3 years


Bonding over Bond

Rajeev Masand is Entertainment Editor and film critic at CNN-IBN
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Bonding over Bond • Role Grabber • Desperate Comeback

Band Baaja Baaraat star Ranveer Singh sportingly posed for photographs with fans when they surrounded him at the IMAX Wadala theatre last Friday, where he arrived with friends to catch a screening of Skyfall. Ranveer happily signed autographs and put his arm around excited fans who literally mobbed him on first sighting. But then, barely minutes before the lights went out and the screening began, a mini riot reportedly broke out when Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif entered the cinema hall together.

The crowd surrounding Ranveer quickly dispersed, and Ranbir and Katrina instantly became the centre of attention. While they didn’t refuse pictures, one hears cinema security had to intervene to usher fans back to their seats so that the screening could begin.

Towards the interval, one also spotted Deepika Padukone at the theatre, who had likely entered shortly after the lights went out at the start and had taken a seat beside her new ‘good friend’ and Ram Leela co-star Ranveer Singh.

Whether this was a group outing (Wake Up Sid director Ayan Mukherjee and Tere Bin Laden producer Aarti Shetty, who were also present, seemed to be the common link between both couples) or merely an awkward coincidence is not known, but it is hard to imagine Katrina and Deepika agreeing to go on a double date, given their uncomfortable history. Ranveer and Ranbir, meanwhile, are famously thick friends.

Role Grabber

Agneepath director Karan Malhotra’s next is likely to be an ‘epic love story’, and while Hrithik Roshan has reportedly committed to the project already, there has been some talk that the film’s producer, Karan Johar, wants to reunite his Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham pair again—Kareena Kapoor opposite Hrithik. Whether this coup will work out or not is anybody’s guess, given that past attempts to cast the former sweethearts together have failed.

If Kareena cannot or does not do the film, Deepika Padukone’s managers are said to be in advanced talks with Malhotra over the possibility of the Cocktail star being cast opposite Hrithik.

Deepika, who recently ended her association with Bling, a talent management company run by Atul Kasbekar, has signed up with CAA-Kwan to manage her career. This newly formed agency with a Hollywood affiliation is said to be aggressively leveraging the actress for some of the biggest projects. Fast climbing into the top bracket (with films like Race 2, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Ram Leela, and the Ranbir Kapoor-starrer Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani in the pipeline), Deepika is apparently thrilled with what they have done for her so far.

According to sources in the film trade, it was her new agency that had a hand in her landing Bhansali’s film when Kareena left that project, and it was her managers again who reportedly negotiated her biggest pay-cheque yet—Rs 2.5 crore—for Ram Leela.   

Desperate Comeback

The year 2012 will go down as one in which the most number of fading Hindi film heroines attempting comebacks. Barring one legendary female star who successfully returned to the screen in a sweet comedy 15 years after she slipped into hibernation, at least three younger actresses made embarrassing and utterly forgettable attempts to regain a foothold in Bollywood.

And at least two more ladies are in queue. But no one appears more desperate than this diminutive has-been star, who has had hoardings of herself modelling a new brand of sunglasses plastered across Mumbai. Having posed for a photo-session after squeezing herself into too-tight clothes—including one hoarding on which she appears to be bursting out of a swimsuit three sizes too small for her—the lady has proudly declared that her ‘new look’ has won her many admirers.

Unlikely that many of those admirers are filmwallahs, who have reportedly been sniggering at parties about those ‘tasteless’ pictures. The wife of one male star who has worked with the actress allegedly joked that it is not the actress who needs sunglasses, but unfortunate pedestrians who have been blinded by the sight of those hoardings who may need protection for their eyes. Tsk, tsk…