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Kareena's face is like a shimmering river of emotions: Deepa Mehta
Subhash K Jha | June 25, 2003 19:20 IST
Director Deepa Mehta who won critical acclaim for making offbeat films like Fire (Shabana Azmi, Nandita Das, Jaaved Jaaferi, Kulbushan Kharbanda) and 1947: Earth (Aamir Khan, Rahul Khanna, Das) flew down to Mumbai last week for a hush-hush meeting with Kareena Kapoor.
The meeting between the two resulted in Mehta signing Kareena for her forthcoming film co-starring Rahul Khanna.
Before leaving India, Mehta confirmed, "I am casting Rahul Khanna opposite Kareena. I feel Rahul has the right attitude and an unlimited range. I wanted a romantic hero with an international appeal since the project [in English and Hindi] would primarily be for an international market. Rahul and I are so close; we almost talk in sign language. I can build the same rapport with Kareena.
" To me it's very important to get the comfort level with my actors right because we will shoot in one go from October-end to December. My actors need to go far beyond immediate schedules. They have to rehearse and get familiar with their characters. We hope to take the film in the competition section of Cannes Film Festival. Hopefully, Kareena and Rahul will be standing there with me at Cannes next year."
Having worked with internationally acclaimed actresses late Jessica Tandy and Shabana Azmi, Mehta sings praises of Kareena.
"The minute Kareena walked in I knew she was the perfect choice for my film. We chatted and chatted over lots of nimbu pani [lemonade]. That Kareena is gorgeous goes without saying. What was important is that I really liked her as a person. Her face is almost like a shimmering river of emotions -- very fascinating. I wonder why the gossip press in Mumbai keeps hammering her.
"She is a lovely person. It would be immodest for me to say I am going to present her like never before. But, yes, my film will cast her in a unique role that will use her ethereal personality to maximum advantage. She has an inherent glamour, which I won't try to curb. Why cast her otherwise? But I'll give her personality another interpretation. She exudes tremendous star power."
Mehta is happy with the way her last film Bollywood/Hollywood (Rahul Khanna, Lisa Ray) was received in India. "It was considered a hit. It was my most irreverent film, and yet it was quite subversive if you cared to look beyond the surface. It is a minor film. But I enjoy triviality at times."
Mehta has just wrapped up a Hollywood project, which is on the verge of release. "It called Republic Of Love. It is a stylised romantic film starring Bruce Greenwood and Amelia Fox (The Pianist). It will be premiered at the Toronto Film Festival and then be released in October. People seem totally taken by it. I am cautious about my expectations regarding all my projects. Right now, the thought of working with Kareena excites me the most."
The idea of steering her creativity between two seemingly incompatible worlds enthuses Mehta. "I just see my connections with Hollywood and Bollywood as an advantage. I can comfortably walk into one world from another. I really enjoy the challenge of walking through doors into dark corridors."