IN DELHI WITH THE CAST OF RAAJNEETI
Prakash Jha, accompanied by Ranbir Kapoor, Katrina Kaif, Arjun Rampal, Nana Patekar and Manoj Bajpai, kick-starts the promotion of the hard-hitting and scathing look at politics, Raajneeti
• PRAKASH JHA’S Raajneeti has taken six years from conception to completion and now that the gruelling shoot, which often saw crowds of 10,000 people converging to hear speeches by the characters, is complete, the cast has gathered in Delhi to begin the promotion of the film with a press conference. Despite the diversity of the cast whose metier might be other type of films, the camarederie between them is obvious.
• THE FUN begins on the flight itself as Arjun Rampal and Manoj Bajpai tease one another mercilessly. Arjun tells us that Manoj cries like a baby on flights when there is turbulence and Manoj reveals how Arjun wanted to show off his new Porche and so offered Manoj a ride home but then summarily dropped him off when he saw the traffic on the way to Manoj’s Lokhandwala home. The Bandra boy (Arjun) couldn’t fathom how people lived there says Manoj. Asked what cars he possessed, Arjun replies casually, “A Porche and a Beemer”. Cool.
• NANA PATEKAR suprises everyone by being there, considering he walked out of the film over a disagreement with Jha. But the two have obviously put their animosity firmly behind them as Jha describes Nana as his pillar of strength who has always been there for him. Nana totally reciprocates and it’s good to know that he will once again be a fixture in Jha’s films.
• PRAKASH JHA firmly puts to rest all rumours that Katrina’s character is based on Sonia Gandhi. He also discounts all stories that this event was not granted permission to be held at a heritage sight because the authorities were concerned they would be drawn into a controversy. He announces that a series of youth rallies will be held all over the country in which the actors will participate and whichever causes would emerge will be taken up.
• RANBIR KAPOOR, who is seriously stepping out of his comfort zone as an actor and is doing his first ensemble film, is all gung ho about it. “I wasn’t in the least bit apprehensive about the fact that I was working with actors who had for so long been part of realistic cinema. I am quite confident of my talent, and I got to learn so much from the talented cast besides being part of a film that everyone believed in. I also got to make friends that I know will be there for a lifetime.” While he says he would never ask a director for a role he also says that if he had seen Raajneeti and had not been in it, he would have called up Prakash Jha to ask why that was so.
• KATRINA KAIF is perhaps most in the limelight for this film because she has not only dubbed in difficult Hindi she has also given a long election speech in one take. Ask her the reference points for this and she admits there were none but she took a lot of cues from what the director told her, sitting up nights to understand the nuances of what she had to say. “I have a very good memory and it served me well.”
• ARJUN RAMPAL is playing one more grey character but he explains, “At the end of the film you will not be able to tell if my character was good or bad or grey. That’s how layered it is.”
• MANOJ BAJPAI , who is almost making a comeback with this film (he was also in Acid Factory and Jail, but neither made any impact), is emotional. “Prakash Jha and I share our hometown,” he says, “and I always wondered why he didn’t offer me a film. Now I know why. He was waiting to offer me Raajneeti.” From all accounts a dialogue of Manoj’s “Karara jawaab milega” is set to become a fashionable slogan after the film releases.
• EVERYONE IS all praise for the city and the people of Bhopal for all the facilities and love offered. Prakash Jha tells us, “We shot in heritage sights, schools, colleges, people’s homes and every which place, and did not cancel a day’s shoot. We had planned for 103 days and completed the film in 103 days.”
• KATRINA KAIF and Ranbir Kapoor burst into peals of laughter when asked if they are looking to expand their audience with Raajneeti. Katrina, who has had a string of successes, says, “Even if those who have seen all my films so far come to watch Raajneeti, I will be very happy.” Ranbir echoes her by hoping for the same. Obviously, these two have no fears whatsoever for Raajneeti, a fact that should make Prakash Jha very very happy.
• WITH RAAJNEETI, Prakash Jha hopes to take the ‘dirty’ out of ‘dirty politics’. He explains that more than a political film, Raajneeti is a family drama with plenty of the politics that members of families play. “And this will be the reason everyone will identify with it. It is not just a serious political drama, comedy and romance is inherent in the story and everyone will find at least one track that they can empathise with.”
Ranbir embarrassed by Nana Patekar’s comment
Katrina also seemed surprised by what he said at an event for ‘Rajneeti’
Both of them call a spade a spade and don't care for the repercussions. But Ranbir Kapoor did not foresee that Nana Patekar's blunt speak could cause him public embarrassment.
During a public event for their forthcoming film ‘Rajneeti’ in Delhi on some days ago, Nana declared in front of media persons that Ranbir had no faith in the last film that starred him and Katrina Kaif – ‘Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani’.
For a minute there was a stunned silence among the stars of ‘Rajneeti’, especially Katrina, who tried not to look embarrassed.
"Yes this incident did happen. A media person asked Nana if he feels 'Rajneeti' would be a success. Nana rightly replied there's no predicting the box office. That Ranbir had no faith in 'Ajab Prem...' which was such a success. You know how Nana is. He speaks from the heart," says the upcoming film's director Prakash Jha.
During their long schedule in Bhopal, Nana and Ranbir had many meals together, to which no other member of the crew was invited, and discussed all things cinema - from Raj Kapoor to Mehul Kumar.
IN DELHI WITH THE CAST OF RAAJNEETI
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