Bollywood A-lister Kareena Kapoor Khan is marking a new phase in her glittering career with a brace of films that she terms as “shockingly different.”
Kapoor Khan has wrapped a project that shot in the U.K. under the working title “The Buckingham Murders,” directed by Hansal Mehta (“Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta Story”). The actor plays a detective and mother who investigates a murder in a sleepy little town in Buckinghamshire. Kapoor Khan said that her character is inspired in part by Kate Winslet’s role in “Mare of Easttown.”
“I love ‘Mare of Easttown’ and when Hansal came to me, I said this is something that I’ve really been dying to do. So we’ve molded a little bit on those lines, she plays a detective cop in that,” Kapoor Khan told Variety. “It’s the first time that I’ve dabbled in that.”
Some 80% of the dialogue is in the English language and 20% in Hindi. “I speak fluently in Hindi and I think also in Hindi because that’s been what I’ve been doing all my life,” Kapoor Khan said. “When you’re thinking in Hindi, but speaking in English, it was actually a difficult task to do because it was the reverse situation for the first time.”
The project, produced by Ektaa Kapoor’s Balaji Telefilms and Mahana Film also marks Kapoor Khan’s debut as a producer.
“I never really thought that I would be a producer. But when I heard this subject, and the fact that it’s very different to a regular Hindi movie… it’s a very different, take to things. So I thought that will be really nice and different,” Kapoor Khan said. “And when Ektaa and Hansal told me that, ‘since you love the script so much, why don’t you come on board as a creative producer as well, and take some calls as to what you think also and give your name to it’ – after much thought, I thought that if I love something so much, and this is a character that I wanted to play, I think it’s fun to do it. It’s the first time. I don’t know if I’ll repeatedly do it. But let’s see.”
Kapoor Khan has also wrapped Netflix’s Indian adaptation of Japanese author Higashino Keigo’s bestselling 2005 novel “The Devotion of Suspect X,” directed by “Kahaani” filmmaker Sujoy Ghosh. The cast also includes Jaideep Ahlawat (“Paatal Lok”) and Vijay Varma (“Darlings”). The film, which has the same name in its Indian avatar, follows a single mother and her daughter who commit a crime and a neighbor who helps them cover it up amidst a police investigation. The film marks Kapoor Khan’s streaming debut.
The actor describes “The Devotion of Suspect X” as “dramatically different” from the Mehta project and as “dark and fun.”
“For me, it’s very different because obviously you’re used to seeing me in all the mainstream movies, which has the song, the dance, the gloss, the glamour. Both these films are shockingly different,” Kapoor Khan said.
Kapoor Khan belongs to the illustrious Kapoor acting dynasty, which includes her sister Karisma Kapoor, cousin Ranbir Kapoor, father Randhir Kapoor, late uncles Rishi and Rajiv Kapoor, late great-grandfather Prithviraj Kapoor, late grandfather Raj Kapoor and late grand uncles Shashi and Shammi Kapoor.
Kapoor Khan made her acting debut with “Refugee” (2000) and career highlights include “Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham…” (2001), “Chameli” (2003), “Omkara” (2006), “Jab We Met” (2007), “3 Idiots” (2009), “Bajrangi Bhaijaan” (2015) “Udta Punjab” (2016) and “Veere Di Wedding” (2018).
The two thrillers she has just wrapped does not mean that Kapoor Khan has abandoned Bollywood glamour. Next up for her is Rajesh Krishnan’s “The Crew,” alongside Tabu and Kriti Sanon, which commences production in March.
” ‘The Crew’ is the film that is going to be gloss and glamour. And it’s a comedy chick flick heist film. That will be the Hindi masala commercial film as compared to ‘Devotion’ and Hansal’s film,” Kapoor Khan said.
Kapoor Khan is married to fellow A-lister Saif Ali Khan and is a mother of two. On how she manages to balance her personal life with her thriving career, Kapoor Khan said: “It’s literally like standing on one leg, but I’m pretty good at yoga. I’m also very lucky to have a husband who works in the same profession. We take turns as to when we have to travel,” Kapoor Khan said, adding that they are blessed to have staff who supports them.
“When I was doing Hansal’s film Saif was at home with the kids, and now he’s doing a film in Amritsar. And I’m at home till March. And then after that, he finishes and stays home, and then I go into ‘The Crew.’ It’s a lot of meticulous planning, but if you’re well planned, I think you can achieve it,” Kapoor Khan said.
“It’s not the quantity of time that you spend with your children, that’s what I’ve learned, in the five-six years that I’ve been a parent, it’s the quality of time that you give them without distraction, because children want focus from their parents, from their teachers from their friends, that’s what they need,” Kapoor Khan said.
“The Devotion of Suspect X” and the U.K.-set detective thriller are both due to release later this year.