Perhaps there has seldom been a year as eventful in Bollywood as 2018. Those that stay abreast with the gossip of the world of gloss ‘n’ glam can attest that the space wasn’t just about gloom and doom. An industry that attracts eyeballs for its high-end soirees and fast-changing friendships, witnesses a major political brouhaha at the very start.
On the other hand, the stars we only want to see at their stylish screen best, saw the ‘Big C’ rear its ugly head. Also, dominating the minds of their followers were celeb couples who took a leap of faith with holy matrimony this year!
As 2018 draws to a climax, let the drum roll begin! Here’s a compiled list of newsmakers that influenced newsrooms and created an impact.
Sanjay Leela Bhansali is no stranger to controversy. So Padmavati came as no surprise when it irked the Shri Rajput Karni Sena. But little did the filmmaker know that the organisation would urge a ban on the release of his film nationwide, claiming ‘distortion’ of facts. Things took a turn for worse when bounties were offered and threats were issued to Bhansali and his all-time favourite heroine and titular lead Deepika Padukone.
However, the film saw the backing of an industry which doesn’t really throw support behind competition regularly. Akshay Kumar even postponed PadMan to make way for SLB’s labour of love. With a clearance from the Central Board of Film Certification, Padmavati finally released as Padmaavat on January 25. Bidding goodbye to conjecture, the movie recorded great moolah, sent the Sena home, impressed the classes and masses…except for Swara Bhasker. The actress, in an open letter to the director, called him out for his views expressed in the historical drama, thereby inviting a fresh row for Bhansali and company.
Another film that faced a similar fate was the Aayush Sharma-Warina Hussain debut vehicle Loveyatri. Initially titled as Loveratri, amid objections, this Salman Khan production underwent a name change but met with a mild response.
Priya Prakash Varrier
Debutante Priya Prakash Varrier did the unimaginable. The actress who sashayed into acting with Omar Lulu’s Oru Aadar Love turned the nations’ hearts to mush with just a wink. This young girl and her expressions became such a rage that she beat Sunny Leone to become the ‘Most searched on Google.’
Her Instagram followers jumped by insane figures and she is now basking in the
success of it all!
As kids, we learn that there is magic and it never dies. Sridevi was that magic combined in any one of us. Months later, the world she left behind a vacuum in with her sudden demise, still struggles to limp back to normalcy. It is now devoid of the aura of this ultra-phenomenal actress who dedicated 50 years of her entire existence of 54, to
[caption id="attachment_114538" align="aligncenter" width="647"] File photo of Sridevi.[/caption]
300 films later, the actress attended a family wedding in Dubai and left for her heavenly abode soon after. Accidental drowning was cited as the cause of her passing. But Sridevi lives on because magic never dies…
Irrfan, Sonali Bendre and ‘C’
Irrfan is rare indeed. But never in our wildest dreams did we expect anything ‘rare’ on the ugly side to happen to this gem of an actor. The man who sweeps us off our feet with his talent came with the announcement of a recent diagnosis – a neuroendocrine tumour.
Even as Irrfan’s fans grappled with this horrific revelation, Sonali Bendre-Behl went public with the news of cancer. Sonali who made our heart flutter with her shy smile and screen brilliance is seeking treatment in New York for the ‘Big C.’ The star of Diljale, Sarfarosh, Major Saab, Duplicate and more, has won half the battle and is taking #OneDayAtATime while she switches on the sunshine.
Sara Ali Khan
After Sharmila Tagore, Saif Ali Khan and Soha Ali Khan, the third generation of Pataudis is all set to enter Bollywood. It was rumoured that Sara Ali Khan, Saif’s daughter from first wife Amrita Singh, would be launched by Karan Johar. However, Abhishek Kapoor announced Kedarnath with Sushant Singh Rajput and Sara in the lead. But the film got delayed and meanwhile, Sara bagged KJo’s and Rohit Shetty’s Ranveer Singh-starrer Simmba.
Enter date clash! Enter Papa Pataudi! Dates were sorted while Sara shot for both Kedarnath and Simmba. The former released to rave reviews of the newbie’s performance. Moreover, her attitude, confidence, charm and eloquence while interacting with the media is something for which everyone has been showering her with love!
Salman Khan - to jail or not to jail
In a two-decade-long pending case of Blackbuck poaching, a Jodhpur court charged Salman Khan as guilty. His Hum Saath Saath Hain co-stars Saif Ali Khan, Sonali Bendre, Tabu and Neelam were said to be present with Salman at the time he shot the Blackbuck. However, in the April ruling, the four walked scot-free while the Wanted actor was thrown behind bars.
