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Love Aaj Kal Clocked 12 Years 



Though Subhash K Jha Loved Love Aaj Kal , There Are  Questions About The  Film That have  haunted Him For 12  Years.

He Now Asks Director Imitiaz Ali Those questions As Love Aaj Kal Clocked 12  Years  On July 31

  1. Why  ,oh why,  was Saif Ali Khan  cast as the younger avatar  of  Rishi Kapoor?And why were  both cast as Sikhs? Oh I get  it, Diljit Dosanjh hadn’t  made his appearance on  the scene  back then. That explains the  fake turban look for  the two actors. But I still don’t know  why they were cast as  the same character since they don’t look anything like each other. In fact Saif was  much taller . Imtiaz Ali’s other  favourite Ranbir and  Rishi   playing the same  character  would have made  some  sense,though even they didn’t look like one  another. But why Saif and Rishi?I asked this question from SaifRishi  and Imtiaz back then when the film released . I got no  answer.
  2. Why Deepika Padukone? Why not Kareena  Kapoor as  Saif’s  mercurial  love interest MeeraKareena and   Imtiaz  Ali had worked wonders  together  in Jab We Met,and Kareena  was  very keen to  do Love Aaj KalImtiaz  instead went to Saif, leaving  Kareena fuming  and  stranded. Love Aaj Kal  was  a turning point  in  Deepika’s career.To her credit Kareena  admitted  to me  that Deepika “was  born to play Meera” after the  film’s release
  3. Why  Brazilian  model   Giselli Monteiro as  Saif Ali Khan’s Sardarni  love interest in the  flashbacks?  Giselli  knew as  much about  Punjabiyat as Meryl Streep knows  about the Upanishads.   Giselle is a Brazilian model Giselle Monteiro who couldn’t speak Hindi or dance to save her life. Why a Brazilian girl to play an old-fashioned Punjabi girl? Well, Imtiaz was auditioning girls from all over the country to play the Punjabi girl opposite the Sikh version  of SaifImtiaz  couldn’t find the right girl to play the 1965 ki ‘gali mein rehne wali ladkipurane zamane ki’. Giselle had walked into Imtiaz Ali’s office to play another part.Giselle came to him  through dress designer Anaita Shroff. She was to play Jo, Saif’s Caucasian girlfriend in the second-half. She wasn’t right for Jo. But Imtiaz’s  wife(now separated), who was there, suggested Giselle for HarleenImtiaz told me he turned and looked at Giselle and realised she is Brazil’s Harleen. She didn’t know how to speak Hindi. But she had only two lines to speak, which the director dubbed. Later Imtiaz made  the same blunder when  he cast   Nargis  Fakhri  as Ranbir’s Paro  in the neoDevdas RockstarNargis laughingly told me  that  the dialogues  in Rockstar  could  have been in Chinese for all she knew. Ranbir told me  just before the  film’s release that Nargis deserved  the  National award  for Rockstar.Was he being sarcastic? With Ranbir,you never know.
  4. Neetu Singh Kapoor made an appearance at the end  of  film as Harleen KaurRishi Kapoor’s  beloved wife.Which meant Giselli Monteiro played the younger version of Neetu. The two are as similar as  Katrina  Kaif and Vidya Balan.  This  was Neetuji’s first screen appearance with Rishi Kapoor after 29 years   since  Dhan Daulat  in  1980. She had  just one  shot with Rishi. Who brings one  of   Bollywood’s most romantic screen pairs  together  after so many years  for just one shot? Kabhi kabhie,khel khel mein  aisa hota hai.
  5. On  release  Imtiaz   saw Love Aaj Kal   with the audience at the iconic  Regal theatre in Mumbai (now closed).Regal, you’ve to understand, is a movie monument in MumbaiImtiaz  used to watch the best films wide-eyed in this theatre. Imtiaz had brought along his closest friends from his student days who had been specially invited from different corners of the country to share the ‘Regal’ experience.Imtiaz said: “There was Joy who makes ad films, Avi who’s in telecommunications, Anil who’s the COO of an ad agency and Rakesh a video maker from Canada. We savoured the film at Regal and then drank ourselves silly all night. My other long standing buddies are Nassif from Assam and Jaggu from Imphal. They couldn’t join us at Regal. They are my reality check. Instead of praising my film they kept bullying me. ‘Tu apne aap ko bahut bada director samajhta hai?We had all come to Mumbai from various cities to study at the Xavier Institute Of Communications. We were in hostel for a year. Then bunched together and lived in a flat in Parel for two years.”     Did  these  no-bullshit friends ask Imtiaz  why Saif  played  the younger version   of  Rishi Kapoor?
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