OUTLOOK Monday 08 June, 2009
Mombachchan Khush Hua

With too many of our actors, you couldn’t tell the difference—especially if you get fine wooden replicas. Now, you don’t want to say that about The Bachchan, and not just because the medium is wax. So here he is, the waxen Amitabh, in black sherwani and gold buttons to boot, at the new ‘Bollywood Zone’ of Madame Tussauds in New York’s Times Square.

Royal Hues

An exhibition of paintings on the royal court of Jodhpur in the 18th and 19th centuries was inaugurated at the British Museum. Seen here, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall interacting with Maharaja Gaj Singh and Maharani Hemlata Rajye at the museum.

Tobacco Totalers

A bunch of tension-free tinsel towners—with no stakes in IPL teams or not seeking alternative careers in politics—celebrated World No Tobacco day with a T20 day-and-night cricket match between doctors and celebs. Seen cheering his team was Govinda in pristine white.

IPL Leftovers

The IPL yielded tons of excitement and beauty queens. Miss IPL Bollywood Dune Kossatz, chosen from some forty-eight beauties, mouthed the same cliched line of ‘sticking together in love, respect and tolerance’. In addition to the neat pile of prize money, she’ll soon be all over Mumbai and even audition for an upcoming SRK film.

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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.