Par, Bhai ko pakadna mushkil hi nahin, namumkin hai. Khan pleaded not guilty and his bail plea was heard. The judges in Rajasthan were transferred owing to routine procedure. A leaf turned over. Two nights later in Jodhpur Central Jail, Bhai was waving to fans (flashing the turquoise bracelet) from the balcony of his Galaxy Apartments in Mumbai. Kyunki, sab ki aan sab ki shaan sabka ek Bhaijaan!
After the blockbuster success of Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, Prerna Arora, the KriArj Entertainment honcho, was the newest producer on the block. She followed the great response with Pari. In no time, KriArj announced four news films – Parmanu, Batti Gul Meter Chalu, Kedarnath and Fanney Khan. However, all of these ended up with different co-producers, owing to some or other issue.
Cut to December. The co-founder (along with Arjun N. Kapoor) was picked up by the Economic Offences Wing of the Mumbai Police’s Crime Branch and produced in the Esplanade Court in a case filed by film distributor Vashu Bhagnani. She has been in police custody from December 10. EOW arrested Prernaa for cheating worth Rs31.6 crore. Further details are awaited…
The Sonam Kapoor-Anand Ahuja wedding
Veteran actor Anil Kapoor’s sprawling Juhu bungalow buzzed with celebrities and festivities as his daughter, actress Sonam Kapoor’s wedding revelry commenced earlier in May. Confirmations of the D-day only came as a mere formality, for photographs and video snippets from the sangeet rehearsals were already splashed on social media by celebs who thronged the mansion.
Putting red back into fashion, Sonam married the love of her life, businessman Anand Ahuja, in a beautiful Anuradha Vakil couture at her aunt’s place in Bandra. A slew of close family and friends of the couple were in attendance.
Neha Dhupia, Angad Bedi – wedding and pregnancy
We were not quite over the SoNand wedding hangover when, Neha Dhupia married her BFF, Angad Bedi! The secret ceremony took place in New Delhi and equally shocked the public and celeb circle alike. The actress and former beauty queen’s hush-hush wedding to the son of ex-Indian cricketer Bishan Singh Bedi gave rise to rumours of her pregnancy. While Neha’s dad brushed this aside, the Roadies star continued to sport loose-fitting, pregnancy clothing until she finally announced that baby Bedi was on the way!
In November, Neha and Angad became proud parents of daughter Mehr Dhupia Bedi. Hamari umar me ek nazar mein pata lag jata hai!
Ranbir Kapoor – Alia Bhatt turn ‘Ralia’
All of 25, Alia Bhatt is living THE life every millennial has ever dreamt of. She owns a sprawling abode in Bandra which boasts of New York loft and exquisite designs. Her films have all fared well and cemented her position as an industry force to reckon with. The topping on the dessert: she has also started dating THE most eligible bachelor in town, Ranbir Kapoor!
Water tastes like sherbet – Ranbir Kapoor is in love, again! Be it his relationships with Deepika Padukone, Katrina Kaif or a New York rendezvous with Pakistani beauty Mahira Khan, our eternal lover boy always grabs attention for his romantic liaisons. Love blossomed on the sets of Brahmastra with Alia with her forever girl ‘crush’ Ranbir!
2018 was probably the year when Salman Khan’s astrology chart might have hinted at Saturn taking some wrong turns. After the Jodhpur jail stint, the superstar faced a debacle. His Eid offering, Race 3, turned out to be extremely bad, critics pronounced. But despite the verdict, the multi-starrer fared well, like all Bhaijaan’s films do. No surprises there!
A man who has sailed through every possible tide and storm all his life, is a saga in himself. Born to the illustrious family of Sunil and Nargis Dutt, Sanjay Dutt was born with the proverbial silver spoon. However, the big bright expectations bogged him down to a sinner of sorts. Headlines dictated his existence until Rajkumar Hirani made Sanju which made better headlines.
Moviegoers suggest that the Ranbir Kapoor-starrer biopic was a publicity stunt meant to whitewash Sanju’s image; who walked out of jail a free man in 2016. But if you believe Dutt, Hirani, and others, this human drama offered realism in a world of surrealism, Sanjay Dutt version UNCENSORED. Except, the director left too many episodes on the editing table...
