For the first time in Tamil cinema, a Rajinikanth and an Ajith Kumar film clashed this January. There was also large focus on the ‘Ilaiyaraaja 75’ event that happened early last week, with almost everyone from the industry stopping work to celebrate the TFPC organised-celebration despite the many controversies.
‘Petta’ vs ‘Viswasam’
During the two big Pongal releases – Petta and Viswasam – there were hourly social media updates about audience reactions and box office collections. Petta was an ‘out-and-out thalaivar film‘, said fans. Viswasam was the ‘family entertainer‘, said many who also shared videos of their children crying during the last scene.
While we don’t know if these were scenes from Viswasam theatres, and we still don’t have the exact numbers of the films’ collection, a controversy brewed when Sun Pictures, the producers of Petta, tweeted that the data of social media trackers was not reliable, and people must wait for information from trustworthy sources.
So called trackers, we fail to understand how you are so confidently tweeting #Petta’s BO numbers as we ourselves are yet to receive the official numbers from 600+ theatres in TN.
Fans, enjoy Pongal with both your favourite heroes’ movies & don’t fall prey to fake propaganda.
— Sun Pictures (@sunpictures) January 14, 2019
The trackers hit back with a response that many producers, including Sun Pictures themselves, had shared their numbers in the past, like during Vijay’s Sarkar.
Why did you Retweet the " So called Trackers " BO numbers tweet when Sarkar was running @sunpictures ? Appovellam trackers correcta irunthangala? no propaganda then? Just Curious. pic.twitter.com/PrCnYSb2Yg
— Prashanth Rangaswamy (@itisprashanth) January 14, 2019
— Rajasekar (@sekartweets) January 14, 2019
Ajith Said No To Politics
Actor Ajith said no to politics after Viswasam released. This was in response to Tamil Nadu BJP president Tamilisai Soundararajan’s comment, “Ajith’s fans should take the schemes of Modi to the people.” He said, “Such news during the current period leading up to the elections would send out wrong signals that I have political aspirations.” He also said that he had disbanded all his fan clubs for this reason.
His fans and others from the industry saw his disinterest in politics as a high moral stand, and his criticism of other actors’ fan clubs turning into political parties.
— Karti PC Office (@KartiPCoffice) January 23, 2019
— Rahulkrishnan (@SRahulkrishnan) January 22, 2019
— Antony Rubin (@AntonyRubin) January 23, 2019
Prakash Raj, Kamal Haasan To Contest Lok Sabha Elections
Last month, Prakash Raj announced his entry into politics and said he will contest Lok Sabha elections from Bengaluru constituency.
#2019 PARLIAMENT ELECTIONS.Thank you for the warm n encouraging response to my new journey.. I will be contesting from BENGALURU CENTRAL constituency #KARNATAKA as an INDEPENDENT..will share the Details with the media in few days..#citizensvoice #justasking in parliament too… pic.twitter.com/wJN4WaHlZP
— Prakash Raj (@prakashraaj) January 5, 2019
Kamal Haasan congratulated him, and confirmed that he too will contest Lok Sabha elections and Tiruvarur by-polls in Chennai. Bigg Boss fame Nithya Dheju joined the National Women’s Party and was appointed the president of the Tamil Nadu wing.
— Kamal Haasan (@ikamalhaasan) January 6, 2019
Stars Geared Up For ‘Ilaiyaraaja 75’
About 20 promo videos and invites for Ilaiyaraaja 75 were released by celebrities, and they began doing the rounds right after Pongal. All the big stars confirmed that they would come, and as a surprise for Ilaiyaraaja, AR Rahman, who he has mentored, was invited as well.
— Vishal (@VishalKOfficial) January 24, 2019
Proudly Presenting you the Promo Video of Isaingnani Ilayaraja Sir in Thirai Kondattam – Ilayaraja 75
— VijaySethupathi (@VijaySethuOffl) January 11, 2019
Amidst the excitement for the mega event, the accusation of financial irregularities raised against the TFPC board by other producers didn’t seem to be a roadblock. A day ahead of the event, the Madras High Court ruled in favour of the TFPC and held the popular opinion that asking for a stay on the event was disrespectful to the composer.
Details about expenses made for the event were asked to be submitted post the event.
