Yaaaay, more fanfic! A late birthday present to ME! And also, Judy Garland’s 100th birthday is today and she is a very important person everywhere all the time, so she deserves attention.
This was supposed to be a Gene Kelly-Judy Garland movie, but at the last minute Gene wasn’t able to do it so Fred stepped in. Just that small casting change completely changed the dynamic of the central couple, and made it into a PERFECT SRK-Anushka movie. With space for an awesome Rani cameo.
The plot of the original is set in the vaudeville era of American theater, Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse are in love and are the most famous dancing pair in the country. But he is jealous and she is flighty, and they end up having a big fight and break up. And Fred confidently declares that he can pick any woman up off the street and make her a Star, he doesn’t need Cyd. Enter, Judy! She is sweet and young but literally doesn’t know her right foot from her left. But she tries really hard and they manage to get a few shows. Only, it falls flat because he is trying to make her into another Cyd, elegant and beautiful and all that, and it just looks silly on her. After their first bad review and big flop, he comforts her and they sing and dance just for fun, and he suddenly sees her own talent and personality. With new shows tailored for their new sort of chemistry, they are a hit. And slowly they realize they are also in love. But Judy is torn by doubts that she is still some kind of substitute for Cyd, both as a dance partner and a romantic partner. Especially because Cyd is now in the show with them and they keep bumping into each other. They have one big fight, he goes to her to apologize but her doorman sends her away and she misses him. The next day, she goes and talks to his best friend (who coincidentally is also in love with her) and he encourages her to just show how she feels. So she sweeps confidently into Fred’s apartment the next day with gifts and tells him she is in love.
If this were a Gene Kelly movie, it would be a very tense conflict romance and love triangle. But as a Fred movie, it’s a sort of sweet May-December feeling. Judy is young and goofy and sweet with a crush on her teacher Fred, he never sees her that way because she is young. And she feels weird about Cyd because Cyd is a “grown up” unlike her, and her relationship with Fred seems childish. And Fred feels weird about falling for her, especially knowing his much younger friend also likes her. It’s not just that Fred is visibly older than Judy, it’s how he always treats his younger female partners, in a gentlemanly kindly kind of way. And that is EXACTLY how Shahrukh treats his younger female onscreen partners!
I didn’t even have to think about it, it was obviously a Shahrukh-Anushka movie! She has Judy’s charm and spunk and cuteness, and he has Fred’s sweet love for her. The plot can be almost identical too. Shahrukh and Rani are the top popular jodi in Hindi film. And they have had an on again-off again thing for years. But now they have one final fight and she pushes him too far with her flightiness, she announces with two weeks notice that she is delaying filming on their next film because a millionaire invited her on a yacht party. He is furious, she twits him that he is just jealous, and it ends with him announcing that he will pick anyone he wants and take her for the film instead and it will be just as big of a hit.
The next day he is filming a Pepsi ad and talking this over with his friend Sid M from the ad company, and declares he could take literally any of the many young female models filling in the background and make her a star. Sid M challenges him to make that true and randomly calls out “Pooja!” because there is always a Pooja, and Anushka comes over. She is very in awe of Shahrukh and doesn’t ask any questions when he orders her to the studio tomorrow at 10am. At their first rehearsal, he informs her that she is going to be the lead of his next film and she doesn’t dare argue. Only, he learns after he starts to teach her the blocking and dance moves, she doesn’t know her right from her left. So he puts a band around her wrist to teach her that way and starts again.
Lots of time and effort from both of them, lots of him being patient and her trying her best, and finally the film comes out. To tepid reviews. It’s not a flop, he proved his point, but all the reviews say Anushka is miss-cast and a failure. She comes to him ready to quit, to let him use another actress for his next film. He is tempted to agree, but then something about how she gestured in apology gives him an idea. He tells her the fault wasn’t with her, it was with him, he was trying to make her into something she is not. They are starting over, and this time they are going to find a script that will work for both of them.
