August 17, 2023

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How Aamir Khan reacted when Mansoor Khan, SS Rajamouli called him out for ‘overacting’ in Laal Singh Chaddha: ‘Isko bhi lag raha hai…’ | Bollywood News

4 min read

“Aamir, kitna overacting kiya hai.” The comment from filmmaker SS Rajamouli got the star, known to be a perfectionist, thinking about his acting in “Laal Singh Chaddha“, says his cousin and director Mansoor Khan. He had earlier told Aamir Khan his acting in the Bollywood adaptation of Hollywood classic “Forrest Gump” was “over the top”. But it’s when Rajamouli, known for larger-than-life productions such as “Baahubali” and “RRR”, called him out that it really hit home.

“Aamir has a great sense of humour. So one day he laughingly tells me, ‘When you told me it was over the top, I said, ok, you are a subtle guy which is why you might have felt that way. But when someone like Rajamouli tells me overacting lag raha hai, I said to myself, Isko bhi lag raha hai toh kiya hi hoga (If he also feels so than it must be)’,” Mansoor Khan told PTI, recalling his conversation with Aamir.

Mansoor, who directed the actor in his 1988 superhit debut “Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak” (QSQT) and is now out with a new book “One: The Story of the Ultimate Myth”, said he was “frank enough” to give Aamir his feedback well before others. “I liked the script. I think writer Atul Kulkarni did a fine job of it. Yes, Aamir, I believe, went over the top with his expressions. I mean the character is not a jerk, not someone suffering with dyslexia or anything else. He is a bit odd … but that’s about it.

“I loved Tom Hanks in the original (Forrest Gump), he was so minimal with his expressions and portrayal of the character. Of course, I did tell this to Aamir,” Mansoor said.

But it took Rajamouli‘s opinion, articulated during a screening of the 2022 film, that made the 58-year-old actor believe his cousin was indeed right. Directed by Advait Chandan, “Laal Singh Chaddha”, which courted multiple controversies during its release in August 2022, was also victim of the then trending “Boycott Bollywood” call.

Freedom Sale

A section of social media called for the movie’s boycott after a 2015 interview of Aamir resurfaced – he says in it that his then wife Kiran Rao suggested they move countries because of “growing intolerance” in India.

Mansoor also directed Aamir in “Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander” and “Akele Hum Akele Tum”. According to the 65-year-old, Aamir has always been of the opinion that a “good movie will work come what may”. “He told me if the movie is good it will work despite the boycott calls. The failure of ‘Laal Singh Chaddha’ was indeed a setback for him but then he has faced many such setbacks in his life — both professional and personal. He is very passionate about cinema and is motivated to work harder,” Mansoor added.

The director, who hung up his boots after the Shah Rukh Khan-starrer “Josh” in 2000, said he gets “nightmares” about making films.

“I don’t like making films. I am grateful to the scheme of things or however it happened. But I always knew that this was not my lifelong journey,” he said.

Mansoor’s daughter Zayn Marie Khan is also an actor and has worked in several projects, including “Mrs Serial Killer”, “Feels Like Ishq” and “Monica O My Darling”.

According to Mansoor, son of legendary film producer-director Nasir Hussain, it was the “immense guilt” of wasting his father’s money, dropping out of various engineering colleges — including Cornell and MIT — and later refusing to do the typical ‘9 to 5 job’ that made him direct QSQT.

“QSQT happened out of that guilt and out of that wanting to prove myself … I have had that sense of the story and intuitively I have watched my father on sets and I had learnt what direction is… But I never made QSQT with the intention of box office success… In fact, I did not even want to give my name to the film,” he explained.

In 2003, Mansoor moved to Coonoor to pursue his real calling — living on an organic farm and making cheese.
He said his new book, a mix of fiction and non-fiction that puts modern civilisation — and not humans — in the dock for destroying the planet, is essentially about how one “perceives reality”.

“There is no such thing as superior culture or superior organism. Still, we created a pyramid … and at the top of this pyramid we imagine is man. We teach a hierarchy. But there is no hierarchy as life is a web. And in a web, no species is less or more important … So my main attack in this book is on this culture called civilization,” he added.

The book is already in talks to be adapted into a movie and one which Aamir has somehow persuaded Mansoor to direct. It is endorsed by noted American eco philosopher Derrick Jensen, environmental activist Vandana Shiva and Aamir.

“Mansoor conveys a huge thought, which is told through a delicate story, decorated with delicious, magnetic characters. What this book says is now one of my core beliefs. A must-read!” said Aamir in his praise for the book. “One: The Story of the Ultimate Myth”, priced at Rs 499 and published by Harper Collins, is available for purchase across online and offline stores.

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