Monday, May 9, 2011
Cannes Alert:Beware! Bollywood on the prowl!!
This is an image I clicked in a busy mall just to test a new camera chip I'd bought. I really liked it a lot - it's so sci-fi and scary! Agree?
This appeared in Bombay Times today....I shall be travelling from next week or so.... this space may not be updated as frequently while I'm on the road. But knowing my addiction to it, I'll manage short posts somehow. Never having been to Bhutan, I don't know how things work in Thimpu, but I'll find out soon enough. Anything to crawl away from the mugginess of Mumbai....
Cannes… watch out! Here comes Bollywood!!
Aren’t we all just holding our collective breaths for that much awaited Red Carpet moment at Cannes? And wondering what are our Bollywood Beauties are going to pull out this time? Some more Gown Disasters? Some really , really tacky ‘couture’ that would make any self-respecting designer blush? Another fashion faux pas that will be hard to live down? Let’s pray hard someone up there loves us… and them… enough to not let that happen. In any case, what’s the big deal about that one blessed Red Carpet, anyway? Why does the fashion world keep its eyes peeled for just these super hyped Cannes appearances… more, much ,more than all the other high profile glam events put together - the Oscars included? Bhagwan only knows. But the magic of Cannes is something else, as anybody lucky enough to have been there for the Festival will readily testify. The Indian presence goes up every year…. which is a good thing. It would have been an even better thing had business followed the same trajectory. If only the quality of our films had matched our enthusiasm for rushing to Cannes, the story would have been different. Let’s be honest, all those gorgeous gals from Mumbai who’ll be parading on that famous carpet, have not been invited to the prestigious festival for their acting achievements. They are there merely as models. Celebrity brand ambassadors. Most of the coveted invitations to our Bollywood brigade have been issued by foreign booze, watch, jewellery, hair and skin product companies . Why? Because India is potentially their biggest market. If these brand ambassadors further push sales thanks to the coverage they’ll hopefully receive, all those brand managers will be over the moon with happiness. And consumers back home will drink more whiskey, wash their hair with shampoos that promise shine, and sport pricey watches that do more than merely tell the time – they make a major statement. For those few magical moments when our stars make it to the most important photo-op in the commercial world, they’ll feel like royalty. But, with all this aggressive promotional activity, will they manage to attract international paparazzi attention? Highly unlikely. There’s far too much competition! This year looks like a real biggie, with mega Hollywood stars in attendance. Then there is the legendary Robert de Niro as President of the jury. Not to forget the presence of the French First Lady Carla Bruni ( preggie or not? She’s not saying as yet). Woody Allen will open the Festival with ‘Midnight in Paris’, no doubt to rave reviews. No matter what Woody Allen makes, the French gobble it up. He enjoys a far bigger fan following in France than back home in America. What real chance do our desi stars stand in such illustrious company? Hilarious as it sounds, it is the fact that apart from Aishwarya Rai ( this will be her tenth Cannes outing ), who will also be there as a brand ambassador for one of the main sponsors of the Festival, the only other local actress who may get recognized is Mallika Sherawat ( remember, she claims equality with Barack Obama, and he may just be her BBM buddy). Assuming, she will be wearing something – anything - on that carpet (her clothes get skimpier by the year), she is bound to attract eyeballs. For whatever it’s worth, Mallika is the only Bollywood starlet this year with a Hollywood film that has a screening at Cannes. That’s more than can be claimed by others who are flocking there to attend promotional parties ( largely hosted by our own Cannes regulars like Vijay Mallya ), and get some mileage back home bragging about their look for the big day. Fingers crossed and hope to God these ladies wow the hard-to-impress attendees at Cannes – after all, that’s what they are going there for. Come on, if you were an International cinema buff , hanging around on the Croissette, would you really notice or care whether a Minishaa Lamba was in the vicinity?
Let’s hope a time will come in the not so distant future when our talented and fabulous looking stars go to Cannes as actors, not clotheshorses. It’s worth remembering this Festival is primarily about films – not fashion.
P.S. : I’m banking on Rani Mukherjee to save the day. If she’s smart, she’ll stick to a sexy saree…. and steal the show.