Maybe it's a strange question, but: Whatever happened to Nicole Kidman? Now I'm only partly kidding when I say that, because if you look at the woman who appears in this fancy new commercial for Schweppes, she bears no resemblance to the plucky redhead who wowed us in flicks like Flirting and Dead Calm.
The 'Gossips' like to blame the current state of the Aussie actress on Botox or sometimes it's the 'curse of Tom Cruise', but really, I'd love to know when did Ms. Kidman turn into the porcelain faced robot we now see before us? Now before you get all offended, keep in my mind that I actually quite like Kidman as an actress, and despite Australia's failings as a film, at least Kidman was showing some signs of life; signs that have long disappeared in this glamorous soda ad.
The commercial was directed by Elizabeth's Shekar Kapur and produced by Ridley Scott, and Kidman has been transported to an Indian palace alongside Slumdog Millionaire's Rubina Ali and Bollywood star Argun Rampal.
As for the commercial, well, I'll give Kapur some credit if he was taking a gentle shot at Kidman's 2004 Chanel ad (Kidman famously pocketed $12 million to star in that commercial), since the two are almost identical. But if he's not, then what you end up with is a bit of a mess with beautiful set design -- and I'm not even getting into the implications of the 'colonial exoticism' of Indian culture that drips from every frame.
But it is just a commercial after all, and most likely, the majority of us will never even see it on our TV screens. The real problem for Kidman is that her box-office reputation has been fading, and between the half-hearted announcements about retiring, and the dwindling returns on her films; all is not well with her career.
But I'm an optimist, because I keep hoping that she will turn it all around (her first chance will be Woody Allen's latest). But what if she doesn't? Well, I guess then I'll just go rent Dead Calm and remember the Kidman that could have been.