Imran Khan, who is currently honeymooning with wife Avantika, is elated over Delhi Belly’s phenomenal success. He admits that they had initially planned it for the festival circuit and had not even intended to release it in India. Even later, they’d anticipated only a limited release and a niche audience.
“The fact that it was an ‘adult’ film anyway kept 40 per cent of the viewers out,” he points out. “But the kind of business it’s done is staggering. It has outperformed everything I’ve done before and taught me to never dumb down films for the audience. They can always surprise you and have to be treated with utmost respect.”
Prod him on the sequel that’s reportedly titled Disco Fighter with Aamir joining the trio of Imran, Kunal Kapur and Vir Das, and he says, “I haven’t been contacted on this yet. But if the idea is good, I hope I am part of it.”
For now, Imran is gearing up for another release, Yash Raj Films’ Mere Brother Ki Dulhan, co-starring Katrina Kaif and Ali Zafar. He insists that the movie is as different from Delhi Belly as it can get: “Delhi Belly was more experimental and underplayed. Mere Brother Ki Dulhan is in the classic Hindi movie with the volume turned up. It has a slightly off, tongue-in-cheek humour that borrows from films like Chupke Chupke (1975) and Andaz Apna Apna (1994).”
Rutvik too is nothing like Tashi. Explains Imran, “He’s a small town, middle-class boy… Short, neat hair, slight stubble and dressed in the uniform of the average 20-30 age bracket — jeans, checked shirt and canvas shoes. Several youngsters will look at him and say, ‘That’s me!’”
He, however, admits that he has little in common with Rutvik. His character is more like writer-director, Ali Abbas Zafar. “Ali, who’s from Dehradun, put a lot of himself into the character. I realised quite early that to understand Rutvik, I’d have to understand Ali. He was a great role model,” laughs Imran.
Imran, who does a take-off on Aamir, Shah Rukh and Salman in the title track talks about them:
* Aamir: ‘Mamu’ (uncle) is a perfectionist even when lip syncing a song. When someone like Aamir is singing a song, you actually believe it’s him. I picked up a lot just watching how his lips move.
When he actually sang on screen, he was just perfect. I saw Ghulam (1998) when I was about 14. I don’t remember much of the movie but I remember, ‘Aati kya Khandala…’ I’d keep hearing it!
* Shah Rukh: He inspires me with the life and energy he brings to his work. Whatever Shah Rukh does, he gives it his 100 per cent and leaves it crackling with his electricity!
I saw Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge (1995) at a trial show. I was one then and had gone with my mom and ‘mamu’. Adi (director Aditya Chopra) was there too. The first half was set in Europe and I was entranced. I remember saying, “This is the first cool Hindi film I’ve seen.” It still is.
* Salman: He’s the textbook role model of how to be a star. He’s been through so many ups and downs in his career but his fans love him without reservation. ‘Bhai ka film hai, dekhni to padegi’ (It is Salman’s film, we will have to see it), you hear that every time. No other actor can boast of such a loyal fan base!
I watched Dabangg at a 50-seater theatre, Ketnav with Salman bhai, his family and some friends. Every time he came on screen, everyone would clap and whistle. It’s not something that regularly happens at trial shows. But Dabangg wasn’t any movie. I knew the first time I saw it that it would be a blockbuster. It was!