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Heroine teaser triggers controversy in Dubai

Dubai residents see red over dialogue degrading Bollywood actresses who visit the city

  • By Mazhar Farooqui
, Deputy Editor
  • Published: 22:13 August 1, 2012

From Kareena Kapoor's latest movie Heroine
  • Image Credit: Supplied picture
  • A screengrab from Kareena Kapoor's latest movie, Heroine.
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DUBAI The teaser of upcoming Bollywood movie Heroine has struck a sour note with Dubai residents. A press conference scene from the trailer out last week shows Kareena Kapoor rebuking journalists saying: “You people should be writing scripts. If a heroine buys a car, it’s given to her by a businessman, if she goes to LA, she’s getting plastic surgery done and, God forbid, if she goes to Dubai, you people make her a rate card.”

Residents said the suggestion that Bollywood actresses visiting Dubai end up as call girls with price tags is sickening.

Bollywood has once again tarnished the image of Dubai by typecasting it as the hub of illegal and immoral activities. Let’s not forget that Dubai is home to a number of Bollywood stars

Kritika Rawat, Radio RJ

“This is terrible. Bollywood has once again tarnished the image of Dubai by typecasting it as the hub of illegal and immoral activities. Let’s not forget that Dubai is home to a number of Bollywood stars. Dubai stands for progress and development and has made a huge imprint on the world map. To use its name is such a callous manner shows the ignorance of the filmmaker and is just not acceptable,” said popular radio jockey Kritika Rawat.

Dubai-based TV personality Uma Ghosh Deshpande said she can’t understand why Indian filmmakers are still obsessed with typecasts. “This is 2012; gone are the days when Indians came to Dubai on a ferry to take odd jobs. Over the last two decades, the Indian community has worked up the ranks and earned a reputation across various sectors, making their motherland proud. It’s high time Indian films stop associating Dubai with the underworld and prostitution. Their lopsided perception has to change. Dubai is an important market for Bollywood which is why Indian films are routinely premiered here. Bollywood movies are loved by not just Indians but other communities including Emiratis too. Women are given utmost respect in Dubai. It’s an extremely safe place for them. I wish the filmmaker had done some research about the city,” she said.

Ironically, Heroine is directed and co-written by Madhur Bhandarkar who in 2010 was honoured in Dubai for his contribution to Indian cinema.

Indian techie and film buff Sameer Haider, 35, said when fading actress Mahi Arora (played by Kareena Kapoor) addresses journalists in the movie, she is not stating the views of the protagonist; instead she’s lashing out at them for cooking up bogus stories — hence the sarcasm in the dialogue.

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Most residents, however, do not buy the argument saying the Dubai-reference was not required.

In 2005, Amitabh Bachchan starrer Sarkar ran into controversy because of a scene that showed an ‘Olympic gold medalist’ as a hit man. Residents were not amused because that year the UAE’s biggest sporting achievement came when Shaikh Ahmad Mohammad Hasher Al Maktoum clinched the country’s first Olympics gold medal in the double trap shooting event.

Much later Emraan Hashmi starrer Killer was banned because it portrayed Dubai police in a bad light. Heroine is due to release in Dubai on September 20.

Whether or not the controversial line will pass the censor scissors remains to be seen.

Comments (7)

Share your views
  1. Added 15:21 August 2, 2012

    Kritika, It not a big thing for you to blow up. As some explained, its just a statement made in a movie. If it was made in a real media conference, it would have been different. As someone explains, MI-Ghost Protocol also had showed a fictitious image of Dubai. As an expatriate living in Dubai it is a reflection on us as to how we describe Dubai to others. I have seen many Hollywood movies are typecasting countries like Russia, Thailand, India etc. it may be a bitter truth, but people spread rumours when western or Asian stars come here.

    Lakmal, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 13:55 August 2, 2012

    I dont know why Kritika has to comment..her opinions do not represent large section of Indian expats..still she is always asked to give comments...I think she is overrated...

    Tasha, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 13:03 August 2, 2012

    Bollywood is no Hollywood where actors review their roles and decide if it has a moral of social basis and whether it is reality or fiction. Bollywood has totally vague story lines and absolutely ridiculous romantic scenes filmed mostly overseas. And there is no line between reality and fiction. A few good movies that came out of India were Gandhi and SlumDog Millionaire and thanks to Richard Attenborough and Danny Boyle When will the Indian producers, directors and actors in India get it right? I am originally from India and was fed up of the nonsense that Bollywood movies are made for the naive Indian masses. Now we know that Bollywood is not capable of producing anything worthwhile. Having said that, I think Amir Khan is an exception.

    PETER, Melboure, Australia

  4. Added 11:21 August 2, 2012

    Living in the UAE for many years I've seen how the emirates of Dubai and Abu Dhabi have grown by leaps and bounds. The UAE authorities need to put a stop and if required ban these film stars entry or movies for making these loose comments to the media. Come Eid or any festive season/occasion and one will find Bollywood stars/dancers performing in big numbers to increase their earnings and shopping. Guess Kareena and the rest know without the Indians/Asians/Emiratis and rest of the expats their films / performance will not get them money. Besides, Kareena does not even have an A Grade tag as an artist!!!

    Mel, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 11:12 August 2, 2012

    Expatriates are showing moral indignation of a rare kind. If it were the Emiratis that were saying this, then we could have understood it!

    Mathew Philip, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  6. Added 11:09 August 2, 2012

    Come on people! When MI: Ghost protocol shows so much of untrue things attached to Dubai, like sandstorms and Burj khaleefa in midst of some old bedouin market, etc., only positive criticism could be seen in papers. Why other way this time around. Dubai has very well known reputation internationally for all that it is, and there is no denying it. Its just a movie, not a formal authentic headline...

    Sza, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  7. Added 10:55 August 2, 2012

    Krithika never leaves an opportunity to pull the limelight towards herself! Her shows are coated with self praise and kinky one liners with your friend Mr. Cheeky... I don't really understand what is the big HOO HAA about Kareena's statement [in the movie].. she is actually saying that even though Dubai is known for a lot of other things every time an actress steps here media labels her visit as a trip to make easy money!! Dear krithika please limit ur opinions to your radio shows.. spare the news paper!! and truly u are NOT the so called representative to speak on behalf of others in Dubai..

    PM, Dubai, United Arab Emirates