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February 26, 2002
Jimmy and Hrishitaa play cat and mouseBharati Dubey
In the wee hours of morning, Mumbai's Edward Theatre is buzzing.
With only two nights of shooting left, the set construction technicians are busy giving the final touches to the props.
The film under question is Haasil.
Clad in a red pullover, Jimmy and Hrishitaa, wearing a burkha, seem engrossed in the discussion.
Meanwhile, choreographer Vaibhavi instructs Jimmy and Hrishitaa to take their respective position.
"We are shooting a song. The boy and the girl meet [for the first time] in this theatre because they don't want anyone to know about them," informs Dhulia. "They have a fight in their very first meeting, which is followed by a dream sequence."
Haasil is a romantic thriller with some religious undertones. Shot extensively in Allahabad, Bhandara and Mumbai, Dhulia faced a lot of problems in Allahabad.
"People have only mentioned films like Gadar - Ek Prem Katha and Water facing the wrath of people in Uttar Pradesh. I hail from Allahabad. I expected the city to welcome me; it didn't. There were press reports that the film would create communal tension. We were given permission to shoot inside the University. Thanks to the reports, the permission was cancelled. Even as we shot the University bit, we were being chased by people."
For the moment, Jimmy is trying to appease a furious Hrishitaa, who walks away in a huff. The dance director is dissatisfied with the take. She asks for one more before she is happy. Vaibhavi Merchant also choreographed Aamir Khan and Gracy Singh in O ri chori (Lagaan).
Jimmy takes a break for dinner. Hrishitaa prefers to talk about her role in Haasil: "This song comes immediately after our fight. I play a simple, subdued character. Though she stands up for her rights, which is quite appealing. Besides, Tigmanshu is a brilliant writer and director, committed to his work. I am really happy with my role."
Jimmy echoes Hrishitaa's thoughts. "This film is very close to my heart. Each of us has given our best for the sake of the director. His dedication and conviction in himself is encouraging."
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