Happy Monday! Time to see what everyone’s been up to over the weekend. Not as exciting as some Mondays, but there are a few mildly interesting stories out there.
Dabangg 3 With Sonakshi
This is kind of a confusing story, because it is only news if you for some reason thought Dabangg 3 might not have Sonakshi. So first there is all the background on that. Sonakshi was rumored to have fallen out with Salman, and Dabangg 3 was rumored to be a prequel film, showing Salman’s character before he became a cop.
The first thing is clearly a nothing story, Dabangg is such a great franchise Sonakshi would have to really hate Salman and vice versa for them to stop working together on it. It’s not like “Oh, I mildly dislike this person, I won’t sign a new movie with them that may or may not be a success”. It already is a success, they already have been working together, they would have to go against the forces of inertia and actively choose NOT to act together.
But the second rumor is puzzling, how can Sonakshi be present in a prequel since much of the plot of the original Dabangg was about how Salman’s life changed after meeting her? Bollywoodhungama tosses out that maybe we will also see her character before their meeting, but I think that is a TERRIBLE idea!!!! Another part of the original Dabangg was understanding that Sonakshi’s life was kind of a sad drudgery before Salman burst in. I don’t particularly want to watch a whole movie of her sad drudgery without the happy ending of seeing her meet Salman, and I also don’t want them to retroactively sugarcoat her life as it was established at the beginning of the first movie.
(I love this love song, but remove Salman from it and think about just watching Sonakshi make pots and do her marketing for a whole movie. Dull, right?)
Anyway, my guess is, if it is a prequel thing, they will stick Sonakshi in as a framing device. I would love to see something like Salman telling the story of his life before her to her as a distraction while she can’t sleep because she is pregnant, or to help their baby go to sleep while she is in bed next to him, or anything like that.
Or, maybe it isn’t a prequel at all, and that is just a rumor, and we will get a real sequel again and Sonakshi will have a full-fledged love interest role.
Diljit and Kriti Come Together For Comedy
I am very excited about this! Dinesh Vijan who directed Raabta is making another film, which he promises will be a small romantic comedy, set in Patiala, featuring Kriti and Diljit. He says it will let the Hindi audience see Diljit do comedy, and namedrops Bareilly ki Barfi in terms of what Kriti’s character will be like.
So many interesting industry things to think about in this announcement! First, two promising stars who both come from outside the Hindi industry. Kriti from Telugu and Diljit from Punjabi. Although very different careers, Diljit being a legitimate superstar and major force in Punjabi film, while Kriti barely started her career as a heroine in Telugu before jumping to Hindi.
But the bigger point is that Hindi film is no longer a good place to nurture talent. The stakes are so high that there is no time to learn. So our new promising stars are coming from other language industries and from TV, .
Also, Diljit is supposed to be playing a comic role! Wonderful! His comic/romantic Punjabi heroes are something really unique, soft and kind and loving and just plain funny. Not at all the typical strong silent hero.
And it is being promoted as “a small rom-com”. That is, the filmmakers know the audience wants a small rom-com now, that is the selling point, thank goodness I am not the only one noticing this trend!
Oh and finally, yay another movie by the Raabta director! I loved Raabta and thought it was really well-made, glad he is getting a second shot with lower expectations. Especially with Kriti, who was great in that film.
(This is such a happy love song! Glad he is making a whole movie that is just a simple love story now)
Shahrukh’s Next with Farah or Karan?
This reads to me as a bit of a “run it up the flagpole and see who salutes” story. Word is going out that Shahrukh is done with “different”, wants to do another solid hit love story in his comfort zone, possibly with Farah and Karan. I think Shahrukh’s team, or Karan’s team, or just the media in general, is more curious about what the reaction to this story would be than believing the actual story. Are the public going to get excited about another Shahrukh Khan traditional movie, or do they want something “different”? And that will change slightly how these two potential movies are written, and change a lot how they are promoted.
It’s also a very frustrating story as someone who has been following the whole sweep of Shahrukh’s career, and the film industry changes in general. Karan Johar is making different deeper movies than before, if the public wants a “Karan Johar Romance”, thinking of Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham, well, that may not exist any more. Or if it does, it may not be made by Karan Johar himself any more. And if they want a “Farah Khan Romance”, well, that never actually existed. Main Hoon Na and Om Shanti Om had romantic tracks, but they were straight up masala movies, action and comedy and everything was mixed in as well.
(If this is all you remember from Om Shanti Om, you are forgetting a lot of stuff)
A better/more accurate way to say it might be that Shahrukh has been stretching himself as an actor by working with a lot of new-to-him directors and in different kinds of roles. But now he is ready to work in a more familiar role with more familiar directors, to take those new abilities he has learned and try them out in an old setting.
And that he wants to work with his old directors in their “new” phase of life. Farah, I don’t care about as much, Happy New Year to me felt just the same as Main Hoon Na but not as good. I don’t think she has necessarily grown much as a director. Which is fine, some people make the same thing over and over again for their whole career. But the possibility of seeing Shahrukh and Karan come together 8 years after My Name is Khan, that I find FASCINATING!!!!
Both of them have grown so much as artists since then. Karan has made Student of the Year, his Bombay Talkies short, and Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, all of them radically different from what he was doing before, either a lot lighter or a lot darker or a lot bitterer. And he has worked with different actors, brought up and trained 3 new talents, been challenged by established talents (Ranbir and Anushka and Aish), all very different from the easy comfortable “I just write and direct what I know Shahrukh can play” attitude he had in his first 4 films. Whatever they to do together, even if it is promoted as “just like those movies you already loved”, I am sure it will in fact be something completely new because they are different people than they were before.
But that’s all speculation and rumor and so on. Here’s the actual fact: at his birthday press conference, Shahrukh confirmed that he had not signed anything at all after Aanand L Rai’s film and so would be totally free in early 2018. Karan has made several comments recently about wanting to make another film, and wanting to make it with Shahrukh. Farah has been very friendly with him lately as well.
So Shahrukh could sign with Karan for his next starting filming in 2018. Or with Farah. Or with Farhan Akhtar who has also mentioned having an idea for Don 3. Or with Aditya Chopra or with any other director in the industry.
I guess that’s the biggest part of this story, Shahrukh is free after his current film. He is almost never free. From my full SRK filmography posts, it looks like when there is a gap it is because he is gathering strength and considering options for a career shift. I assume the same thing is happening here, he is holding off on signing and considering where he wants to go next, because where he currently is, is not working.
(It also might mean fun cameos like this! When he is in between big projects/phases, he does little cameo type stuff just to stay in the public mind, always a treat)