Bollywood Shines In ‘Call My Agent’ Spinoff ‘Love And Hate’

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Bollywood Shines In ‘Call My Agent’ Spinoff ‘Love And Hate’

The backroom intrigues and strong personalities of Bollywood have proven to be a great target for satire, according to the director of a stinging look at India’s entertainment industry.

Shaad Ali’s most recent project is a local translation of a smash Netflix comedy about four bumbling French talent agents who wrangle and coddle their celebrity clients.

“Call My Agent: Bollywood” replaces Paris with Mumbai, India’s enormous port city and home to the country’s most profitable production houses and most famous megastars.

After previous iterations in Britain and Turkey, Ali’s is the third makeover for the Emmy award-winning “Dix Pour Cent” — a tribute to the typical 10% cut taken by agencies in the movie business.

“It was extremely easy for me to get hooked by the performance,” he says AFP, citing inspiration from a lifetime spent watching stars, their entourages, and fellow filmmakers.

However, bringing the play from script to screen was difficult, thanks to the Covid epidemic in Mumbai last year, which threw the production schedule off.

Ali’s version was dubbed a “disaster” by one French critic, and Indian critics were equally harsh.

However, Ali, who was previously known for romantic dramas featuring some of Bollywood’s most well-known male heart-throbs, claims he has been “peacefully unconscious” of the negative publicity.

“I keep hearing varied emotions from people — some love it, others detest it,” he says, adding, “which I prefer.”

“I’m not a fan of in-between reactions… that’s what scares me.”

He’s also not afraid to poke fun at the breezy, often naïve characters that can be found in any celebrity environment.

“My aim was never negative, and I am part of (the industry), therefore I am included in that,” he says.

“All of the celebs on the show were highly supportive of each other in making fun of each other… it was only natural.”

Aahana Kumra stars as Amal, one of four famous talent managers battling to keep their stricken firm afloat after the tragic death of its founder.

Kumra was pushed into the part by her own agent, and she quickly became an ardent fan of the original French series, prompting her to examine her own career critically.

She told AFP, “We’re self-absorbed.”

“It’s just the nature of the work; we’re so focused on ourselves that we forget there’s an agent with a life of their own.”

It’s a reoccurring theme in “Call My Agent.” The Washington Newsday Brief News is a daily newspaper published in Washington, D.C.

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