Koffee With Karan season 5: Kangana 'schools' Karan; Saif gets in a few zingers
When Koffee With Karan started, what set it apart from any other celebrity chat show, was the equation its host shared with his famous guests.
Karan Johar wasn't an outsider, or an observer or a journalist who was interviewing celebrities; no, the people he had on his couch were his friends and what was promised to the viewer was a camaraderie of the sort they wouldn't find on other chat shows.
The problem of course with having your friends over — even if you happen to be Karan Johar and share a warm equation with pretty much every other person in the film industry (cough, did anyone say Kajol and Ajay Devgn?) — is that you do run out of them sooner or later. And after five seasons, and having repeated a fair number of those famous friends, we suppose even Karan must find himself in a situation where he says, “Who next?”.
The answer, in season 5’s latest episode, is the Rangoon team of Kangana Ranaut and Saif Ali Khan. Their co-star Shahid Kapoor (who has already been on the show this season with wife Mira Rajput) also puts in a cameo at the end.
While Karan tells us that this isn't about promoting a movie, it very clearly is — and it shows. Large swathes of this episode were dull, boring and awkward, presumably a result of the guests and their host not being able to rely on the ease of familiarity that has worked in previous instances.
Here's what happened in this episode, in a nutshell: Kangana schooled Karan, repeatedly. Saif got a few zingers in, but was flat for the most part. Shahid brought in some energy. And Karan seemed almost to suffer from verbal diarrhea, rattling away inanities at his guests to cover up the lack of spontaneity.
Here's a look at how each celebrity performed on the show:
From the moment she walked (nay, sashayed) in, cool and controlled and elegant in a white sheath dress, her mass of curls artfully styled, there was no doubt about what Kangana Ranaut would be like on her maiden Koffee With Karan. She had a very clear idea about the image she was portraying on the show, and the act didn't slip for a moment. She was the serious artiste, the one who placed values above all else and spurned mindless frivolity. And except in some rare instances, she was also a bit boring. For example, when Karan asked her and Saif if either of them had experimented with a member of the same sex, Kangana went into a ramble about a girl who once kissed her. Since, as per the story, the girl declared her love for Kangana the next day, the kiss must have been a whole lot more exciting than Kangana’s telling of it.
What was interesting was seeing her take on Karan — not just accusing him of writing her off when she started off in the industry, but also of being the flagbearer for nepotism. And when Karan simpered and asked Shahid at the end about his steamy scenes with Kangana in Rangoon, and how that had worked out with him being recently married, Kangana scolded her host about making frivolous something they had worked so hard to get right on screen. She constantly had Karan on the back foot — presumably a novel experience for the otherwise quick witted filmmaker.
She finished her KWK turn just as poised as she began it.
Saif Ali Khan
Kangana said of her co-star, he has to be the center of attention wherever he goes. But whether out of chivalry or disinterest, Saif was content to keep the focus firmly on Kangana on his third appearance on the Koffee couch. He spoke in a restrained, sensible way about the controversy surrounding his baby’s name, was diplomatic and ‘nawabi’ in his rapid fire answers and horribly, painfully embarrassing on the subject of sexual preferences. His repeated insistence that a man who kissed another man was gay (but the same didn't hold true for women who kissed other women) seemed to get Karan on edge.
The few laughs in the episode, however, were mostly courtesy Saif. There was a very nicely handled moment when Karan asked him what it was like working with Shahid since they both had ‘history’ in the form of Kareena. Saif replied, “I like history, but this would be medieval!” He then pointed out that Shahid and Kareena’s relationship was long in the past, and both he and Shahid had recently become fathers and there was no awkwardness between them.
He also had a very cheeky quip for when Karan asked him who should wear a t-shirt with the slogan: "Should not be left unsupervised". "Ranveer Singh," Saif replied, flashing that dimpled grin, and making us laugh out loud.
The energy on the sets received a boost when Shahid walked in for the last 5 minutes. He was a good foil to Kangana and Saif, and generally helped the conversation regarding Rangoon move along smoothly.
Any time the host talks more than his guests, it's not possibly a good sign. And there was a lot of that going on, on this episode of Koffee With Karan. After giving Saif a talking to, for his comments about men kissing men being gay, Karan displayed some juvenile behaviour of his own, when he asked Shahid about his ‘sexy scenes’ with Kangana. The question may still have been passed off as funny, except for a wink that he gave Shahid (that we expect was meant to be saucy), which is what set Kangana off.
But, like a Hindi movie, all was well that ended well, and the episode ended with Kangana, Shahid, Saif and Karan posing for selfies and signing coffee mugs.
Key takeaways from this episode:
1. Kangana was called by Aditya Chopra to the Yash Raj Films office, where he congratulated her on her success and apologised for thinking that she wouldn't make the cut when she first entered the industry.
2. Kareena Kapoor tried very hard to convince Saif to take up the role that eventually went to Fawad Khan in Kapoor & Sons. She told him that Shakun Batra (with whom she'd worked in Ek Main Air Ekk Tu) was a marvellous director. However, Saif decided not to take up the role.
3. Shahid can be extremely moody.
And that was pretty much that.
Until next time then.
Watch the episode here.