Imran Khan in Vishal Bhardwaj’s next

The Delhi Belly hero is now doing a role that was initially meant for Ajay Devgn. It may seem a little far-fetched, but it could prove to be an exciting experiment for Aamir Khan’s nephew

Filmmaker Vishal Bhardwaj is relieved that he has finally found a leading man for his rustic satire, Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola. After Ajay Devgn and Shahid Kapoor turned it down, the director and producers Fox Star Studios approached Imran Khan for the part. Knowing Bhardwaj, his next film will be set in the rural milieu he seems to prefer and will be rooted deep in the Indian consciousness. The first question that comes to our minds is how the young and urbane Imran could possibly portray a role that was originally meant for the intense and much senior actor, Ajay, who suits the truly rustic ambience quite well. Both have diametrically opposite images and bodies of work. Maybe market pressure forced the filmmaker to settle for the younger star, or perhaps it was a lack of any other saleable actor, we cannot tell. So now that the casting is done, will Bhardwaj tweak his script to suit the Delhi Belly actor’s age and persona? It could be an exciting challenge for the 27-year-old who since Jaane Tu Ya Jane Na seems to be stuck in youth-centric and romantic stories – I Hate Luv Storys, Delhi Belly and Mere Brother Ki Dulhan being cases in point. They are the only films that have been box-office successes. Also, in every film Imran tends to look like the same cute-guy-next-door, boring us rather with the repetitive act. So under the wing of the man with magic touch, Bhardwaj, Immie might go beyond the straight-face expressions and learn different ways to emote happiness, sadness, anger and pain. And if Imran manages that, he will finally be in a position to give sleepless nights to his frenemy, Ranbir Kapoor. And that should make for more exciting times to come!