OUTLOOK Monday 26 August, 2019
Casting Ouch

They might be exultantly posing around a broodingly resplendent red planet, but do you, pati­ent assessors of Bolly­woodian verisimilitude, see determind space scientists  in Sonakshi, Nithya Menen, Taapsee, Kirti Kulhari, Vidya and ‘mission director’ Akshay? Mission Mangal’s cast, who impersonate the ISRO team which sent Mangalyaan on its way, had better stick to the antakshari made pop­ular during its promotion. What next? Spuds growing on Akshay’s poop on Mars?

Only Yang

This is the sort of white rage that authorities in Beijing would like to make an example of. Ver­sace, damn those apolitical fashionistas, rel­eased a T-shirt (above) with names of places, effectively disputing China’s aut­hority over Hong Kong and Macau. Actress Yang Mi, in a touching act of sacrifice, cancelled her Versace contract. Brave people of HK, you’ve met your match!

Bird Of Paradise

Rima Das’s Assamese feature Bul­bul Can Sing enthralled audie­nces at Berlin, Osaka and Edin­burgh. The ine­vitable happened at the Indian Film Festival in Melbourne, where it won ‘Best Indie Film’. Chief guest SRK, as can be seen, was  moved by the talents of one of the best film-­makers working in India now.

Just Ask For More

Her kohl-lined eyes might not make you dance to their still rhythm, but Kalki Koechlin has indu­bitable screen presence, even when not donning smokily steel-blue swimsuits. Ask devotees of web series Sacred Games, where Kalki’s Batya Abelman will make slavering binge-watchers hanker for more in its new season. Shadows of the notorious Rajneesh acolyte Maa Anand Sheela have been det­ected, ackno­wledged, then politely kept aside. That’s Kalki in cruise control

You Don’t Say!

Ever seen a mot­o­rsp­orts arena—that muc­kily slithering, pock-­­mar­ked danger zone, where buzzing motorcycles roll and haltingly jump thr­ough oozing tyre-gro­oves? Few Indians venture the­nce. Exc­ept now, with Aish­warya Pissay, 23, we have our first champ in the sport. She once broke her collarbone, then ruptured her pancreas, but didn’t give up. She’s now the FIM world champion.

This Too Happened

Researchers analysing rainwater samples in the Rockies came across...multicoloured plastic fibres! Studying nitrogen pollution in water, they came across a phenomenon they described in a research paper titled ‘It is raining plastic’. The plastic is believed to have come from the troves of trash we leave behind.

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  • Couldn’t she have had a better hairstyle than one which makes her hair stand up in ungainly tufts, like that of a bird soaked to its skin in the Mumbai monsoon? Couldn’t he have worn a jacket without those offensive stripes, often an indicator of a perfect marriage of bad taste with sudden money? But Rahika is soaring after the success of Andhadhun; Ali Fazal, too, is gearing up for his role in a Hollywood production of Death on the Nile, the Poirot mystery. They smiled reassuringly at the ‘IIFA Rocks’ event; they had a lot of fun.  
  • Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla started designing trousseaus fit for a princess for the catwalk when designers weren’t famous in their own right. Thi­rty-three years on, they are well-known now, and celebrated with a show in Mumbai, They dressed up the reliably gorgeous Deepika in this intricately woven, ivory-embellished lehenga. At the end of the walk, she broke into a jig. For joy, certainly. But, given an inch, Bollywood will out!
  • With every conceivable sporting activity speedily shuffled up into a corporatised league for maximum milking, it’s unsurprising that the annual boat race on the Punnamada lake inaugurated the Cha­mpions Boat League. Sachin, outrigged by Kathakali dancers, spoke of Kerala’s resilience in the face of floods and its passion for cricket.
  • For all his Bhangra moves, Justin Trudeau had a diplomatically disastrous tour of India, but the boyishly handsome Canadian premier  rem­ains a darling of the masses, especially swooning womenfolk. It was no surprise then that at an informal gaggle of world leaders at the G7 summit, Melania turned to  him for a peck, as the weight of the world kept the scowl fixed on Donald’s face. As a Twitter wag put it: “Find someone who looks at you like  Melania looks at Trudeau.”


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