Posts tagged Anurag Basu
By Subhash K. Jha, October 26, 2010 – 11:53 IST
Mahesh Bhatt’s shy son Rahul Bhatt is shy no more. Lately he has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. If all had gone well, Mahesh Bhatt would’ve launched his boy in Suicide Bomber which the former Bhatt protégé Anurag Basu promised to direct as Rahul’s launch pad.
A promise that the Bhatts are still waiting for Basu to fulfil. But now, the impatient Bhatt scion seems to have lost the will to wait. His decision to go into the Bigg Boss house at this stage of his life has apparently caused Mahesh great concern.
Mahesh was planning to finally launch Sunny-boy in the sequel to Jism. But Rahul is now on a rebellious trip. He turned down his dad’s offer for a belated launch in Jism 2 instead of Suicide Bomber and chose to go into Bigg Boss which many of well-wishers of the Bhatts feel is more suicidal than the Suicide Bomber.
Now we suddenly hear Rahul making abrasive remarks like, “Mahesh Bhatt and Headley are the two monkeys on my back” and… “Shweta Tiwari is line-maroing on me (inside Bigg Boss House). And I don’t like it.”
Mahesh Bhatt stands by his son’s comment. “Rahul is being brutally honest. He has the guts to see and say things as they are.”
Mahesh admits Rahul is up for Jism 2. “But Rahul has made his choice. He has chosen Bigg Boss.”
The concerned but non-interfering father still feels Suicide Bomber would be the best launch for Rahul. “Our doors are open for Anurag Basu to come and pick up the threads from where he left off. But now Suicide Bomber will have a global perspective. Three years ago, Rahul said no to Kalyug when I offered it to him. Now he has opted for Bigg Boss instead of Jism 2. When I asked him why he said, ‘Let me stand or fall on my own feet.’ He didn’t want to put his life on hold for a film launch.’
Then Mahesh drops his bomb. “Get this straight. It is not in human power to make a bud blossom. A touch of life makes the flower bloom and spread its wings. Sometimes it’s best to let a flower go wild. Life is the best gardener.”
Hidden in the rhetoric’s is a message for Rahul’s son.
Come back from Bigg Boss. And Jism 2 is waiting
By Bollywood Hungama News Network, October 25, 2010 – 16:47 IST
Murder created waves when it was released in 2004. The film starring Emraan Hashmi and Mallika Sherawat grabbed the spotlight for weeks together!
The news about the plans for making a sequel to Murder has been doing rounds for sometime now. However, the Bhatts refused to make any official statement on the same. As they say, the cat is finally out of the bag now. Though Murder was directed by Anurag Basu, the sequel of the film will now be directed by Mohit Suri.
Confirming this news, Mohit told Bollywood Hungama, “Yes. Murder 2 is definitely happening, and Emraan will definitely be a part of this sequel as well. However, as for the female lead, I think it’s still too early to talk about it. Though I must add that, the female protagonist is going to be one of the most important parts in the film.” As for the story and script of the film, Mohit says, “Right now, I am adding the finishing touches to the script. I guess in about a week or two, it will be finished. After which, we will actually be rounding the script to see if any modifications are needed.”
Coming to the shoot schedule, the director states, “Let’s say it will take about three weeks for the script to get locked, after which the cast will be finalized. Only then, will we actually make a formal announcement and start the shoot as well.”
Further when told about rumours about Imran Zahid being cast in the film, Mohit clarifies, “Well, Imran Zahid is not in the film. Bhatt Saab is independently helping him, but it’s not with Murder 2.”
Image courtesy: Prasad Naik
Being a small-town 17-year-old from Bhambla in Himachal Pradesh didn’t stop this stunner from taking on Bollywood. Waiting in her vanity van to front the camera for Knock Out, her latest movie with Sanjay Dutt and Irrfan Khan, where Kangna plays a crime journalist – today’s Kangna is confident, composed and totally at ease with being ‘real’.
Excerpts from the interview:
What made you become an actor?
