The Viral-Worthy Raees: The trailer of Shah Rukh Khan's new film Raees released last month and instantly went crazy viral. By the end of 25 hours, it had received 12 million views across YouTube and social media. Raees, opening next month, stars SRK as the titular Raees Alam, a liquor baron in Gujarat. Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Mahira Khan co-star.
Welcome, 2.0: The first look of Rajinikanth's 2.0 was launched in a grand event superintended by Salman Khan. The posters of the film featured Rajinikanth as Chitti the robot and Akshay Kumar as the fearsome Dr Richard, a scientist of alarming appearance with feathered eyebrows and talon-like nails.
Sunny Side Up: Never before in her four years in Bollywood had Sunny Leone received the sort of validation that she did after handling a difficult TV interview widely slammed as sexist and judgmental. The 35-year-old actress was asked sneering questions about her past career in adult films and was praised for answering with dignity. Celebrities rushed to her defence and to claim her as one of their own - none more so than Aamir Khan who was invoked in the interview. Would Aamir ever work with you, Sunny was asked. Yes, I would, he tweeted, answering on her behalf. Later in the year, Aamir met Sunny and her husband for lunch, invited her to his Diwali party and a special screening of Dangal, and lent her his acting coach.
Ae Dil Hai Mushkil:Brangelina are divorcing. Johnny Depp and Amber Heard are divorcing. Farhan and Adhuna are divorcing. George and Amal Clooney might be divorcing. Arbaaz and Malaika are separated. Ranbir and Katrina broke up. Sushant Singh Rajput and Ankita Lokhande split up. Kamal Haasan and Gautami ended their relationship. Vivian Dsena and Vahbiz Dorabjee are no longer together. And that's only the tip of the iceberg. Thankfully, Anushka and Virat broke up but got back together.
Revenge Of The Body-Shamed: It appears that you don't have to look a certain way to be trolled for the way you look. Fardeen Khan was trolled for gaining kilos, Zarine Khan wrote about being ridiculed she put on weight for her first film and Sridevi's teenaged daughter Khushi slammed haters saying, "I don't care if you think my stomach pops out or of I don't fit into your idea of beautiful."
The Big Short:After Radhika Apte's Ahalya went viral last year, short films took over YouTube in this. From Mama's Boys, starring Aditi Rao Hydari as a modern Draupadi, to Kriti, featuring Radhika and Manoj Bajpayee, short films were established as legit, a genre that actors like Naseeruddin Shah are breaking into.
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Redux 2016: A Badshah-led trend remixed several old songs in 2016 versions, some admirable and others not. Amar Arshi's Punjabi hit Kala Chashma was updated for Baar Baar Dekho; Ae Zindagi Gale Laga Le from Sadma was redone for SRK's Dear Zindagi; the Amitabh Bachchan hit Saara Zamana was renewed as Haseeno Ka Deewana; Ninetes blockbuster Humma Humma was definitely downgraded as OK Jaanu's The Humma Song; and ending the year on a high note was Raees' Laila Main Laila featuring Sunny Leone, a reworking of Zeenat Aman's Laila O Laila from Qurbaani.
Purple Daze: Aishwarya Rai Bachchan's oddly-coloured lips were definitely the 2016 moment we want to unsee. Often criricised for not taking risks on the red carpet, Aishwarya took one with a vengeance and paired a flowered Rami Kadi dress with bright purple lips at the Cannes Film Festival. The colour may have popped off-camera but it photographed weird. Her purple pout was arguable the actress' most-discussed fashion moment - certainly her most talked about Cannes look. Social media shredded the lip colour and Amul created one of its famous ads but Aishwarya later said, "I know there are memes but I'm loving every moment."
Tareekh Pe Tareekh: There are only so many big dates in the year and all of Bollywood wants a slice of the festive pie. One major box office collision was averted this year - SRK's Raees was rescheduled so that Salman Khan's Sultan could release on Eid unopposed - but two other clashes set off fireworks. The August 15 weekend was mise en scene for Akshay Kumar's Rustom vs Hrithik Roshan's Mohenjo Daro and there was a clear winner - Rustom soared while Mohenjo Daro, mocked for being inauthentic, tanked. Come Diwali, the Karan Johar-directed Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and Ajay Devgn's Shivaay opened together, the final showdown in a controversy that saw Ajay accuse Karan's film of having paid money to be tweeted about. 2017 will also begin with a box office bang - Raees will release on January 25, alongside the luckless Hrithik's Kaabil.
Tom Heart T Swift, But Not For Long: Surely this was the celebrity story of the year. An apparent - very apparent, photos were definitely involved - romance between actor Tom Hiddleston and singer Taylor Swift burnt briefly like a candle in the wind. For three months, they were everywhere - in Rhode Island and the Vatican and the English town where Tom's family lives.
Much was reported, more was speculated - chiefly, whether or not HiddleSwift were actually HiddleSwindle, an elaborate scam in the aid of a new music video for Taylor. When they broke up three months later, it was not without consequence. A sigh of relief was breathed by fans of Tom Hiddleston but it seemed that his credibility (and chances of being the next James Bond) had been dented beyond repair. Taylor probably got a new song out of it, though. On the sidelines of the baffling HiddleSwift affair, a picture of actor Ryan Reynolds looking incredibly uncomfortable at Taylor's July 4 party went viral.