More time and effort, but this time it is fun and easy. They do a promotional tour that involves a lot of laughter and horsing around between them, the media starts talking about how there isn’t the tension that there was with Rani, that he seems to really like this co-star and vice versa. They are spotted holding hands and other sort of “almost” romantic moments.
But Shahrukh holds back, partly because Sid M is hanging around a lot and taking Anushka out for lunches and they are the right age and all of that. Until Anushka learns through Sid M that they had an offer for an ad campaign with her, Rani, and Shahrukh and Shahrukh turned it down. She is sure it is because he thinks she isn’t good enough to compare to Rani yet and angrily confronts him about it. He finally gets riled and says “No, it’s because she isn’t as good as YOU!” And tells her, showing real emotion for the first time, that Anushka is amazing and has more natural charisma and talent in her little finger than Rani could ever hope to have, he himself feels like he is in her shadow, putting her against him and Rani would just make both of them look old and sad. Anushka is thrilled at the compliment and not even sure how to handle it, just says “thank you” and then they both look embarrassed and walk away. The next day on set, things are a little stiff and awkward until Shahrukh gets his nerve up and asks Anushka to come over for dinner that night. She is thrilled and rushes to confess to her friend Sid M that she has been in love with Shahrukh all along, it started as a crush but once she got to know him it became so much more. And now she thinks he cares for her a little too. Sid M listens although his heart is breaking a little bit.
Anushka arrives at Shahrukh’s luxury apartment for dinner, he has candles on the table, and gives her flowers, and it is all very romantic and special. But in the middle of dinner, he starts mentioning something about their film and she starts to doubt that this is a romantic dinner versus a business dinner. It flares up into another fight and she storms out. It could have ended as nothing at all, only the next day while she is getting her hair done, Rani is seated next to her. Rani is charming and offers to move, Anushka of course tells her not to worry, and then Rani starts being gracious and sweet and saying how much she admires Anushka and so on. Before slowly planting seeds of doubt that Shahrukh is just pretending to be in love with her because he confuses a good dance partner with true love. Rani leaves the salon, paying off the receptionist on the way (because this was all her evil plan) and then goes to meet with Sid M at the ad agency and spreads more poison. She tells him how Anushka was upset, how she is so young and sweet, how Rani feels so old and wishes she had gotten married and had a true supportive partner for her career. But what man would support and encourage a talented woman to keep acting? And then she points out that it is starting to rain, which is too bad because Anushka didn’t have a car at the salon and her hair will be ruined.
With both of them worked on by Rani, Sid M rushes to rescue Anushka from the salon with his umbrella. He is so sweet and nice and understanding, and she is so sad and confused, it turns into an impulsive proposal and acceptance. And then they hide under a doorway out of the rain and call their respective families to break the news and make it official. Everyone is happy, and for a moment Anushka and Sid M think it’s all working out too.
But the next day, they have to see Shahrukh, and Anushka begs Sid M. to break the news. Sid M. does, and Shahrukh has to turn away for a moment, then turns back and has a “happy face” on. Anushka is confused and a little hurt that he doesn’t even seem to care she is engaged, so long as she is still working on the movie. Sid M. is a little worried because he senses something.
And then a bunch of other stuff happens that I am not sure about, but I am sure that Sid M is the one who realizes Shahrukh won’t make a move because he feels he is too old and Anushka couldn’t be happy/interested in him, and that Sid M encourages Anushka, and she comes breezing in all happy and confident to Shahrukh’s house to propose so he knows she is really REALLY sure of her feelings.
Summer Stock with Katrina and Ranveer
Original movie is all about Judy! It was a bit of a favor from Gene Kelly to Judy, she helped him out in his first movie, and now she was “fat” and the studio hated her and she was struggling with all the stuff she was struggling with. So Gene Kelly agreed to do a movie with her, and then crafted a plot that boils down to “Judy is so incredibly awesome and amazing that the world has to bend to her talent”. Also, it’s an overall solid story, so long as you have a female lead who can carry off the whole “this person is incredibly awesome” plot.