I was restless when I was 15/16. I was pursuing science but I was more attracted towards art. So I started pursuing theatre. Thereon, I also tried modelling because people kept harping that I looked different. I signed up with a modelling agency and took it quite seriously. Unfortunately, modelling didn’t take me very seriously! I figured that in India, modelling is only something you can be happy doing part-time. In the mean time, I was pursuing theatre and my guruji, Arvind Gaur encouraged me a lot. I started giving auditions for movies. The truth is even if I wasn’t selected for Anurag Basu’s Gangster, I would’ve tried other projects. However, I got selected and Bollywood became my career.
What is the creative process that goes behind every character you etch?
Each role is challenging. You have to do your homework. For instance, in Abhinay Deo’s Game, I play a cop from London and she has a Brit accent. It was difficult for me to emulate that. Acting is a job where you have to learn to look, talk and project a certain body language. The trick is to remain focused, yet flexible.
With no filmi background, how do you hold yourself in this fiercely competitive industry?
People in Mumbai are judgemental. Here, your fate changes every Friday. Also, it’s true that if you’re a star kid or if you’re a star girlfriend, you get extra mileage. But if none of these things work in your favour, you tend to work on your talent. My challenge was to be able to fit in here. People criticised the way I talked, walked and even the way I looked—more so because I come from a small town. There are two ways of dealing with such a situation: either you care a damn; or you can improve yourself.
You’ve gone through several ups and downs in your personal life. Do you think the media has been fair to you?
I feel that the media, somewhat, is nicer to people coming from a filmi background, or personalities they have connections with. The media doesn’t accept you easily. A Shah Rukh Khan or Aamir (Khan) have been around for two decades and have established a relationship with the media and the public. That’s why their films get 90% opening. So, tomorrow, of course their children will get special treatment because the rapport is already there. But now I realise that if I connect with the media personally, it always works better. They figure out your dimension too.
And how have you evolved as an actor?
I’ve always been surrounded by very creative people—whether it’s Bhatt saab, Anurag Basu, Mohit Suri, Madhur Bhandarkar. I can write a whole book on my experiences and the craft I’ve learnt in the last five years! (laughs) When I entered Bollywood, (Mahesh) Bhatt saab made me unlearn everything – he taught me not to act and be real in front of the camera. You don’t fake crying or laughing. You actually do it.
But the turning point came when one day Bhatt saab told me I was the ugliest woman he’d seen. I asked, why? He retorted, asking where my dark circles, pimples were and why I was hiding behind makeup. He called me a mannequin! That’s when I realised that it’s important to be real.
Can you actually be ‘real’ in Bollywood?
It’s difficult. It’s almost like being naked in front of the public. Every time you’re in front of the camera, there are so many emotions you let out and you’re not scared. You may even portray emotions that might not be familiar to you. But you need to be you, your real self, to give that astounding performance.
How do you keep fit?
I take care of my body and make sure that I’m happy. I work out, but I don’t over-do. I don’t remove that cheese slice from my sandwich; or remove the oil when I’m having kheema pav! I try to be as normal as I can be in my habits. I love food and I love life. So I’m not the kind who’d count calories everyday and kill myself in the gym, or die doing yoga. I listen to myself and my body. I don’t push myself very hard.
What’s more important to you: critical acclaim vis-à-vis box office success?
For me, there are two kinds of movies– good or bad. To please only a particular group of people is not my goal. I think a film should be entertaining.
Kangna’s hit list
Holiday destination: Paris
Perfume: I wear men’s perfume. But I like Chanel.
Dream director: Aamir Khan
It was not working with ex-lover, Ranbir Kapoor, but repeated changes in her role that led to this
Sometime ago, it was reported that Deepika Padukone told Anurag Basu that she would sign his next film Silence, produced by UTV, only if she is paid on par with Priyanka Chopra, who is also acting in the film. But the truth of the matter is that the actress walked out of Silence.
