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    From the grapevine
    Tinseltown has been humming with talk about a leading heroine’s marriage going through some rough weather. It seems the
    couple recently took a foreign vacation to carve out some quality time for each other and reconnect. Let’s hope this one weathers the storm.

    ST-1Unstoppable at 69
    Producer-director Subhash Ghai’s energy is enviable. Even after 30 years, the ‘showman’ is as passionate as ever about his profession. So much so that he has even composed a song in his latest release, Kaanchi (in cinemas today). The song, Mushtanda, sung by Mika Singh and Aishwarya Majumdar, showcases newcomer Mishti (from Kolkata) in the title role. With Mishti, Ghai introduces yet another heroine—after launching Meenaxi Sheshadri, Manisha Koirala, Mahima Chowdhary and Isha Sharvani. Kaanchi is said to be the dramatic journey of an 18-year-old girl from the mountains to a city, from “innocence to realisation; evolution followed by a revolution, which wakes up and inspires today’s youth against corruption of power.” Veterans Rishi Kapoor and Mithun Chakravarthy play powerful roles, while Kartik Aaryan plays Kaanchi’s love interest. Incidentally, Ghai’s next film will see him reuniting with his favourite, Salman Khan, for the romantic-action film Garjan.

    Queen to Rani
    This week, it’s a litmus test for Kangana Ranaut: can her latest release, Revolver Rani, sustain the position she snatched for herself with the delightful Queen? Ranaut plays Alka Singh, dubbed Revolver Rani by the people of her area, in director Sai Kabir’s pulpy romantic-action entertainer. As it turns out, Ranaut counts Sai Kabir amongst her closest friends in Bollywood. Kabir says his film is a take on modern India—an India where “international brands are doing great business… while our farmers are committing suicide.” So Ranaut’s character is shown to be as obsessed with fashion as she is with fun and guns. Revolver Rani is seen sporting dhoti pants with leather boots, metallic accessories and a lot of bling. The film also stars Vir Das, Piyush Mishra and Zakir Hussain.

    Poll dancing
    While Mumbai went to the polls yesterday, many of Bollywood’s prominent faces were conspicuous by their absence from polling booths. A bunch of stars and their entourages have decamped to Tampa in Florida, USA, for the IIFA weekend that is taking place from April 23-26. Expected to attend the IIFA events are Farhan Akhtar, Kareena Kapoor, Saif Ali Khan, Madhuri Dixit-Nene, Shruti Haasan, Sonakshi Sinha, Anil Kapoor, Shahid Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, Sridevi, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, Anupam Kher, Riteish Deshmukh and Genelia D’Souza among others. Vidya Balan and Hollywood star Kevin Spacey will be conducting a Masterclass in one of the side bar events.

    Tinseltown’s darlings
    Alia Bhatt and Arjun Kapoor are basking in the attention and accolades pouring in after their last film 2 States. Kapoor, who plays Krish Malhotra (based on the author Chetan Bhagat), has apparently still not read the original 2 States: The Story of My Marriage. Bhatt, however, has read the book. By now people may have forgotten that the role of Krish was offered to Shah Rukh Khan and Ranbir Kapoor before Arjun Kapoor was finally cast. While playing a Punjabi boy would come naturally to Kapoor, Bhatt had to undergo some training in both Kathak and the Tamil language. She studied the latter for a month, but when it came to delivering her Tamil dialogues, Bhatt said she had to “mug it all up because you can’t learn a language in a month”. Well, points to her for being honest.

    -Udita Jhunjhunwala

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