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It's offbeat time for Kareena

After signing Bhansali's Bajirao Mastani, filmmakers of different kinds seem to be waking up to Kareena's potential.
PTI | By Subhash K Jha (Indo-Asian News Service)
UPDATED ON JUL 28, 2003 08:01 PM IST

It's raining offbeat films for Kareena Kapoor. After signing on the role of the legendary Mastani in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Bajirao Mastani, filmmakers of different kinds seem to be waking up to her potential as an actress.

Deepa Mehta, who's all set to direct Kareena with Rahul Khanna in River Moon from October, also wants her for the role that Waheeda Rehman played in Guru Dutt's Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam.

"I've already decided on Aishwarya Rai for the role Meena Kumari played in Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam. It's Kareena I want for the other protagonist's role. Together they'd be magic, like Dilip Kumar and Raj Kumar in Mehboob Khan's Andaz, explained Deepa.

Whether Kareena would want to be pitted against Aishwarya is debatable. But, the way her career is going suggests she's well on the way and getting the   attention of several filmmakers who wanted to sign Aishwarya.

After Bhansali, it's Rituparno Ghosh who's gone over from Aishwarya to Kareena. Ghosh, whose Bengali film Chokher Bali with Aishwarya in the lead is getting ready for release, has now decided to make a Hindi film with Kareena Kapoor. The decision was taken after he saw Sooraj Barjatya's Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon.

"Something about Kareena immediately caught my attention. I had seen only one other film of hers, Refugee. I immediately tried to fit her in two stories that I had in mind. One was a re-interpretation of the Vijay Anand classic Guide with Kareena in Waheeda Rehman's role, and the other was a well-known Bengali story which I'm making with her," said Ghosh.

He also said, "Kareena is enchanting on screen. Since my other Hindi project with Amitabh Bachchan has been postponed for a while, I've decided to go ahead with my Kareena project immediately."

This is Kareena's latest in a string of offbeat films.

Talking about her offbeat films, Kareenasaid, "I'm working with Govind Nihalani, Deepa Mehta, Rituparno Ghosh and in Anant Balani's Chameli. I'm trying to explore a new sensibility and genre. But it doesn't mean I'm giving up commercial films."

"I love hardcore mainstream cinema. After all I'm Raj Kapoor's granddaughter. My next release, Bewafaa, is fully commercial film and I'm very proud of it."

Other credit details of Ghosh's film are yet to be finalised. The film may star television star and Band Of Boys singer Sudhanshu Pandey. Ghosh is also very keen on Ajay Devgan for the male lead.

Devgan has shown keen interest in working with Ghosh and Kareena. Incidentally, he has become quite a favourite among avant garde directors. Besides Mani Ratnam, he been signed by Aparna Sen for her next film, Gulel. This is her first Hindi film that will also star Saif Ali Khan.

Ghosh, who at one point of time was keen to make Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam with Aishwarya in the lead, has decided to step back and let Deepa Mehta do the needful.

"Let her make the film. Since we both belong to similar schools of filmmaking it would make no sense for both of us to do the same story," said Ghosh.

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