25022023-LSTL-01.qxd 2/25/2023 12:06 AM Page 1 c m y b TRIBUNE BREAK FROM INSTAGRAM Selena Gomez is the most-followed female celebrity on Instagram now and the singer has beaten Kylie Jenner. While Selena’s followers are 382 million, Kylie has 380 million. However, amid all this Selena has announced that she was taking a break from Instagram. ANI Wrap up The makers of Salaar, which is being helmed by Prashant Neel of KGF fame, have announced that it’s a wrap for Shruti Haasan’s character, Aadya. IANS LUDHIANA | SATURDAY | 25 FEBRUARY 2023 ‘TVis my first love’ Mona Directing a short film, couple of music videos and writing a few new projects; on a break from TV, actor Sharad Malhotra is exploring various mediums. In this new journey, Chandigarh has almost become his second home. Four trips in the last two months, he is enjoying some paranthas in the morning, geris at night and kulchas during breaks while shooting. Special affair TV is my first love, and the firsts are always special. All that I have today is due to television. I always say TV is my bread, butter and jam. And I am fortunate that I could show my versatility. Starting with playing an autistic character, Sagar, in Banoo Main Teri Dulhann, to one of the most towering historical figures in Bharat Ka Veer Putra — Maharana Pratap, and a grey character, Veeranshu Singhania, in Naagin 5, I have had the chance to showcase my diverse skillset with each show. Chandigarh calling Taking a break from TV was a conscious decision. I did a music video, and a couple of more offers came in. Generally, they are all romantic tracks. The recent one, Tauba Meri Tauba, offered a love triangle and I am glad the video is doing well. In fact, my last visit to Chandigarh Sharad Malhotra, who gained massive popularity with television shows, is stepping away from rigorous schedules and exploring different mediums was also for a music video, Aakhri Mulakaat, sung by Javed Ali and Mairien James. Punjabi actor Prabh Grewal and singer Mairien James are also part of the video. It has been shot by the talented Sukhbir Gill while DOP is Tanveer Syyed. We had a beautiful set for the shoot at Mohali. I loved the team, we shot till seven in the morning, enjoyed paranthas at dhabas, caught up on sleep, only to return to the sets for another full night shoot. Good food, fun geris, this was one of the best Chandigarh trips ever. Love for food The Punjabi in me enjoys the very best of food and hospitality in Chandigarh. I am from a Punjabi family in Delhi with extended family in Hoshiarpur. My wife Ripci’s parents are from Jalandhar, which has only strengthened my ties with Punjab. Whenever I come to North India, I get so much love that it overwhelms me. I am a big foodie, sometimes it is love for food that literally drives my work schedule! As much a foodie I am, in love with my desi mithais — rasmalai, gulab jamun and jalebi — I am also an extremist when it comes to fitness. Enjoying my meals and mithais for weeks, I go for an extreme no carb, no sugar diet every few weeks. I am as much of an exercise freak, am a horse-rider and trained martial artist. So overload of calories to no calories at all is how I keep fit. Who in India is not aware of the fan frenzy or the maddening obsession for that prized selfie with demigods, aka superstars? In times when instances of fan craze are acquiring more than a frenzied tone, the subject of Selfiee is undeniably valid. Never mind that it’s not quite an original idea. Apart from the fact that there have been films like Shah Rukh Khanstarrer Fan delving into the mind of a fan and recently An Action Hero, a quirky look at stardom/ fandom, Selfiee is a remake of Malayalam film Driving Licence. So here we have superstar Akshay Kumar, who tells us at the very onset of the film how this isn’t his story but that of fans. Soon enough we are introduced to his super-fan Om Prakash Agarwal (Emraan Hashmi), who watches Akshay’s reel self, Vijay Kumar’s films first-dayfirst-show, adorns his idol’s posters with garlands and dances to his songs not just in packed halls but at home too. All this is indeed relatable in a country where fandom and hero worship know no bounds. His school-going son is a party to his fan hysteria. The fact that Om Prakash Agarwal happens to be an inspector in driving licence department is not accidental, Currently, I am enjoying doing a couple of music videos. I have done a cameo on OTT (yet to be aired) and also acted in a couple of short films, which I am quite looking forward to. I have also directed a quirky short film, Prem Gajra Aur Chilli Chicken. I thoroughly loved the process and am writing more projects, which I am hoping shall go on the floors soon. I am not very happening on social media, can’t really get into making reels, not much of a phone person either. I would rather have coffee with a person than text or call. I am blessed with a small circle of trusted friends and we are there for each other. My wife, who is a designer, and I love to go for drives and take vacations, as and when work schedules allow. Film: Selfiee Director: Raj Mehta Cast: Akshay Kumar, Emraan Hashmi, Nushrratt Bharuccha, Diana Penty and Abhimanyu Singh Rating: but an important element in the script. For it’s his position, even if not quite exalted, which will bring him face-toface with his idol, who by the way does not have a driving licence. How Om Prakash turns from fan to a foe is where the frisson of the movie lies. Interval promises you a nail-biting contest. Power-packed dialogue jab seedhe saadhe admi ki satkati hai toh woh kis had tak ja sakta hai might delude into believing that here’s to the power of the common man. But the film does flip flop and if at one moment it’s rooting for the fan, at the very next for the superstar. Early success Sadma Remake of a Tamil movie, this film established Sridevi as one of the most powerful actors at a very early stage of her Hindi film career. Setting trends Chandni Her look in this film set a fashion trend back in the 80s. Helmed by Yash Chopra, this movie is also celebrated for its music. Being versatile Mr India From the famous song Hawa Hawai to Kaate Nehi Katte, Sridevi showed her versatility in this blockbuster. Comic timing ChaalBaaz A STILL FROM MR INDIA