MAMI Movie Mela 2019: From Alia's bloopers to Deepika's cheeky remarks, all highlights from the event
The fourth edition of the MAMI Movie Mela kicked off the Jio MAMI 21st Mumbai Film Festival, that will take place from 17 to 24 October.
The fourth edition of the MAMI Movie Mela could not begin without the hosts, Festival Director Anupama Chopra and film critic Rajeev Masand, addressing the elephant in the room — why the annual event was given a miss last year.
Adding to MAMI Artistic Director Smriti Kiran's explanation, Masand said, "We did have the Mela in place last year but it was perhaps the wrong time to celebrate the (Hindi film) industry. It was a time when everyone in Bollywood was groping someone or doing something to someone. We just thought it wouldn't be right on our part to do any kind of celebration right now."
He was referring to the #MeToo movement in Bollywood late last year, when a host of women came out to entail their personal experiences of harassment and misconduct, and also named certain influential Bollywood members as alleged sexual offenders.
But this year, the Movie Mela returns with its fourth edition, and flags off the Jio MAMI 21st Mumbai Film Festival, that will take place from 17 to 24 October.
Out of the four sessions, the best one undoubtedly was the newcomers panel discussion, called 'New Blood: Ringing in the Next Generation'. Conducted by Masand and Chopra, the panel consisted of Mrunal Thakur, who made her Hindi film debut with Love Sonia last year and was also seen in Super 30 and Batla House this year; Radhika Madan, who made her Bollywood debut with Pataakha last year and was also seen in Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota this year; Avinash Tiwary, whose first solo lead was Laila Majnu last year; Janhvi Kapoor, who made her debut with Dhadak last year; and Ananya Panday, who was introduced in Student of the Year 2 earlier this year.
While they spoke extensively about their debut and struggles to reach there, the most heartening moment came when Mrunal answered this question: "One thing you want to change in the industry today". She confessed to not getting the lead role in Love Sonia despite delivering two major hits in Super 30 and Batla House, and spoke about labels such as "leading lady" and how that can affect the roles being offered to you.
Radhika echoed Mrunal's concern. Since her debut film, Pataakha, did not work at the box office despite critical acclaim, she is now finding it tough to prove her mettle (as a bankable star) to the producers. However, Avinash argued that he had been struggling for 15 years, and finally got a breakthrough in Laila Majnu. So he insisted things are changing in the industry, and the fact that he was sharing the platform with four women was a testament to the change.
In the third session, 'Get on Set: In the Directors Locker Room', six filmmakers congregated to discuss both their processes and on-set rituals. War director Siddharth Anand confessed he has a short temper, and has even damaged remotes and monitors out of frustration. When other filmmakers on the panel were asked whether they expressed their anger on set as frequently, all of them maintained they are not screamers.
Deepika Padukone says marrying Ranveer Singh was the right decision
The fourth edition of the MAMI Movie Mela kicked off with a session with the MAMI Chairperson Deepika Padukone, who dissected five key film roles of her career, handpicked by Masand and Chopra. The five roles were Cocktail, Chennai Express, Goliyon Ki Rasleela: Ram-Leela, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, and Piku. While she shared screen space with her now-husband Ranveer Singh in four films, including Ram-Leela, Bajirao Mastani, and the upcoming 83, she worked with her ex Ranbir in three films as well, Bachna Ae Haseeno, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, and Tamasha.
When she said it was difficult to choose who she looks better with on screen, Masand conducted an audience poll. After Ranveer and Deepika got an overwhelming response, she thanked the audience for their 'approval', and claimed she "married the right man."
Alia Bhatt, the reigning queen of Bollywood and bloopers
The finale of the day was a session called 'The Big Talk' hosted by filmmaker Karan Johar, who was in conversation with actresses Alia Bhatt and Kareena Kapoor Khan, two leading ladies whom he has directed, in Student of the Year and Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham... respectively, and met for the first time "when they were 17", as he revealed in the opening minutes of the segment.
Though Karan inserted a disclaimer right at the start that his session would not be 'cerebral', three bloopers by Alia went on to prove just that. The first came when she was praising Kareena to the hill. "She's f*cking amazing," she said, and quickly followed this with embarrassment at the realisation that she had just cursed on stage. The second blooper came when she said she does a lot of "scouting" on Instagram. Karan clarified "scouting" is for locations, and "scrolling" is probably what she meant. The third and final blooper, after which Kareena insisted they "remove their heels, wear sneakers, and run from the venue", came when Alia offered advice to an aspiring actor in the audience, "If your film doesn't work, it's not the end of the day." Kareena then asked her if she meant "end of the world" instead.
Then, as icing on the cake, Alia's Dulhania franchise and Student of the Year co-star Varun Dhawan called on Johar's phone during the session. Alia snatched the phone away, received it, and told him they are at MAMI Movie Mela, in the middle of a session. Varun, probably doubting Alia's claim, said, "Why the f*ck are you guys lying". While the phone was speaker, his response was not audible. When Karan asked what he said, Kareena responded cheekily, "He said the same thing Alia did."
The MAMI Movie Mela, as expected, celebrated Bollywood in and out.
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