A year ago, at the trailer launch of Abhishek Kapoor's Udta Punjab, Shahid Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor Khan shared the same stage for the first time years after their breakup. While they were not paired with each other, they chose to share the platform to promote their film.
However, there was a palpably uneasy equation between them. They even got Alia Bhatt to stand in between, so as to deviate the media attention from their 'reunion' and have them focus on the larger issue at hand - the film. When asked, they ruled out the possibility of them joining forces for the sequel of their popular 2007 Imtiaz Ali romantic comedy Jab We Met.
But this is probably because they belong to the older crop of actors. Popular onscreen couples from past generations like Amitabh Bachchan-Rekha, Sanjay Dutt-Madhuri Dixit and Salman Khan-Aishwarya Rai Bachchan have never reunited after their real life breakups.
The new generation has a different story to tell.
They are willing to keep aside their differences to collaborate in films, even in romantically paired roles, not only because they are professionals but also because they know how to attract the media eye by playing to their headlines.
The latest to join this bandwagon, quite successfully, are Katrina Kaif and Ranbir Kapoor. They were in a five year relationship that began while they were filming Rajkumar Santoshi's 2009 romantic comedy Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani. However, they decided to part ways while they were shooting for their third film together, Anurag Basu's upcoming action comedy adventure Jagga Jasoos.
The rumour mill went abuzz with the film encountering delays as a result of Ranbir and Katrina's lack of cooperation during the shooting. But during the promotions, Basu clarified that the reason behind the delay was that it is a musical with 29 songs and that the music composer Pritam is a busy man.
However, the rumours of Ranbir and Katrina not getting along continued to float even after the two reshot portions of the film and shared promotional platforms. In an MTV interview that went viral, Ranbir was blamed for mansplaining Katrina as he interrupted his co-actor at multiple junctures in the interview, much to her annoyance.
Giving it back to him, Katrina also kept taking digs at Ranbir about how he keeps schooling him, how she had to tone down her dance to project Ranbir at par and how she predicted that his critically acclaimed film, Shimit Amin's 2009 comedy Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year, was destined to be a flop.
In a recent interview, Katrina said that she has had a 'tu tu main mainrelationship', marked by constant leg pulling and one upsmanship, at work right from the onset. But their demeanour and body language during the promotions of their second film, Prakash Jha's 2010 political drama Rajneeti, were a far cry from what they appear to be now.
It all seemed a bit rehearsed.
This frivolous and forced act of being at odds with each other comes across as a publicity stunt to garner traction heading towards the release of the film.
After all, both Katrina and Ranbir have previously collaborated with their respective exes, Salman Khan (in Kabir Khan's 2012 action thriller Ek Tha Tiger) and Deepika Padukone (in Ayan Mukerji's Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani) without much hullabaloo.
However, they should be cautioned that this stunt could actually backfire as it could take away from the film at large. The songs and the trailers have set the pace for what is likely to be a feel-good film that boasts of a fresh treatment.
The last time the differences between the lead actors made more headlines than the film itself was when Vishal Bhardwaj's period drama Rangoon released earlier this year. Kangana Ranaut and Shahid Kapoor firing shots at each other during the promotions, coupled with Ranaut's pipebomb on Karan Johar being the 'flag-bearer of nepotism', diverted the media narrative to such an extent that viewers were unaware of what the film aimed to address.
They presumed it to be a romantic drama but when it turned out to be a war film, they were left disappointed. Consequently, Rangoon tanked at the box office.
In order to prevent Jagga Jasoos from suffering the same fate, the PR machinery of Jagga Jasoos need to shift the focus from Ranbir-Katrina's bittersweet camaraderie to what they have invested four years of energy, time and money in - the film itself.
Ranbir and Katrina's affair has already gone down into the history books in the form of countless gossip columns but only a good film can ensure Jagga Jasoos a place in the film archives.
Published Date: Jul 01, 2017 04:55 pm | Updated Date: Jul 01, 2017 04:55 pm