And Ranbir signed on

Not very long ago, media was abuzz with reports about Mani Ratnam roping in Ranbir Kapoor for Raavana. As we discovered, that wasn’t happening.

But now, after three projects with Abhishek Bachchan, Mani is all set to direct Ranbir. Rensil D’Silva has penned a film about an upwardly-mobile young Indian’s search for his bearings in London. And it will be this young man that Ranbir will play.

To be shot entirely in London, the currently untitled film is about the cultural and emotional confusion Ranbir’s NRI character will face.

Says Rensil, who has also written Raavana for Mani, “This is the third film I’ve written for Mani. The other was Lajjo (the Aamir Khan-Kareena Kapoor project that’s been sidelined for now).

Ranbir was one of the names short-listed for the film, and yes, I think he’s on.” This is Mani’s first shoot outside India, will go on the floors sometime in the middle of 2009.

With Raavana nearing completion, Rensil is quite excited. “Mani is a great visionary and it’s always a pleasure to work with him. When I did Raavana the whole idea was to flip the moral issue.

To see Raavana not as the traditional mythological villain of the Ramayana, but as a scholarly and sensitive, yet a wounded individual.”

We ask Rensil if he’s expecting a backlash from the audience for such a revolutionary interpretation of the greatest villain of all times.

He answers, “When I wrote Rang De Basanti, I was told the idea was too revolutionary. But it worked, didn’t it? I strongly believe we need to push the envelope.”

Source: http://www.mumbaimirror.com/article/30/20081228200812280207466151fac3794/And-Ranbir-signed-on

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24 Comments

  1. rohitkarnbatra said:

    I think so neelu. I think Raavana will be AB/Mani’s last collaboration.

    Incidentally, I think Raavana will be a good film – the concept sounds exciting.

  2. utkal said:

    It is good to see mani working on films written by a young writer like Renil. I think infusion of fresh ideas will create exciting results.

  3. rohitkarnbatra said:

    Exactly Utkal. Also I think that ARR’s music will be fresher here too.

    I’m glad he want away from Anurag Kashyap – change is good.

  4. Arun said:

    Mani is a great visionary and it’s always a pleasure to work with him. When I did Raavana the whole idea was to flip the moral issue.

    Sounds exciting!

  5. Qalandar said:

    It is not only “new” but also “traditional”, in the sense that there is a tradition among Southern Indian Ramayanas of a more sympathetic portrayal of Raavana — and this combo of old and new is great to see!

  6. satyam said:

    I am bit skeptical about this story! If Rathnam’s doing this he’d be beginning a film right as soon as he finished the current bilingual. Would be a little odd for him. Let’s see what happens. The Abhishek/Rathnam deal is a permanent one as far as I can tell. But let’s see if this film actually begins. Lajjo seemed a certain deal at one point. I would be interested in confirmation of this elsewhere. This is only the Mumbai Mirror! The same source that has had multiple articles on RNBDJ not doing too well!

  7. satyam said:

    Incidentally the media went on forever that Abhishek was ‘Ram’ in the current film. Every media source imaginable carried this story. It was false. Then there was the D6 fiasco. Of course Abhishek is now in Mehra’s next film also!

    This is not to suggest that Rathnam couldn’t do a film with another actor. He was after all planning to do Lajjo. But I would just prefer confirmation on this and wait for the film to roll!

  8. satyam said:

    Of course one also notes with some amusement this Abhishek/Ranbir double that the media sometimes creates and the partisans on this forum create more often! It’s the SRK partisans who are mysteriously the biggest Ranbir fans! Allow me to be a little skeptical! leaving this aside the idea that Ranbir is competing with Abhishek (could there be two more opposite types?!) is probably absurd to anyone who uses a brain not just as a biological necessity!

    The real double in this sense is Abhishek/Hrithik. For many reasons. One ‘fantasmically’ completes the other. These two are completely ‘unlike’ also but twinned by reasons of birth/origin and of course in other senses. Abhishek is what the passionate Hrithik admirer is most uneasy about much as Aamir similarly disturbs the SRK fan the most. But these two sometimes cross over. Not too many Hrithik fans (in the sense of partisans) love Aamir; similarly not many SRK partisans have any love for Abhishek to put it kindly!

