27 October, 2020

Soukoo, Soukoo!

Indian stars step out of the fringes to dazzle all at the international film fest in Morocco

Soukoo, Soukoo!
The flight from London to Marrakesh takes over four hours. Ridley Scott has the time to observe the lanky Indian gentleman: his gait and resonant voice catch his attention. Is he my Saladin, he wonders, then puts the thought away. The acclaimed British director, who'll start shooting his film on the Crusades in Morocco this winter, doesn't know the tall Indian is an actor. That he is Amitabh Bachchan.

Both men are en route to the Third International Film Festival of Marrakesh. Scott's fleeting thought resurfaces. Bachchan is welcomed like, well, a prince. The next evening at the festival's opening in the magnificent Baddi Palace, he's bestowed the Star of Gold. The buzz about the star, in fact of Indian actors here, reaches the rooms of the famed La Mamounia Hotel: watering hole of the rich and famous, be it the Beatles, the Rolling Stones or today's celebs. The next afternoon they meet. The two central characters of Scott's film are Saladin, the Kurdish warrior and champion of Islam, and Baldwin IV, the...


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