The obituaries have been written. The speculations are continuing. Sceptics are saying ‘we told you so’ while fans are asking ‘why did it happen?' The Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif split has dominated much of the entertainment headlines last week. So who (or rather) what led to the sensational split? Deepika, family pressure, career insecurities… was as it any one of these factors that led to the break-up? Actually it was none of the above. Ranbir and Katrina, two stars who loved each other immensely, split because of Bollywood, the industry and the way it functions! Shocked? Senior journalist and long-time observer of the happenings in Bollywood, Soumyadipta Bannerjee tells you why…
BOLLYWOOD AND RELATIONSHIPS
There's a common saying in Bollywood - if you are working here, you can forget the word, 'personal'. This is because nothing in Bollywood is personal, it is always professional. Here relationships are formed and broken because of professional reasons.
That is exactly what has happened with Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif. What was supposed to be discussed within the confines of a bedroom or at best, a page three party, is now being splashed in newspapers and websites.
The relationship between Ranbir and Deepika Padukone, his ex-girlfriend, had a huge business implication. The relationship between Ranbir and Katrina had an even bigger implication in the business of Bollywood.
Let me elaborate on the points a little more. This will help you understand why the relationship between two stars are of primary importance for everybody in the industry. And why Ranbir and Katrina's relationship threatened to make somebody while breaking another. The bigger the stars, the higher the stakes.
1) The Business Equations
When two stars are in a relationship, they want to spend more time with each other. In fact, suddenly the duo becomes open to doing films with each other. If you look at cinematic history, you will notice that when actors are in a relationship, they tend to sign movies together, so that they can spend some quality time with each other.
However, no matter what stars want, producers want something else. Most top-notch producers don't want to sign stars who are dating. "When two actors are seeing each other in real life, there's no novelty in the pairing. They are overexposed because the whole media is talking about them and they arrive at events together. No matter how much they want to keep everything under wraps, the media tends to overhype everything which kills the novelty of seeing them on screen," said a prominent producer.
So can you understand the dichotomy? When on one hand, the stars want to spend time together and do a film, there are very few who want to invest big bucks in them because everybody has seen them already. Filmmakers are always looking to exploit something new, so they would rather team up exes together than sign two stars who are in a relationship.
That explains why most producers didn't want to have Ranbir and Katrina in a film though the stars themselves were quite open to it. The one that they had greenlighted, Jagga Jaasoos, is now in choppy waters. It was reported recently that from sharing the same vanity van, Ranbir and Katrina preferred to steer clear of each other when they had to shoot a scene.
2) The Deepika-Ranbir Jodi
It was Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani that propelled Deepika and Ranbir as a pair in a big way. Their earlier movie Bachna Ae Haseeno was also a hit. Till the release and subsequent failure of Tamasha, everybody was more or less convinced that Deepika and Ranbir could carry a film on their shoulders. But while they were shooting for Tamasha, Ranbir's other films (Besharam, Roy, Bombay Velvet etc) started failing at the box office and there reached a point when Ranbir became increasingly dependent on Tamasha to see him through.
Ranbir, it’s said, became extremely serious about his work and started spending more and more time thinking about his career. This was the point when Deepika made a big entry into his professional life. Ranbir believed that his pairing with Deepika would benefit his films.. In fact, he even admitted in several interviews that he believed the Piku actress is lucky for him.
Consider the dilemma. On one hand, he had moved in with Katrina and on the other, he was interacting continuously with his ex because of the film. How would you react if you were in Katrina's place?
Kat did just what any girlfriend would have done --- she refused to talk about either Ranbir or Tamasha. She also made solo appearances at most events. This was the same time Deepika and Ranbir was doing the publicity rounds of Tamasha. Film promotions are difficult business; not only do you need to be together from morning to night, giving countless interviews, you also need to travel together. Ranbir and Deepika visited several cities during this time while Katrina was making solo appearances everywhere.
The scenario was this: there is already some distance between the couple with hardly any time to talk to each other because of work; into this mix, throw in some misunderstandings between them, and what do you get? Endless troubles!
Wait, there's more!
3)The Family Angle
This perhaps played the key. All his life, Ranbir stayed with his parents at his Bandra bungalow, Krishna Cottage. If you go by Rishi Kapoor's account of Ranbir in several interviews, you will notice that Rishi and Ranbir were never really that close but the latter was extremely close to his mother, Neetu Kapoor. Insiders say Ranbir apparently couldn't live without his ghar ka khana, especially the parathas made by his mum. He had even mentioned that to me in an earlier interview.