Initially, she and ex-lover, Ranbir Kapoor, were given a joint narration. They both agreed to act in the film, despite the awkwardness it would insinuate (Deepika is now with Vijay Mallya’s son, Sidhartha).
A source close to the film told Mumbai Mirror, “Originally, Basu wanted to cast ex-lovers Deepika and Ranbir together.
During the joint narration, he even told Deepika and Ranbir that the casting of the mentally-challenged role is not so important, as he could even cast a man in that role. So, his plan was mainly Deepika and Ranbir all the way.”
Added the source, “Time and again, Deepika has announced that she has no problems working with Ranbir.
Ranbir and Deepika actually shook hands after Basu’s first narration to them. Both were very happy to get back together professionally.”
Explaining what really transpired, which led Deepika to change her mind on Silence, Deepika’s friend said, “Basu kept changing the script every now and then.
Three meetings down the line, Deepika realised that not only her role but also the entire story of the film was being changed by Basu.
Hence, she chose not to do the project. However, she was extremely professional about it. She told Basu that she was opting out.”
Deepika was thus replaced by Priyanka. Despite repeated calls and text messages, Basu and Deepika did not revert back. They chose silence.
Kangna Ranaut has drifted apart from mentor Anurag Basu because he was typecasting her as a neurotic woman in all his films
He spotted her in a five-star hotel and took an instant fancy to her. Gave her the first break in Bollywood in Gangster and then cast her again in Life in a Metro. The two got along like a house on fire. And then came Kites that strained their friendship.
As on date, a latest development has jeopardized this director-muse equation even further. Says a source, “Ranaut still cares for Basu. But he has been really unfair to her. You don’t consider people as your lucky mascot, but in return give them a raw deal.”
Ranaut and Basu started drifting apart soon after Life In A Metro hit the theatres. Explaining why, our source says, “Kangna was quite upset with the way Basu edited out her portions in the film; she had shot for much more than what was portrayed on the screen.”
However, Ranaut was not only upset but also extremely shocked when she saw Kites. Says a source, “This time Ranaut felt cheated. Large chunks of her role were spliced out. Kangna had been promised that she would be enjoying as much screen time as Barbara Mori throughout the film. Sadly, this wasn’t the case.”
The flashpoint in Ranaut and Basu’s equation was reached when Basu approached Ranaut yet again to play a mentally challenged girl in his forthcoming Ranbir Kapoor starrer Silence.”
Ranaut felt truly short-changed professionally when she realized that once again Basu wanted her to play a role which was similar to what she had done for him in Life in a Metro and Kites,” reveals the source.
Ranaut was livid. And her fury intensified when she suddenly remembered that Anurag had already cast Priyanka for the same role. When the actress asked him about Priyanka’s role, he told her that Priyanka was playing another role, someone with no mental issues. This obviously meant that once again Kangna was being asked to play the psycho. Ranaut told Basu to stop typecasting her as a mentally challenged person in every film he directs, and hung up.
Adds the source, “There is much more to Ranaut than playing only demented females. She has it in her to display a gamut of emotions. Else why would filmmakers cast her in Dhamaal 2 (secretary), Game (cop), Knockout (journo), Manu Weds Tanu (rebel), Actor (film critic) and No Problem (shack owner on a beach who makes cocktails), none of which will see her as a psycho?”
Basu and Ranaut remained unavailable for comment. Hope they didn’t go nuts with our query.
Despite having rejected innumerable offers, Priyanka Chopra still has nine films in her kitty for 2011, apart from a hat-trick with Vishal Bhardwaj
While there are many allegedly A-list actresses sitting at home waiting for worthwhile films to come their way, Priyanka Chopra has an entirely different dilemma to sort out in the coming year.
For 2011, Priyanka has been offered as many as nine films. And they are all the kind no actress of any merit would say no to. A source close to Priyanka says, “Actually Priyanka has been offered a lot more projects. The nine that she is considering are the short-listed ones.
