Fun unlimited with cine melodrama

Samantha and Naga Chaitanya
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Samantha and Naga Chaitanya

Highlights

On the auspicious Gandhi Jayanti day, heavens fell down and all hell broke loose

On the auspicious Gandhi Jayanti day, heavens fell down and all hell broke loose. The hitherto million-dollar question as to who let the deadly Covid-19 loose is no more intriguing. It is overshadowed by another mindboggling poser: Why Chaitu and Sam are divorcing?

When did Samantha dropped her surname 'Akkineni' from all social media handles and restored to 'Ruth Prabhu'? Is there a third person involvement behind this break up? Has the Akkineni family tried to control Samantha by asking her to confine to business and stay away from bold roles? Why did the smartest Nagarjuna fail to make peace between the duo? Why did both of them use the same text to announce the end of their relationship as wife and husband? How much alimony Samantha may get from Akkineni family? What could be the next move of the young actors? - are some of the 'key' questions that are widely debated and discussed now. "Do you think the perfect chemistry between Naga Chaitanya and Sai Pallavi in their latest movie 'Love Story' is something to do with this divorce?" asked a doubting Thomas. What to say?

From the moment Samantha took to social media to announce their "decision to part ways as husband and wife to pursue our own paths," the world is totally gaga about it. Even though both of them sought all their "well-wishers" for privacy to move on, all media, notably YouTube channels, came up with stories like "20 reasons behind the split," "Here are the real reasons," "What went wrong between the lovely couple" and so on. A confident-looking cine-political astrologer, who sensed a bumper business prospect in the episode, claimed that he had already predicted the fault lines in the relation of the couple a long ago.

Somehow people develop considerable curiosity to know more about the ruined relations of celebrity couple. The relation is dissected from various angles till they get a convincing answer to satiate their inquisitiveness. A sense of betrayal and uneasiness was found in public when the acclaimed actor Aamir Khan and his wife Kiran Rao brought curtains down to their 15-year marriage in July in a joint statement. Call it benevolence of the highest order or undesirable enthusiasm to peep into other's personal lives, our folks spend a good amount of time to find out the 'real reasons' behind such break-ups. It's a kind of pastime and avocation for many.

Even as the all sections of society are struggling hard to limp back to normalcy in the aftermath of the devastation caused by Covid-19, issues related to film personalities are hitting the headlines for wrong reasons. It all started with the fresh grilling of film personalities by the sleuths of the Enforcement Directorate in a drug abuse case. Star actors and directors attending the second wave of grilling in September attracted much attention though people don't have any cluse as to why it took more than one year to re-start the investigation. The arrest of the Bollywood Badshah Shah Rukh Khan's son Aryan Khan in a drug case is the latest edition.

An allegation levelled by a section of Congress leaders that one of the accused actresses had a relation with the most powerful minister in the Telangana cabinet was widely circulated. Unmindful of the legal implications, sadly, some news portals telecast the accusations without seeking a clarification from the minister. Amidst the dust and bin caused by the drug case, the Telangana Rastra Samithi working president and a Minister, KT Rama Rao, filed a defamation case against the Telangana Congress president, A.Revanth Reddy for linking him to the drug case. It is good that the Minister has approached courts to rein in 'canards and lies' spread against him. A barrage of criticism and an avalanche of allegations have vitiated the political and film spheres and courts are the only way out to save the situation. Let us hope that the court judgement in KTR-ARR case may keep the acerbic tongues in check in public life.

At a time when so many people-centric issues needed attention during the post-Covid environment, two developments in the film industry caused a big storm. They are, elections to the Movie Artists' Association (MAA) and the war of words between an actor-cum-politician Pawan Kalyan and the Andhra Pradesh government led by YS Jagan Mohan Reddy.

The biennial election to MAA, a professional body of Tollywood, took a new turn with a versatile character artist Prakash Raj, a bete noire to Bharatiya Janata Party's ideology, coming up with his panel. A diehard fan of the Megastar Chiranjeevi's family and producer, Bandla Ganesh, parted ways with the team by taking exception to the inclusion of Jeevita Rajasekhar in the panel. He announced his decision to fight against her for the general secretary position and the verbal warfare between the two loquacious personalities continued for more than a week. Ganesh, however, reportedly at the behest of the people he likes a lot, changed his mind and withdrew his nomination in the last minute. A sudden entry given by Manchu Vishnu, son of a senior actor and ex-MP Mohan Babu, turned the MAA battle serious and interesting.

Both the presidential candidates, Prakash Raj and Vishnu, sounded optimistic and they unveiled their agendas very well. As the election day is approaching, both sides have intensified their sword-play. For instance, questioning the stature of Vishnu, Prakash Raj said that the former's budget is not a match to the morning show collection of Pawan Kalyan's films. Vishnu, in an interview, said that Prakash Raj is known for his indiscipline and highhandedness. "The nerve that connects the brain and tongue of Prakash Raj apparently got severed. The entire industry knows about him," he maintained. In a latest development, Prakash Raj panel exposed a glaring irregularity in postal ballots.

A total of 56 candidates are in the fray for 26-member MAA body for which elections will be held on October 10, 2021. The new body of MAA should set aside political affiliations and take proactive steps to provide succor to small-time actors and technicians of the pandemic-hit film industry on urgent basis.

The second unsavory development in the film industry was triggered by the power star Pawan Kalyan, the founder of Jana Sena party. During the pre-release event of his nephew Sai Dharam Teja's film 'Republic,' PK stirred the hornet's nest by criticizing the Jagan Mohan Reddy government and media in unequivocal terms. Sai Dharam Teja, who was still in comatose following a road accident, didn't know that his firebrand uncle was making use of the occasion to vent out his political frustration. Close on the heels of the AP government's order to set up a state-run website for the online sale of cinema tickets in both single and multiple theaters across the state, PK alleged that the government is targeting cinema industry.

"If you have a problem with me, take it on me but leave rest of the filmmakers," he roared. A known emotional personality, PK's diatribe against the I & PR Minister Perni Venkataramaiah alias Nani attracted severe criticism. PK's language and Nani's rebuttal both are not in good taste. The outburst of PK led to an action thriller from his opponents. A character artist-cum-writer Posani Krishna Murali, known for his outspokenness and witty mannerism, spew venom against PK as a follow up action. Enraged by Jana Sena's social media brigade's comments on his family, Posani made some unprintable comments.

In a retaliatory move, PK's fans tried to attack him at the Press Club. Another actress Sri Reddy, who boldly exposed the casting couch in Tollywood, took to the stage to make highly personal allegations against PK and his supporters like Bandla Ganesh. PK's supporters and opponents are running a high decibel war on social media platforms. In my view, social media is dangerously misused and abused by hooligans.

It is evident that a crop of ill-mannered, irresponsible film personalities and unprofessional, sick minded so-called social media journalists are running amok. Surprisingly, the well-established top actors are maintaining a stoic silence on these vulgar developments. The highly politicized film industry, sadly, doesn't have an undisputable elderly person, like Dasari Narayana Rao, to intervene as well as to set the house in order.

(The author, a PhD in Communication and Journalism, is a senior journalist, journalism educator and communication consultant)

(The opinions expressed in this column are that of the writer. The facts and opinions expressed here do not reflect the views of The Hans India)

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