OUTLOOK Monday 08 September, 2003
The New Guise

Kareena Kapoor’s giving a serious touch to her portfolio. It’s raining “roles with a difference”: Bebo’s got Baajirao Mastani, River Moon and Rituparno Ghosh’s modern-day Guide. And then there’s the most “arty” of them all, Anant Balani’s Chameli. Surprise, surprise, Kareena plays a prostitute in this one to “explore a new sensibility and genre”. Don’t know what she means by this, but we hear that an “impressed” industry is already calling it a gutsy move. All the best, Kareena, at the BO.

Roman Holiday

It’s celebrating India at the Milan Fashion Week. And like all things Indian, this was a glitzy affair. But this year, other than the usual fare of film melas and celebrity dinners, Italians had a different treat in store: over 50 creations from designer Tarun Tahiliani’s pret-a-porter collection. No wonder there was a surfeit of muslins, georgettes, chiffon and stretched T-shirts. And guess what caught the Italians’ imagination most: semi-precious stones inspired by the Nizam’s jewels.

Annie's Tales

Wild horses wouldn’t have grabbed this early work of Booker winner Arundhati Roy out of the closet. But Penguin did. The only reason she agreed to publish the screenplay of In Which Annie Gives It Those Ones, said Roy, was “a billion dollars in cold cash”. The film, written by her and produced and directed by husband Pradeep Kishen, was aired once on DD in a time slot when most people were asleep. She was prepared, said Roy at the launch in Delhi last week, to be deeply embarrassed by the film when she saw it again. But the only thing that embarrassed her was her own appearance in it, looking according to her like an “anorexic issue of Sai Baba and Bugs Bunny”.

Guest Of Honour

This is one invitation Usha Uthup isn’t going to miss for the world. The Vatican has specially invited her to attend Mother Teresa’s beatification ceremony on October 19 at St Peter’s square. Says Uthup: “The Mother wants me to be there at her moment of glory.” However, the Vatican has dashed her request to sing a special song at the ceremony. She’s still trying: “India must push for it. I don’t mind even if I get to sing half a song or even one line.” Hope the Mother will answer her prayers.


  • Hugh Grant has just bought a £2 million medieval mansion near Chelsea, just 20 miles away from Liz Hurley’s home.

  • Cliff Richard has accepted it at last: after so many years, the pop star’s saying that he’s giving up on botox.

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  • 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.
  • An evening in Paris is kinda incomplete without appreciating up-close those high-kicking cancan dancers in flesh-exposing ostrich feather costumes at Moulin Rouge. It’s a touristy tradition of 130 years, a milestone the cabaret reached this aut­umn. Enjoy the choreography and quaff your way through a bottle of champagne. 82 Boulevard de Clichy, Please
  • Kendall Jenner, Camila Morr­one, Scooter Braun, Kim Kard­ashian, Joan Smalls...that’s a guestlist straight out of a Craigslist of new-world cel­e­­bdom. Except the model and the real-life showgirl, we hadn’t heard of anyone (had you?). They banded together at the wedding ceremony of Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin in South Carolina. Don’t it look like they’re on a school trip?
  • His penchant for prancing about in outrageous clothes —the incessant, kitschy peacocking—might irritate you, but the one role tailormade for Ranveer Sinh’s exuberance was Gully Boy. Inspired by street rappers Divine and Naezy, Ranveer, his rapper team and Alia set Dharavi alight with their defiant poe­try. Acclaimed by all, it is now India’s official entry to the Oscars. We need them to break the fourth wall now.