So, I was just scrolling through the headlines on various sites, and a couple of news stories caught my eye.
First, remember how, in the middle of my massive Dilwale synopsis, I mentioned that I was impressed with how hard Varun was working at a fairly thankless part? And that he seems like an actor directors want to work with? And that not all young actors are humble enough and hard working enough and you start to notice that they get dropped from projects and don’t work with the same director twice (Shahid)? So, Sushant Singh Rajput just got dropped from Half-Girlfriend and replaced by Arjun Kapoor. There is definitely a reason for the replacement beyond the old “date issues!”, which is the excuse they gave. Arjun has Ki and Ka with Kareena Kapoor Khan (so many Ks!) already coming out this year, which they are just wrapping up, plus he’s still got promotions to do for it, and yet he apparently does not have “date issues”!
Sushant Singh also has one movie coming out in 2016 (a Dhoni biopic, going up against Emraan Hashmi’s Azhar bio, which has gotten a lot more buzz, so I don’t have a lot of hopes for Sushant’s film. The world only has space for one Cricket player bio in 2016 and it isn’t gonna be his) and after that, possibly, a movie produced by Dinesh Vijan, and possibly Paani with Shekar Kapur But let’s be real, Shekar Kapur has been talking about Paani for over 5 years now, it is perpetually in production, it is never going to happen! And Dinesh Vijan? Cocktail is the closest he’s ever come to producing a hit, he does funky and artsy movies, like Finding Fanny and Badlapur not the crowd pleaser scripts. And anyway, you don’t turn down the chance to work in a Chetan Bhagat adaptation (most popular English language novelist in India, novels previously made into 3 Idiots, 2 States, Kai Po Che. Also, has his own series of Shaadi.com ads!), directed by Mohit Suri (starmaking director of Aashiqui 2, potential heir to Bhatt Films empire), for some sort of half-baked pre-production nonsense. Yeah, Sushant got dropped. And Arjun’s in. Hard work and a willingness to put in the effort for the win! Supposedly, while still finishing Ki and Ka, Arjun is also already working with an accent coach and otherwise preparing for his role so he can start filming Half-Girlfriend as soon as he is off Ki and Ka. Now that’s the kind of attitude that makes you a star.
Ki and Ka, by the way looks like an interesting one; it’s R. Balki (director of Cheeni Kum, Paa, and Shamitabh), and it is supposed to be about a young couple with unusual gender roles (I’m guessing she’s the wage earner, he’s the homemaker, not like one of them’s a Hijra or anything). And Kareena is like 5 years older than Arjun in real life, not sure if that will be a factor. What will be a factor, for me, is that Arjun and Kareena’s family’s are in the middle of something between a feud and a coolness, and they are crossing the picket line, as it were, in working together. Arjun’s cousin Sonam, of course, dated Kareena’s cousin Ranbir. And Ranbir cheated and they had a nasty break up. This was years ago, and everyone was kind of over it, until Sonam went on Koffee With Karan and just eviscerated him (with the help of his other ex, Deepika). Maybe now that Ranbir is engaged to Katrina his family has decided to forgive and forget? Or it could be that Kareena and Arjun are declaring their greater loyalty to their Salman Khan adopted family than to their birth family. Arjun, of course, was mentored by Salman and has frequently said that he owes everything to him. And Kareena is practically another sister to him. Anyway, in absence of any substantive plot details, I have chosen to obsess over the casting.
In other news, there are now apparently two separate Snow White adaptations rumored. But really, Snow White? There’s no plot! I mean, it’s barely enough to sustain a traditional American 90 minute film, what are you going to do for twice that long? Except that these are only going to be “Snow White” adaptations as much as Aisha was a Emma adaptation, because Clueless was still copyright protected. They are really going to be rip-offs of Snow White and The Huntsman. Now would be the time for it, take advantage of the buzz around the Hollywood sequel to build interest in your Indian original. Anyway, rumor has it, both Ashutosh Gowariker (Lagaan, Jodha-Akbar, currently filming with Hrithik some drama set in 2600 BC), and director duo Vinay and Radhika, who previously worked on Salman Khan’s icky Lucky: No Time For Love, are talking about doing a remake. I will bet you a million dollars that neither of these gets off the ground (Ashutosh takes years to plan and fund a movie, no way he has that much interest in freaking Snow White; no way anyone gives the people who made Lucky the chance to make any other movie ever again), but I also really want them both to get made because I think the contrast would be awesome!
(This is why they will never work again. Also, watch only if you want to see the creepiest thing ever put on film. Yes, that actress is only 17 in real life. Yes, Salman cast a 17 year old who looks like a mini-Aish to play opposite him. And then had her do this song)
And finally, Box Office! Now, my previous two articles are still holding steady with their predictions, Dilwale and Bajirao are neck and neck in India, but Bajirao is doing better at holding the audience in India (meaning, over time, it could overtake Dilwale), while Dilwale does better overseas. Like, a lot better. Like, twice as good better. Meanwhile, as I pointed out, if the majority of the Hindi film box office comes from Bombay, then of course Bajirao is going to do better! It’s about a Maharashtrian general! And, apparently, more than 50% of its Indian profits are coming from the Bombay circuit, while it is doing poorly in the south and the more rural areas. Also, it is a terrible movie. In my humble opinion. Which I am willing to support, at great length!