A DRAMATIC middle-class Punjabi family which gets together to fulfil the last wish of their livewire grandfather, Kapoor and Sons, says its actors, is nowhere close to being a ‘quirky or dysfunctional family’. “Our director Shakun Batra would throw a fit if he heard the word dysfunctional,” says Fawad Khan, as he, along with Alia Bhatt and Sidharth Malhotra stopped by the city to promote their film that releases this March 18.
A dramedy that comes with its fair share of chaos, humour, tragedy, secrets and misunderstandings, it was the element of reality of a regular family that made the actors sign up for Kapoor and Sons.
While Bhatt plays a ‘well- graphed interactive, girl next-door Tia Malik who believes in pleasures of life and doesn’t have a stagnant scene in the film’, Malhotra pulls off wannabe writer Arjun Kapoor, who is ‘goofy, funny, light-hearted and a dreamer’. For Khan, who plays Malhotra’s estranged brother Rahul Kapoor, it was ‘greyness of each character that drew him to the script’. “Usually, family dramas are inhibited, rehearsed and controlled. But here is a family that is as real as it gets. Kapoor and Sons doesn’t hit a plateau for it has such mercurial madness and energy,” says Khan.
Sharing an electric chemistry, the three gladly crooned Buddhu Sa Mann. And while Bhatt quite coolly gave it off to a scribe who teased her whether she knew the capital of Punjab, livewires Khan and Malhotra literally swept the girls of Khalsa College in Sector 26 off their feet with their performance. Malhotra goes on to tease Khan how he is a hit with ‘mature ladies too’. “Mature minded, for age is just a number,” smiles Khan, flattered by the attention. Even Bhatt compliments his ‘emotive, expressive eyes’.
His second film after Khoobsurat, Khan, who will romance Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in Aye Dil Hai Mushkil, gives full credit to television, especially Zindagi here for making him a household name. “When I joined computers in college, I realised this was a place for theta (genius), and I was a siphar (zero). That’s when I discovered the guitar, taught myself music and dived in the world of performing arts,” says Khan, making the most of his Indian innings and looking forward to another project in Pakistan. “Cinema in Pakistan has grown immensely. In next two years, there will be 400 theatres from current 150 and more people are joining in. Look at Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy from Pakistan who has won two Oscars. I would definitely love to be part of issue-based features like those irrespective of what my audiences or critics say,” says Khan, evolving to adapt to Indian industry.
Like Malhotra, Khan too would love to do a negative character. “Or a superhero,” adds Malhotra who feels the definition of a hero on celluloid has changed. “He is a sum total of imperfections,” says Malhotra, who in his next, plays a pragmatic professor, who ‘sees’ the future. It’s a concept film with Katrina Kaif, produced by Excel Entertainment and directed by Nitya Mehra.
Five years into his career, while Malhotra has realised the importance of art of socialising and showcasing oneself in order not to be typecast, Bhatt has grown up fast in the last four years and shed a certain sense of naivety. “Experience has taught me to read between the lines, be sensitive towards people, more focused on work, and do a film when the script moves me,” says this Bhatt who will be seen in Udta Punjab and Gauri Shinde’s film with Shah Rukh Khan.