PeepingMoon 2021: Vicky-Katrina wedding, Akshay bringing cinemas alive with Sooryavanshi to Aryan Khan’s arrest- Movers & Shakers of Bollywood
2021 has been a mixed-bag year for Bollywood. On one hand there have been very few theatrical releases due to the coronavirus induced lockdown and several films took to the OTT way but there has been no dearth of controversies and newsmakers in the year.
Here’s a quick recap of the controversies that rocked the Hindi film industry and the newsmakers that shone brightly on the horizon. Take a look at all that made the headlines in Bollywood this year.
Vicky Kaushal and Katrina Kaif wedding
After successfully keeping their romance secret and under wraps from everyone with rare public sighting and no social media PDA, Vicky Kaushal and Katrina Kaif made everyone’s day in the country when they tied the knot in Sawai Madhopur district in Rajasthan on December 9. The actors had a strict NDA for their guests wherein they asked them not to share videos and pictures on social media from the wedding but eventually shared some adorable and truly breath-taking pictures from their nuptials and pre-wedding festivities that spelt love in all its magic and enchantment. The newlyweds also shared a glimpse of the sea from their sea-facing marital abode with the picture of only their hands clasped lovingly. Katrina shared a look of her mehendi-clad hands from their undisclosed honeymoon destination that made the entire country look for Vicky’s name in the henna pattern.
Harnaaz Kaur Sandhu crowned Miss Universe 2021
Harnaaz Kaur Sandhu brought glory back to the country after 21 long years by winning the coveted Miss Universe 2021 title. The crown was last won by Lara Dutta in 2000; she was the second Indian woman to win the title after Sushmita Sen clinched it for the first time in 1994.
Priyanka Chopra Jonas’ global domination
Priyanka Chopra Jonas proved it once again this year that she is a force to be reckoned with. After going from strength to strength in Hollywood, she was cast alongside Keanu Reeves in The Matrix Resurrections as Sati and will also be making a comeback to Bollywood with the country’s first female-driven road trip film Jee Le Zara, which she will be headlining with Katrina Kaif and Alia Bhatt. The film also marks Farhan Akhtar’s return to direction with a script penned by Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti.
Akshay Kumar brings cinema alive with Sooryavanshi and Bell Bottom, wraps up back-to-back films
Akshay Kumar’s Bell Bottom was the first film to wrap during coronavirus lockdown and also became the first Hindi film to release in theatres after the second lockdown was lifted while Sooryavanshi lit up theatres during Diwali bringing audience back to the cinemas. He wrapped and announced several films in 2021 as well with Atrangi Re, Raksha Bandhan, Ram Setu, Prithviraj all nearing their release dates. Even a pandemic could not slow down Akshay.
Sidharth Malhotra gets his place in the sun with Shershaah
For several years, Sidharth Malhotra struggled to provide that one hit that will propel him to the big league and make him cement his place after a promising debut in Student of the Year. With Shershaah, Sidharth received rave critic reviews and the audience love for playing the role of Param Vir Chakra awardee Captain Vikram Batra. He shouldered the film on his own merit and it became the most watched film on OTT this year reaping accolades from all quarters.
Manoj Bajpayee in The Family Man 2
Manoj Bajpayee is an actor par excellence but he reached the heights of stardom and received immense love with the role of Srikant Tiwari, a spy grappling with the hassles of keeping his job a secret and resolving his marital and family issues in The Family Man 2. Although, he received tons of love with the prequel but The Family Man 2 stood true to the hype and anticipation of the audience and Manoj impeccably delivered.
Aryan Khan’s arrest in cruise ship drug case
Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan’s arrest by the Narcotics Control Bureau in the cruise ship drug raid was probably the biggest controversy of 2021 that rocked Bollywood. The youngster along with two of his friends was picked up on October 3 by the NCB before the ship could set sail. After spending over three weeks in custody he was granted bail by the special court. After being asked to report weekly to the NCB offices in his bail conditions, he has been granted relief from the Friday attendance now.
Kartik Aaryan ouster from Dostana 2
Kartik Aaryan was removed from Karan Johar’s production Dostana 2 this year. The film is being directed by Collin D’Cunha and has Janhvi Kapoor and Lakshya in the lead. No replacement has been announced yet and neither a clear reason was given for Kartik’s ouster from the lucrative project.
Raj Kundra Pornography case
Shilpa Shetty’s husband Raj Kundra was arrested in a pornography case this year along with his brother-in-law and associates. He has been named as an accused in connection to the alleged creation and publishing of pornographic films on mobile applications. After spending two months in jail, Kundra was granted bail on a surety of Rs 50,000 with certain conditions.
Kangana Ranaut’s Padma Shri, Twitter ban, legal battles and controversies
Kangana Ranaut remained in the news not only for her film Thalaivi, turning producer with Tiku weds Sheru and her Padma Shri but also for being banned permanently on Twitter and picking a fight with almost everyone from Taapsee Pannu to calling protesting farmers as anti-nationals and Sikhs as Khalistanis. Javed Akhtar’s defamation suit against the actress has also kept her in news this year.
From FabIndia to Tanishq to Alia Bhatt’s Mohey and Aamir Khan’s CEAT advertisements, brands that courted controversy
Several reputed companies faced severe backlash from netizens over their choice of ads in 2021. FabIndia received severe criticism when it called Diwali as Jashn-e-Riwaaz. It was slammed for a ‘deliberate attempt of Abrahaminisation of Hindu festivals’. On the other hand, Tanishq courted controversy when it tried to preach people to not burst firecrackers on Diwali. Alia Bhatt’s Manyavar advertisement received similar backlash for depicting the pious and holy ceremony of ‘kanyadaan’ during marriage as regressive and showing women as burden on the family. The Manyavar-Mohey brand received hate for not realizing the importance and nitty-gritties of the ritual and was viewed as an attack on Hindu customs and traditions that have a Vedic reason. Aamir Khan’s CEAT advertisement during Diwali also received criticism for only talking about not bursting firecrackers on the road during Diwali but refraining from saying anything about namaaz being read on the streets during Eid.
Sonu Sood I-T raid
Sonu Sood earned a lot of accolades in 2020 when he came forward to help migrant workers and other stranded people reach their homes during the coronavirus lockdown. He continued his philanthropy work in 2021 as well and that brought him under the I-T department scanner. The actor’s properties were raided by the I-T department officials.
Jacqueline Fernandez and Nora Fatehi’s involvement with conman Sukesh Chandrasekhar
Jacqueline Fernandez and Norat Fatehi were summoned by ED in connection to money laundering case of conman Sukesh Chandrasekhar and his wife Leena Marie Paul. The authorities alleged that the actors received expensive gifts and money from the conman. Jacqueline’s spokesperson issued a statement saying that the actress was a witness in the case and had no romantic liaisons with the accused.
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan questioned by Enforcement Directorate in relation to Panama Papers leak
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan was questioned by the Delhi office of Enforcement Directorate for over five hours on December 20 in connection to alleged forex violations related to the Panama Papers case. She is facing allegations of stashing wealth abroad in violation of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA). As per reports, it is alleged that the actress parked her money in a company based in the British Virgin Islands. Aishwarya was summoned by ED earlier twice but she sought more time. The Enforcement Directorate started investigating the case in 2017. It issued notices to the Bachchan family asking them to explain foreign remittances since 2004 under the Liberalised Remittance Scheme (LRS) of the Reserve Bank of India. Reportedly, Aishwarya has submitted foreign payments records received over the past 15 years.