3 years

Not People Like Us

The Lazy Route to Success

Rajeev Masand is entertainment editor at CNN News18
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The Lazy Route to Success • Piggy Chopped • Do This Man a Favour...

Kareena Kapoor’s strategy seems to be working for her. Possibly the only leading lady today who can actually ‘act’, Kareena seems to have decided she doesn’t really need to, since she can piggyback instead on top male stars.

So first she pretty much wafted in and out of 3 Idiots, in which Aamir Khan did most of the heavy lifting. In last week’s Bodyguard, she appeared happy to watch from the sidelines as Salman Khan took the tiger’s share of the spotlight. And lo and behold, without as much as breaking into a sweat, or flexing four acting muscles, Kareena Kapoor became the common link in two of Hindi cinema’s biggest blockbusters.

The actress is reportedly hoping for a triple whammy with Shah Rukh Khan’s Ra.One, in which she plays the South Indian wife of a tech geek. In her own words, Kareena confirmed at the film’s completion party recently that she’s merely an ornamental prop in the sci-fi actioner: “I told Shah Rukh in the beginning only—I don’t want to do any action-waction… Just make me look glamorous.”

Ra.One, whose budget has now crossed the Rs 140 crore mark and is likely to go up further after the film is converted into 3D for its October release, is being tipped as the next major money-spinner by industry pundits who anticipate big opening weekend numbers. It very well could be Kareena’s third ‘lazy superhit’ in a row.

Meanwhile, there are murmurs in studio corridors that the actress has been giving a cold shoulder to the other films she previously signed on. There has been very little filming on her Imran Khan-starrer Ek Main Aur Ek Tu (earlier titled Short-term Shaadi) after the initial Las Vegas schedule last December. Much of the reason for the delay Agent Vinod has suffered has got to do with Kareena repeatedly shuffling dates. Instead, she made sure she wrapped up the Aamir Khan project (a thriller tentatively titled Dhuaan), although she signed it well after these films

Piggy Chopped

Chinese whispers have been going around that poor Priyanka Chopra got an icy cold welcome at Shah Rukh Khan’s Eid party at his Bandra home on 31 August. The actress is believed to have shown up looking elegant in a heavy ethnic dress, with fresh mehendi applied to her hands. But everyone, from the hostess Gauri Khan to her close friends, are believed to have mostly ignored Priyanka when she showed up. That’s also the reason being cited for the actress’ early exit from the party, well before other guests began heading home.

Insiders are saying Gauri isn’t thrilled with all the rumours doing the rounds about her husband’s closeness to Priyanka, and that Mrs Khan suspects it’s the actress herself who might have a hand in fanning these stories.

Priyanka incidentally had the traditional Eid ka kheer prepared by a relative, and delivered to Shah Rukh Khan’s home earlier the same da.

Do This Man a Favour...

Who said legends are above petty behaviour? A respected senior star reportedly called up a prominent Bollywood trade analyst last week to complain that the first-day box-office estimates that the analyst had announced for the new Salman Khan starrer Bodyguard were “ridiculously inaccurate” and “much higher” than the “real numbers”. The star is believed to have chided the analyst for his “over-enthusiasm”, and for misleading people in the industry and beyond who took his information seriously.

After explaining that these were estimates obtained from various distributors across the country, and after assuring the veteran star that the film’s business was indeed looking very good, the trade analyst decided not to declare any further estimates until actual figures were in, out of respect for the senior.

But when the real numbers started coming in, it became clear that the film had performed much better than had been originally estimated, making as much as Rs 22 crore on its opening day alone—a record even the film’s makers hadn’t anticipated. The analyst waited patiently for the star to call and offer an apology for his earlier unnecessary attack. Not surprisingly, the star never called. No apology was offered.

The analyst still can’t decide if the star’s initial outburst was on account of a genuine concern for accurate reportage (bah!) or for the simple reason that very few in Bollywood can happily digest good news concerning someone other than themselves!