MAG’s favourite picks of the week


Twitter divides over Swara’s hypocritical statements

Swara Bhasker came under fire for calling Pakistan a "failing state" while commenting on her film, Veere Di Wedding's ban in Pakistan at an online talk show. This, of course, did not go down well with people in Pakistan and celebrities including Urwa Hocane and Gohar Rasheed called her out for the careless remark as well as her hypocrisy. They mentioned her comments on a Pakistani chat show back in 2015, in which she referred to Lahore as the "best" city she has ever visited. Urwa was quick to remind her that she is from a country that banned Padmaavat, while Gohar tweeted that Hindu extremists even threatened to kill the film’s director and actors in it. Both the celebrities were praised for their responses, and this bodes well for Urwa as she was, not too long a target of internet trolls for comparing her own wedding to the royal wedding of Harry and Meghan.

However, Swara responded to the backlash in as cavalier a manner as she made the offending remarks. Since her comment also sparked criticism in India, she said she's happy to have brought Pakistan and India closer. “Looks like Indo-Pak peace is on the horizon! #DushmanKaDushmanDost” she tweeted.

Disappointingly, Sonam Kapoor came out to support her co-star on her stance and made one of the most senseless and confusing statements ever. The newly-wed actor explained that people just like to troll Swara because she has strong opinions. “I guess that shows how much they love her, because the other side of hate is always love,” she added. Later, she took to twitter to clarify that she was not defending Swara’s comments about Pakistan but was actually supporting a particular scene of hers from VDW. In response to another tweet about the controversy, Swara agreed that there's a difference between people and their governments and that her "regard for and goodwill towards the people of #Pakistan remains unchanged". Could this be Swara’s way of righting her wrongs? May be it’s too little, too late.


The secret of Michael Jackson’s 45-degree tilt revealed

Many were, and still are, awed by Michael Jackson’s gravity-defying 45-degree forward tilt that created a frenzy in his Smooth Criminal music video. The pop star delivered the classic dance move in many live performances too, which was soon replicated by many performers around the world. Despite the popularity, no one has so far managed to do it with as much preciseness as MJ himself. Decades later, scientists reveal the dance move to be a “clever illusion” devised by MJ. A patent registered under the singer’s name unveiled that the singer had a special shoe designed for himself with a triangular slot in the heel, which attached to the metallic peg that emerged from the stage floor at the right time. With the help of the customised shoes, the singer could lean forward at 45 degrees without landing himself in a spinal injury. Despite the clever trick, Micheal Jackson’s physical abilities deserve a massive vote of admiration. The scientists said, “Even with specially designed footwear and the support of the hitch member, the move is incredibly hard to pull off, requiring athletic core strength from strengthened spinal muscles and lower-limb anti-gravity muscles.”


Ban on Indian films shortens!

The ban on the screening of Bollywood imports in Pakistan during the Eid season is reported to have been revised from a two-week duration to one week. The initial notice, issued by the Central Board of Film Censors, stipulated that the ban will run from two days before Eid to two weeks after the holiday.

However, a new notice issued by the Information and Broadcasting Division of the Ministry of Information, Broadcasting, National History and Literary Heritage says that the ban will be only seven-days long, starting from Eid day on both, Eid ul Fitr and Eid ul Azha. The purpose of the ban is reiterated to be "to support Pakistani film industry." The reduction in the ban's length means that Pakistani films releasing this Eid – 7 Din Mohabbat In, Wajood, Na Band Na Baraati and Azaadi – will enjoy shorter monopoly at the box office and will face competition from the likes of Race 3 and Sanju earlier than expected.


JPNA 2 to have a special appearance

Nadeem Beyg is all set to return with the second installment of his 2015 blockbuster Jawani Phir Nahi Ani. The sequel, slated to release on Eid-ul-Azha, also stars Fahad Mustafa, Mawra Hocane, Kubra Khan alongside original cast members Humayun Saeed, Vasay Chaudhry and Ahmed Ali Butt. However, there’s one more very exciting new addition to JPNA 2: Fawad Khan! Rumour has it that the heartthrob will be making a cameo in the film, and his won’t be the only special appearance. Sara Loren, Omer Shahzad and Mehwish Hayat are said to be joining him. The first installment of the film saw Ali Kazmi, Gohar Rasheed, Farhan Ally Agha and Yasra Rizvi doing cameos.


Twinning moment for Hareem and Sabeeka

Looks like Zaheer Abbas is turning into a favourite of our fashion girls. A piece from one of his previous collections Primavera, was seen everywhere; from cover to interviews and other appearances, celebrities could be seen wearing the white floor length gown with multi-coloured floral embroidery. Now, it’s his black bodice-nude gown. Actress Hareem Farooq choose to flaunt the number at an award show not too long ago, while model Sabeeka Imam picked out the piece to parade it at a frangrance launch recently.


The Miss America pageant you have known for nearly a century is coming to an end

Gretchen Carlson, Miss America 1989 and chair of the Miss America Organization, appeared on Good Morning America to deliver the news: The annual televised event is no longer a pageant but a competition, and women won't be judged on their physical appearance. So, what began as a swimsuit pageant and money-making venture for Atlantic City businessmen in 1921 will no longer feature women parading across a stage in a bikini just to win a college scholarship. "We've heard from a lot of young women who say, 'We'd love to be part of your program, but we don't want to be out there in high heels and a swimsuit,'" Carlson said on GMA. "So, guess what? You don't have to do that anymore."

The bathing suit portion will be replaced with an "interactive session" in which contestants tell judges about their achievements, life goals, and how they'll use their "talents, passion, and ambition to perform the job of Miss America." During what was once the evening gown segment, participants can wear anything they like as they discuss their "social impact initiatives." The move is being hailed by many all over the world. The next competition, scheduled for this September, should be interesting!