If you don’t follow Ranveer Singh on his Instagram account, you’re missing out. To say the man is active on the social media platform is the understatement of the year. He’s not only active, with IG stories that snap-crackle-pop (sorry Rice Krispies) with his dynamic energy, he, or an incredibly savvy social media team, has really upped the ante by honing in on and then selling the ish out of his uniqueness – his brand.
While his onscreen charisma is undeniable, and I think he’s a decent actor, it’s just that aside from his debut performance in “Band Baja Baaraat,” and then “Ladies vs Ricky Bahl” or “Dil Dhadakne Do,” I haven’t really oohed or ahhed so to speak at any of his movies. Also, it’s seemed like he has done film after film where he’s paired opposite Deepika Padukone and directed by Sanjay Leela Bansali. It’s gotten a bit tired.
For me his talent as an actor is showcased in roles where his star power, his ‘Ranveerness’ is muted. I think it’s because his real life personality is so big that the big roles he’s essayed since then have felt way too much, way too loud. They’ve felt like watching Ranveer, but to the power of 10. His natural vibrancy, becomes so blinding that it hurts almost, ya know? Also, his zest for life can’t be confined by a script or a screen.
For me he is an entertainer who is really, really entertaining…as himself!
That’s why he’s such a good interview. His clothes, his attitude, his flair, everything is energetic. He’s just so fun. He’s also very strategic. He knows what his audience wants. If you look at the promotional angle for “Padmaavat,” you’ll see what I mean. His ‘Jared Leto-ing’ for that movie, which I found annoying, was still strategic as eff. And if the shit hadn’t hit the fan like it did, I still think his toil would’ve been the talking point during promotions of that film.
And that’s why my dear friends, his social media presence is top notch. Here he can showcase his dynamism dynamically and strategically. His use of filters, boomeranging when it matters, his videos, his shot composition. It’s all gold star standard.
I’ve been following from time, but what has compelled me to write this now is his IG content curation on his most recent Switzerland stint has been magic. Professional Instagram-ers, the ‘Insta-famous’ elite who have perfected the art, would be proud.
He’s not on holiday mind you. He is working. He is the brand ambassador of Switzerland Tourism. Honestly, slow clap to whoever thought about this partnership. Switzerland has been the ‘it’ spot for aspirational travel for awestruck Indian movie goers since Raj Kapoor first introduced them to its stunning beauty in his movie “Sangam” way back in 1964. A Bollywood superstar and Switzerland, it’s the perfect pairing. Celebrities getting these types of endorsement deals isn’t anything new, but with social media, it’s gone up a notch. Some celebrities are also just better at it than others.
Ranveer Singh is excellent. His pictures and videos are beautiful. He has showcased many of attractions that I didn’t know about… So yeah, he has done a good job. The stroke of genius though, is that while he’s promoting Switzerland he has also been promoting his own awesomeness.
His ode to Freddie Mercury was absolutely brilliant. The Hollywood biopic, “Bohemian Rhapsody” with Rami Malek at centre stage is coming out in the winter, and Rami will no doubt do a great job. But come on! Ranveer Singh was brilliant! His tribute to Charlie Chaplin, too, hits the nail on the head. These two men weren’t wallflowers, I know, but somehow he brought their larger than life energy back in a way I don’t think anyone else can.
But seriously, his IG game is strong as heck. His social media strategy so amazing that it needs to be both applauded and studied by his colleagues. He has successfully done his job as an ambassador (because I wanna go), enjoyed the perks of this role (Hello! Man’s is in Switzerland, living it up), all the while showcasing his incredible talent in a new and fresh way that isn’t grating whatsoever. It’s also curated in a way that he doesn’t lose the authenticity.
He is making bank no doubt, but also using Instagram to shine as bright as possible without blinding me. He is using the platform to launch into the next level of his career. He’s using it to go global!
If Ranveer Singh wants that Hollywood money, and the way he’s been playing the game? He might just get it. Not that ultimate success for an actor necessarily means Hollywood anymore, especially not now in this global world, but for an entertainer like him, having that kind of recognition and breaking into the North American market could help take him to the next level.
He doesn’t really even need Hollywood either, he can leverage his masterful strategy to hit up the entertainment world 2.0. The innovations in entertainment have just started to emerge. Netflix, Hulu, Youtube, Facebook streaming, Apple TV, etc., The future is wide open for him and he’s speaking directly to the people who will be along for the ride. The 35 and under group. The Millennials and the Gen Z’s who live on IG (cuz Snapchat got the boot). He is speaking directly to this demographic in the language they understand.
His colleagues, competitors, and fans should watch and learn because mark my words, with every boomerang, IG story, gif or meme Ranveer Singh shares, he’s growing his brand, his following and getting ever closer to a new stratosphere of fame.