    Even in the most partisan debates, even in the most seemingly mindless discussions something serious is always revealed.

  9. Julie said:

    This if happens would be definitley something I would look forward to.

    It is with sheer amusement one notes the partisan fans of Abhishek firing missiles once again and the target always seems to be the SRK and Hritik fans when in this instance specifically it is Mani’s own decision if this news has any element of truth. That Abhishek fantastimically completes Hritik is a mere wishful thinking again by partisan fans of the former. They have been living in a dreamland since Hritik walked away with all the accolade in D2 and Abhi Baby just looked on and defaced all their efforts in obstructing JA’s fate at the BO. If you can’t ventilate anger in other ways, then start hitting out at fans. The immediate retort by such partisans is well err “what about MPKD” then the response is you don’t have to look any further than the latest mishap yet again of AB junior “Drona”(a Krrish wannabee).

  10. satyam said:

    Julie: With all due respect I have never been part of an Abhishek fan club…!

    It is the uses to which any story is put that matters. Not just the story itself. Much as it is the uses to which the box office is put. One of course always ‘denies’ things.. but behind the denials lie extraordinary affirmations..!

  11. satyam said:

    My reading of Bollywood cinema, my understanding of the medium, and all ‘predictions’ that I base on such has never really depended on the ‘obvious’ in any pedestrian sense of the term. For example I am not surprised by the Ghajini opening because I always thought Aamir enough of a star to be able to put up openings better or on par with the very best if he attempted the right subject. I think I’ve been arguing this forever when many here though I was overdoing things. So ‘after the fact’ it’s easy to say any number of things but that’s not exactly analysis. Whether it is stars or films I like or not I am never interested in these sorts of pedestrian statements. At the same time (I cannot argue this for most of the people who’ve tussled with me) I have never said things I don’t sincerely believe in no matter how much I am provoked. I should also say this aabout the opposition. People have a habit of saying exactly the same things about stars no matter what phase the star is going through. So those who were knocking Abhishek after JBJ or Drona or what have you were actually saying the very same things after Guru! The only difference was that at that time they weren’t willing to accept Guru was a success or even if it was that it meant anything and so forth. When he actually failed this excuse was no longer needed! Similarly whether it’s Hrithik post-MPDKH or post D2/Krrish the very same things are said. SRK could be post KANK or post CDI/OSO. Again the very same stuff. Akshay was ‘denied’ for the longest time till he got enough hits to make the whole point absurd! Much as Aamir after Ghajini makes any questioning of his stardom a little idiotic. So it’s not as if one has been very neutral otherwise! Again anecdotal stuff is brought up not as an analytic tool but in denial of the box office. Inconvenient bits of evidence are ignored or denied. So on and so forth. People who do this stuff don’t realize how easily they reveal themselves. For example with all the people I’ve argued with over the years I can tell fairly easily how sincere each argument is, how much one ‘debater’ or the the other is trying to ‘repress’ things, how much the propaganda is sincerely believed. Etc etc etc. I’ve said this from the very beginning. People don’t get mad at me because I say things they don’t like. They get mad because they recognize at the very least a kernel of truth. There’s no point in denying all of this. The reactions say it all!

  12. johnnybrutal said:

    “With all due respect I have never been part of an Abhishek fan club…!”

    Finally the truth, it’s always been the fanatic club

  13. satyam said:

    Johnnybrutal: Yes I concede I am a fanatic who did not want RNBDJ ‘not screened’ in Pakistan when many of the folks you would find common cause with were suggesting exactly this!

    The ‘Abhishek fan club’ reference is a bit of sarcasm on my part that certain folks here will understand.

  14. imgr8 said:

    Ranbir confirmed this in May and I can assure you that he will stay on in this movie till its release :P WHy is their always an agenda? All RK fans have to be SRK fans and then they have to hate on Abhishek, where does that evolve from? Are they even competition? Isnt Abhishek a senior to Ranbir by almost 7 years and hence should have a much stronger position in the film industry and the audience than Ranbir? Why are Abhishek fans threatened by every other actor in this industry? dont you even have an iota of faith in your star? and why is every single director that has worked with Abhishek suppose to repeat him and if he doesnt, then its a plot hatched by the jealous fans of some other actor. I would just like to say to Abhishek fans, brace yourselves, there are tough times ahead :)

  15. A C H I L L E S said:

    Abhishek without Ratnam is a scary thought! Cant blame anyone who likes Abhi to be least enthusiastic on this news.