Celebs Took Part In #10yearchallenge
The #10yearchallenge took social media by storm this month. Joining everyone who posted their then-and-now pictures, celebrities shared pictures of themselves from 2008-09, and some from the decade before that. Mamta Mohandas, Vishnuu Vishal, Varaxmi Sarathkumar, Raashi Khanna, Shruti Haasan, Chinmayi Sripada, Harish Kalyan, Ashna Zaveri and Khushboo Sundar were among the celebrities who participated.
The latest one by Mamta Mohandas was to mark World Cancer Day. She said how the decade changed everything for her, and that she fought cancer tirelessly, stayed strong and survived.
View this post on Instagram
As it’s WORLD CANCER DAY, I had decided that my #10yearchallenge will have to wait until today “I GOT CANCER… CANCER DIDN’T GET ME”🌚🌝 2009 was the year that changed everything for me and impacted every plan my family had for us. Last 10 years has been quite a challenge and as I look back come 2019, I’m proud to realize that I have fought tirelessly, stayed strong and survived. Staying positive and strong for several years is very hard but if I have done it, there are a few people behind it. All Thanks to Dad-Mom(thank you is a speck of a word to express my gratitude to you), a few of my cousins who have shown me what sibling-love is and my dearest friends who always cared to call or text to check if I am ‘actually well’ and not just pretending to be ok(strong people tend to do this a lot and eventually run into depression 😄🤦🏻♀️🤭), all the good work that comes my way and colleagues who challenge me to perform better and to all the opportunities given to me by the universe to realize what’s right for me and what’s not Never forget Bald Heads Turn Heads 😁 HAPPY WORLD CANCER DAY! #worldcancerday #survivor #nevergiveup #dealwithit #attitude #gratitude #happiness #stressfree #challenge #runner
Raashi Khanna recalled how she was bullied as a child in school, but learnt that there was a lot more than physical appearance and never believed that she was not good enough.
View this post on Instagram
Straight from the heart: I was always bullied and body shamed at a certain point in my life and it only made me wonder how shallow some people can get. It never affected my mental health and that was because I imbibed a certain set of values, by my parents and grandparents, as a child that there is so much more to me than just my outer appearance and so I never let anyone make me believe that I wasn’t good enough. They showered so much love on me and that gave me so much strength and an ambition to make them proud one day. So, I always held my head high and worked on my strengths silently, forever believing in myself. I loved myself then and I love myself now and it has nothing to do with the way I look. Not to me. And so, ten years later, here I am, living a dream. All I hope today is that I atleast touch someone’s heart and make you believe that you are special in your own way and never let anyone make you believe otherwise.. ❤️❤️ lots of love to you all! 🤗🤗 #10yearchallenge
#10yearchallenege #2009to2019 🙂 its been a journey of change,love,sacrifice,friendship,pain,betrayal,patience,honesty n most important of all NEVER GIVE UP ATTITUDE..my life evolved but deep down my emotions remain d same…thnks to my parents in shaping me up as a HUMAN:) pic.twitter.com/i8BCAuRWLp
— VISHNUU VISHAL – VV (@vishnuuvishal) January 17, 2019
Simbu’s U-Turn On VRV Celebrations
Actor Simbu’s U-turn on instructions to his fans to celebrate his recently-released Vantha Rajavaathan Varuven got him trolled on social media. He asked fans not to waste milk and money by celebrating the film and this was called a publicity stunt.
Then when he heard people saying he didn’t have enough fans, he changed his stand and asked fans to celebrate the film like never before. A police complaint was also filed against him, and he later apologised.
Simbu Recant Press Meet Troll
— ☆ᴀᴊɪᴛʜ ᴠɪᴄᴋʏ ᴛᴀᴍɪʟᴀɴ⭐ (@Iam_AjithVickyT) January 29, 2019
Paal abishegam vaenamnu sonapo oru paaratu therivichurukalam.
Naatula ethanayo vishayathuku nadavadika edukanama irukanga..ithuku eaen kashtapaduthikitu.
Simbu pathila Vambu nu paer mathikalam..controversy ilama thoonga mudiyathu pola.#Simbu #PaalAbishegam
— sowgandh (@sowgandh4) January 23, 2019
Simbu’s fans however, were angry.