India had a major breakthrough in the OTT platform space with Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane’s Sacred Games. Starring Saif Ali Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Radhika Apte – the intense series was lauded and decorated by international reviewers and those at home alike.
Many hailed it as the Narcos of India – trust us, this is a big one! A second part in the series is in the pipeline and we cannot wait to bite our nails again!
Priyanka Chopra quit Salman Khan’s Bharat
We were happy when Priyanka Chopra announced her homecoming with Salman Khan’s Bharat. Having batted successfully on an international pitch for two to three years, Priyanka finally decided to sign a Bollywood film. Given Khan’s box-office record, it was an easy guess that this combo was sure to break records. Until Chopra decided to call it quits…
She walked out of the Ali Abbas Zafar directorial citing impending marriage as the reason. When prodded about his heroine’s exit, Salman clarified that Priyanka had called his sister Arpita Khan Sharma a 1000 times to consider her for the role. In fact, Dabangg Khan was even ready to wait till PeeCee got done with her wedding festivities. But looks like she had made up her mind otherwise!
On the bright side – Salman gave a clear confirmation of Priyanka’s wedding with Nick. Putting everything aside, he also made a stylish appearance at their reception and invited them over post the function. All’s well that ends well!
The iconic Sridevi who took immense pride in her daughters, couldn’t give Janhvi Kapoor the loudest cheer or applause for her first film, Dhadak… While the loss of a mother is irreplaceable, this 21-year-old was united with her step-siblings Arjun Kapoor and Anshula Kapoor, after tragedy struck.
Arjun stood by his father and half-sisters like a rock. This family of five are now getting to know each other better and becoming a tightly-knit circle.
The same was reflected in Arjun and Janhvi’s Koffee… couch outing. The bade bhaiya was seen spilling some secrets about his choti behen while she wasn’t far behind at pulling his leg!
Mira Rajput-Shahid Kapoor welcome Zain Kapoor
Watchdogs of the style statement(s) sniffed out and confirmed the development that Shahid Kapoor and Mira Rajput were expecting their second child, thanks to the sudden change in this star wife’s wardrobe! However, the couple wasted no time and took an innovative route to announce their little one’s arrival, via their first-born, Misha Kapoor.
Come September and ShahMira welcomed a bundle of joy – Zain Kapoor. The first picture of this munchkin was revealed during Diwali, lighting up our social media feed with utter cuteness!
Tanushree Dutta - nana patekar
The ball for India’s #MeToo movement might have started rolling a decade ago, but the industry then chose to ignore Tanushree Dutta’s first mayday call as she alleged harassment at the hands of veteran actor Nana Patekar.
While the crème de la crème of Bollywood maintained a stoic silence over Tanushree’s and other accounts that followed in the campaign, there were the likes of Farhan Akhtar and Richa Chadha who threw their weight behind the watershed movement.
A question still remains: is anyone listening to or at least trying to believe the victims? How many more will it take?
Alok Nath, Sajid Khan…me too
#MeToo campaign in India has finally picked up pace. The Mumbai Police have booked actor Alok Nath on charges of rape, following a complaint lodged by a woman writer-producer. Among other things, the woman named Vinta Nanda accused Nath of allegedly raping her nearly 19 years ago when they worked together.
Many other filmmakers including Vikas Bahl and Sajid Khan among others; and several actors have been suspended, removed and asked to step down from the positions they held, in the light of sexual harassment allegations. This is, indeed, news that mattered most to the fraternity and fans alike.
Arjun Kapoor - Malaika Arora: THE NEW 'it' COUPLE
PeepingMoon.com got their hands on this exclusive picture of Arjun Kapoor and Malaika Arora walking hand in hand at Milan airport! The couple’s chemistry confirms that Malaika indeed brought in her 45th birthday in the company of her rumoured beau Arjun.
[caption id="attachment_155631" align="aligncenter" width="647"] Arjun and Malaika spotted at the Dubai Airport[/caption]
The following parties and weddings saw the speculated lovebirds make head-turning entry together, and a chirping bird tells us that marriage is slated for 2019. Can’t wait to have a meltdown over another virtual wedding we attend. Toodles!
The Ranveer Singh-Deepika Padukone wedding
Can we declare 2018 as the year of shaadis already? First things first, Ranveer Singh and now bhabhiji Deepika Padukone – aap dono itni energy laaye kahase? The couple had two wedding ceremonies in Italy – according to Sindhi and Konkan rites respectively. This was followed by a grand reception in Bangalore. Soon, the dulha-dulhan finally arrived home in Mumbai!
