February 19, 2008

Roundup

Still no further news about the Rituparno Ghosh film, but a reader brought this small item to my attention, according to which Shabana Azmi is working on a project called Sorry Bhai. The film is by Onir, who directed Bas ek pal and My Brother Nikhil, and purportedly stars, in addition to Shabana ji, Sanjay Suri, Boman Irani, Sharman Joshi, and Chitrangdha Singh. Once again there's very little out there about this; here is a tiny little story that identifies the film as a romantic comedy with Shabana ji and Boman sahib playing the parents of the leads. That sounds like fun; more news when it comes.

My next item isn't directly related to Shabana ji - it merely mentions her in passing - but it piqued my interest enough to share with you. It's a report that cites Andrew Cooper, a Canadian scholar of political affairs and diplomacy, as saying that Hindi film stars ought to be pressed into diplomatic service. (Here's an interview with Mr. Cooper about the same.)

I haven't thought about this much, but it seems a little simplistic and paternalistic. I mean, yes, Bollywood celebrities have global reach and broad influence, but that's what makes them good at selling watches and fashion; it's not all that's needed for diplomacy. While our lady Shabana ji and a few others mentioned in the piece have gotten involved in political affairs, I think it's safe to assume that if the likes of Shah Rukh Khan had interest in using their celebrity in this way, then they could figure out how to do so without some Canadian wonk instructing them. The difficulty of being Shabana Azmi is that she has to take positions that some of her potential audience is uncomfortable with; she's ordered her priorities as she sees fit and has made the decision to do that, but not all celebrities are up for it.

Next, here is a nice little video from Lehren TV about the launch of writer Javed Siddiqui's book Shyam Rang (evening color), a celebration at which Shabana Azmi was present last week. (I'm sorry to not offer a translation of the video at the moment but I need to get going to the office.) I post this mostly to counterbalance the painful pictures from the Jodhaa-Akbar premiere; for Javed Siddiqui's book launch, Shabana ji looked quite herself in a lovely orange sari with a pink choli. There are a few stills here at Smash Hits.

1 comment:

sareez said...

This is a really informative article...