Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
John Abraham, right, and Nargis Fakhri in Madras Café. JA Entertainment
John Abraham, right, and Nargis Fakhri in Madras Café. JA Entertainment

Madras Café pulled in UK and southern India

Plus: Dr Luke in talks to judge American Idol; Ben Stiller making Reality Bites show; Linda Ronstadt has Parkinson's.

A Bollywood spy thriller set against the backdrop of the Sri Lankan civil war has been pulled from British and some Indian cinemas after protests over its depiction of rebel fighters. Madras Café, which opened last week in the UAE, features John Abraham as an Indian secret agent sent to Sri Lanka during the country’s decades-long conflict between the government and separatist Tamil rebels. But the film has failed to reach a number of cinema halls after ethnic Tamil populations in India and Britain complained that they were unfairly portrayed. “Our UK exhibitors, Cineworld, decided to hold the film after protesters gathered outside their UK offices,” said Rudrarup Datta, the marketing head of the film’s Indian distributor Viacom18 Motion Pictures. Indian media reports said theatres also refused to show the film in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu after protests from its largely Tamil population. In Britain, an online petition was launched, calling for the film to be banned there because it was believed to portray Tamils “in a poor light”. – AFP

Dr Luke in talks to judge American Idol

The producer and songwriter Lukasz Gottwald, better known as Dr Luke, might be on the judges panel of the forthcoming 13th season of American Idol, reported Deadline and Us Weekly. Keith Urban was recently announced to return to the show’s judging panel, while Jennifer Lopez’s boyfriend, the actor and choreographer Casper Smart, confirmed her involvement in the reality singing competition. Dr Luke was the lead guitarist on Saturday Night Live for 10 seasons. He has written songs for Kelly Clarkson (Since U Been Gone), Britney Spears (Circus) and Katy Perry (Teenage Dream). – The National staff

Ben Stiller making Reality Bites show

Ben Stiller is turning Reality Bites, his 1994 directorial debut, into a comedy series for the American network NBC, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Helen Childress, who was behind the film’s screenplay, will write the script for the revival series. The new Reality Bites will focus on the story of Lelaina Pierce, a recent college graduate in 1990s Houston (played in the film by Winona Ryder). Casting details have not been announced yet. – The National staff

Singer Linda Ronstadt has Parkinson’s

Linda Ronstadt suffers from Parkinson’s disease, which has robbed her ability to sing. The 67-year-old singer told AARP magazine that she was diagnosed eight months ago and “can’t sing a note”. “I wouldn’t have suspected that in a billion years. No one can sing with Parkinson’s disease, no matter how hard you try,” she said. Ronstadt sold millions of records starting in the 1970s with pop hits such as You’re No Good and When Will I Be Loved. Her autobiography, which will be released next month, makes no mention of the disease or the loss of her voice. – AP

twitter Follow us @LifeNationalUAE

Follow us on Facebook for discussions, entertainment, reviews, wellness and news.

Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 This comparison image shown on Reddit annotated the objects with vehicles from the movies.

What Star Wars fans say is going on in Abu Dhabi’s desert

We may still not know exactly what The National caught pictures of in the Abu Dhabi desert last week, but the online community has had plenty to say. Here are some of the best bits.

 Jennifer Grout will compete against seven other celebrities in Your Face Sounds Familiar. Joseph Eid / AFP

Jennifer Grout on competing in the new show Your Face Sounds Familiar and her rise to fame

Jennifer Grout is set to wow Arab audiences once again in the new MBC talent show Your Face Sounds Familiar. Saeed Saeed speaks to the American about her success story

 From left to right: Greg Churchouse, Roy Stride and Peter Ellard of Scouting For Girls. Ian Gavan / Getty Images

Sandance returns in May

Sandance is heading back to Dubai in May with a line-up that includes Arrested Development, Scouting for Girls, the Pet Shop Boys and Fatboy Slim, plus the Saudi DJ Omar Basaad and local acts.

 Jedi Master Yoda in 'Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith'. Lucasfilm / Twentieth Century Fox / AP

Star Wars shooting in Abu Dhabi rumours gain traction

What started out on Sunday as an optimistic rumour that Star Wars Episode 7 is set to shoot in Abu Dhabi is seemingly gathering traction as the week progresses.

 A boy waters plants in the yard of a restaurant in the Colombian village of Aracataca. Yellow butterflies make an apperance in the book. Eitan Abramovich / AFP photo

Mourning and memories in Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s languid hometown

Mourning and memories in Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s hometown of Aracataca, Columbia.

 Shah Rukh Khan plays a shot during a friendly match between the members of the support and administrative staff of Royal Challengers Bangalore and his Kolkata Knight Riders cricket team. Dibyangshu Sarkar / AFP

When the worlds of Bollywood and cricket collide

With the first game of the Indian Premier League beginning today in the UAE, we explore the league’s Bollywood connections, which are as glitzy as they are controversial.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National