A resort cradled by the sea, the sun playing delightful games with its chameleon-like water... a diva suitably attired making eyes at the beauty of it all—that’s what modish young stars do in Bollywood to keep their fans engaged. Sara Ali Khan had to fall in line. She obliged willingly enough in Maldives. Though we don’t approve of those tiles, we applaud the overall effect she achieves.
Much of the magnetism in Joaquin Phoenix’s acting is derived from an ability to radiate a quiet, lip-curling menace even while playing fragile characters—why, that upper-lip scar deserves an acting award! Collecting a best actor Golden Globe for Joker—a film tailor-made for his talents, he was charm personified. “There is no f***ing best actor,” he stressed. We love him so.
A web of despair, unrest, pain and suffering has lain on Kashmir for decades. But even this constantly tossed up, equal and opposite litany of claims and imprecations can never despoil its awesome beauty for us. A prominent strand in Kashmir’s unfolding saga has been the piight of the Pandits—a subject seized upon (not with predictable jingoism we hope) by Vidhu Vinod Chopra in Shikara. Sadia and Aadil Khan are the delighted newcomers, while the music is in the old hands of A.R. Rahman.
Just like that notorious spurt of foot-in-the-mouth that got him banished from the field; just like that sudden, spitting bouncer that he slips in after a ‘slower’, Hardik Pandya is a great one for the unexpected. And, true to form, he sprang upon the unsuspecting public...and his family...the news of his engagement to Bollywood actress Natasa Stankovic. A quick getaway to Dubai was all our promising all-rounder needed to pop the Big Q. But then, he had cautioned us beforehand on Instagram: “Starting the year with my fireworks”.
If you remember Leslie Howard solely as the weather-beaten Ashley Wilkes limply waving to his wife from Tara’s ravaged cotton fields in Gone With The Wind (1939), you would have done the British-born actor a disservice, but will have sniffed a grain of truth. Howard made a career of playing well-mannered (often English) gentlemen with a determinedly sweet, mildly melancholy air. In films like The Petrified Forest (’36), The Scarlet Pimpernel (’34) and Of Human Bondage (’34), Howard cemented his screen persona: gently firm, but never one for heroic exertions. Yet he was understatedly heroic—he returned to war-torn Britain and made films that helped firm up the home front. In The First of the Few (’42), he played R.J. Mitchell, designer of the Spitfire that save Britain in 1940, and who died of overwork and cancer. It was a fitting farewell: before it was released, Howard’s plane was shot down by the Luftwaffe while on a flight to London from Lisbon. He was there on a government mission.