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August 6, 2001
The beautiful Dimple Kapadia, is the "surprise package" in Dil Chahta Hai, says debutant director Farhan Akhtar.
"People will be surprised to see her in the film -- I won't divulge more than this," says Farhan, son of writers Javed Akhtar and Honey Irani, and director of the film.
To the statement that Dimple doesn't feature in any of the trailers or music videos being aired, Farhan explains, "You could say she is part of the surprise package of the film."
Even in a 20-minute-long sneak preview of the film shown to reporters, there was only one fleeting shot of Dimple.
Dil Chahta Hai stars Aamir Khan, Akshaye Khanna and Saif Ali Khan opposite Preity Zinta, Dimple Kapadia and Sonali Kulkarni, and is being termed as experimental.
Going by the film's trailers it seems to be in the league of Nagesh Kukunoor's Hyderabad Blues. The director says the film is about individuality and tells the story of a summer in the lives of three friends -- Akash, Sameer and Siddharth.
Writer-director Farhan says the script needed a director who identified with it at a personal level, so he decided to plunge into direction. Though the film has a chic urban look, he said it has mass appeal cutting across all age groups.
The film, produced by Farhan's childhood companion Ritesh Siddhwani, has a number of firsts to its credit. Besides implying a unique promotional strategy, Siddhwani has also got the film insured.
Dil Chahta Hai was completed within the scheduled 108 days at locales like Sydney, Bombay and Goa. Farhan's future in the industry rests on the outcome of the film.
"While the press is going to town saying that Dil Chahta Hai is about Aamir, Akshaye and Saif -- and Dimple, Preity and Sonali have been sidelined -- the fact is that if their roles were not well defined such women of repute would not have signed up," says producer Ritesh Sidhwani.
It is also a re-launch vehicle for 43-year-old Dimple. Unlike her contemporaries who have taken to mother and sister roles This is perhaps the first time that Dimple has been depicted as the love interest of a much younger man. Siddharth, assayed by Akshaye, is a mature, sensitive and understanding artist who falls in love with a widow, Tara Jaiswal, played by Dimple.
"Dimple's character required an actor who could add dimension to the complex layers of emotion that the character goes through. And it wasn't long before Dimple had fully designed and molded herself to fit the role like a glove," says Farhan.
Dimple has fascinated the masses with a perfect blend of talent and sensuality decades after the legendary Raj Kapoor discovered her in 1973 (as a 15-year-old) and presented her in Bobby.
With its mega success Bobby, she became the most promising newcomer of her time. Though she married superstar Rajesh Khanna and quit films even before the frenzy of the film had subsided.
Twelve years later, she redebuted in Ramesh Sippy's Sagar in 1985. Since then she has given fine performances in films like Aitbaar, Lekin, Kaash, Batwara, Drishti and Rudaali, for which she won the prestigious National Award.
In a national daily, a close associate of Dimple described her as "A woman always poised on the brink of greatness but never attained it."
Indo-Asian News Service
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