The number of assignments she is doing has peaked with every passing year. In 2010, they were quite a handful. But for 2011 they have exceeded all limits. In the past one year she has already said no to plum assignments ranging from Prakash Jha’s Raajneeti to Abbas-Mustan’s The Italian Job because she devoted more than normal time to projects like What’s Your Raashee? and Saat Khoon Maaf.”
The above two films sapped Priyanka physically to the extent that she needed to cut down her assignments more than she would have otherwise.
Says the source, “It seems that every assignment that Priyanka takes on requires her to prepare and then get into character to an exhausting extent.”
Says Priyanka, “Doing the seven roles in Saat Khoon Maaf was like doing seven different films. Then I rushed off for Fear Factor, which was again physically very exhausting. Ideally, I’d have liked to take time off before going into my next film. But there is no time. I leave for Berlin in two weeks after vigorously promoting Anjaana Anjaani in Mumbai.”
Spoilt for choices? Yes. But Priyanka is also challenged for time and energy.
Says Priyanka, “There is just that much work I can do. I am not the kind of person who does things half-heartedly. Whether it’s a fun film like Don 2 or an intense study of feminine postures in Saat Khoon Maaf, I am 100 per cent all there. So yes, I’ve to regretfully say no to a lot of films in the coming year.”
The biggest challenge for Priyanka’s schedule is to accommodate Vishal Bhardwaj’s next. After two films together, Kaminey and Saat Khoon Maaf, the director is very keen to have her again.
But the question is, how? A glimmer of hope and a reprieve in her timetable comes from another delay in Anurag Basu’s Silence. The film has again been pushed forward from January by a few months in 2011. Priyanka is hoping to accommodate Vishal Bhardwaj’s next in that period.
But the problem is Vishal’s next film too needs intense preparation. Would Priyanka be able to go through the method acting one more time?
Priyanka says with a certain amusement in her voice, “I think I am stuck with roles that need plenty of preparation. I love the faith filmmakers have in me. But I am unable to accommodate all the roles, no matter how tempting. That’s the hard fact of life.”
Roshni K Olivera | TNN (BOMBAY TIMES; August 24, 2010)
Recent times have seen a number of filmmakers get into television. Madhur Bhandarkar, Vikram Bhatt, Anurag Kashyap and the biggest of them all — the Yash Chopra production house… have got into making TV shows.
Now there are two more ready to take off — Prakash Jha, who’s made films like Gangaajal, Apaharan and Raajneeti, and Anurag Basu, who has to his credit films like Murder, Gangster and Kites. Incidentally, these two filmmakers have made TV serials in the past, but realising the boom they’ve decided to take the plunge again.
Jha, whose most popular television show was Mungerilal Ke Haseen Sapne with Raghuvir Yadav, is coming up with a love story based in Mumbai. The name of the show has still not been finalised and the cast is likely to be completely fresh. So is the case with Anurag’s serial which is based in Punjab and will focus on the lives of four couples like in his film Life In A… Metro.
“Whether these two filmmakers will have the time to look into the directorial aspects of their serials is debatable, what with their busy movie schedules. But their interest in the small screen is definitely very high,” says a source.
The actress will play a key role in Deepa Mehta’s Midnight’s Children
Kangna Ranaut will join the ranks of Freida Pinto and Aishwarya Rai with Deepa Mehta’s adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s celebrated novel Midnight’s Children.
Kangna has been chosen to play a character called Emerald. Described in Rushdie’s book as pretty and cryptic, Emerald was one of the toughest and easiest roles to cast for Deepa. Tough, because the character’s physicality and emotional graph is so precisely described in the novel that it could only be played by a specific kind of actress.
The role became easy to cast when Deepa Mehta saw Kangna in Anurag Basu’s Gangster. She immediaitely knew this was her Emerald.
As Deepa told a friend, “There were second and third choices for other characters. For Emerald I only wanted Kangna.” Kangna will play a character married to a Pakistani politician observing the rise and fall of leaders and dreamers from the fringes. The role requires a silently eloquent actress.