When the doting son decides to move out to a rented house with his girlfriend, there must be some pressing reason for it, isn’t? In Ranbir’s case, there was. When Ranbir and Katrina started dating, the latter used to be a frequent visitor at the Kapoor cottage. Her car used to be parked a lot in front of the cottage. She had been photographed numerous times leaving the bungalow. It was only later that they decided to live in.
Both Ranbir and Katrina are not on social media and they never spoke about their personal lives. So we won't know officially what was going on between them at any point of time. But strangely, both their parents are very active on social media. While Rishi Kapoor has become a legend in Twitter, Neetu Singh has a very active Instagram account.
Rishi and Neetu were stoic about their son living in with his girlfriend. Never did Neetu or Rishi post a pic or tweet about Katrina as an important member of the family. In one or two family pics, Neetu did post Katrina's picture but they were group pictures and there were no special words about her. Neetu never acknowledged Katrina as Ranbir's girlfriend while Rishi maintained that he didn’t know what was happening with Ranbir.
The senior Kapoor though, was very vocal that he couldn’t digest the fact about Ranbir moving out. The interviews are all across the Internet. Simply put, Ranbir’s parents never acknowledged Katrina as a girlfriend, forget about being her being their prospective daughter-in-law. It was no different with Katrina’s family. Some of Kat’s sisters are on Facebook and Twitter, including Isabel Kaif, who is an aspiring actress herself. Nobody every tweeted or Facebooked about Ranbir.
So, technically for both families, the relationship didn't exist. It seemed only the press was keeping it alive.
4) The Marriage Question
Again, put yourself in Katrina's shoes. You have moved in with your boyfriend and you are in a relationship. The whole world is talking about it and everywhere you go, you are faced with the same question - "When are you getting married?" The families, unfortunately, don’t seem to be too supportive. So what would you do if you were in the same position?
Sources say Katrina tried doing what any girl would have done in her position -- she wanted to make the relationship official. In fact, it’s said the couple did want to make it official and an announcement was definitely on the cards some time.
On the professional front, Ranbir and Katrina were already having meetings about the promotional strategy of Jagga Jaasoos unofficially where they were figuring out a way to stop the press from asking uncomfortable questions about them. The only way was to make an announcement of some sort.
Unfortunately, that seemed to be the problem – a huge problem.
When Ranbir and Deepika were dating, they were quite open about it. They appeared on magazine interviews together and even spoke about marriage. But that honeymoon didn't last and we all know what happened thereafter.
The press had a field day when the two broke up. Both their careers suffered to an extent. One would like to believe that though Deepika's career went through some ups and downs before hitting a huge high, Ranbir faced quite a few downers.
So, from their point of view, it made sense to make some announcement during Jagga Jaasoos promotions. All this while, it’s said that Ranbir was taking his time to come to a definite conclusion about his relationship while Katrina was sure what she wanted. Of course, these are mere conjectures but commitment was an issue, say people close to the couple.
5) The Career Factor
Last but not the least, unknowingly, the careers of both of them played a major role in their split as well. Ranbir and Katrina are two of the busiest stars in Bollywood who have a few hundred crores riding on them. They had to literally squeeze time from their schedules to be together. Moreover, at this point of time, they were going through some career lows, especially Ranbir. Or maybe, others were doing better than them. The poor performance of Tamasha had further worsened what was already a deep crater created by Bombay Velvet.
To come back to the point: both were growing apart from each other increasingly. It was but natural that others would try to fill that gap. So in came a few people who started brewing discord under the garb of sorting things out between them. It’s a common thing to happen in Bollywood.
A star is usually surrounded by lots of minions who shine on his or her reflected glory. Ranbir and Katrina both had some friends who created animosity between them when, on the face of it, they were trying to wedge the bridge. Actually, there were several people who jumped in between the already sparring couple and drew them further apart. Unfortunately, what could have been solved with a few hugs and a long detailed discussion, started getting on the nerves of both of them. Ranbir started spending more time at his home alone or away because of shoots while Katrina started spending her time in the company of friends and on some occasions, with her family. Whatever was happening, it was not helping them.
It would be safe to say that Bollywood killed the relationship because had this been any other place, there was no reason for the couple to split. While any other couple would have just come back to each other every night, that was not even the case here.
Bollywood is not an easy place to live. The pressures of work, the media and your past relationships is tough to handle for anyone.
Yet, there is hope for fans of Ranbir and Katrina. The couple are due to complete Jagga Jasoos and there is a schedule in a foreign country. Maybe this is a temporary separation while they try and get a grip of things. May be they will get back together, if the feelings are strong.