[caption id="attachment_175601" align="aligncenter" width="647"] Ranveer and Deepika photographed during their wedding in Italy.[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_169716" align="aligncenter" width="647"] Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh at their Bengaluru Wedding reception[/caption]
Nayi bahu ka swagat kuch iss tarah hua – Ranveer’s sister threw a bash for the newlyweds.
[caption id="attachment_171402" align="aligncenter" width="647"] Ranveer and Deepika at Ritika Bhavnani's party.[/caption]
Next up was Reception #2
And another one! #3
Bas, ab Taimur half pant se full pant pe aa gaya! While DeepVeer were busy partying and burning the dance floor at expensive hotel ballrooms in super luxe couture, Priyanka Chopra went from ‘single’ to ‘suhagan.’
The Priyanka Chopra-Nick Jonas shocker!
This inter-faith, intercontinental wedding broke the internet and how! Ranking second to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding, Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas’ shubh vivah was the top searched. Endless celebrations continued here too. Two weddings – Christian and Punjabi. Dinners and soirees, receptions at Udaipur, New Delhi and Mumbai took place.
[caption id="attachment_175188" align="aligncenter" width="1080"] Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas at their Sangeet Ceremony at Umaid Bhavan, Jodhpur[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_176130" align="aligncenter" width="647"] Nick and Priyanka photographed during their wedding in Jodhpur.[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_176502" align="aligncenter" width="647"] PM Modi photographed at Priyanka's and Nick's New Delhi reception.[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_187000" align="aligncenter" width="1065"] Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas at their Mumbai Media Reception[/caption]
Even as we speak, a picture of the lovebirds with their family in London is going viral. Also, Nickyanka are expected to host friends in Los Angeles soon. Not sure when this never-ending wedding revelry will end but you and I are not invited for sure!
The Isha Ambani-Anand Piramal wedding
No kidding, I feel like I am stuck in time. Physics has turned its back on these wedding sagas because there is no concept of time, distance or…well, time! As far as the Ambanis are concerned, India’s richest family believes ‘Khulke JIO.’ And unlike us, there were no budget restrictions. If you can get Beyonce to dance at your wedding, of course you are that Richie-rich heroine Karan Johar has projected in his opulent films all these years!
Isha Ambani, the only daughter of desk ka sabse paise wala aadmi Mukesh Ambani, married Anand Piramal, scion of the Piramal group in an elaborate ceremony. Elaborate bole toh, four events to set the tone for the engagement, then a super loooooong sangeet (with BEYONCE performing at Indian Coachella) and other functions that continued for four days in Udaipur. Then came the wedding... Then the receptions...
Don’t know whether to assume it’s over or they’re just taking a break!
The Cut article on Priyanka…
Following Priyanka’s marriage to the American singer, a writer, Mariah Smith, published an article for The Cut that called the global star a ‘scam artist.’ In the writer Mariah's opinion, Priyanka "is a modern-day scam artist".
"Nicholas Jonas married into a fraudulent relationship against his will this past Saturday, December the 1st, and I'll tell you why I think so..." the article read. She further wrote, "Priyanka's indulgences and what she views as necessities speak volumes to her personality and what she'll do, or think she needs to do, for her career...."
The piece was heavily criticized by actors of the Indian film fraternity ending with: The Cut pulling it out eventually. Later, the writer posted an apology on social media.
Taimur Ali Khan
Taimur Ali Khan doesn’t need a rock-solid reason to make headlines but this time, there were two good ones. Papa Saif Ali Khan revealed on Koffee with Karan that each photograph of his baby with Kareena Kapoor-Khan is sold for Rs.1500, as informed by his father-in-law Randhir Kapoor. What’s more, this blue-eyed boy now has a doll replica which graces the shelves of many a store!
If that wasn’t enough, rumour has it that Madhur Bhandarkar has registered Taimur’s name as one of his next films! Is a film on the national baby crush in the pipeline? Only Bhandarkar knows. But undeniably, this star kid already has it with those chubby cheeks, rosy lips, curly hair and lovely light blue eyes! Even his ‘Hi’ and ‘Bye’ matters… (Yeah, the world has come to that.)
Clearly, 2018 was a mixed bag of colours... Like an entertaining musical, it had drama, action, battles, sweet surprises, colourful wedding moments and even tiny tots making us sit up and take notice!