Sridevi played twin characters in this movie. Sridevi’s comic timing came to the fore in this one and she was widely appreciated. Alec pleads ‘not guilty’ Lukewarm entertainer Despite some clever pointers and Akshay Kumar in his element, Selfiee is not exactly an insightful reflection upon fandom/stardom Sridevi, the enigmatic actor in the Hindi film industry, passed away five years back. The undisputed queen of the silver screen left some unforgettable performances for the audience. From Chandni to Sashi...Let us take a trip down memory lane. Personal note MOVIE REVIEW Nonika Singh Remembering …On her fifth Sridevi death anniversary Clearly it’s not just the janta janardhan and the media that is fickle minded. So is the film’s stance which seems to be on a sticky ground. Besides, the exercise to clone the hyperventilating TV anchors has by now become so customary that it is no longer amusing or provocative. Director Raj Mehta, who gave us the delightful Good Newwz on a surrogacy experiment gone wrong, brings in the surrogacy angle here too. # Boycott Bollywood, rise of social media and how public that makes stars can mar them figure in the narrative. But the screenplay does justice to none of the issues it brings to fore. Yes some clever pointers are there. Vijay Kumar’s film is not called Don’t Angry Me, just for the heck of it. Akshay gets some cheeky wisecracks too. Then Abhimanyu Singh playing Vijay’s rival and actor of sleazy films and ads does make us look at the not so sunny side of stardom. But few things truly add up. Besides in the face-off between a fan and a superstar, the resolutions are rather convenient and mostly in favour of stardom. The driving licence test of the superstar in full media glare sets the stage for some adrenaline rush, but ends up more staged than real. Perhaps, the only takeaway is that you learn a few lessons on driving rules. The only time the film touches a chord is in its final message. No doubt the relationship between stars and fans ought to be amiable and full of love, and we rejoice at the idea. But by then tedium has set in and gotten the better of us. Indeed, it’s refreshing to see Emraan Hashmi on screen after a long gap. He is earnest for sure, only his character arc is rather limiting. Akshay’s reel image is tailored around his real one; a producer’s actor, family man etc. In more than a scene we do see what makes this actor with superb comic timing a superstar. However, since the script goes out of the way to establish him as one, there isn’t much to reflect upon. In this duel between a star and fan, heroines get to do little even though Diana Penty looks beautiful and Nushrratt Bharuccha sprightly in a small part. Loud background score sticks out like a sore thumb and Selfiee falls short of being a self(ie) reflection on stardom/fandom and is only a lukewarm entertainer. c m y b Alec Baldwin has pleaded not guilty in the case involving the fatal shooting of Rust cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. Alec submitted his plea on Thursday. Baldwin is also prohibited from consuming alcohol, owning a gun, or communicating with witnesses other than to negotiate the continuance of Rust filming. The actor, who was scheduled to be arraigned on February 25, is no longer required to appear in court on Friday. In January, Baldwin was charged with one count of involuntary manslaughter. After an extensive and FBIassisted investigation by the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s office was released late last year, Baldwin and Rust armourer Hannah GutierrezReed were formally charged by D.A. Carmack-Altwies with two counts of involuntary manslaughter on January 31 over the tragic October shooting of Hutchins at Bonanza Creek Ranch. On October 21, 2021, Baldwin was getting ready for a scene when his Colt.45 discharged, killing Hutchins and injuring the movie’s director, Joel Souza. Although an FBI study revealed that the gun was functioning normally, Baldwin has insisted that he did not pull the trigger. Hutchins was 42 years old. The gun was supposed to contain only fake bullets, but apparently, a live round was mixed in. The gun was loaded by Gutierrez Reed. According to the prosecution, none of them took the necessary safety procedures, and if they had, Hutchins would still be alive today. — ANI BONEY SHARES UNSEEN PICTURES WITH SRIDEVI Boney Kapoor took to social media and shared a bunch of throwback pictures with his late wife Sridevi on Friday (February 24). The legendary actress had passed away on the same date in 2018 in Dubai. He dropped a black and white picture with Sridevi from 1984. Along with it, Boney wrote, “My first picture …… 1984.” Double the joy Lamhe Teaming up with her Chandni director Yash Chopra one more time, Sridevi played a double role in this movie. For playing the dual roles of mother and daughter, Sridevi won accolades. Comeback mode English Vinglish After a 15-year-long hiatus, Sridevi made a pleasant comeback with Gauri Shinde’s directorial debut English Vinglish. The film received a standing ovation at the Toronto International film festival. — ANI Akshay Kumar has become the hot topic of trolls ever since netizens discovered that the actor, who talks and makes film on patriotism, holds a Canadian passport. He even addressed the memes on Karan Johar’s talk show Koffee with Karan. Now, during a recent TV chat show, Akshay clarified his stance. Akshay said that his country, India, was everything to him and whatever he has learnt it was from here and he was fortunate to give it Nation comes first Akshay Kumar ready to renounce Canadian passport back. The actor revealed that the application was in process for cancellation of his Canadian passport. Akshay had earlier shared his side of the story for having the passport of a foreign country in the first place. It was the time when he had delivered more than 15 flops in a row, which forced him to look for a fresh start in a new country where he could work. Fortunately, the two unreleased films were superhits and he did not jump the gun, but by then he already had a Canadian passport. The actor never thought of getting it changed, but now he has applied for a passport change.
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