After a two-year break –– partly to concentrate on paternal duties and partly to rethink his career choices — Imran Khan is back on the big screen with Katti Batti. Daughter Imaara is now a year old and Khan feels he made the best decision to enjoy this rare opportunity to bond with his newborn and wife. The actor had entered fatherhood on the back of a few box office duds, namely Once Upon a Time in Mumbai Dobara’, Matru Ki Bijli Ka Mandola and Gori Tere Pyaar Mein. The trailer of Katti Batti, in which he co-stars with Kangana Ranaut, has been launched three months before the film’s release date in September. Speaking at the launch, Khan said he felt glad to be back at work and realised how much he had missed shooting a movie. In Nikhil Advani’s film he plays Maddy, a young, slightly awkward, urban guy in a relationship with Payal (Ranaut). Advani said he was glad to get his first choice for actor even though Khan’s reaction on first hearing the story was less than enthusiastic. Let’s wait and see if Katti Batti and Ranaut’s popularity rubs off on Khan who is yet to announce any other films after this romantic drama.
The Rajamouli connect
Karan Johar is promoting S S Rajamouli’s epic Baahubali. Johar had said that he was impressed by the Hyderabad-based director’s vision and earlier films, such as Eega, and decided to come on board to support the Hindi-dubbed version of his latest. Then came stories that Johar was keen on producing Rajamouli’s next. However, when I asked the latter about the same, he was quick to clarify that he is tied up with Baahubali for another year and has no idea yet what he would want to do thereafter. While part one of Baahubali releases next month, the second part (yet to be completed) will follow only in 2016. Two of Rajamouli’s earlier films have been remade in Hindi: Vikramarkudu became Rowdy Rathore and Maryada Ramanna was adapted as Son of Sardar. Rajamouli has seen both the remakes and remains measured in his reactions, simply saying they were ‘different’ from his own original concepts. The Telugu talent does, however, harbour ambitions of directing a Hindi film some day. And with Johar he perhaps has a ready and willing producer at hand.
One cannot open a newspaper these days without reading something about Kangana Ranaut. The Tanu Weds Manu Returns actress is on a roll, and how. She is steadily rewriting the grammar of a Bollywood star actress, as an outsider at the top of her game, writing her own dialogues (Queen), attending film making courses in the US, shooting segments in films (Katti Batti) and even filing a legal notice against her previous PR agency (for spreading false stories). Ranaut was at her inimitable best at the Katti Batti trailer launch in Mumbai. On a wet Sunday afternoon, she came dressed in a retro style sunshine yellow dress by Delphine Manivet with a wide skirt and severely styled up-do. When asked about her look she replied it was to cheer up the audience on the monsoon afternoon and give them something to talk about. When asked whom she would pick as the queen of Bollywood, Ranaut smirked, “Is Bollywood a country? That’s such a lame question.” She also denied various rumours about the film saying that her character is not pregnant, not Punjabi and doesn’t have a double role. What she is she could not reveal, as there is apparently a big twist in the seemingly frothy love story.