In the list of unusual film titles, director Nikhil Advani's forthcoming film Katti Batti, starring Kangana Ranaut and Imran Khan, is sure to find mention somewhere right on top. On his part, though, Advani scoffs at all those who say he could have thought of a different, more conventional name for his film. “We decided on Katti Batti as the title because it was more meaningful and better suited to our film. We’re happy that the first trailer of the film has received such an overwhelming response. It was exactly what we desired,” he says.
Advani adds: “Interestingly, we initially thought that Katti Batti is a term used only in big cities. But our writer, who is from Shahjahanpur, UP, told us that it’s used in small places as well. So we decided to go ahead with it.”
Another thing that riles him, Advani says, are careless accusations from so-called critics that Katti Batti's 'look and feel resembles a few Hollywood hits'. “Some say it looks like 500 Days of Summer. Some others say it appears like Friends With benefits. But let me tell you this: All these are lame excuses. Katti Batti is as original as it can be. In fact, if you ask me then this is the most original script I have ever seen,” defends Advani.
Watch: Katti Batti Trailer
He continues: “Whenever you get a chance to watch this film, you’ll realise that this is something that happened in your neighbourhood. You’ll have a feeling that ‘Aisa toh maine wahan dekha tha.' I promise Katti Batti will give you that feeling of familiarity."
Buoyed by the response the film's first trailer got on YouTube, Advani insists there is "much more to Katti Batti than what you've seen till now". Says he: "You will just have to wait for it. It’s about how things change between people in just one moment despite living together for years.”
When asked if it is a traditional love story, as the trailer suggests, Advani turns philosophical. “Relationships are not only about good things, it’s also about bad things. Sometimes all the crazy madness that you show is not to be together, but to be away from the person you love. Love makes you realise your similarities and differences with your partner.”
Nikhil Advani debuted in direction with Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003).
Is he then banking on Kangana’s new-found stardom? “On the contrary, Imran is the senior one here. Also, take a look at his filmography: he has worked with Vishal Bhardwaj, Dharma Productions, Milan Luthria... Do you still need any proof? But, yes, Kangana Ranaut is a phenomenal actor. She brings into her acts a different perspective. Her background, education, struggle and choices in life define the characters she plays. She brings a world view to her role. It’s like Sachin Tendulkar who can play the same play in ten different ways.”
Katti Batti is scheduled to be released on September 15, 2015.
(Interact with Rohit Vats at Twitter/