Celebity Circus

Published On: 2013-01-07

Author: Bharathi S Pradhan

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Celebity Circus


Source: Telegraph India 

Date: December 4, 2006 


Have you noticed, asked an analytical scribe, how the Bachchans have deviously deflected the limelight from Hrithik Roshan’s fabulous solo show in Dhoom 2 to Abhishek-Aishwarya? Barely had tabloids run fictional stories (or plants from Yash Raj’s PR department?) of how miffed the Bachchans were with bahu-to-be Aishwarya’s liplock with Hrithik than the first family of filmdom blazed headlines and prime time with their midnight puja in Varanasi. 


Television channels even obligingly made treacly references to how fantastically popular the Ash-Abhishek pair was, by showing footage from Dhoom 2, a film in which they were not even romantically cast opposite each other (Abhishek had Rimi Sen playing his wife while Ash-Hrithik and the steamy kiss had their own chemistry). 


There was general amnesia over the cold response to Umrao Jaan, the J.P. Dutta film that had starred Aishwarya and Abhishek as a couple. Why The Family should’ve stomped out of a screening of Dhoom 2 because Ash smooched her co-star is beyond logic since Abhishek has been mastering the art with all his heroines. 


From Lara Dutta (in Mumbai Se Aaya Mera Dost) to Rani Mukherjee (Bunty Aur Babli), he has kissed them all on screen. Father and son have even kissed the same heroine (Amitabh-Rani in Black). So they should be the last people to have reacted to Ash’s first screen smooch, and one is fairly certain that they are too professional to have raised an objection. Anyway, Hrithik and the smooch (which is sizzling the Internet) lost out to the media hysteria over the Amar Singh-orchestrated Varanasi outing. 


The Rai-Bachchan combine succeeded in edging out Hrithik vs Abhishek stories where the celebrity kid would have come out very poorly. In fact, it is time once again for Abhishek to spruce up his act — he has to lose weight pronto (that double chin won’t do) and he has to correct his posture. Have you noticed how he’s turning into a neckless wonder by crouching until his head disappears into his collar? It’s even more obvious when he shares a frame with the ultra smart Hrithik who pays attention to every bicep and muscle and carries his height with taut arrogance. 

To return to the Bachchans, fortunately for them, the limelight didn’t linger longer than required as Sanjay Dutt’s TADA turn took over. What a circus that case turned out to be! Imagine a judge announcing that Dutt is not a terrorist — when acquitting other accused, did he make similar proclamations? Imagine Sanjay Dutt who earns in crores declaring that he is the sole bread winner of the family. What family was he talking about? Two sisters, one married to multi-millionaire Kumar Gaurav and the other, also married, who is a politician in her own right? Imagine Sanjay Dutt talking in court about his producers who had crores riding on him. If they really mattered, why hasn’t Sanjay Dutt shot for the last four months to complete Abbas-Mastan’s Mr Fraud and Ashok Thakeria’s Dhamaal? But the film industry is so buoyant, and so scared of a backlash from Dutt, that nobody dares ask such uncomfortable questions. 


A question many are asking is about Karan Johar’s role in bringing buddy Shah Rukh Khan into the Star stable to host Kaun Banega Crorepati. K Jo has been with the channel for his Koffee With Karan series, his second season with them is nearly ready. So it does add up that Karan could’ve brokered the big fat deal between the channel and SRK. Except that Karan himself has moved on to another channel. He explains, “As you can see I am on board with NDTV for their new entertainment channel. I will honour my commitment to Star for the second season of Koffee With Karan but after that I will be exclusive to NDTV. So it stands to reason that I couldn’t possibly have got Shah Rukh to come to Star when I was myself moving out of the channel.” QED. 

“But yes, purely as a friend, I was part of the decision-making with Shah Rukh when the offer was made to him. They’re paying him a truckload of money for it and he’ll make a smashing host because he’s witty, charming and articulate.” One must also add that Shah Rukh is at ease with Hindi and English. Additionally, he has the heartwarming quality of never talking down to anybody. AB also has his warmth but there have been occasions when he has asked a contestant if he/she has ever seen this much money in his/her life. 


Coming from such a wealthy man, it invariably sounded petty and patronising. If he avoids such slips, SRK should do just fine in that seat. 

Bharathi S. Pradhan is managing editor of Movie Mag International