Immediately after zeroing in on her choice in Toronto Deepa got in touch with a friend in India who put her on to Kangna.
Next year Kangna joins such seasoned stalwarts as Shabana Azmi, Seema Biswas and Nandita Das in the shooting of Deepa’s Midnight’s Children. While the director has worked more than once with the other actresses Kangna will be a first for Deepa.
Speaking on the matter from Toronto Deepa says, “Yes, Kangna has agreed to be part of Midnight’s Children. I think she’s a wonderful actress, not quite like anyone else that I’ve worked with.” Let’s hope Mr Rushdie doesn’t get too excited about this emerald.
By Taran Adarsh, July 26, 2010 – 13:29 IST
The fascination with gangster movies has been immense worldwide. On this side of the Atlantic, several gangster films have left giant footprints on the sands of time. Films like DEEWAAR [Yash Chopra], DHARMATMA [Feroz Khan], NAYAKAN [Mani Ratnam], ANGAAR [Shashilal Nair], PARINDA [Vidhu Vinod Chopra], AGNEEPATH [Mukul Anand], SATYA and COMPANY [Ramgopal Varma], VAASTAV [Mahesh Manjrekar], GANGSTER [Anurag Basu], D [Vishram Sawant] and SHOOTOUT AT LOKHANDWALA [Apoorva Lakhia] have tremendous recall value to this day.
ONCE UPON A TIME IN MUMBAAI recreates an era that so many of us have left behind and for those who arrived on this planet post 80s, I am sure, they must have visited the era through some medium or the other, mainly movies and internet or during their academic careers.
|BY BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM
ONCE UPON A TIME IN MUMBAAI is not part of history, but it attempts to portray on celluloid tales that are now considered legendary, that continue to make news to this date. Of course, the disclaimer claims that it bears no resemblance to a particular person, but you can’t help but draw parallels with real-life characters. It could be a coincidence, though!
ONCE UPON A TIME IN MUMBAAI is a fascinating story that talks of how the mafia came into force for the first time in Mumbai. A thriller that depicts the crime scenario in Mumbai during the 70s and 80s. The rise to power of two young boys, in different age-groups, who grew up to ‘rule’ the streets of Mumbai.
Since there’s tremendous speculation in the media that ONCE UPON A TIME IN MUMBAAI chronicles the lives of Haji Mastan and Dawood Ibrahim, the curiosity to watch the film increases manifold. Of course, I am no one to comment if it’s actually based on their lives or merely borrows a few incidents from their lives or is pure fiction, but as a cinematic experience, I couldn’t help getting transported to the bygone era, getting sucked into a world I had no clue of.
Besides the gangster chapter, one enjoys this film also because of its riveting drama and the power play. It could’ve been set anywhere, in the corporate world, in politics, in the film industry. Anywhere. The rise and subsequent fall of the King and the emergence of the Prince as the super power is what makes this film a compelling watch. The icing on the cake is the magical and lilting song compositions that are juxtaposed so beautifully in the goings-on. On the sidelines of the power play, a game of hearts is being played and that’s what makes ONCE UPON A TIME IN MUMBAAI a wholesome movie experience.
Final word? ONCE UPON A TIME IN MUMBAAI is not to be missed. Set everything aside this coming weekend and watch this one. Strongly recommended!
The film, set primarily in 1970s Mumbai, follows the rise of Sultan Mirza [Ajay Devgn] and the conflict that ensues, when his protégé Shoaib Khan [Emraan Hashmi] challenges his supremacy and usurps power to rule the murky underbelly of Mumbai.
ONCE UPON A TIME IN MUMBAAI is a power-packed drama that makes you thirst for more. You rewind to an era of romance, smuggling, cabaret and mafia, but director Milan Luthria and writer Rajat Aroraa ensure that there’s no sleaze or bloodshed-n-gore. In fact, there’s hardly any violent sequence in the movie, except for one when Ajay hammers a cop during a naaka-bandi.
