Both the films and the weather in Cannes are a tad unpredictable. You never know what you are in for, which is one of the many things that make this festival so much fun. Today, it was cloudy and chilly at 7.45 am when I got into Rocketman. The film is a warts and all biography of Elton John. It’s gaudy, shiny and has sentiment and song – in short, it’s a Bollywood film on a bigger budget. The film’s trump card is Taron Egerton’s performance as the musician. Elton John is, at once, a world famous rockstar but also desperately lonely, child-like in his hunger for love and miserable as he tries to fill up the gaping hole in his life with drugs, shopping and sex. It’s a wild ride but it’s also no spoiler to tell you that we have a happy ending – Sir Elton has been sober now for 28 years!
Television superstar Hina Khan is in Cannes. It’s her first time at the festival. She walked the red carpet and launched the poster of her first feature film Lines. Hina found herself in the headlines, not just for her beautiful outfit but also because of an unsavory online comment. When I chatted with the actor, she said that she was initially upset because she’s worked very hard to get to the festival. But she’s decided to focus on the good things like Lines and the massive support she’s got. I asked her if the television actor tag is problematic when it comes to Bollywood. She said she didn’t know but no matter how far she travels, she will always acknowledge the role that television has played in her life.
Also in town for the first time is Priyanka Chopra. We met in the evening at the Martinez hotel, which was, as usual, overrun by stunning women in various stages of red carpet ready – the lobby was crowded with photographers, stars and their entourages waiting for cars to take them to the Palais. In hotel corridors, make-up artists and stylists carrying dresses ran around frantically. As I waited, I chatted with someone staying at the hotel who told me that the staff is so stretched that the order of coffee takes about an hour and a half to arrive!
Priyanka was juggling multiple things, which she says, is her preferred mode. She is supporting a documentary called 5B, which honours the unsung heroes of the AIDS crisis. The film is also supported by Bono and Julianne Moore. Priyanka is also in Cannes for Chopard. The good news is that she’s read two Hindi film scripts that she likes so we will see more of her onscreen soon. She said that her and Nick are equally driven and competitive and their teams manage their crazy schedules. Her red carpet rule is to be prepared and always have fun because ‘you can’t take being photographed too seriously!’
On the star spotting front – I saw Monica Bellucci in the lobby of the Majestic, elegantly sashaying on vertiginous Christian Louboutin heels – just looking at them made me dizzy! All in all, another productive day in Cannes.
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