Bollywood directors decoded
Sonia Golani, a recruitment specialist and career adviser, is the unlikely author of a book titled Decoding Bollywood: Stories of 15 film directors. In her author’s note, Golani writes, “These stories are not meant to offer a critique of the directors’ films; my attempt is to delve into the professional and personal journeys of fifteen filmmakers in order to unravel and decode some aspects of the Hindi film industry. From Anurag Basu to Kunal Kohli and Nagesh Kukunoor to Rohit Shetty, she has covered quite the spectrum including three female directors: Nandita Das, Farah Khan and Zoya Akhtar.
Tigers in Toronto
Academy award-winning director of No Man’s Land, Danis Tanovi’s next film, Tigers, is set to have its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival early next month. Featuring Emraan Hashmi and Geetanjali Thapa, as per a press release, the film is a young salesman who is “devastated when he discovers the effects of the cheap, locally-made drugs he peddles for a Pakistani pharmaceutical firm” and how he ‘challenges the system and the powers that be, in this based-on-fact drama’. This would be a first for Hashmi as he embarks on an international acting career even as his highly commercial Bollywood film Raja Natwarlal opens today. Besides Tigers, Shonali Bose’s Kalki Koechlin-starring Margarita, With a Straw and Tamil film The Crow’s Egg (Kaakkaa Muttai) by M Manikandan are also part of the official selection at Toronto this year. The Mary Kom biopic will also be screened on the opening night of the Canadian festival, which runs from September 4 to 14.
Dumb-Belle’ Alia Bhatt
With her appearance in AIB’s latest video, ‘Genius of the Year’, Alia Bhatt proves what a sport she is. The online video is designed like a documentary tracing Alia’s days after her appearance on Koffee With Karan where she exposed her lack of general knowledge and became the butt of several jokes and memes. Alia plays herself and the video shows how she enrolls in a ‘brain growth gym’ called ‘Dumb-Belle’ that promises to enhance her brainpower and GK. Her parents, Mahesh Bhatt and Soni Razdan and sister Shaheen also feature in the film along with co-stars Arjun Kapoor and Parineeti Chopra and director and talk show host Karan Johar whose performance is second only to Alia’s! When I watched the short film, my first thought was that this is a great spin given by Alia’s PR team to tackle the jokes head-on. However further enquiry revealed that Rohan Joshi, the associate director (the film is directed by Shakun Batra who had made Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu) and actor playing Raj Koothrapalli, the trainer, is apparently dating Alia’s sister Shaheen. That explains the access and the irreverence!