ONCE UPON A TIME IN MUMBAAI is not a biopic, but narrates the story through the eyes of a police officer [Randeep Hooda], who traces the changing face of the Mumbai underworld. The screenplay encompasses several moments that may compel you to draw parallels with real life, but talking strictly from the movie-going point of view, it satiates you completely. In fact, the writing is cohesive, smart and watertight and there’s never a dull moment. Besides, there’s no time to think whether it’s factual or loosely based on someone’s life or a work of fiction.
As I look back and recall the movie, a number of sequences flash across my mind. Note the sequence when Ajay divides the city amongst gangsters… The train sequence at the very start… The introduction of Emraan Hashmi’s character… Randeep Hooda’s landing on a film set and confiscating the equipment… The subsequent sequence, when Randeep is framed for accepting bribe… The romantic moments between Emraan and Prachi in the jewellery shop… Emraan starting his business and the confrontation that ensues between Ajay and Randeep… The showdown between Ajay and Emraan, with Ajay slapping Emraan in full public view… The conclusion to the story is equally novel. It stays in your memory and sets you thinking.
On the flipside, the story begins with Randeep attempting suicide, but the writer should’ve cited the reason that prompted him to take that drastic step. Sure, there’s a mention at the start, but it doesn’t register well. Also, you are keen to know the chain of events that drove Randeep to suicide. Also, the pace slackens in the middle of the second hour, but picks up dramatically when Ajay returns from Delhi and confronts Emraan. Besides, how I wish the film had a shorter, mass appealing Hindi title to attract more eyeballs and a big jump in footfalls [at single screens and smaller centres mainly] for a mass appealing subject like this.
This is director Milan Luthria’s best work to date, no two opinions on that. Recreating the bygone era is tough and the director, the writer and the art director [Nitin Chandrakant Desai] deserve brownie points for giving the film that authentic feel. In fact, the film wears a chic retro look throughout. Even otherwise, Milan’s handling of the subject material is exemplary. This film is sure to catapult him to the top league. Rajat Aroraa’s screenplay is powerful and engaging. The writer marries heavy-duty drama and subtle and delicate emotions beautifully. I would like to make a special note of the dialogue, also penned by Rajat Aroraa, which are simply fantastic. In fact, the dialogue writing is such it elevates even an ordinary sequence to great levels. One rarely comes across such potent dialogue in today’s times.
Pritam’s music is another ace. Injecting songs and that too a terrific soundtrack in a gangster film is tough. He did it in GANGSTER. He does it again in ONCE UPON A TIME IN MUMBAAI. ‘Pee Loon’, ‘Tum Jo Aaye’ and the remix of APNA DESH track are super compositions, which are also placed appropriately in the plotline. Cinematography [Aseem Mishra] captures the look to perfection. Akiv Ali’s editing is sharp.
ONCE UPON A TIME IN MUMBAAI is embellished with fantastic performances. Ajay Devgn is splendid as Sultan. The actor had enacted a similar role in COMPANY, but it must be said that his interpretation is so different in ONCE UPON A TIME IN MUMBAAI. He adds so much depth to the character, which only goes to prove his range and versatility. This is, without a trace of doubt, Ajay’s finest work so far. Emraan Hashmi is brilliant as the power greedy, wildly ambitious rebel. He plays the dark character to perfection. He’s incredible in the penultimate moments of the film in particular. Besides carrying the look to perfection, Emraan is sure to break-free from the lover boy, serial kisser image with this film.
Kangna Ranaut is extremely natural and performs very well. Also, she brings so much of sensuality and glamour to her character [an actress of the 70s]. In fact, Ajay and Kangna make a wonderful on-screen pair. Prachi Desai is a bundle of talent who proves her mettle yet again. She’s proficient in emotional scenes and sizzles in the BOBBY song-sequence. Besides, the chemistry between Emraan and Prachi is exciting. Randeep Hooda is top notch. Even though the film belongs to Ajay and Emraan, Randeep makes his presence felt with a powerful performance. This film should prove to be the turning point in his career.
