Kunal Kohli locked his script last Saturday and flew off to London to run it through Saif Ali Khan. Khan has been confirmed to play the lead in the modern-day love story about a couple faced with a conflict between love and ambition.
Kohli admits that the character was conceived with Khan in mind. “I’ve done
Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic
(2008), with Saif and interacted with him closely during
(2005) too. We’re like an Old Boy’s Club from Cathedral School, who quote Shakespeare over single malts and bonded over rock music,” he smiles. “I’ve seen him go through marriage, a traumatic break-up, relationships and finally find true love.”
About four months ago, Khan invited Kohli, to Bangalore, where he was performing with the band Parikrama. It was then that they zeroed in on this idea.
Who’s the girl?
Once he gets the nod from Khan, Kohli will finalise his leading lady. The three names rumoured as of now are Priyanka Chopra, Katrina Kaif and Deepika Padukone. “I haven’t even started thinking about the heroine yet,” protests the producer-director. Is Kareena Kapoor in the running too?
“I’ve known Kareena even longer than Saif. We did
Mujhse Dosti Karoge
in 2001. But Saif and she have already done
(2009) together and are working on a third one. Since my film will follow
, I don’t know if we’d want to repeat them,” he reasons, adding that Kapoor’s dates could be a problem too, since she will be busy with Shah Rukh Khan’s
, followed by Dharma Productions’ next with Imran Khan.
But it will be an A-lister who will propagate the message of women’s dignity and self pride. “This film takes the
concept forward by demanding true equality of the sexes. Today, working women are common, but do their men give them the space and respect they deserve?” asks Kohli, admitting that the character is partially inspired by his wife, Raveena, who heads the creative division of Yashraj TV, and has always wanted to be more than the wife of a successful filmmaker.
The serious subject will be presented with a light touch and will have that old world charm, typical of Kohli’s productions. “The
(2006) and Rishi Kapoor’s introduction scene in
with him playing
Main shayar to nahin…
on the piano were memorable. This film will have some old tracks too,” he vows. “However modern Gen X may be, their souls are still Indian.”