Reneging on royal duties...moving out of the UK...seeking independent financial sources (though their cachet, bet on it, will be royal)...the duke and duchess of Sussex has saddened their family and jolted England’s cannibalistic tabloids. One surprising reprisal comes from the benign Madame Tussauds—Harry and Meghan’s waxen likenesses don’t keep company to Queen-prince Philip and William-Kate anymore. Are they removed to the chamber of horrors? Did the queen direct it? This is efficiency of the highest order.
When you’re married to a cricketer, you’re married to cricket. Anushka seems to have accepted that, and demonstrates it with a resounding ‘yea’ to a biopic on Jhulan Goswami—a playing legend and the top wicket-taker in ODIs. But wouldn’t a taller actor have best imitated Jhulan’s loping bowling stride? Icon and impersonator—in character with distinctive coiffure—play it up at the Eden Gardens.
A British Tommy nearly killed in 1914...and within ten years being declared Hollywood’s top male actor does follow a cinematic script. In the event, Ronald Colman (1891-1958), thoroughbred British gentleman, possessor of dark good looks, a crisp, dolorous voice and, with Clark Gable, co-possessor of filmdom’s best moustache, was the first major star to make the leap to the talkies effortlessly. The ‘30s saw him at the zenith: in Raffles (1930), The Devil to Pay (‘31) and the Prisoner of Zenda (‘37) he played debonair adventurers for which he became famous, and his Sidney Carton in A Tale of Two Cities (’35) was the definfitive one for generations. In Random Harvest (’43) he displays his sad ironic way to great effect: “Like a bad penny”, he says with perfect timing, as a cousin searches for a bon mot to describe the sudden return of a long-lost heir. Voted cinema’s ‘handsomest actor’ several times, he was immensely popular in India: Satyajit Ray mentions him in a story, and Raj Kapoor’s moustache owes much to Colman’s signature one.
Had we not been cautioned otherwise, we would have thought this still picture was of the same vintage as that ’80s Govinda hit, Ilzaam, which had a swinging number called Street Dancer, that ignited a small fire in us who were of impressionable age. Some Bollywood tropes never change—the tight vest, the fetching bustier with leather having a starring role, the solemn pose. It is, in fact, Varun Dhawan and Nora Fatehi in the upcoming Street Dancer 3D.
An old (Bollywood) jungle saying: Never trust a movie that borrows its name from an old song. Instead, we choose to concentrate on the freshly pitched Alaia Furniturewalla, who’s debuting in Jawaani Jaaneman. Not that we can find a fault with her as such—the carelessly tied sarong is exquisite—but could mom Pooja Bedi not have given her a catchy nom de guerre? Tell us, would anyone have taken notice of Norma Jean Baker?