If there were awards just for strength of spirit and indomitability in the face of a collapse of one’s universe of being, acid attack survivors would win them. At the trailer launch of Chhapak, on the life of survivor Laxmi Agarwal, Deepika Padukone broke down as this dawned on her. Director Meghna Gulzar then stepped in with words.
A luscious chocolate cake cut at Ranthambhore national park, that too with loved ones to share it with. If you smell a grand matriarch celebrating a milestone, you’re right. That’s Sharmila Tagore celebrating her 75th birthday, with her entire brood around her—flanked by daughters Soha and Saba Ali Khan, with Saif (shouldering Taimur), Kareena and Kunal Khemmu. A safari in an open jeep was knitted into the event—quite possibly the animals joined in for a bite of sight-seeing too!
The Miss Universe pageant was condemned for many things—covert front for the glamour and beauty products industry, as well as upholding Caucasian ideals of beauty. South Africa’s Zozibini Tunzi, though, is here in person to provide a corrrective—she’s the third African woman to win the crown. Can her chiselled person give other girls of colour the confidence of declaring themselves beauties anywhere on the planet? You bet it does, even if it involves shattering old mirrors to smithereens.
Here is a rhetorical question about fashion: Should anyone in the prime of their animal attraction ever wear puffy, shiny shoulders that narrow down, quite unaccountably, into tight sleeves, and still be allowed to claim to be a top setter of syles? Glaringly and coolly, Anoushka Sharma dares the very thing at an awards that celebrates ‘glamour and style’, picks up a trophy, and gets complimented by her fellow winner Alia (who wasn’t going to take any chance with this black and pink gown) for her ‘glamorous’ look. That would do it for all you who were likening it to a fencer’s white garb without the head gear, wouldn’t it? Admit it boys, good fashion is often what the fashionable wear on a whim.
During the high noon of film modernism in the early ’60s, no one projected the meaningless blank verse festering at the heart of Europe’s post-war material success as Michelangelo Antonioni. Through his trilogy L’Avventura (1960), La Notte (’61) and L’Eclisse (’62), as well as Red Desert (’64), he held up for examination the meaninglessless that plagued Europe’s beautiful children—the corrosive malaise gnawing at the heart of their acts of work, play and love. The malleable instrument at his disposal was the stunning Monica Vitti (1933-). Mastroanni, Jeanne Moreau and Alain Delon might plumb the recesses of agony and despair, but the one true figure embodying the enervating soul of hectic excess was Vitti—blonde, windblown hair and all-seeing eyes mutely withstanding wind-tossed seas and emotions in turmoil, a hint of compassionate sense amidst all the incomprehensibility.