opinions is to discredit me as an artiste and a public personality.And, I think, it should be added here that I was invited to be a part of the show in its fifth season. His team requested my team for months for my dates.
But what is pertinent here is: why is Karan Johar trying to shame a woman for being a woman? What is this about the ‘woman card’ and the ‘victim card’? This kind of talk is demeaning to all women, particularly the vulnerable because they are the ones who really need to use them. The ‘woman card’ might not help you become a Wimbledon champ, or win you Olympic medals, or bag National awards. It might not even land you a job, but it can get a pregnant woman who feels her water is about to break a ‘ladies’ seat on a crowded bus. It can be used as a cry for help when you sense a threat. The same goes for the ‘victim card’, which women like my sister, Rangoli, who is a victim of an acid attack, can use while fighting for justice in court.
I use every card possible. At the workplace, it’s the badass card to fight cutthroat competition. With my family and loved ones, it’s the love card. When fighting the world, it’s the dignity card, and for a seat in a bus, it’s the woman card. What is important to understand is that we are not fighting people, we are fighting a mentality. I am not fighting Karan Johar, I am fighting male chauvinism.
Now that Karan is the father of a little daughter, he should provide her with all these cards – the ‘woman card’ and the ‘victim card’, as also the ‘self-made-independent-woman card’, and the ‘badass card’ that I flashed on his show. We will use whatever we need to ensure no one rocks our boat.
I’m also a little surprised at the “graciousness” he says he displayed in choosing to not edit the jousty bits on the show. While I’d have blacklisted the channel if something like that had happened, let’s also remember that a channel wants TRPs, and he is just a paid host.
Also, the Indian film industry is not a small studio given to Karan by his father when he was in his early 20s. That is just a small molecule. The industry belongs to every Indian and is highly recommended for outsiders like me whose parents were too poor to give me a formal training. I learnt on the job and got paid for it, using the money to educate myself in New York. He is nobody to tell me to leave it. I’m definitely not going anywhere, Mr Johar.”

If Kangana Is Terrorised By Bollywood Then She Should Leave: KJo

London: (PTI) Producer Director Karan Johar has criticised actress Kangana Ranaut for constantly playing the “victim card” and blaming Bollywood for terrorising her.

Kangana recently appeared on Johar’s celebrity talk show where she called him the “flag-bearer of nepotism”.
“I am done with Kangana playing the woman card and the victim card. I am done,” Johar said during a session with Anupama Chopra at London School of Economics, India Forum.
You cannot be this victim at every given point of time who has this sad story to tell about how she has been terrorised by ‘bad Bollywood’. If it is that way then leave,” he added.
On an episode of “Koffee With Karan”, Kangana said Johar would be perfect to play the role of a “stereotypical Bollywood biggie who is snooty and completely intolerant to outsiders. Flag-bearer of nepotism. The movie mafia” in her biopic if it is ever made.
Johar said he may not have agreed with her comments but he let it air as he respected her point of view.
“She had a great prospective and point of view. Everyone lauded her for coming on to my show and (how she) ‘gave it off to Karan’. I was gracious enough to not cut anything and let it be that way. I could have edited it as it was my show. I cut none of it. I said, ‘No, let the world listen to her opinion and she must voice it’. I gave her the platform.”
Previously, during a chat session on Twitter, someone asked Johar, “Was Kangana correct about nepotism?” To which he replied, “Not entirely! She made an impact with her sweeping statements! That was fun… For her! And the show.”

Special Article: Campus Life In Karan Johar’s Movies

 (By Mukta Singh) Bollywood’s leading producer-director Karan Johar is known for his highly stylized and larger than life movies. His depiction of college life and campuses has made him the darling of many young Indians with movies like ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’ and ‘Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham’ firmly etched in their memories.

Karan Johar manufactured a unique campus life in his first directorial venture ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’. A campus that never existed on this planet! It made us believe that college life was all about celebrating Friendship Days, playing basketball, falling in love, and holding on to the same guy forever in the hopes of marrying him.

He cemented this idea with another unrealistic campus life shown in ‘Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham’.  With ‘Pooh’ (not Winnie the Pooh) Karan Johar had ‘corrupted’ an entire generation of teenaged girlz with “I am too fake to be real’ virus. Even today you will find obsolete versions of Pooh/Pooja in circulation in this mortal world. Not a hair out of its place, since they have been straightened out to perfection, with French manicured nails to tuck that one careless strand of hair behind their ear, lots of kohl and gloss, these girls were your prototypical bitches in college. 