It’s never a dull moment with your girl gang; some shots and conversations about sex, right? If you agree, you’re in for a treat with Karan Boolani’s directorial venture, “Thank You For Coming,” which had its world premiere at the 48th annual Toronto International Film Festival. This coming-of-age story unapologetically begs the answer to a very important question: Why should women be left high and dry in bed?
Kanika Kapoor (Bhumi Pednekar) is a successful, 32-year-old, Delhi food blogger who makes a huge revelation on her 30th birthday: She’s never experienced an orgasm. This dirty little secret (no pun intended!) has now become detrimental to her self-esteem. She feels so down and out that she even accepts the proposal of a very boring suitor, Jeevan-ji (Pradhuman Singh Mall).
But, it’s not like she hasn’t tried. Kanika’s been a monogamist since her teenage years, starting with puppy love in high school — unfortunately, their sexual endeavors coined her as “thandi” (cold) by her first boyfriend — all the way to dating in her adulthood. But, regardless of how great any relationship was, nobody had her achieve the big O. All until the night of her engagement with Jeevan, when the drunk bride-to-be leaves the party for her hotel room and gets into bed. What follows is her very first orgasm. Ghungroo, finally, tute gaye! But, with whom?
The morning after, an initially-satisfied Kanika works herself into a frenzy of confusion and frustration as she makes her way through the list of potential men who could’ve been in her room the night before.
Was it one of her exes? She’d simply invited them to come to wish her well.
Was it her fiance?
Or, God forbid, was it actually the rabdi-wala (ice cream man)?
Boolani takes a straight-forward and on-the-nose approach to drive the point home. There are no cutting corners, no mincing words, and no hovering over “taboo topics.” The dialogue is raunchy, the characters are horny, and no one is apologetic. It’s important for a film like “Thank You For Coming” to be so in-your-face because the subject of women achieving orgasms can’t really be presented in any other way. Anything more conservative in the narrative would feel like the makers are being mindful of addressing something prohibited. And there is no room for taboos here.
But, there is room for a more open conversation on the reasons why many women feel the need to suppress their sexual needs in bed; how generally, women have been brought up to be the more desirable gender and hence not cross certain boundaries that would make them appear too brash. The fight for the right of female pleasure would have been a little more effective if the modesty around the topic was addressed. But, that doesn’t mean that the point is remiss.
The plot moves swiftly along, never lulling too long over everything that seems to be going wrong in Kanika’s life. “Thank You For Coming” is full of all the right tropes that belong in a comedic, masala film, too; the direction very seamlessly takes classic fixings like the abhorrent admirer (enter Jeevan-ji) and effectively plugs them into this contemporary feature that will remain perpetually relevant.
And now, let’s come to the star of the show: the well-rounded characters.
Producer Rhea Kapoor has mastered the formula of a good chick flick and her casting is the magic touch. She’s got a knack for bringing together the right actors — cue, “Veere Di Wedding.” So, just when we think that it doesn’t get better than the veere, Kapoor surprises us with a refreshing trio — they’re modern, they’re rebellious, and they say it like it is. Thank you, Dolly Singh (Pallavi Khanna) and Shibani Bedi (Tina Das) for being the yin to Kanika’s yang — and for the bag full of sex toys your homegirl oh-so needed!
To complete Kanika’s story, we have her single mother, Miss. Kapoor, brilliantly portrayed by Natasha Rastogi. She is the face of a headstrong and self-assured matriarch and a symbol of the modern-day Indian woman. Rastogi’s character exemplifies the fact that with access to education, and a stable career, women do not need to mold their lives around men.
I love the fact that Miss. Kapoor is almost villainized by her own mother (played by Dolly Ahluwalia) in the film because she had a child out of wedlock in her yesteryears, she chooses to remain single, and she brings her boyfriends around the house to hang out with. But, there’s a point to be made here. The fact that Kanika’s mother is being antagonized just highlights that she is challenging the norms and pushing the envelope for what is socially acceptable for women. Miss. Kapoor definitely deserves an honorable mention.
Pednekar’s unexpected yet impeccable comic timing is the highlight of the entire film. Everything from being a damsel in sexual distress to a woman who unabashedly chases self-pleasure, Pednekar puts on a genuinely entertaining act for the audience. From being portrayed as a high-schooler to the 32-year-old, independent woman, Pednekar is fit for each role. Her naivety as a teen wins you over, as does her gusto as a full-blown adult with a broken ankle and some very messy relationships. This also speaks volumes about the versatility of her looks.
And, of course, Pednekar is not new to films that address social topics, but “Thank You For Coming” challenges her to balance Kanika’s droll with the responsibility of delivering a very important message to the viewers. Mission accomplished, Ms. Pednekar!
“Thank You For Coming” is a through-and-through entertainer. Everything from the casting — a huge shout out to the rest of the supporting cast including Anil Kapoor, Shehnaaz Gill, Karan Kundra, Kusha Kapila, Gautmik, and Sushant Divkigar, without whom this roller coaster would have lacked the thrills — to the homey locations and even the glitz and glamor in the song sequences, they’re all perfect pieces to help drive home a powerful message: Smash patriarchy!
