17 April, 2021


  • The Temptress’s Song

    Continuing with our series of Maldivian escapades, we find Alia Bhatt, who repaired thence with a gaggle of girlfriends, sunk on her knees in the bleached, unsullied sand watered by a placid sea, about to break into song. We cannot add more to our expansive extolling of the landscape, but do take note of her choice of a vintage bikini—they never seemed to have gone out of fashion. As for an actress who resembles—in her twinkly, sparkling eyes and in those tightly pursed lips ever ready to break into a smile—a youthfully radiant Juliet Binoche, films titled Brahmastra and RRR are but trifles. We need a manhunt for an Indian Kieslowski.

  • Please Release Her

    In the series of dramatic acts that make up Britney Spears’s life, the first two are well-known: vaulting, glitzy success as a popstar, with millions quashing on her sensuality, and the precipitate meltdown characterised by uns­table behaviour, helter skelter marriages, brittleness and medical help. Her career recovered, along with a more adult sexiness in music videos, but the lagecy of those doomed days persist in the forfeiture of her freedom of choice—about her life, career and, crucially, her fortune—to her father, Jamie who, as a court-appointed ‘conservator’, has the final say. Thus imprisoned for 12 years, Britney is fighting legally to win back some control; her dad is unwilling to part with an inch of it. Fans have long advocated her cause through the #FreeBritney movement. A new documentary, Framing Britney Spears, gathers the evidence and makes the case that the naïve girl’s difficulties were blown up for the benefit of the villainous Jamie.

  • Give and Take, Sans Cap

    This is an exemplary family photograph garbed in traditional attire: beautiful kids and an ever-loving wife. But one is drawn in by the hooded eyes and pain-creased visage of Sanjay Dutt. News of his beating back a grave illness comes to mind, and along with it, a flood of sympathy. But our man doesn’t exactly follow straight-laced Gandhigiri about matters such as tax. Reports say he ‘gifted’ wife Maanayata four luxury flats in an ups­cale Bandra highrise in December. Six days later, she ‘returned’ them. Initially, we were as perplexed as you are at this private charade, but a worldly man says such circulatory ways have to do with ‘tax structuring’. Market price of the dens? Rs 100 crore only.

  • Time On Her Side

    It’s poses like these and enigmatically sinister bracelets like this that make crowds go berserk at the slimmest chance of espying Sunny Leone. Why, in Kochi a few years ago, they stopped drinking for an entire afternoon to catch a glimpse of her. Now, an audacious event manager has filed a cheating case against her, saying she took in lakhs as appearance money for ‘inaugural events’, but didn’t show up. Sunny sets the record ramrod straight: yes, her manager did take the money, but she couldn’t honour those commitments as the fickle man kept changing the dates, which kept bumping against her other assignments—like the one here, requiring her to embrace, with calculated abandon, chunks of cool granite. Solemn promises were made about attending the events if schedule permits, though we openly side with Sunny here.  

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