But when we went to college in the real world this manufactured reality crumbled under its own feathery weight. Who had the time to play basketball other than those who were on the team or got in through sports quota or both? Who had the time to transform from an ugly Betty to Pooh between assignment deadlines and half emptied cups of too hot chai? Who had the time to enjoy in any other way than college fests and hanging out in Kamla Nagar even if you are broke?

This college life fantasy is so strong that even after we face the reality of our mundane and ‘not so happening’ college life we continue to believe that Kajols, Kareena Kapoors, Shah Rukh Khans and Hritik Roshans do exist somewhere and studying happily in their colleges.  But we are not fortunate enough to be in their college!

After making movies like ‘Agneepath’ which was a clear departure from his trademark style, he is back to touch base with his core constituency. His core constituency has always been young Indians who cherished his style cinema since their teen ages. His latest movie titled ‘Student of the Year’ is about a school campus which is supposed to be located somewhere in India. But one good look at the trailer and you come to know that this movie is not even remotely connected to anything Indian!

With ‘Student of the Year’ Karan Johar is going to launch not one but three newcomers in Bollywood. The newcomers Sidharth Malhotra, Alia Bhatt and Varun Dhawan belong to families who are big names in the industry. The movie is expected to hit theaters in October this year.

Movie Review:’Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu’ (***)

‘Ek Main Aur Ek Tu’ is a typical Bollywood romantic comedy. It seems to be inspired from many Hollywood flicks like ‘Leaving Las Vegas’ ‘Hang Over’ and others. Targeted at the youth this movie is an average romantic comedy made watchable by smart performances from its lead star cast.

The story penned by Shakun Batra and Ayesha Devitre pack good verbal punches in the screenplay. The plot is simple and follows ‘A boy meets a girl’ narrative.  An uptight, out of job architect, Rahul Kapoor (Imran Khan) meets an effervescent Riana Braganza (Kareena Kapoor) on a drunken night. The odd duo strike up a conversation, drink and make merry only to realize the next morning that they are married. Circumstances force the two to stay together for 14 days before they can get their marriage annulled. And in these 14 days, life changes for the two.

The film is predictable and slow in the beginning but it picks up pace later. It is the second half when movie manages to catch viewer’s attention. It depicts the journey of Rahul traversing his path from adolescence to being an adult.

The director Shakun Batra has done smart as the treatment of the movie is fresh and his narrative is quite interesting. Acting wise Kareena Kapoor steals the show with a convincing performance. She looks gorgeous and lively in her role. She is ably supported by Imran Khan who has done justice his role. His boyish charms work in his favour.

Actors like Boman Irani have nothing special to do in the movie. Music of the movie is peppy and popular. The title track and Áunty Ji’ have become chartbusters even before the release. This movie is perfectly timed as it is released in the Valentine Week. So celebrating the week with your partner in a movie theatre watching Imran-Kareena in action will not be a bad idea.

My ‘Agneepath’ has little resemblance to original: Hrithik Roshan

Actor Hrithik Roshan, who plays the protagonist in filmmaker Karan Johar’s tribute to his father Yash Johar’s 1990 cult film ” Agneepath” by the same name, said that he does not like remakes but agreed to take up this project because it has very little resemblance to the original.

This version of the film is conceived and directed by Karan Malhotra. “I was never interested in doing remakes, I am still not interested in doing remakes and I don’t think I will ever do a remake. When I was narrated the script, in 10 miniutes he made me forget that it was a remake and made me forget all the symbolic visuals I had in mind and I just reacted as an actor. I am very, very proud to be associated with this film,” Hrithik told reporters at the launch of the first teaser of the film here Monday.

I am just driven by my instincts. Whatever my mind says, my instincts just take over. He just made me forget about all the emotions I had about this film and he took me to a completely different world, with a completely new character,” he added The original “Agneepath” directed by Mukul Anand, wasn’t commercially successful but gave an iconic character Vijay Deenanath Chauhan that fetched megastar Amitabh Bachchan a National Award for Best Actor. Asked if he had reprised any traits of the original character, Hrithik said: “I didn’t have any reference point. I only had what Karan (Malhotra) had written in the script and it was absolutely a new space, which was a good thing, as I didn’t want to have a reference point.” Hrithik maintains that if he had to compete with Big B, he would have definitely failed. “If the competition had been in my mind then I would have definitely failed. For me it’s just another character,” said Hrithik. Releasing Jan 12, 2012, the film also features actor Sanjay Dutt, Rishi Kapoor and actress Priyanka Chopra in pivotal roles.