Our heroine is the big sister who keeps the farm going, while her little sister flails around and tries to be an actress. The little sister brings her new fiance, genius producer, back home and promises him that he can use their farm at no charge for his show. Meanwhile, big sister has an “understanding” with the local boy whose family owns the store and is looking at a long tiring life of keeping the farm going. But as the Show People move in, the producer starts hanging out with our heroine and she starts getting curious about show stuff, and he begins to realize that she is just filled with talent, way more than her try hard little sister. The little sister and the producer have a fight and she runs off in a snit. The producer convinces the big sister that she can be the new star of the show and works with her to make it happen. On opening night, the little sister reappears and big sister finally stands up for herself and demands to live her life and follow her dreams. But, twist! Little sister was just there to cheer her on, she has spent time with the local boy who owns the store and ended up falling in love with him, and maybe she just wants to live at the farm and be happy.
This is just SUCH a Katrina plot, right? Sacrificing, mature, and super talented. And I like Ranveer opposite her, because he’s got a real Gene Kelly kind of energy. Katrina is the responsible one who stays back at the ancient family home, and is engaged to her nice distant relative who has the store. It’s beautiful and pleasant and kind and all of that, but it’s also stressful and lonely. Katrina lives with her grumpy old housekeeper in a big house and works from morning to night. Meanwhile, her little sister keeps writing asking for money because she is trying to make it in Bombay as an actress. Oh oh! And we can cast Isabelle! Her actually little sister as her little sister!
Then out of nowhere, Isabelle lands up with Ranveer, having promised him that he can film his dream movie, starring her, on location in their house with the cast and crew getting free room and board. Ranveer fast talks Katrina into agreeing, and promises her all kinds of money to pay her back once the movie finds a distributor. Katrina agrees, but through being pretty and noble and kind, also gets the nice young Bombay crew to help her out on the farm. They whole crowd goes to the local celebration together, and it turns into a huge dance off, in which Katrina shines. Afterwards, Ranveer talks to her and tells her she has a lot of talent, but she says she doesn’t want it, she just wants her farm. But now it’s in her head, and she starts hanging around a little more, fascinated by what is happening and starting to fall in love with entertainment. Ranveer doesn’t push, just draws her in more and more, explains things, asks her to carry things, makes her part of the team.
And then Isabelle has a big fight with Ranveer because she feels like he doesn’t pay enough attention to her, after she goes to the local store and Kat’s fiance is super nice to her and tells her how beautiful she is. The local store dude happens to be passing and invites her to go with him on a shopping trip into the city, and she impulsively jumps in his truck. Ranveer is stuck behind with no lead. At which point he convinces Katrina that she can save them all, make the movie work, and then save her farm. Instead of teaching her, he just gets out of her way, her natural abilities make doing the movie easy-breezy for her. And she starts to want more than just the farm while at the same time being guilt ridden. Which just reaches it’s peak when she starts to have feelings for Ranveer too. But she resists, even when they have a bunch of handholding “almost kiss” sort of moments. Until she comes upon Ranveer one day looking sort of surprised. She asks him what happened, and he says that he just got a text from Isabelle saying she is marrying someone else and done with him. Katrina starts to sympathize, but Ranveer laughs and says he actually doesn’t even care. And then they sing and dance and fall in love.
Stuff-stuff-stuff, finally big ending! At the movie premiere, Isabelle shows up and Katrina stands up to her, says she is sick of sacrificing everything, it’s her turn, this is what she wants to be happy, a movie career and Ranveer. But Isabelle says that is fine! She has found happiness too, she is married to the shop keeper, they eloped, and he is going to pay off the mortgage on the family home so they can live there together as her wedding present. Katrina goes out for one big triumphal live performance at the premiere, yaaaaaaaaaaaay!