Imran Khan & Kareena Kapoor in ‘Gori Tere Pyaar Mein’
Oh, the things people do for love! In his latest film, ‘Gori Tere Pyaar Mein’, dashing city slicker Imran Khan abandons urban comforts to pursue his love, Dia, a social activist played by Kareena Kapoor, in the remote wilds of Jhumli, a small village. Recently the star was in New York and chatted with Lassi with Lavina about this new romantic comedy which is being released on November 22.
“Punit, the director, is very, very clear in his intentions,” said Imran during a quick interview at his hotel. ” His intent is to make a fun movie that people should laugh, people should enjoy while they are watching it. He wants to have the kind of songs that make people sing along, make people dance, and you should walk out at the end of it feeling that you have not wasted your time and you have not wasted your money. It is that simple!”
A Film by Karan Johar & Punit Malhotra
The film is produced by Karan Johar, directed by Punit Malhotra and stars Imran Khan and Karishma Kapoor – ideal ingredients for a fun fest. There are some interesting real life connections too – Punit Malhotra, whose directorial debut was ‘I hate Luv Storys’ is the nephew of Manish Malhotra, and the costumes in this film have been designed by Manish Malhotra, who is the inspiration behind so many Bollywood style trends.
So is this like a ‘real’ rural India or is it a fun kind of over-the-top India? Ask Imran Khan and he says, “It is obviously a little over-the -top, but we have treated it in a very honest way. There is a tendency to romanticize the heartland of India and to be fair, it is our fault. When we make films, sometimes we will make it in a way that we show the beauty, the poetry of our culture and the reality is if you take an urban guy, a cool young guy from the city and drop him in the middle of the village he will not look at it in a romantic way!”
Romancing Rural India in Bollywood
We do tend to romanticize the village life in our movies, with village women with their pots on their heads in pristine surroundings where the Shehar ka Babu sings and dances with the village lovelies in mustard fields and nearby mountains. In ‘Gori Tere Pyaar Mein’, Imran plays Sriram, an architect who just wants to have some fun in life. The love of his life, Dia, a social activist, has other ideas – and love takes him in hot pursuit of her to the village where she’s working.
” It is dirty, it is messed up, and we have treated it in that way, where this selfish bratty city boy is dropped into the middle of a village and he hates it,” explains Imran. “He doesn’t understand the culture, he hates the food, he cannot figure out pani kaha se lekar aaye, why this rooster is crowing in the morning. He is trying to sleep on a khatiya, all of this – he is just not able to adapt. So we have treated it in a very real way.”
Well sounds like a lot of fun, as long as WE are all sitting in the comfort of our cushy seats in the air-conditioned auditorium, watching all this chaos happening on the big screen!
Meanwhile here’s a taste of the joys of village life a la Imran Khan and Kareena Kapoor. As you can see, our Bollywood villagers are a coool lot – it’s not all about herding sheep, milking cows or clearing nettles from fields. The villagers of Jhumli, like the rest of Indians, must have some frenetic dance numbers like this one – ‘Chingham Chabake’.
Six Questions for Imran about the Film World
Q: You have films like ‘Delhi Belly’ and ‘Matru ki Bijli Ka Mandola’ which are pretty offbeat, but then they also seem to give you all those roles of really romantic chocolaty guys, so is there a conflict? Is there something that you want to do and you haven’t had a chance to do?
A: Sometimes it is a little tricky because of the way that I look to fit into some roles. Matru was a little difficult for me to fit in, just because I look a certain way. And as an actor you don’t want to have those restrictions, what you really want to is to be a comedian, you want to be able to fit into anything and sometimes it is harder than one would like.
Q: So is there any one particular role that you haven’t been offered yet and you would like to do?
A: I have never thought of that really, because there are roles that have been offered which I would have never thought of. I would have never thought of Matru. I mean, who in their right mind would come to me and say I want you to play a Haryanvi Jat who lives in the Mandola gaon in Haryana and speaks in Haryanvi. I have never been to Haryana in my life, I have never heard the Haryanvi language.
Q: So it was really creative casting in a way.
A: Yeah, but I was very excited with it. So personally I would never have thought of such a role for myself, yet it came to me, I got to do it.
Q: Do you think ever of producing your own movies to get the kind of roles you really want?
A: Yes of course, I think more and more actors are turning to production because it gives you a certain degree of creative control over what you do. The sad fact is that actors – okay may be not sad – the reality is that actors get all of the accolades and all of the blame.
Q: That’s so true.
A: And it is not really in my hands. Now I do a film, all that I can control is my performance, beyond that the director is the guy making the film, but if the film is bad I take the blame, if the film is a hit I get all the celebration as well, very good.
Q: And it is also pretty unequal – except for a few actresses, most of them don’t get the same kind of stage time or even the money.
A: In the past few years it has started to improve. With films like ‘Heroine’, ‘Kahani’, ‘Fashion’, of late we have started to get a lot better. But the fact is that we are still at a point where women are not given really juicy, meaty roles. It is changing. It is slow but it is changing.