OUTLOOK Monday 28 April, 2003
Bond Batein

The tale of a Bonding gone sour! First the news: that former Miss Universe and Bollywood big time wannabe Lara Dutta is in the race as one of the possible Bond girls. And then the denial, by those who matter. But the Dutta babe’s putting up a brave front, telling whoever cares to listen that she was never interested in the role in the first place. Why? Because the role required too much “exposing” and that she was never interested in something which didn’t have anything to do with India. Wonder what’s Ash’s take on this.

The Plot Thins

It’s the first time a grateful nation refused Sachin Tendulkar something: a 1,300 sq metre coastal plot in Bandra West. There was just one glitch: it was a “reserved” plot. Even Maharashtra CM Shinde advised Sachin against the wish: “We don’t want the pride of India to get involved in a pil. If I help you on this, both of us will land in a controversy.” Also, the plot could be sold only after a central clearance!

Thorn in the Flesh

What’s this thong and dance all about—the I&B ministry has banned DJ Doll’s Kanta Laga, Lata Mangeshkar says she’s disgusted with the “remix”. But for Shefali Zariwala, her gyrations have taken her to the top of the charts. No wonder, she’s now going around saying the ban has been unfair: “I don’t think I was dressed indecently in the video or doing anything hanky-panky with the male co-star. There are other videos which are more vulgar. Everyone knows what I’m talking about.” And, for the record, Zariwala says she wasn’t wearing thongs in the video. “I’m not comfortable in them. Those were just straps stitched to the jeans.”

Balle Balle

Remember that face? It’s Dharmendra doing a bhangra number with Mahima Choudhary during Baisakhi celebrations in New York. Garam Dharam seems to have honed his dancing skills in all these years of absence.

Desi Number

There’s more desi elements to filmmaker Mira Nair’s international film Vanity Fair than what we thought earlier. Nair has roped in Bollywood’s most-selling choreographer Farah Khan to teach her lead woman Reese Witherspoon, of Legally Blonde fame, some dance steps in this period film set in 18th century Britain. The dance in question is a three-minute sequence at a lavish banquet party in an earl’s mansion. Khan, on a hiatus for filming Shahrukh Khan’s Main Hoon Na, says it won’t be much of a problem making Witherspoon dance to her steps. “It will only need a week of shooting.” Optimistic?


  • The Queen has swapped her thoroughbred horse for a new pony. No, it’s not downsizing, it’s to “strengthen her knees”.

  • David Beckham has struck a deal with Armani. Guess what, the entire English soccer team will now don £3,500 Armanis.

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    • Bollywood must be dreading  the Calcutta International Film Festival—a stentorian call from the CM...the unenlightening prospect of a day full of drumbeats. However, there is no respite for Shahrukh (Amitabh fell ill at an opportune  period). Though flanked by filmmaker Goutam Ghosh, Mamata herself and Sourav, the stage-show was stopped by the bonhomie between Rakhee and SRK: singing along a pat­riotic Rabi­ndrasangeet and reminiscing  about the sets of Baazigar.
    • As a snarling Dirty Harry teases out criminals in LA; as Frank Serpico goes und­ercover in New York, Chulbul Pandey does age-old, comic acrobatics to hurt ‘baddies’, then giggles around his lady love. Flogging the same masala, here comes the trailer of Dabangg 3, at the launch of which Salman points at the same direction, while Sonakshi Sinha and Saiee Manjrekar prepare to follow the leader with loving attention.
    • What do they actually do in Bigg Boss—that synthetic morass of shape-­shifting loyalties, gro­up­­ings and couplings by people clinging on to the skirts of fame, dragg­ing along an endless stream of stragglers agape before their boxes? At least Boman Irani, Rajkummar Rao and Mouni are doing something specific—horsing around joyfully, canvassing for their film Made in China. Major domo Sal­man, of  course, is there at every step, falling in and out with practised difficulty.
    • If you’d like to stitch together a Hollywood dream team, it has to have Marty, Bob and Sonny. The BFI London film festival saved its hushed breath for The Irishman—a gangster drama by the man who helped define the genre in Goodfellas and The Departed. Yet, in this autumnal light, Frank (De Niro) and Jimmy (Al Pacino) are just not snarling desperados, six-shooters at the ready. Time is also spent on sombre reflection—old reg­rets, moral reckonings and the one important thing that finally matters: mortality.