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Tuesday, March 9, 2021

From the sidelines at IFFM…

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Kangana Ranaut
Photo: Ravinder Singh Jabbal

Chees(e) badi has mast mast…

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It was a night to remember for eight-year-old Ishi Trehan. The Mitcham youngster had her own very special moment with Amitabh, up on stage. Opening night of the IFFM, she sat in the audience with her parents and her sister, hoping she would be called out to ask her question to India’s most iconic star.

Of course, she knew him best as Bhootnath, having only just seen his latest film Bhootnath Returns.

When Festival Director called out her name, she jumped up and asked her question: Which is your most favourite cheese?

Um, said Amitabh, I stopped eating cheese a long time ago, and don’t even know what kind are available! Would Ishi like to ask another question?

Ishi’s mum Nisha jumped in to save the day, and asked if she could have a hug instead.

Of course, said Amitabh graciously, come on down.

“When we got home, Ishi declared she would never wash the dress she was wearing, because Amitabh had hugged her in it!” Nisha told Indian Link later. “After the entire episode on stage, Ishi and her sister both wanted to stay back for the screening of Sholay 3D, even though it was late and it was a school day the next day. I was surprised they sat through the entire film!”

The magic of Amitabh… seems to touch fans of all ages, doesn’t it?

 

‘Run out’ of favour: Kangana

An Indian-origin journalist from a local media outlet asked Kangana a question at the press conference held prior to the Awards Night. He used her name thrice in his question pronouncing it incorrectly every time.

Kangana replied to his question but in her soft spoken way ticked him off for pronouncing her name incorrectly. “Pehle aap mera naam theek kar lijiye”, she declared.

It is Kangana ‘Run-ot’ apparently, not ‘Run-out’ or ‘Ran-a-wat’.

Ok, we get it now.

At the Awards Night Kangana, who has the reputation of being a fashion icon and is known for her quirky style, chose to wear a flared skirt (on the lines of what Sonam Kapoor wore famously at Cannes). Unfortunately it did not work for her and she ended up looking like a straw in a silver drum instead.

To add to it she had not much to say to her fans after accepting her Award for Best Actress. She accepted the award from Ted Bailieu, former Premier, and somewhat awkwardly, there was no hand shake or peck on the cheek. After mumbling something on the lines of “It’s good to see people appreciate our films here in Australia,” she just walked off the stage.

She was then asked to return by Mitu ‘on popular demand’ to announce the next award. She returned, but with no preliminaries whatsoever, merely announced the name Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra.

Were you not interested in connecting with your fans here, Kangie?

 

Dhoom series: No doom or gloom

Director Vijay Krishna (Vicky) Acharya is riding high on the success of his Dhoom 3, and unlike Kangna, seemed very happy to be meeting his Melbourne fans. When someone asked him if there are plans for a Dhoom 4, he looked sceptical at first, but then piped up with this: “I’ll make Dhoom 4 if you all promise to see it 14 times each, so it can make more money than Dhoom 3”.

Good plug for a film that isn’t even made yet!

 

 

 

Melbourne trip, in the words of the man himself

If you are one of the million-odd followers of Amitabh on his various social network forums, you’ve probably read what the man himself had to say about his Melbourne trip.

He loved visiting the “hallowed grounds of the fantastic and historic” MCG, and took a photo of the portrait of Sachin Tendulakr and Don Bradman that hangs inside.

About IFFM itself, he wrote about his own International Screen Icon Award, the formal lunch with the Governor of Victoria (which made him “feel almost regal”), the La Trobe Uni scholarship, and his gentlemanly behaviour towards the women he met that prompted a rather embarrassing question:

The Minister for Tourism and Arts and many other portfolios, the Hon Lady Asher, who graciously attended all the functions… sat next to me, and for whom I stood each time she did, and tended to her chair whenever she sat or moved away, became a question to me by print media later in a one-on-one with this… “How did you learn to be such a gentleman?”

How does one answer this … !!!!

Q: What does it feel like to be Amitabh Bachchan?

Is that a question???

How does it feel? Well, it feels like a name … a name of a human, I guess.

Wow, shabaash, Indian media in Australia.

Malaika on Khan

At the Dance Comp event, an audience member asked Malaika Arora Khan what was the best thing she liked about hubby Arbaaz. She went all coy and smiling mischievously, said, “I can’t tell you what I like best about him”. Then, thinking about it for a few seconds, she claimed she likes the fact that he is rock solid – er, that he is the grounding factor in her life, and someone she can always rely on.

She didn’t exactly look like she was missing him much though, as she happily posed for selfies with the dancers, dancing with them and really enjoying herself despite the freezing weather. Probably because she hails from Canada, she didn’t look like she was feeling the cold either, given the short dress she wore with stockings and a faux fur coat and shoes that added several inches to her already tall and sexy legs. She looked fantastic!

 

Security overkill

Festival organisers had every aspect of the event well-looked after, although it must be said the security was a bit over-enthusiastic. We do understand that the crowds are likely to go berserk if allowed too close to Amitabh, or even the others from tinsel-town, but come on, was there such a need for super-tight security? It was almost as if the President of the USA was visiting! At the La Trobe event, the poor wife of the scholarship winner barely made it in to see her dear husband receive the honour, thanks to the over-zealous security guards. Thankfully though, Amitabh himself was gracious as ever, signing autographs and posing for photographs, even taking time to get up close and personal with the students who came out to see him despite the inclement weather.

And a bit of poetry, with a bit of wait…

Nowhere was Amitabh’s patience and gracious behaviour more evident than when a fan insisted on coming on stage to read something alongside his favourite star. At the opening night event, Big B agreed to a request by a young man to read out aloud a few lines from his father Harivanshrai Bachchan’s poetry. The ardent fan, perhaps a bit overwhelmed at being so close to the man himself, lost the spot on his smartphone where he held the particular piece of poetry. He apologised and kept everyone waiting as he scrolled furiously on his phone, but the audience made their impatience known. However Big B was polite and amiable, and waited patiently till the desired literary piece was found. The man does have impeccable manners….

 

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