Avtar Gill [as Home Minister] is good. Naved Aslam [as Patrick, Ajay's trusted lieutenant] is perfect. Mehul Bhojak [as Emraan's friend Javed] is competent. Ravi Khanwilkar [as Vardhan] is satisfactory. Gauhar Khan sizzles in the remix track.
On the whole, ONCE UPON A TIME IN MUMBAAI is an extremely well-made film that lingers in your memory. The realism coupled with stellar direction, power-packed writing, exceptional performances and ear-pleasing tunes are its trump cards. An outstanding cinematic experience!
Producer Hema Malini has thrown out director Mayur Puri from Tell Me O Khuda, a few days after this paper reported serious creative differences between the two
Hema Malini’s ambitious project Tell Me O Khuda, starring her daughter Esha Deol, is in hot water. After the project ran into creative differences between the producer (Malini) and its director (Mayur Puri) the latest is that Puri has been shown the door.
The decision to oust Puri has come in the wake of the creative melee between Malini and Puri having snowballed into a nasty avalanche of bitter vibes. Puri was thrown out of the project at 4 pm yesterday at the IMPPA (Indian Motion Pictures and Producers’ Association) office, where the association and the IFTDA (Indian Film & Television Directors Association) convened to resolve the issue.
The buzz is that his name will not appear in the credit titles either. Instead, Hema will direct the film herself. “Quite a few portions of the film may have to be reshot,” says a source.
“Hema and Puri could not reconcile. It is good for both of them and the film that they are not working together anymore. Quite a few solutions were offered but there was no way that Puri could have remained the captain of the ship any longer. Puri’s money issues have been settled too.
Hema has directed Dil Aashna Hai and she has a good knowledge about direction,” says the source.
Another source close to Hema said, “Puri overshot the film. Nearly 1.5 lakh feet of footage has been shot. This skyrocketed the budget. Hema bore that with a pinch of salt, but she almost fell off her chair when she saw what Puri had shot until now.
Hema realised that Puri’s reels were nowhere close to the script he had and the canvas he had envisaged for her. “Forget the script, Puri hadn’t even shot the basic storyline he had sold Hema while being appointed to wield the megaphone,” reveals a source close to Hema.
On the other hand, Om Shanti Om’s dialogue writer and Dhoom’s associate director, Puri, is tearing his hair out. According to a source close to Puri, “Hema Malini’s sensibilities are far different than his. Whenever Puri tried reasoning with her, Hema did not lend him a ear.
And he has not overshot the film. He was making only 5.6 cans per day which is very normal. It is an ego clash. Think of it, this is not the first time that a director finds himself in the lurch. It happened with Anurag Basu, Rahul Rawail, Shekhar Kapoor (Joshilay) and Amol Gupte (Taare Zameen Par).”
When contacted yesterday evening, IMPPA Vice President Sushma Shiromanee said, “Yes, we had a meeting today. Puri is not directing Tell Me O Khuda anymore. Hemaji will complete the film.” Hema did not deny that Puri is out from Tell Me O Khuda, but she was not too comfortable talking about her rift with Puri. She simply said, “I am the producer and now I will complete the film. I have people around me including some good technicians.”
Puri denied that he was present at the IMPPA office yesterday. But later he said, “Okay. But I don’t want to talk about this. I would rather maintain a dignified silence.”
Starring Arjan Bajwa opposite Esha, Tell Me O Khuda is about a girl who is in search of her father. The plot bears a slight resemblance to Hema Malini’s first and only film as a director, Dil Aashna Hai, which was about a girl on the lookout for her mother and starred Divya Bharati and Shah Rukh Khan.
Dil Aashna Hai was also incidentally ripped off from Shirley Conran’s bestseller Lace, which was later televised into a mini-series in the late 1980s. The film bombed and was ripped apart by critics. Let’s hope the fabric of Tell Me O Khuda has no tears.