By Subhash K Jha
MUMBAI: The beautiful little town in Punjab named Malerkotla is where Saif Ali Khan and Katrina Kaif are currently shooting Kabir Khan’s film on post 9/11 counter-terrorism entitled Phantom.
Apparently, Malerkotla has a very literate population, heavily into reading and other intellectual activities. Katrina spends all her time off from shooting working on her Urdu and Hindi diction.
Says a source close to the actress, “This is Katrina’s chance to go to the next level in her career. And the first thing she wants to do is improve her Hindi and Urdu. Her spoken Indian languages are currently functional. She now wants to take her linguistic skills to the next stage.”
Katrina also had to learn fluent Arabic for her role in Phantom. Not that she plays an Arabic character.
Explains director Kabir Khan, “Her character is very much Indian. But work-related activities take her character to the Middle East where she has to converse in fluent Arabic. She has to not only speak her Arabic lines, she had to sound authentic while doing so.”
Both Katrina and Saif spend a lot of time speaking in Hindi and Urdu with their director. Apparently, the very anglicized pair wants to stop “thinking” in the English language.
While Vishal Bhardwaj and his cast and crew of Haider seem to facing some rough weather in Kashmir, Katrina, Saif and Kabir Khan had a blast shooting in Kashmir.
Says Kabir, “We had a very good time in Kashmir .We had absolutely no problems. We got terrific support from the local population and administration.”
So is Kabir getting ready for battle-royale at the boxoffice with Siddharth Anand’s Bang Bang featuring Hrithik and Kareena when both film release on Oct 2.
Says Kabir wrily, “I don’t know about the release of the other film. But we’re coming on October 2.”