  16. Qalandar said:

    I’ll always look forward to a Rathnam film, whether Abhishek is in it or Ranbir is.

    imgr8: initially media reports had said that Ranbir was in Rathnam’s next film, and mumbai mirror or mid-day had even purported to quote him to that effect — but then Rathnam started “Raavan”; so is this a different film with Ranbir, or was he always supposed to do this one? The story seems interesting (albeit with a “Namesake”-hangover perhaps); as I had said with Laajo, it is an odd subject for Rathnam to undertake.

    My own hunch: there might well be a Rathnam/Ranbir film, but I suspect it won’t be this story.

  17. imgr8 said:

    No he was always supposed to do this one and it was supposed to start after he finished shooting for Shimit Amin’s movie. The MM and Mid-day reports confused this one with Ravan.

  18. Qalandar said:

    I see, thanks. Ranbir has got a pretty good line-up of projects; it is good to see him trying to do work that hopefully ensures his development as an actor rather than do a string of Bachna Ae Haseenon-types of films with Yash Raj etc.

  19. satyam said:

    Imgr8: you’ve probably missed some of the politics on Abhishek/Ranbir by some esteemed members here! Some of it is on display on this very thread!

    I would always wait for any Rathnam movie.. I am with Qalandar on this! By the way Rathnam was supposed to do Lajjo with Aamir after Guru. It was all set. Then things changed. I didn’t have a problem with that either! I do agree with Qalandar that this is an odd subject for Rathnam at this stage of his career.

    In any case will wait for this film to actually roll..

  20. satyam said:

    Incidentally Imgr8, I was I believe defending Ranbir when Saawariya was releasing and some here suggested he looked ‘gay’. And made all kinds of jokes about him. One of the counter-arguments I offered was that hrithik and Abhishek had both won gay icon awards! I can pull up that thread. I spent a fair bit of time arguing this.

    As I forever tell people here when I make comments I am very clear to separate my views on the ‘thing itself’ from those where I am addressing the politics of some folks here. I’ve done this with many stars.

    Rathnam doing a film with Ranbir isn’t odd. I just find it surprising that he’s willing to do them back to back since he normally doesn’t do this. With Abhishek he has three films already. Between Yuva and Guru there were 2.5 years, between Guru and the current film it will probably be the same gap. So even when he wasn’t doing films with other actors there was a gap. Because a director doesn’t start things right away but also the star also has other projects. So Abhishek for example has the Rohan film right after the Rathnam one, there’s the Balki film at some point. There’s another Mehra film but not sure when this begins.

    But to the extent that people start suggesting in rather silly fashion that Rathnam’s dropping Abhishek or whatever that’s what I’m addressing. If Rathnam does a film with Ranbir it doesn’t mean very much to me as far as the Rathnam/Abhishek history is concerned. Much as when Rathnam was planning Lajjo with Aamir I always knew that there would be an Abhishek project eventually on the cards.

    By the way I don’t believe competition does or does not exist based on ‘seniority’. That is irrelevant for the most part. What matters is the kind of persona a star has and whether this can be easily substituted by the competitors. So on and so forth.

    Having said all of this, and since your comment goes in my view beyond the bounds of an ‘impersonal’ response (it’s amply clear from my comment that the politics of others is being addressed, beyond this I had some doubts about the film and storyline and still do), I should say that you are hardly ‘neutral’ when it comes to Ranbir!

  21. imgr8 said:

    When did I ever say I was neutral on RK? I am as biased a fan as they come and I am proud to be his fan but I am not insecure like some others. If he gives a flop, I am willing to accept it and if he works or doesnt work with someone, I am willing to accept that too. Did you see Saif fans questioning why Siddharth Anand was not working with him in BAH? Mani film might or might not happen, but to say that there is no possible way that this could happen because Mani has an “understanding” with Abhishek and then coming up with support points is a bit OTT and insecure I think. Just wait and see what comes out of it :)

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