Lots of little announcements today! A few that I have many thoughts about, and a few I don’t care about that much but are still worth repeating.
Dharma Films vs. Salman Khan
First, the one I am most interested in! Bollywoodhungama is trying to sell it as a Karan Johar-Salman Khan feud, I don’t care about that part. The basic details seem to be that Dharma was considering launching Salman’s brother-in-law Aayush, and Salman was considering starring in the Karan-Akshay war movie, and now neither of these things are happening.
Forget the whole “Karan hates Salman and vice versa!” part of it, I don’t care about that. No, what I find interesting is that Karan turned Aayush down. He’s being accused of being the flag waver for nepotism, and this would be a classic example. Someone only cast because of their connections. The news report is trying to come up with some mystery as to why Karan turned him down, but what if he just wasn’t any good?
My point about nepotism is that it isn’t just the name and connections, it’s growing up in the industry, training on film sets since childhood, and so on and so on. And Aayush doesn’t have any of that. And isn’t very handsome and possibly isn’t very talented (I don’t remember hearing anything about him acting before he stumbled into being Salman’s brother-in-law).
(He’s fine, I just haven’t seen anything so far that makes him glow in front of the camera)
So, Karan was unofficially offered a deal if he gave this guy a chance, and he turned him down because he just isn’t good enough for a Dharma film, no matter who he is related to. At least, that’s how I see it.
Short story, Kangana’s Career
She’s still making the Jhansi Ki Rani film, although the article points out it is 2/3rds finished which means they can hardly drop her. She was supposed to start her own directorial debut next, but that has been indefinitely postponed and now she is supposed to be making a thriller helmed by a debutant director and opposite an as-yet-unnamed “top star”.
So, this could be exactly what it sounds like, Kangana is taking her time to prepare for her first directing film with an elaborate and complex concept, and in the meantime signing a quick interesting thriller. Or it could be that funding and support is falling apart for her directing film and they are scrambling to find something to make it look like she is still working by spreading rumors of a film that might-maybe happen.
We all puzzled over his last minute drop out of JP Dutta’s film, and the cover story that it was because he was waiting for a solo lead film. And now he has all kinds of solo lead films! Priyadarshan just signed him, and Prabhu Deva already has. WHAT IS HAPPENING????
I just can’t make sense of him preparing for the Dutta film for a year and not signing anything else, then dropping out with 48 hours notice because he suddenly decided he should look for solo hero roles. And now suddenly going on a signing binge. Oh, and running off to the Maldives as soon as the Dutta story broke, and signing all this stuff remotely.
It still feels like something came up last minute, something embarrassing and shocking and secret, which made him drop out of the Dutta film. And now to save face, they are calling in every favor and signing everything.
Aayush is Working
Aayush Sharma, Salman’s brother-in-law, is now being launched by an SK Films movie. A remake of Jatt and Juliet, by a first time director, and possibly opposite a first time actress. All of these things are bad signs. No other film house willing to co-produce, no established director willing to work with him, no original script that would work for him, and worried about him being over-shadowed by an established actress.
Also a bad sign for the end product! A first time star, no matter how talented, really needs an experienced director to shepherd them through the process (Salman and Aamir being the exceptions). Jatt and Juliet was a fun idea, but really worked primarily because of Diljit and his chemistry with Neeru Bajwa. And the sort of casual ramshackle attitude from the Punjabi industry. Plus, the only people who would be excited about this remake, or interested in this plot, are the Punjabi audiences who have already seen the original.
Jacqueline Finally Gets a Solo Hero Part
Jacqueline, after being the bright spart in everything from Sajid Khan comedies to Dharma films dramas, is FINALLY getting a central role. She has supposedly been signed as the lead in a remake of The Girl on the Train. Which didn’t get very good reviews in the original version, but the plot sounds really interesting. And completely driven by the central female character. So, yay!!!! Jacqueline finally gets a juicy central role, which I am pretty sure she will be able to handle.
Anil Kapoor and Sonam are Co-starring
Film is titled Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga. Produced by Vidhu Vinod Chopra, directed by Shelly Chopra (Vidhu’s sister). Not much else is known, but there are some interesting things here. First, that Sonam decided to wait this long before co-starring with her father, until they could be legitimate co-stars, not just a father helping out his daughter. She doesn’t have the most amazing career in the industry, but she can definitely hold her own. Second that, once again, she is supporting another woman. A female director, very rare in the Hindi industry. And third, that this is an excellent choice of a film to keep Sonam’s career healthy in between her home productions. VVC films are always classy and respectable, and often massive hits.
Also, it gives us all the gift of having this song running through our heads!