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    Judgment day
    Much has been made of debutante Akshara Haasan’s
    structured pixie-cut in Shamitabh. Let’s hope her
    performance offers more than the attention to her hairstyle! It’s always a little worrying when something like hair style/ colour or the number of costumes or even what people ate on a set becomes the pitching point for a film or an actor. What many may not know is that Akshara is quite a fan of fashion and counts Michael Jackson among her icons, which explains her penchant for jackets and hats. With the Amitabh Bachchan and Dhanush starring Shamitabh releasing today, the wait is finally over to assess whether she has imbibed the best skills from her accomplished parents, Sarika and Kamal Haasan, or if she going to go the same way as her sister Shruti, who at least has her singing career to fall back on. Akshara’s back up plan: to direct a movie—but undoubtedly that would be some years from now.

    The ‘bigg’ time
    staraditiAs season eight of reality TV show Bigg Boss drew to a close last weekend, it came as small surprise that television serial actor Gautam Gulati—whose six-pack abs are now more familiar than is natural—was named the winner. It also comes as no surprise that the Delhi boy who gained fame on TV now has his sights set on the big screen. Gulati has already appeared in two international films—a short called Darpok and a Sri Lankan film called Sri Siddhartha Gautama, in which he plays Prince Devadatta. And even before he exited the Bigg Boss house a winner, after four and a half months in isolation, Gulati was offered Neeraj Pandey’s biopic on cricketer M S Dhoni. While Sushant Singh Rajput is playing the Indian captain, a number of other top-line names have supposedly been added to the cast, namely Telugu star Ram Charan Teja as Suresh Raina, John Abraham as Ishant Sharma, Fawad Khan as Virat Kohli and Alia Bhatt as Sakshi Dhoni. Gulati is said to be in the running for the part of Zaheer Khan. Let’s see if Gulati’s bare-chested display earns him more movie roles or whether he becomes another addition to the incestuous world of reality show stars doing other reality shows.

    In defense of offence
    Last week’s online telecast of the ‘roasting’ meted out by comedy outfit AIB to Bollywood stars Ranveer Singh and Arjun Kapoor was quite the talk of the town. This was in no small part to the sporting spirit and good humour with which the two young actors took the abuses hurled at them by a mixed panel. So what if the jokes were only about Kapoor being a 12 standard fail and an entitled Bollywood star-kid and Singh being of loose morals and dating Deepika Padukone—this was still a first of its kind show in India. On the back of this, this week saw the release of another online humour related property. The documentary, I am Offended explores how Indians deliver and receive comedy. Directed by Jaideep Verma, it features interviews with comedians such as Johnny Lever, Vir Das, Raju Srivastav, Varun Grover, Sanjay Rajoura, Aditi Mittal, Sorabh Pant and Tanmay Bhat, and examines what kind of humour works where and whether stand-up comedy has come of
    age in modern India.

    Aditi hits her stride
    Aditi Rao Hydari’s career finally seems to have gained momentum. After debuting in Delhi 6 (2008), she appeared in films like Yeh Saali Zindagi and Murder 3. It’s been quite an eclectic range of films so far. Her forthcoming films are equally interesting, including Guddu Rangeela, Aur Devdas, Wazir and Abhinay Deo’s (Delhi Belly) comedy-thriller film co-starring Irrfan Khan, Kunal Kapoor, Kunaal Roy Kapur and Vijay Raaz.

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