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It Is Going To Be A Year Of Unusual Stories About Unusual Women All Through 2020


Ali Peter John

I don’t have to be an Astrologer, A PALMIST, a Numerologist or a Tarot card reader to say what I am going to say, I just have to observe and state the facts and I know my readers are clever enough to know what I am trying to say without referring to any kind of help from any of the above mentioned self-appointed worthies and other whose tribe seems to be growing ever since two very enlighten men have taken over the range of this once a great country. I may be digressing a little, but I know my readers will forgive me and excuse me because the atmosphere in the country has been so vitiated that the poison has crept into even an entirely non political Indian like me.

I now come to a subject on which I have grown on and even made my bread, with some butter sometimes and believe me with no jam at all. My writing about films which was once my second love, but which I had make my first love after I met a great (it a very small world to describe the man) K A Abbas, whose name I will keep taking till the end of my life and who will always be second only to my God or me.

I am talking about what I feel will be one of the most interesting happening in 2020, something which I have always wanted to happen in the world of Hindi films which has mostly neglected women as actresses in real life and women as real lie character who have not been treated with the kind of respect and dignity they have deserved in the hundreds and thousands of films that have been made down the years. Through, there have been films like the films made by Mehboob Khan, K Asif, Vimal Roy, Gulzar and some film makers in Bengal and in the south, but none of them have actually had a real and piercing look into the hearts and soul of the women character they have portrayed, they have only done the women the favour of bringing them out of books, bookshelves, libraries, fables, fantasies and hearsay, which is a favour they have done for which they deserve all the credit, but really not all the credit.

The change is coming. The first sign was seen when Vidya Balan dared to play the real life role of Silk Smitha in the “Dirty Picture” which was taken as a cue and a number of other films based on modern day real life women characters were portrayed on screen, like Priyanka Chopra play “Mary Kom”, young Sonam Kapoor taking a difficult decision to play “Neerja Bhanot”, whose character as the dare devil airhostess who saved so saved so many lives on a hijack plane. Vidya Balan continued to play difficult women character with another outstanding performance in “Kahani” in which a pregnant woman goes through hell in her quest to find her missing husband. Hindi cinema has to be grateful to these actresses who showed them a way to find their places and their dignity back as actresses by playing such true to life characters and not the satisfied by playing glamour dolls and girls who had very little grey matter where it really mattered and for whom the only thing that mattered were the glare of the publicity and the pay packets they carried home.

It gives me a real thrill to know that 2020 will see a kind of festival of young actresses playing roll that are take straight from real life. The makers of the films they will be doing are taking all the precautions to see that the characters they are to play don’t turn into caricatures, cartoons or cardboard and thermocol figures. They have been doing thorough research because they are acutely aware of the kind of corners and controversies they could be caught in even if they took one step in the wrong direction. Let’s take a look at some of the characters and the actresses who will be seen in them all through the year.

Deepika Padukone could have been the first to make a great start with “Chhapak”, she had put her entire life and for the first time even her money into the making of the film directed by Meghna Gulzar. The platitude and praises the film received from all quarter s during the preview shows promised a great film and a greater performance from the actress who had done “Bajirao Mastani” and “Padmawat” at great risk to her life, she was playing the role of the acid attack survivor from Delhi, Laxmi Agarwal and she had made great sacrifices physically and financially to make her character come alive and who knows what the result of her hard work would have been if the JNU episode had not happened and her conscious had not inspired her to join the students in solidarity which in spite of standing in silence with the injured students and not saying a word and not raising any slogans and leaving the venue within 10 minutes led to a storm in a delicate tea cup which ultimately effected the box office prospects of “Chhapak” which had to face competition from a big time masala film like Tanhaji” starring an actor who has always been ambivalent when it came to any kind of controversial and ticklish political issues and wiped his hands clean to collect all the money that came in at the Box office, which the only country and the only patriotism, and the only desh bhakti actors like him understand and who I firmly believe will have to pay a heavy price demanded by Mother India in a day.

