“Neetu came in Rann because the character changed” – Ram Gopal Varma

Even as Rann is currently being shot across Mumbai and Delhi, the film’s director Ram Gopal Varma is incorporating changes in the script and cast members. As a result, Raima Sen has been shown the door while Neetu Chandra has stepped in as her replacement. The reason given? Raima didn’t suit the part. Confirms Ram Gopal Varma, “The character that was originally conceived went through changes. As a result the present version doesn’t suit Raima. This is why Neetu has been roped in.” As per the original script, Raima was to play the part of Yasmin Hussain, an ex-model, who watches TV, reads gossip columns, and for most part, takes everything that is dished out to her, at face value. Someone who does not understand the intricacies of power games, she isn’t quite clever but not really innocent either. However, with the characterization going through a change, it has to be seen how exactly Neetu is required to play her part. For Raima Sen though, an exit from a prestigious project like Rann couldn’t have come at a worst time.

She has been a part of five major flops in a row (Mere Khawon Mein Jo Aaye, C Kkompany, Mukhbiir, Manorama – Six Feet Under and Yatra) with only consolation in the form of Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd which had released two years ago. No wonder, she has been left shell shocked after the news of her being replaced by the film maker was broken to her. As for Neetu Chandra, an entry into a big project like Rann couldn’t have come at a better time. While she was unavailable for comment, an industry follower comments that being a part of Rann is indeed a big moment for her. “She is a relatively new entrant but look at the film makers she has managed to work with in such a short duration”, he says, “Having names like Madhur Bhandarkar (Traffic Signal), Priyadarshan (Garam Masala), Dibakar Banerjee (Oye Lucky Lucky Oye), Rahul Dholakia (Mumbai Cutting) and Vipul Shah (untitled) in your profile is not a small deal.” With Rann, Neetu makes further progress in the big league as she gets to rub shoulders with the likes of Amitabh Bachchan in the film. Moreover, yet again she will be a part of a film that stars Parsh Rawal in a major role. Earlier, Neetu and Paresh Rawal have come together in Garam Masala, One Two Three, Oye Lucky Lucky Oye while their Kusar Prasad Ka Bhoot will be released as well. Now in Rann, she has a major role to play which also includes a sensual dance number that would require liberal doses of skin show.
Though reports are yet to be confirmed, this very fact is said to be the reason behind her entry and Raima’s ouster from the biggie. Well, if Neetu’s recent photo shoots are anything to go by; one can definitely expect her to sizzle the screen in Rann. Even before signing for Rann, Neetu had made her stand clear when it came to exposing for screen. “I have worn swimsuit in my very first film [Garam Masala] so I don’t consider skin show as a big deal”, she had said, “I am quite comfortable with my body and I believe that for a woman, her curves and curls should be in the right place. I can be versatile as required by the situation & the setting and can get into the skin of any character that film makers could think of. If required, I can play a girl next door and give me a platform and I would be your sexy next door girl.” In this regard, Ram Gopal Varma has indeed got his woman for Rann where Neetu’s character does demand sensuous overtones. Now it has to be seen whether with Rann, Neetu does manage to justify the confidence that has been shown in her by the film maker. Also starring Ritesh Deshmukh, Gul Panag, Mohnish Behl, Sudeep, Rajat Kapoor and Rajpal Yadav as the principal protagonists, Rann is a Madhu Ghajini Mantena production and is expected to arrive before the close of 2009.

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