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A Lot Is Happening over Koffee

Rajeev Masand is Entertainment Editor and film critic at CNN-IBN
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A Lot Is Happening over Koffee • Dreams of Inception • Sons and Debacles

A Lot Is Happening over Koffee

That infamous Koffee With Karan episode featuring Deepika Padukone and Sonam Kapoor has snowballed into a full-fledged war. First, Rishi Kapoor announced he’s decided to walk out of Karan Johar’s Agneepath remake because he was insulted that the producer/talk-show host “encouraged” the girls to make disparaging remarks about his son Ranbir.

Rishi Kapoor has also allegedly asked Wake Up Sid director Ayan Mukherji to choose between casting Ranbir as the lead in his next film, and directing the film for Johar’s company, because he won’t allow Ranbir to star in a film produced by Johar. What’s more, he’s reportedly dumped both Deepika Padukone and Sonam Kapoor from the world tour (a series of musical stage shows to be held in the US and UK) that they were meant to feature in with Ranbir next summer. The angry father has said Sonam was concerned she didn’t have enough hit tracks to dance to, so she’s been dropped. And Deepika has been let go, “because we don’t want any chik chik backstage since Katrina’s also on the tour.” That leaves Katrina Kaif and Priyanka Chopra as the two actresses signed for the tour. Now news is in that Bipasha Basu has been roped in too.

Meanwhile, a source decodes one of Deepika’s loaded comments on that Koffee episode, which had industrywalas puzzled for weeks. When Johar asked Deepika what’s the one thing she’d like to say to Katrina, Deepika replied: “I’d ask to see her passport.” Most viewers assumed she wanted to know Katrina’s real age, but in fact that may not have been what Deepika meant at all! Katrina, who has repeatedly denied flying across from London to New York during Christmas last year to be with Ranbir while he was shooting for Anjaana Anjaani, has been widely regarded as the reason behind Ranbir and Deepika’s split. And though Ranbir has gone blue in the face denying that he hooked up with Katrina while he was still seeing Deepika, the ex-girlfriend was never quite convinced.

Dreams of Inception

Even as he gives finishing touches to Saat Khoon Maaf, his latest film starring Priyanka Chopra that’s scheduled for an early 2011 release, filmmaker Vishal Bhardwaj has already moved on to his next. Saif Ali Khan, Aishwarya Rai and Vidya Balan are rumoured to have been signed by the Kaminey director for his next, a thriller titled Dreams.

The film, whose theme involves matters of the subconscious mind, may sound suspiciously similar to Christopher Nolan’s celebrated blockbuster Inception, but Vishal says he wrote his film years ago and has been trying to make it since. Anurag Kashyap, a close friend of Bhardwaj, vouches for this. He suspects critics may jump on the filmmaker with accusations of plagiarism, but insists Bhardwaj had narrated the script of Dreams to him years ago.

The irony that he’s finally found a producer only after it became clear the audience does have an appetite for mature, complex films like Inception, about the mind and its workings, isn’t lost on Bhardwaj. And despite the fact that Dreams may share a common premise with Nolan’s, the plot of his film is entirely original, Bhardwaj has said.

Industry sources say the filmmaker isn’t as concerned about comparisons to Inception as he is about the parallels that may be drawn with director Reema Kagti’s forthcoming film. Apparently Bhardwaj is in a hurry to release his film before Kagti’s, which is also a thriller, and stars one male star
opposite two female leads—Aamir Khan, Kareena Kapoor and Rani Mukherjee. But Kagti’s film has nothing to do with dreams!

Sons and Debacles

Following the colossal debacle of a star son’s recent period film, producers in Bollywood are panicking. One filmmaker in particular, whose next movie features this actor, has decided to change the slant of his marketing completely. This whodunit, shot in Greece, Turkey and Thailand, is a big-budget project that will now be positioned as an ensemble thriller. No longer will the posters and trailers of the film pitch it as a starring vehicle for this actor; it will focus instead on six key actors who have integral roles in it. The star-son, who’s had an unlucky streak at the box-office recently, is in no position to complain. There is some talk in the industry that at least two films starring the actor that were meant to go into production soon may be shelved, because financiers are concerned the actor may not be a viable proposition at all.