— ஷின்சான் தீப்தி 💛 (@itzs_deeps) January 28, 2019
Day by day video memes trolls are getting bored and what's the point targeting simbu now? What are they trying to accomplish here. Yes he made some blunders and who doesn't? #simbu #str #STRKnowsWhatToDo @OSFC_ofl @Actor_SimbuFC @SimbuFansTrends #maddy_memes pic.twitter.com/x1htChlzgE
— Manoj Maddy (@manoj__maddy) January 28, 2019
VRV FDFS: Simbu Fans Angry!! – Trolls HATERS | Mass Celebration at Rohini – https://t.co/DFvU48k4ZR
— TamilAlayam (@TamilAlayam) February 1, 2019
And nothing came in the way of their celebrations.
— வல்லவன் என்ற மன்மதன் (@simbushiva45) January 22, 2019
Padma Awards Conferred On Cinema Stars; Mohanlal Trolled
On the eve of Republic Day, this year’s Padma Awards were announced. From cinema, Mohanlal received the Padma Bhushan. Prabhu Deva, singer Shankar Mahadevan, drums Sivamani, lyricist Sirivennela Seetharama Sastry, Khader Khan, among others were conferred the Padma Shri.
Mohanlal was grateful for the award and said he owed his thanks to the industry. Some on social media, however, trolled and abused him claiming that the award was a move by the BJP to try and ‘persuade’ him to join their party. The BJP in Kerala had earlier approached the actor to contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections from the Thiruvananthapuram constituency.
Bjp's Kerala plan continues. Actor Mohanlal to get Padma bhushan. Much wronged scientist Nambi Narayanan also honoured.
— Vasudha Venugopal (@vasudha_ET) January 25, 2019
If it had happened even 2 years ago, I would have been overjoyed at Mohanlal being awarded the Padma Bhushan. Not anymore.
I hope he soon runs for the LS election on a BJP ticket so that I may finally hate him completely.
— Nikhil (@sphinxappeal) January 27, 2019
BJP’s motive, by conferring Padma Awards to Nambi Narayanan and Mohanlal, is to get Sunanda’s murder investigated by CBI. https://t.co/dzAg2519uQ
— KUNDAN (@DasAurum) January 26, 2019
Mohanlal, however, spoke to Malayalam Manorama, and said, “I’m doing my job and acting in my films scheduled. I’ve no idea about political offers. I don’t want to respond to baseless gossip.”
Hansika Motwani Pictures Leaked
Pictures from actor Hansika Motwani’s phone leaked and went viral on social media. These were pictures of her in a swim suit, from her vacation in New York, which appeared on an unidentified Instagram account. They were reported and later taken down from all handles in which they was shared on Twitter and Instagram.
Recently, pictures of Amy Jackson and Akshara Haasan also leaked on social media.
Phone n Twitter hacked please don’t respond to any random messages . My back end team is working on getting things in control.
— Hansika (@ihansika) January 23, 2019
Hardik Pandya Controversy
The big Bollywood controversy that happened on social media this month was Hardik Pandya’s offensive comments on Koffee with Karan. He spoke about not making an effort to find out a woman’s name at a club: “I’m little from the black side so I need to observe and watch how they (women) move.” He then said he would tell his parents about it, “Main karke aaya hai aaj (I did it today).”
That got people up in arms, and Hardik and KL Rahul, the invitees on the show, were slapped with an interim suspension by the BCCI.
Just went through the comments under Hardik Pandya's apology post. Half of the people are pissed because he chose Virat over Sachin. Another section is praising him for his bare minimum apology. A few stupid people think he didn't do anything wrong.
This country is doomed. pic.twitter.com/FMJbLEVcay
— pri (@_AgarTumSaathHo) January 9, 2019
The suspension was later revoked and they flew to New Zealand to join the Indian team in a limited-over series match.
— Gourav angral (@gouravangral3) February 3, 2019
Hardik pandya after today's match.. pic.twitter.com/jITLMSa7Vu
— Rutvika Rathod (@rutweets13) February 3, 2019
— Riya Singh (@devils_chori) January 29, 2019
What Hardik Pandya is meanwhile looking in every NZ bowler pic.twitter.com/AGINfoV0fG
— Siddharth Patni (@aageSeLeftLelo) February 3, 2019
Nothing will change my opinion of Hardik Pandya, not even this catch or any of his contribution.
— Online Citizen (@unilator) January 28, 2019