In The Front Row with Anupama Chopra

Critic. Writer. MAMI Festival Director. Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s infinitely better half.

These are just a few of the things we’ve all come to know, and love, about Anupama Chopra. Over the last twenty years, she has become one of the most credible film journalists in the country. And all for good reason. Anupama, who entered the field when it was still considered lowbrow, embraced the opium of the masses with open arms. And the welcome was reciprocated. It’s, therefore, no surprise that the stars came out in support of her latest book – The Front Row: Conversations on Cinema.

Dolly Thakur, Dalip Tahil, Kangana Ranaut, Rajeev Masand, Tisca Chopra, Anil Dharker and, of course, Vidhu Vinod Chopra, were a few of the big names that were present at the unveiling of Anupama’s latest book. The Front Row: Conversations on Cinema takes everything we loved about the eponymous hit show, and condenses it into the perfect coffee-table book. It features excerpts from some of the most notable conversations that have been featured on the show. And what better way to launch it than with an engaging conversation on cinema?

Anupama sat down with Kangana Ranaut, Rajeev Masand and Arunabh Kumar of The Viral Fever fame. Together, they delved into the various aspects of cinema and film journalism, and their evolution over the last two decades. The lines between advertising and journalism have quickly blurred, which is exactly what has made reporters like Anupama Chopra stand out from the crowd. In fact, Kangana went so far as to say that her interview on The Front Row with Anupama Chopra is the best one she’s ever had!

Why is that? "She’s one of the few film journalists who tries to get to know you as a person," said Ranaut. It’s very easy to tell when the passion is missing from a journalist’s interview, which is one of the actress’ biggest pet peeves! What’s the other? Being asked to repeat a dialogue from the film or bust a move for the reporters!

No one can forget Kangana’s viral interview with Anupama Chopra. And neither can the National Award-winning actress. Kangana confided that her interview on The Front Row and the Film Companion Master Class have made her sit back and think about her craft like never before.

Both Anupama Chopra and Rajeev Masand went on to talk about the dichotomy of being a film journalist and a critic. It’s not easy to talk to actors about their films, forge relationships and then have to give their films less than flattering reviews! Though some filmmakers have been receptive to it, others haven’t been as kind and have severed ties with them over the same. The interesting part? This is exactly what makes The Viral Fever work!

The panelists spoke at length about how the younger crop of celebrities are much less inhibited and more willing to poke fun at themselves. In fact, The Viral Fever has featured the biggest names in Bollywood; ranging from Shah Rukh Khan and Anurag Kashyap to Parineeti Chopra and Ranveer Singh. One actress who has yet to be a part of it? Kangana Ranaut. Though the actress shies away from social media because of its overly critical nature, you never know if we might be treated to a collaboration sometime soon!

As the riveting talk drew to a close, we finally got the first glimpse at Anupama Chopra’s The Front Row: Conversations on Cinema. If the conversations are even half as interesting as what we were treated to at the launch, consider us sold!

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