Posts tagged I am Megha
MM.com had an exclusive chat with filmmaker Onir on his latest film ‘I Am’, an alleged cold war with Rahul Bose, and what makes a film ‘commercial’Varun Vazir | MM Online Bureau (May 02, 2011)
Onir, whose film I Am released last Friday, confesses that he did not have money to pay his actors yet managed to assemble a strong cast comprising Nandita Das, Juhi Chawla, Rahul Bose, Sanjay Suri and Abhimanyu Singh.
The film was shot in a mere 24 days at a budget of Rs 3 crores. Excerpts from an interview:
I Am released on Friday along with four other films. Does that make you apprehensive?
Each film is of a different genre and defines its own audience. Anything good will find its audience. Footfall in the theatres has been increasing as there is a good buzz surrounding the film.
How did you manage to assemble such a cast?
We did not have money to offer the actors. Each of the cast members did this film only because the script excited them.
Which is your favorite story out of the four?
‘I Am Megha’ is very special to me as it is based on the loss of home and identity. I was born and brought up in Bhutan and had to leave the country due to political situations. Loss of home is a subject that touches me personally.
Rahul Bose was annoyed with you because you used his kissing scene with Arjun Mathur for publicity.
Rahul and I have a different take on that. I feel a scene of two people kissing is a beautiful emotion. There is no drama between me and Rahul. We respect More >
By Subhash K. Jha, April 29, 2011 – 12:19 IST
In the story I AM Megha, in Onir’s 4-episode feature I Am, Juhi Chawla plays a Kashmiri pandit woman who journeys back to Kashmir and the trauma of forced migration that she had left behind.
Says Onir, “Juhi’s character is based on my friend Sanjay Suri’s experiences as a Kashmiri Pundit who had to leave his land. The story contains a lot of incidental sounds of militancy, radicalism and fundamentalism taken from recent documentaries on Kashmir.” Drama in real life never seemed more real.
Onir’s film has been passed with an A certificate with just two words being beeped out. Surprising considering there are scenes of explicit sexuality especially in the fourth story, I AM Omar, where one night a white-collar executive (Rahul Bose) and his gigolo-toyboy (Arjun Mathur) are accosted by a homophobic bullying cop (Abhimanyu Singh). The cop not only extorts money from the couple after he catches Bose and Mathur kissing, he forces Bose to perform oral sex on him to escape arrest.
This again, is based on the experience of a true-life gay. “I was going to put his name in the end-credits. But he recently got married and requested anonymity. This person’s experience is certainly not an isolated instance that I’ve used in the film to show how the gay community is targeted. We’ve innumerable instances of decent successful gay individuals being harassed and blackmailed by cops into providing sexual favours to escape More >
By Taran Adarsh, April 25, 2011 – 11:56 IST
This seems like the most accomplished Friday, after a long, long time. Certain stories that were considered blasphemous, even sacrilege, that lay buried in the dark, with film-makers not wanting to touch with a bargepole, are gradually finding their way on the Hindi screen. Onir, however, attempts to narrate four different stories in I AM. The topics range from artificial insemination, child sexual abuse and homosexuality. Oh yes, Onir had always chosen the path less travelled, but with I AM, he goes a step forward. Er… four steps forward.
I AM is a collection of four stories – each tackling a societal issue. Each of these stories seems straight out of life and the commonality is the emotion called fear. In fact, each of these stories takes the viewer on a journey that many of us may have encountered/witnessed/heard of, but discussed in hushed tones. These dilemmas bruise the Indian society at large and the sad part is that we are generally insensitive, indifferent and uncaring towards them.BY BOLLYWOOD HUNGAMA.COM
I AM – OMAR
OMAR reveals the nexus between the police and male sex workers to blackmail and abuse gay men. This story is set in the criminalization of homosexuality days. This law was often used by the police to harass and extort money from gay men. OMAR tells the story of how, because of fear of society and law, gay men were blackmailed.
This story brings to light a shocking incident where sex More >
Manisha Koirala will skip the world premiere of her next I Am at a New York film festival titled Engendered. She has suffered a leg injury and has been advised bed rest.
Onir, the director-producer of the film, confirms, “Manisha was supposed to join us along with Sanjay Suri, Arjun Mathur and Purab Kohli at the premiere of I Am. But unfortunately she won’t be able to make it. She has hurt her leg and is bedridden for a few weeks.
I wanted at least one actor from each story to be present at the festival as a representative but now there will be no one from I Am Megha (the story that Manisha stars in).
Newly-wed Manisha, who is in Nepal for teej, a traditional festival, confirms, “I was very keen to go for the première but I slipped and twisted my ankle. I am limping now and have been told not to put pressure on my foot.”
Juhi Chawla is playing a displaced Kashmiri widow, in a film based on the true story of actor Sanjay Suri’s mother
MUMBAI MIRROR; June 17, 2010
A still from I am Megha
Juhi Chawla’s character in Onir’s I am Megha from the ‘I Am’ series is inspired from Sanjay Suri’s mother Urvashi Suri’s life. Sanjay Suri, who comes from an affluent business family of Kashmiri pandits, had to leave Srinagar at the age of 19 when his father got killed by terrorists and they had to relocate in Delhi.
Onir divulges, “Juhi’s character is that of a Kashmiri Pandit. She goes back to Kashmir after 20 years to the house she lived in. Her character is inspired from Sanjay and her mother’s life because they are refugees from Kashmir.”
Onir insists that it is essentially a story of anyone who has lost their homeland.Sanjay Suri (l) with his mother
He quips, “It’s a story of anyone who is a refugee. I didn’t want to make it exactly parallel to Sanjay’s mother, but I did incorporate a lot of incidents from her life.”
Sanjay Suri, who plays a lead role in the film, says, “Yes, it is loosely based on my mother’s story but it is also about coming to terms with your past.
Every person who has left Kashmir will identify with that. My mother revisited Kashmir after 17 years but she still didn’t visit our house in Srinagar where dad was killed.”
To add authenticity Onir also arranged for Sanjay Suri’s mother to be present on the shoot. He informs, More >
SUBHASH K JHA (Mid-Day; August 7, 2009)
Unable to gather sufficient funds for five different films, filmmaker Onir has decided to merge the five films and release it as one. The film’s budget is approximately Rs 1.5 crore. He made My Brother Nikhil four years ago at the same budget.
Own your film
The filmmaker is using unconventional funding to make this film. He announced on Facebook that anyone could own their new film called I Am. There was an avalanche of volunteer producers. At last count, they had 300-350 producers. The entire crew will be paid only when the film gets sold.
Says Onir, “It started with my determination to make a film called You & I on child abuse. No producer or corporate house was willing to back the project. They didn’t find it a ‘safe’ project. Sanjay Suri came up with the idea of doing five different films in one, all financed by different people.
I decided to go for an unusual form of funding and extend the ideas of identity and the fear of sustaining that identity in a world of cynicism and intolerance. Five different stories will be released as one film in India.”
The most interesting part of this cinematic experiment is that they’re all based on the brutalisation of true characters who will make an appearance at the end of each segment. Each film will be shot in a different city Mumbai, Delhi, Srinagar and Kolkata. Each character is culture-specific to the city. Every story has a contemporary resonance.”
Hum 5! 1. I Am Omar Starring: Rahul More >