Kunal kohli and his excitement with Kajol and Aamir!
Kunal Kohli is on cloud nine. In the silver jubilee week of his first slice of success, Hum Tum, Bollywood is abuzz about the casting coup that he has pulled off. Getting the ever-so-choosy Aamir Khan to sign up while two of his films are already on the floors is no mean feat. Add to that cajoling Kajol, ‘retired’ since marriage to Ajay Devgan, back before the camera, and you know what the fuss is all about.
“It’s a dream cast. I cannot but be happy,” Kohli laughs. Speaking of his unnamed venture, Kohli says it would be a love story, but not in the Hum Tum mould. “With basic emotions, one can never go wrong. Only the treatment has to be in tune with the times,” he says about his preference for romance.
For his third Yash Raj Pictures film — after Mujhse Dosti Karoge and Hum Tum —Kohli is working with a new cast. “I write all my roles with Aamir Khan in mind,” he reveals. “He was my first choice for Hum Tum as well. As for the female part, Kajol fitted the role much better than Rani would.”
Kohli has been an Aamir fan since Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak. “He is such a fantastic actor that you tend to remember the names of the characters he plays — Raj in QSQT, ACP Rathore in Sarfarosh, Munna in Rangeela, Bhuvan in Lagaan…” he rattles off.
But it is for Kajol that Kohli has a more staggering certificate. “She is in the same classical league as Nutan, Nargis and Madhubala,” he says, citing a scene in Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham where Amitabh and Shah Rukh Khan are engaged in a verbal crossfire. “At the end of their showdown, she says ‘Humne babuji ka ashirvaad nahin liya’. With that one line, she steals the entire scene. That is the mark of a great actress.” Kajol, in Kohli’s view, also stands out from among the current crop. “She doesn’t need designer clothes, nor does she expose. Like Rekha, you don’t remember what she wore, only how she looked. Her face does the talking.”
Kohli, however, is unwilling to call his film Kajol’s return-from-retirement vehicle. “She never said she was retiring. Why should she? She is younger than Aishwarya!” Also, according to Kohli, Kajol just might do another film before his production gets rolling. “She has the time. We are not starting to shoot before July-August.” Before that, Kohli has kept a month for script sessions with his lead stars.
And no, the Khan, who is sporting long hair and majestic moustache now, would not be landing on Kohli’s sets looking for a barber. “He is shooting for (Rakesh Aks Mehra’s) Rang De Basanti before that. So he will have snipped off his locks. In my film, he will have a totally different look than in The Rising.” Kohli insists it is the script that decides the look of a character and not the need for publicity. “Saif, for instance, had three different looks in Hum Tum. That’s what was needed.”
The script this time is being written by Shabani Bathija, but Kohli has kept the dialogues for himself. Those who remember Saif’s one-liners in Hum Tum would know why.