AAMIR KHAN BURIES HATCHET WITH RAM GOPAL VERMA
AAMIR KHAN BURIES HATCHET WITH RAM GOPAL VERMA

By Suhel Johar

Magic Lantern

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Ram Gopal Verma is a happy man these days, especially since his latest movie Company has done well at the box office during its first week. Another reason why the talented director has a smile on his face is because he's sorted out his problems with superstar Aamir Khan. Aamir Khan and Ram Gopal Verma have patched up. Yes! The director and actor decided to become friends again!

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The friends turned foes and now friends again actor-director duo who gave us the much entertaining Rangeela, had a more than an hour-long conversation with Aamir Khan that went well past midnight. It may be recalled that Aamir Khan has had this ongoing cold war with Verma for the past six years ever since Rangeela's release. It wasn't because of the film instead, which was a hit, but because of a quote that Ram Gopal Verma gave in an interview shortly after its release which upset Aamir. In that interview Verma had lashed out against Khan in the print media and criticised him for his obsession for perfection. This historical 'cease-fire' took place at a star-studded exclusive party hosted by producer Boney Kapoor and Sridevi and his actor siblings Anil Kapoor and Sanjay Kapoor to mark the election of social luminary Dr T Subbirami Reddy to the Rajya Sabha.

It may be recalled that only sometime back Ramgopal Verma had buried the hatchet with ex-flame Urmila Matondkar after their relationship had turned sour when Urmila publicly slapped Verma's wife at a party following the latter's derogatory remarks on her performance in Pyaar Tune Kya Kiya. Their reconciliation came out thanks to Manisha Koirala who invited Urmila for a preview of Company and the screening completely bowled Urmila over and she went gaga over the film. She made it a point to let Verma know how impressed was she with the project and wanted to be a part of the film. Verma who has always been smitten by Urmila's charms has already cast her in his next flick. Come to think of it, the rumour mills went crazy when Ram Gopal Verma chose Manisha Koirala over Urmila for Company. They went on about the supposed affair and that the end of the affair meant the end of their careers together. Finally, they have been proven wrong.

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Similarly, the thawing of the ice between the Aamir and Verma means that they are ready to collaborate on another flick although that may not happen soon as Aamir is already committed to the projects that he will do in the next couple of years. Whether they get back to do another film or not only the future will tell but one thing is for sure that the duo are happy to be friends again. In the meanwhile Aamir's proposed movie Happy Diwali with AB Corp has been officially scrapped and director Mansoor Khan is working on a fresh script which will be made under the AB Corp banner and we hope to start shooting by June this year.

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Interestingly, Aamir Khan is said to have no regrets on losing out the coveted Oscar to No Man's Land and feels that the film deserved the Oscar for its hard-hitting, well-made anti-war theme movie. The film is now being entered in the Brazilian film festival. Incidentally, Lagaan is being released in Italy in the native language! While all over Europe, Gowarikar is adamant on releasing the film in Hindi, with local subtitles, so as not to mutilate the beauty of the film, one wonders why has Italy entered the director's good books.

Well with the Oscars, the IIFA awards and other commitments behind them now, Ashutosh Gowarikar and Aamir Khan are pairing up once again to churn out something worthwhile for Khan's home production. The duo hope to repeat the history they created with Lagaan and carve their niche on an international panorama again. Though rumours were making rounds about Aamir Khan and Vivek Oberoi being cast together in the film, Gowarikar has refused to talk about it, as the script is not yet finalised. However, it is said the film has strong patriotic overtones and will be called Des.

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