Countdown 2022—Part 2: Newsmakers

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Alia Bhatt was the Newsmaker of the Year, became a wife, a mother and a producer and featured only in hits. Photo: Hype PR

Alia Bhatt—Newsmaker of the Year

The biggest and most happening news of the year was of the Ranbir Kapoor-
Alia Bhatt wedding on April 14. On November 6, this was augmented by the
next breaking news—Alia gave birth to a baby girl, named Raha. Alia remained
a newsmaker all through—not only did she give a sterling performance in
Gangubai Kathiawadi, but she also made a smash debut as a producer on OTT
with Darlings. What’s more, her cameo in the South film RRR also met with
super-success and acclaim, and Ranbir-Alia’s first film together,
Brahmastra—Part 1: Shiva also proved a huge hit. And if all these facts were
not enough for someone who has been Numero Uno in Hindi cinema since
2019, additionally, Alia also completed the shoot for Heart of Stone, her
Hollywood debut.

Boycott Blues
For oft-repeated and diverse reasons that we will not get into, there were calls
from one or more sections of the populace and even some foreign countries to
boycott films as varied as The Kashmir Files, Brahmastra, the pan-Indian
Liger, Laal Singh Chaddha and Raksha Bandhan. The first two films obviously
survived because of their intrinsic merits and connect, and the reverse happened
with the rest, proving that boycotts were effective only on social media and not at the ticket counters. At the box-office, nothing other than value-for-money
quality counted. Period.

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‘Vulgar’ accusation
At the opening of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI), Israeli
filmmaker Nadav Lapid hit out at The Kashmir Files, terming the film as vulgar
and also as propaganda. Israel and its consulate in India disowned the
statement, though Lapid stuck to his guns and got some support from a section
of Indian film personalities.

Ranveer ‘Skin’
Ranveer Singh needlessly courted controversy when he posed in the nude and
posted his pics on Instagram. An FIR has been filed in court against him for
public display of obscenity.

Deepika Padukone and Shah Rukh Khan in the song Besharam Rang in Pathaan. Photo: Trailer Video Grab

A saffron Deepika
If he courted trouble, so did wife Deepika Padukone, who was given and wore a
saffron two-piece in an erotic song, Besharam rang, in Pathaan. This brought
in a lot of ire when the trailer was out, and politicians asked whether Shah Rukh
Khan would dare watch the song with his daughter by his side.

Nora Fatehi accused Jacqueline Fernandez of trying to sabotage her career, and performed twice at teh FIFA World Cup. Photo: Publicity Photo

Nora’s Fateh
Nora Fatehi (apart from God-knows-how-many-dance-cameos in 2022’s
movies) actually performed at both the opening and closing ceremonies of the
FIFA World Cup in Argentina. Quite a Fateh (victory), that! Back home, she
even filed a defamation case against Jacqueline Fernandez for dragging her
name into the 200-crore money-laundering case for which the latter has beenrepeatedly interrogated by the Enforcement Directorate. Nora has accused the
latter of damaging her career prospects.

Shaadi Mubarak!
Farhan Akhtar and Shibani Dandekar and Richa Chadha and Ali Fazal tied the
knot this year. Among other celebrities who married to names outside cinema
included Hansika Motwani with Sohael Khaturiya,Vikrant Massey with Sheetal
Thakur, Karishma Tanna with Varun Bangera, Mouni Roy with Suraj Nambiar
and Mohit Raina with Aditi. Director Luv Ranjan married Alisha Vaid, while
Sanah Kapur wed Mayank Pahwa. Shama Sikandar got married to American
beau James Milliron, while Payal Rohatgi finally wed Sangram Singh. A
musical wedding was that of singer Palak Muchhal with composer-lyricist-
singer Mithoon.

Children’s Day In
Besides Raha Kapoor, we had Malti Marie Chopra Jonas, a surrogate baby born
in January to Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Nick Jonas, another four-word
name— Devi Basu Singh Grover (Phew!) for Bipasha Basu and Karan Singh Grover, and Vayu Kapoor Ahuja, born to Sonam Kapoor Ahuja and hubby Anand Ahuja.

Agastya Anand’s dual debut
Amitabh Bachchan’s grandson Agastya Anand, along with Suhana (Shah Rukh
Khan) Khan signed and completed Zoya Akhtar’s OTT film, The Archies. Now
Agastya has stolen the thunder over other star-kids with his also signing Sriram
Raghavan’s Ikkis, also featuring Dharmendra, his grandfather’s repeated co-star
(Chupke Chupke, Sholay, Ram Balram). The film was launched on
Dharmendra’s 87th birthday on December 8.

Dilip Kumar centenary 
Thespian Dilip Kumar’s birth centenary was celebrated with a retrospective of
some of his finest films across a long career of 55 years. The Festival, held
across 20 cities in India at the PVR and INOX multiplexes, and named Dilip Kumar Hero of Heroes.

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