“Ghoomer,” R. Balki’s latest directorial venture, had its world premiere at the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne 2023 (IFFM), earlier this month, and the moment was nothing short of memorable. Lead actors Abhishek Bachchan, Saiyami Kher, and Angad Bedi, were present to unveil their labor of love to the world, and all three were left speechless at the reaction of the global audience; the film received a standing ovation on opening night, leaving the team extremely emotional — a feeling that Bachchan tells Brown Girl is one he cannot put into words.
“Ghoomer,” tells the story of Anina (played by Kher), an exceptional cricket player who loses her right hand in an accident. Downtrodden and with no will to live, Anina finds a mentor and coach in Padam Singh Sodhi (played by Bachchan), an insensitive and brash failed cricketer who helps her turn her life and career around; Anina also has the unwavering support of her husband, Jeet (played by Bedi). Sodhi teaches Anina unorthodox techniques to make her mark on the cricket ground once again. Enter, ghoomer, a new style of bowling.
Balki checks all the boxes with this feature — his protagonist is a female athlete, the film is his way of giving back to cricket (a new form of delivery), and he highlights the idea that nothing is impossible for paraplegic athletes. The heart of Balki’s film is in the right place — Kher mentions that the film is meant to be more of an inspirational movie and less of a sports-based movie. One can only imagine the impact that a film like this would have on an audience that’s hungry for meaningful cinema.
And, to chat more about “Ghoomer,” Brown Girl Magazine sat down with the stars of the show. Bachchan, Bedi, and Kher came together to talk about their inspiring characters, the filming journey, and how their film aspires to change the landscape of cricket and paraplegic athletes in the country. It was all that, with a side of samosas.
Take a look!
The featured image is courtesy of Sterling Global.
It’s always a flamboyant affair of colour, emotions and grandeur when Karan Johar directs a film, and his latest blockbuster “Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani” is as K Jo as it gets. After recently being recognised at the British House of Parliament for 25 years as a filmmaker, Johar is back to doing what he does best — bringing together families and star-crossed lovers, but this time with a modern touch. He makes a decent attempt at showcasing progressive ideals and feminist issues while taking us on this family-friendly ride.
“Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani” is a larger-than-life film revolving around the love story of a boisterous Rocky (Ranveer Singh) from a wealthy Delhi family, and Rani (Alia Bhatt), a sharp journalist from a progressive Bengali household. And of course, despite belonging to completely different backgrounds and lives, our protagonists, in true Bollywood fashion, fall hopelessly in love through a string of slow-motion gazes, warm embraces and some truly breath-taking song sequences in Kashmir’s snowy mountains. They are then forced to face their opposing families which brings along the family drama in the second half of the film.
The plot is not the film’s strongest point — there’s no real surprise about what’s going to happen next, and yet the film doesn’t fail to keep audiences engaged and pack an emotional punch. This is down to its strong acting, witty dialogues and K Jo’s classic, beautiful cinematography.
Ranveer Singh sinks into the skin of his character with ease – not only does he make the hall burst into laughter with the help of perfectly-timed gags but he pulls off those dreamy gazes ,expected in K Jo’s heroes, to evoke that typical, fuzzy-feeling kind of Bollywood romance. Alia Bhatt’s intelligent and undefeated character is no less a pleasure to watch on screen — not only does she look breath-taking in every shot but her feminist dialogues earn claps and cheers from the audience as she brings a progressive touch to this family drama.
Albeit, while Bhatt’s dialogues do their best to steer this film to the reformist drama it hopes to be, some of Singh’s gags and monologues on cancel culture bring out bumps in the road. The film could have done better to reinforce its points on feminism and racism without using the groups it tries to support as the butt of jokes.
There is also a case to be made about how long these Punjabi and Bengali stereotypes can go on with often gawkish displays of Ranveer’s ‘dilwala-from-Delhi’ character among the overly-polished English from Rani’s Bengali family. But it is with the expertise of the supporting cast, that the film is able to get away with it. Jaya Bachchan in particular is as classy as ever on screen; the stern Dadi Ji holds her ground between the two lovers, while Dada Ji Dharmendra, and Thakuma Shabana Azmi, tug at our heartstrings showing that love truly is for all ages.
Saving the best to last, it is the film’s cinematography that makes the strongest case for audiences to flock to the cinema. The soul-stirring songs steal the show with their extravagant sets and powerful dance performances that treat the audiences to the much-awaited cinematic experience of a K Jo film. While audiences may already be familiar with the viral songs, “What Jhumka?” and “Tum Kya Mile“, it was the family-defying fight for love in “Dhindhora Baje Re” that really gave me goosebumps.
Overall, the film does exactly what it says on the tin and is a family entertainer with something for everyone. It will make you laugh, cry, and cringe at times, but nothing leaves you feeling as romantic as some old school Bollywood with a mix of new school humour, in true K Jo form.