Rajeev Masand’s Actresses Roundtable has been a hot-topic on social media, all thanks to Rani Mukherjee and her pearls of wisdom.
Her comments on the whole #MeToo movement in India and the 19th century thinking of how the responsibility still lies on the woman, instead of making the working sector slightly safer, was appalling.
In fact, we even did a piece putting forth our opinion on the whole fiasco, you can read it here. (Rani Mukherjee’s Tone Deaf Views On #MeToo Disappoint Fans, While Deepika & Anushka Win Hearts)
However, all that anger around the clip and what she said made me curious as to what exactly happened in the full episode. Was it just one weird thing she said, or did Rani behave strangely throughout the episode?
So I saw the whole episode and then just to see how different the Actors Roundtable was, I saw that one too, which led me to some interesting observations.
I will emphasis that this article is not based on just some clips but me spending a good solid 2 hours on hearing both the episodes in their entirety.
#1. Rani Mukherjee
Rani Mukherjee was just a headache during the entire episode right from the first question.
It also felt to me from the viewer’s perspective, as if a lot of the times she was speaking from the production side of the industry and not just the actor side.
This was highlighted in the first question, when Masand asked along the lines of how Bollywood has now started to create better and substantial roles for female characters.
To this Rani added in how the onus falls on the actor to choose the correct roles. It is strange how easily she said that considering women characters were never given much attention, so how do you choose the correct roles? For a long time, Bollywood has just inserted female characters as a romantic interest, where they do not really have much to offer to the story.
Along with that, the constant interruptions, cutting and talking over others and boring answers that did not give me any insight to her as an actor just got on my nerves.
#2. Pankaj Tripathi Got Teary
One person who impressed me the most was Pankaj Tripathi, who spoke little, but when he did, he made me want to listen.
A part of the episode that touched me was when Pankaj Tripathi was talking about how actors have to leave behind their problems and whatever might be happening in their actual life, and to put on the mask of their character and do something completely different.
This led to Rajkummar Rao recounting the incident of how he lost his mother during the shooting of Newton, and he started to cry when he eventually came back to work. Pankaj then added on how Rajkummar came to his room some time later and they both hugged while the former cried.
It just made me have mad respect for him as an actor and person.
#3. Seats Wasted
To be honest, in both the episodes there were people who could have been changed for someone more vocal.
In the Actresses Roundtable it was Tabu and Taapsee Pannu where the former was mostly just a pretty face who chose to remain silent for quite a bit of the episode, and the latter was trying to impress the rest too much.
Tabu’s over use of ‘you know’ every time she would answer also grated on my nerves, since I expected her of all people to be more eloquent.
Taapsee for that matter was over complimenting the others but disappointingly chose to remain silent in the one place where it mattered the most. Her silence during the whole #MeToo discussion was not expected especially after her ‘Pink’ image of always being vocal of women’s rights.
For the Actors Roundtable I would pick Vicky Kaushal who also remained silent for long bits of the episode. But the surprising part was when he and Rajkummar Rao both did not speak on the whole #MeToo issue when Masand brought it up.
Where the rest including Ranveer Singh, Ayushmann Khurrana and Pankaj Tripathi applauded the movement and said it was high time this happened, and Ranveer even made a clever quip, the other 2 were mum.
#4. Males Were More Fun
Frankly, as a viewer, the Actresses Roundtable was just a tad bit boring and uninteresting than the Actors one.
Either it was the stiff and uncomfortable clothing, poor Alia Bhatt had to constantly keep on adjusting her top, or it was the general stiffness between the actresses, it just was very ‘meh’.
While Deepika Padukone and Anushka Sharma were interesting, but the episode lacked some fun and elements of interactive-ness to it.
On the other hand, while watching the Actors Roundtable the atmosphere was more casual and not so formal, there was also more camaraderie between the actors, I felt.
It even had more funny bits and jokes than the actresses one, which I felt could have really lifted up the latter episode.
#5. Why Was No One Eating?!
The final observation would be, why the hell was no one eating from the pretty delicious feast spread out on the table?!
There were nachos, chips, fruits, cookies, and it was all going to waste. Those sad little morsels just sitting there with no one paying them any attention!
All in all, while both the episodes were very well made, the questions were very professional and not gender biased, the discussions were on the current events happening in Bollywood, but while watching, the Actresses Roundtable did lack a bit in engagement when compared with the Actors Roundtable.
Genuine wish that it soon starts to happen that when girls and women get together they create fun and entertaining content that is engaging completely on their own. And I’m very hopeful of that becoming a reality soon.
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