The said thing about the Deepika and Chhapak incident is that it has shaken up a brave woman like Deepika and she has a decision not to play any kind of true to life roles in the near future and one of the interesting role she has rejected is the role of controversial actress and dancer from Bengal, Binodini Nati which was to be directed Pradeep Sarkar who had a talk with Deepika who was impressed with the script and asked for the script to be left with her. But then she got into this whole net of controversies and her people gave back the script to the makers and sent a message saying that she was not interested in playing such realistic roles at least for the time being. That role, it is now said, will be played by Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Deepika has opted to do a typical YRF Films tentatively called “Thugs” with Hrithik Roshan as her hero for the first time. My comments? No comments, till the dark clouds hovering over the country pass.

If there is one actress who is going to shine strongly, I have no hesitation, who am I to have any hesitation, even history will have no hesitation to stand up and say that it will year of Kangana Ranaut. She has already made a very grand start with Panga” and proved how all she needs is a role with some flesh in it and then she knows how to go about it all the way. She has been doing it consistently, especially after her performances in films like “Queen”, “Tanu Weds Manu” sequel, “Manikarnika”, even a film like “Simran” and “Katti Batti” in which played a double role and proved that she could be good even in a bad film. The girl who played Queen and win millions of hearts and awards again proved that she could play the mother of a seven you old who had retired as he captain of the Indian Kabbadi team could fight back and run again. The film couldn’t make it as big as Tanhaji, but in its own way, it was a slap on all those faces who once saw no future for Kangana who had made her mind to work out her own solution to find success even though the entire industry was on the warpath against one single woman who had no godfather and godmother or mentor in the industry.

To think of it, Kangana has some of the best films coming up in the months to come. She will be seen in an action film called “Dhaakad”, the details of which are still being kept a secret. She will playing be a pilot of the Indian Air Force in Ronnie Screwala’s next film to be directed by a newcomer which is her way of making films now as she is determined to prove that she succeed without the so called bigwigs of the industry. Who tried their best to wipe her out when she waged her war against them and their acts of nepotism. And the most ambitious for her, according to her is the biopic she is doing on the woman-politician of Tamil Nadu Ms J Jayalalitha called Thailavi. She has worked her heart out to prepare for this role, put on weight and lost weight. She has learnt Tamil and Bharatnatyam and has perfected the body language of the late leader. The shooting which is mostly done in high secrecy is nearing completion and Kangana knows that she is treading on dicey ground and can face the kind of political and other kind of controversies, but she is courageous enough to face whatever comes her way. 4 solid films for one good actress in a year is quite an achievement and who knows how high Kangana will rise. By the time 2020 ends and what her admirers will have to say about her and what her critics and rivals will have to cry about her.

And the biopic specialist, Vidya Balan is busy completing her film based on the life of the renowned mathematician, Shakuntalal Devi which is also called “Shakuntala Devi” and she will then start working on another film which is based on the man eater lioness, Evani and Vidya will play a forest officer in the film.

There is Tapsee Pannu who till now has not wasted her talent playing the kind of roles actresses of her time give their right hands to play, which she proved by doing films like “Pink” and “Badla” with Amitabh Bachchan. She is now playing lead role in “Thappad” which a film based on the theme on domestic violence, perhaps for the first time in the history of Hindi films and needless to say it will hard hitting films directed by the ever so experienced Anubhav Sinha.

And the crown of thorns already goes to the youngest actress of Hindi cinema, Aalia Bhatt who is to play a young woman who is the leader of a gang belonging to the underworld. Her name in the film directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali is “Gangubai Kathaiwadi” which is also the name of the film. She will be seen wielding the guns and revolver and fighting some of the most dreaded adversaries, mostly men. She was supposed to do Inshallah with Salman Khan for Bhansali, but things didn’t work out between Bansali and Salman, but Bhansali had the subject of Gangubai ready for Alia.

Incidentally, Alia will also be seen in Karan Johar’s multi starrer “Brahmastra” in which she is romantically teamed with Ranbir Kapoor and who knows the two who are madly in love these days and have even got the go ahead signal from their respective parents they even tie the knot before the film is released and then… woh hi hoga jo munjre kuda hoga.

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Tags: Bollywood, Bollywood News, Bollywood Updates, Television, Telly News, Kangana Ranaut, Alia Bhatt, Vidya Balan

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