Aag: Nisha Kothari Was Set Up

03 Sep

Ever since Ram Gopal Verma ki Aarrgghh [credit where credit is due: Raja Sen] was released, everybody keeps asking the same question: why did he make it? I think I know the answer.

He’s trying to get rid of Nisha Kothari.

Above is a clip of his latest “muse” Kothari… er, hopping around with his favorite chikna Fardeen Khan. This post is really about Kothari but I’d first like to pause and throw a question out there regarding Fardeen: What’s the attraction?

I don’t think it’s available online, but around the time Jungle came out, I remember Verma giving this amazing interview to Filmfare in which he said (and I paraphrase): People keep casting Fardeen and expect him to act. He doesn’t know how to act. But he looks good. I take advantage of his looks and don’t expect him to act.

Quite apart from the utter, unlooked-for frankness of that reply, which immediately made me a Verma fan for life irrespective of whatever crap his movie Factory likes to churn out, I thought that was a pretty fair assessment. Very practical. Not everybody can act, some of us are just decorative. It’s a fact of life. If you can incorporate that into your movie instead of fighting futilely against it, then that’s the smart thing to do.

Of course, it’s another matter entirely that I don’t find Fardeen in the least bit goodlooking. But then I’m not in the market for tubby chubbies with a well publicized coke habit. It’s not that I think fat junkies should be shipped off to gulags or anything, it’s just that I have different requirements of matinee idols. He might be the salt of the earth offscreen but if he’s being billed as the manmeat of the day, then I’d like to order something else off the menu, please.

In any case, when Indians say this person or the other is goodlooking, what they mean most of the time is: they’re fair skinned. My favorite example being Karisma Kapoor. That makeup is magic is more than borne out by her before and after pictures (before and after Raja Hindustani, that is. I guess Aamir Khan took one look at those bushy eyebrows and refused to act with a girl who looked more manly than he did. Ah, the old, pre-divorce, pre-alarmingly cinematic Aamir – the pinnacle of chikna-dom).

So Fardeen. Not very attractive. Can’t act. But Verma likes him. And thus, Kothari. Not very attractive. Can’t act. Keeps in shape. Will bare said shape. Verma likes her.

Except, riddle me this: who in their right mind looks at someone they like and sets them up for the fall of the century?

And excuse me, but Aag was exactly that. It’s easy to dismiss the role of Basanti in Sholay as an airhead but that sort of overlooks a couple of things:

One, Basanti was the stand-out female role in what was very much a guy movie. Radha was a pivotal character, no doubt, but she wasn’t the standalone character that Basanti was. And she isn’t half the Bollywood icon, complete with memorable dialogues (rather rare for female characters), that Basanti remains to this day.

Secondly, Hema Malini wasn’t some inexperienced actress struggling to make her mark when she played Basanti. Not only was she a very successful actress by the time she signed on to Sholay, comic characters were her specialty. Anyway, the relationship between Veeru and Basanti wasn’t remarkable for its romance or sexual chemistry in the first place – it was the comedy that cemented it in movie history.

So, here’s my take on why Ramu cast Nisha Kothari: one, everybody else turned him down; two, he has it in for her.

Of course, this is pure conjecture on my part. The reason could be as simple as the fact that he honestly thought she was the best person for the job. Anything’s possible. But it’s a lot more fun to think she was set up. :mrgreen: Here’s what Rajeev Masand had to say about her performance:

But the film’s weakest link, easily the most shocking casting decision is Nisha Kothari as Ghunghroo, who steps into the shoes of Hema Malini as Basanti, the endearing airhead from Sholay. Nisha Kothari is not only the worst actress in this country, but possibly the worst actress in this whole wide world, she gives the word annoying a whole new meaning, and she makes you want to slit your wrists every time she’s on screen.

And, because I can’t resist, below is the Japanese song they ripped off for the Nisha-Fardeen number above. It’s called Want Me Want Me by Namie Amuro and while I don’t know what she’s singing in Japanese, the English lyrics are completely genius! You’ve probably heard the tune a hundred million times before though coz it’s been ripped off so often. Warning: not for the easily shocked. 😳


Posted by on September 3, 2007 in Celebrity, Entertainment, Music, Video


14 responses to “Aag: Nisha Kothari Was Set Up

  1. apu

    September 3, 2007 at 11:51 pm

    does ramu really have your scheming mind ? 🙂

  2. the mad momma

    September 4, 2007 at 2:02 am

    LOL! I can’t put it better than Apu. I love the motives you have attributed! Seriously though, I am rather upset by the original being ‘defiled’ with this version. it was a cult film and should have been attempted seriously. to put tarty miss kothari in shows a lack of seriousness of intent!

  3. DesiGirl

    September 4, 2007 at 4:38 am

    I have asked this before and am sure I’ll ask this again – how do you come up with these things?

  4. rAm

    September 4, 2007 at 6:24 am

    you seriously have some great powers!!.
    It’s time for you to be consulting the big guns!!
    i like the post.. it was funny to me!

  5. OrangeJammies

    September 4, 2007 at 8:03 am

    My question is: Does Rajeev Masand know you’re good enough to swipe his job?

  6. Aspi

    September 4, 2007 at 2:50 pm

    two, he has it in for her.

    Clearly that title was not what we thought but a reference to Nisha Kothari.

  7. Tanay

    September 4, 2007 at 3:12 pm

    I think RGV’s next movie would be titled ‘Nisha, the Aag’ .

    Reason for transition : first chikna-dom, then toned leg-dom and then it should be aag-dom .

  8. Beth

    September 4, 2007 at 9:21 pm

    I kinda like Fardeen (and have an inexplicable soft spot for Khushi) but he looks reeeeeediculous in that clip.

  9. Amrita

    September 5, 2007 at 12:37 pm

    Apu – well, his loss if he doesnt 😀

    MM – I think it was disrespectful – not to the movie itself because, you know, at the end of the day everyone’s got a right to make whatever story they wanna, but to the audience. I’d classify myself as a RGV fan and lately I get the feeling RGV doesn’t really respect my grey cells when he puts his stuff out. He needs to get over himself.

    DG – too much time, too little work obviously 😛

    rAm – I read the stars and I predict you’ll be visiting this blog more frequently 😀

    OJ – lol, no no! Rajeev can rest easy. Never in a million years would I have thought of egging the camera 😀

    Aspi – consigned to the flames. huh? First her clothes, now her career 😦

    Tanay – shhh, not so loud. Let’s not give him ideas!

    Beth – I can’t believe I’m typing this but I share your odd soft corner for Khushi. 😳 It’s also one of those movies that I get frustrated with because it could have been better but I like the way those two dodos work off each other. Sigh. Don’t bother calling the men in white coats. I surrender. I wonder if I have time to dig up the Telugu original before I turn myself in?

    Sidenote: I’m surprised nobody’s expressed any love for Namie Amuro aka oochie, a la cootchie 😀

  10. Raja Sen

    September 6, 2007 at 1:17 pm

    Best theory I’ve heard for Aag all season. A very fun read 🙂

  11. Amrita

    September 7, 2007 at 2:06 pm

    Hey wow, thanks 🙂 It’s nice to hear coz I always have a great time reading your reviews.

  12. Raja Sen

    September 10, 2007 at 11:30 am

    added you to my daily blog feed, rocking blogger et al 🙂 cheers.

  13. Amrita

    September 11, 2007 at 12:50 am

    Lol, I hope you don’t consider it false advertising 🙂 Thanks!

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