OUTLOOK Monday 09 July, 2018
Adult Actress, Hottest Fan

With Russia doing fabulously well at the World Cup, they thronged the stadium in noticeable numbers—from the dowdiest of Dunyashas to the sveltest of Svetlanas. But the one the cameras fell for was tiny-tee’d, blonde Natalya Nemchinova, Russ­ian flags fluttering gaily from outstretched arms. The Kremlin is a fan too!

Pure Starshine

We’ve expended ink on this before...these age-defying visitations from Rekha. The IIFA Awards in Bangkok will now be remembered not for the mandatory waffling of tired actors mewling stilted jokes, but for the prima donna in her anarkali, as perfectly preserved as she was  in Umrao Jaan, as nimble on her feet while the nostalgic tunes played out. The aud­ience was  overwhelmed; the whole galaxy of male stars swirling at her feet only marked her pull.

Oh Inamorato!

A girl in love is a simple, glorious sight to behold. Gone is the richly made up, coiffured and gowned glamour of Sunset Boulevard stock. The Priyanka Chopra we see, paired with Nick Jonas in Mumbai and Goa, is stripped clean of big-screen poseur. The girl in our frame is possibly in her late teens, stepping out quietly for her  tenth date with her beau. A miracle? Happens all the time.

Within 64 Squares

The ability to think cleanly, and deeply, through an opponent’s mind and to unpick his sedulously guarded strategy is one thing. To do that to adults on the world stage at age 12 is special. Chennai’s R. Pra­­g­­g­­na­nandhaa, the world’s second-youngest grandmaster, bore his achi­evement quite coolly, with an air of expectation bearing fruit. The lad has bigger scalps on his mind.

Songs Of Friendship

Gabriel Faure composed on the piano, but the great French composer possibly never had the chance to serenade a premier. That honour went to the sitar-­carrying Seychelles president, Danny Faure. At a lunch hosted by PM Modi, Faure, who certainly looked to have come prepared, launched lustily into the song Mon Pei Sa, deeply moving everyone within earshot.

Open To The World

At Chennai’s Loyola, they shape solid scholars. But Anukreethy Vas, a bachelor’s student of Fre­nch literature, cast a dice at Miss India too, and came back crowned beauty queen. The Tri­chy native is a dancer, athlete and biker who has dabbled in modelling and was raised by a single mother against many odds.

This Too Happened

Aussie actor Russell Crowe is said to be in line to essay the role of former Fox News executive Roger Ailes on the big screen. Ailes founded Fox News in 1996 and was ousted from it in 2016 after 20 women alleged sexual harassment. Before he died in 2017, he had denied all the allegations.

  • Whether the world premiere of Gully Boy at the Berlin Film Festival reiterates Bollywood’s hold more than it indicates the Berlinale’s decline is another matter, but the irrepressible Ranveer was in character as his goofy rapper: shockingly meretricious tuxedo, blown-up hair, machine-gunning away to everyone’s delight. Beside him Alia was a soothing balancing act, her silkily trailing train a rival to that of a British princess on her wedding day.
  • Anil Kapoor almost did the Ram Lakhan tapori jig when Slumdog Millionaire won the Oscars—but a lashing from dear wife the night before held back his legs. What stopped him from doing one at the #Slum-dogTenYears event, we don’t know. Perhaps the sobering presence of Gulzar saab and Rahman. Anyway, Jai Ho!
  • Healed is a word we want to hear from anyone with cancer. And Manisha Koirala, 48, has healed. And Healed is what she wrote. She sealed, and signed, it with her melt-the-mountain smile at the JLF.
  • Ah, Total Dhamaal could be a rerun: plane crashes, tumbling, burning cars, rampaging lions...but a fickle public isn’t ready still  for a ’90s renaissance. Even a dream cast of Ajay Devgan, Anil Kapoor, Johnny Lever (who didn’t laugh at his manic faces?) and the utt­erly unspoilt Madhuri couldn’t make them like the trailer. Strange, innit?


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