I missed this, because Star TV didn’t have the courtesy to suspend all broadcasting in honor of Dear Zindagi Week. It’s just the worst when these multinational media conglomerates don’t bother to tailor their products to local cultures. Anyway, catching up now, up first, Varun and Arjun! (first episode discussed here, and second here)
I actually took notes this time! Koffee With Karan is serious business! First note, “Varun-Shoes!”
(Not good. The shoes, the rest is okay)
He apparently broke into my apartment and dug through my closet until he found my old shower shoes from college, then flew back to India, cleaned them up a little, and wore them on international TV for some inexplicable reason. Proving the truth of the line I read once in a very bad romance novel, “Every man looks good in a 3 piece suit.”
Once they started talking, here’s the first interesting thing: Arjun and Rohit are closer than Arjun and Varun! I’m interested in that, because I am interested in Rohit. While everyone is waiting for people like Ranbir and Imraan and so on to live up to their illustrious relatives, Rohit has quietly done it already. The Dhawan film family is in a solid place to continue for another 30 years of crowd-pleasing comedies, with no fanfare or promoting it as “carrying on his father’s tradition” or anything like that. He just did it! And, being close to Boney Kapoor’s heir/a promising young actor, this could be the seeds of another Sippy-Bachchan 2 generations kind of power base.
Oh, and in terms of Varun and Arjun, Arjun is 2 years older, I assume when they were kids that was enough of a difference to make him Rohit’s friend (the difference between 8 and 10 is everything), but doesn’t matter so much now (the difference between 29 and 31 is nothing). Their story later of how they got close bares that out, they ended up in the same Barry John’s acting course and bonded there. Yeah, that checks out. Guy you sort of know your whole life, play with because he is your friend’s little brother, and then you are both in a distant city and a stressful situation and you end up clinging together because you are the only people you know. Although, there is still that little lingering “you’re 8 and I’m ten” vibe. For instance, late in the episode when Arjun pinches Varun’s cheek and declares him “such a cutie!”
Mostly though, and a little disappointingly, they were less cute and more manly. Like, really really grown up and confident. I had no idea! I thought they were still the charming young boys of film. But no! Very careful, very, kind of, wise! And much less jokey than, for instance, Shahrukh and Aamir.
Although I guess the lack of joking sort of showed their immaturity? Or at least lack of power. You can tease Shahrukh about dating and sex and bad acting and so on, because everyone knows he doesn’t mess around on Gauri, he isn’t really going to talk about sex, and he can actually act. But these boys, they can’t risk it. Any dating rumor could actually be true, they haven’t proved their acting, and they could theoretically be having sex.
I was super impressed with how Varun handled the pushy questions from Karan. Karan really really wanted him to acknowledge his relationship with Natasha on the show and Varun really really wasn’t ready yet. But it was fascinating (and kind of totally hot) watching him straighten up and get protective as soon as the questions started veering in that direction. I would so date Varun Dhawan! He knows how to be a gentlemen and keep you out of the media! Oh, and in the same section, Arjun was rumored to be dating Sonakshi? How did I miss this? They would have been great together!
Let’s see, what else is in my notes? “Varun, bigger star”. That was great! Karan asked he is the bigger star, and Varun immediately said “Me, I am the bigger star”, and Arjun said, “yeah, that’s right.” I liked it both as a moment of “aw, the little boy who used to play with me is a bigger star and that makes me happy!” and as a moment of “yeah, we are smart people who know the industry, and right now, Varun is bigger.”
Oh, and then Karan told a great story I hadn’t heard before about the first time he was giving Varun a tour of Dharma productions, back when Varun was just David Dhawan’s son, and they went into his chief executive officer’s office, and the CEO stood up right away because Karan had walked in, and Varun went “please, sit sit!” And it wasn’t a joke! He sincerely assumed that anyone standing must be standing for him!
Karan’s fun bit for this episode was having them do an audition/acting class style scene. Giving them the set up and some directions as they went along. It was okay, I mostly found it interesting for showing that Karan actually knew how to run these types of things. He is usually written off as more of a visual director than an actor’s director, but no! He knows this stuff.
Rapid fire! A so-so one. Only a couple of notes from that. Varun was asked if he had ever slept with a fan and said “No!” immediately (again, SUCH A GOOD BOYFRIEND!!! NATASHA IS SO LUCKY!). But then he added “I have a friend who has. He’s a Kapoor too.” So, Shahid or Ranbir? Or both?
(Pretty sure it’s both)
Both of them picked Katrina as the one to kill and the worst actress in the separate actress lists. Boy, poor Katrina! I guess she is so low on the pecking order that she is the safest one to abuse on TV.
And a couple final notes, in the quiz part, they had to do various things like translate English lyrics back into Hindi and name movies with things like Anil Kapoor without a mustache. And they were both really really good at it! Which is a level of trivia and film history knowledge you don’t usually see in young stars. Also, it was an occasion to mention Lafangay Parinday, the movie with The Stupidest Plot in the History of The World.
(He’s a boxer who fights blindfolded! She’s a roller-skating dancer who he blinds and then teaches to dance again! Together, they win the national televised roller-skating dance competition! But will they also win True Love?)
And finally, at the very end, Varun gives a very mature and careful statement about how he is very happy in his personal life, and he is grateful to the person who makes him happy, but he also asks that the media and everyone else please leave her alone because she is just a normal person who doesn’t need to be punished. SO JEALOUS OF NATASHA!!!!!
Oh, and also at the very end, Varun casually refers to Karan as “Papa Jo”, which is just about the cutest thing ever.