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|May 24, 2001||
'Shararat is not a mere film!'
Nadia Sheikh met the director to learn more.
What made you decide on the script of Shararat?
My aim was to do something never done before. Something revolutionary. Something that would break new ground. I looked at various scripts and settled on this one.
Initially, I was sceptical whether it would fit the needs required for a family script. But as my writers and I explored the script, it seemed fresh and made sense to film it as soon as possible.
Tell us something about the plot.
Well, I won't go into the plot. But the story revolves around the life of a spoilt rich brat who thinks he's the best thing that has happened to mankind.
Circumstances force him to go to old age home for a month. Ironically, this clashes with a dream trip he's always wanted to take. The story takes off from there.
How long did it take to shoot the film? Any unexpected delays in schedules?
We began shooting on January 21 and went on till the end of March. The film is slated for release on July 12.
Two schedules were disrupted: one in December, when Abhishek hurt his head on some other set and another other in February because of a technical glitch. We would have finished shooting in January had these events not occured.
Regardless of the delay, I think it's great for a Hindi film to be completed over nine months.
Your film boasts of an exceptionally large star cast. What was it like working with so many stars?
We do have an extremely unusual cast. But for me, as a director, it was an exhilarating experience.
Directing stalwarts in a debut venture is a dream come true for any director. There was an amazing amount of involvement, honesty and time contributed by each artiste.
Since I'm debuting as a producer as well, I went out of my way to see that all the artistes were made comfortable in terms of medical care, feasible working hours, hotel accommodation and the general work atmosphere.
I want to be one of the best, if not the best, production house.
Any incidents that stand out during the making of the film?
One really memorable instance is when Amrishji, who has worked in more than 300 films, came up to me with tears in his eyes, hugged me and said it was one of the best working experiences he has ever had.
Another time was when the junior artistes were leaving. As they walked out of the gates, they turned towards the set and performed a kind of a Namaskar. It was very touching.
Apart from that, life on the sets was one big party In fact, on the last day we had a huge get together, played songs from the film, drank till the wee hours of the morning, and basically, just spent time with each other.
What role does the music play in the film?
The music goes hand-in-glove with the script. It's not gimmicky, and the lyrics are loyal to the situations. All this was done within the parameters of good audio value, making sure that scenes haven't been converted into songs.
Sajid-Wajid have done a fabulous job. This being their first major film, they've given it their best. There are all kinds of tracks: racy, romantic, funny and emotional -- it's a complete album.
You're known to share an incredible off-screen relationship with Abhishek...
One thing exceptional about Abhishek is his honesty. He's absolutely unbiased, with a fair attitude towards all -- a rare commodity today, especially in the film industry. He's a great actor whom I respect a lot, one who sticks to his commitments. And he's one of he humblest people I've known. There was a well-defined relationship between us.
What made you choose Hrishita Bhatt as your female lead?
Hrishita had done a music video for a friend and I liked her in it. Ideally, I was looking for a girl of the right age group. Not an established older actress, but someone younger. She seemed very excited and passionate about the role.
We did a screen test and a photoshoot before finalising her. She's got a lot of potential with a lot of things going in her favour. She gets along with her coartistes, carries herself very well, has talent and a great personality.
What expectations do you have from the film?
I'm not making tall claims here. It is an honest film, an innovative script, a fresh idea. I'm certain about the film, not in terms of audience reaction or success but because I've given it my best. I hope that the audience will understand the spirit of the film and accept it.
What kind of films would you like to make?
I want to make films that filmmakers have shied away from. Unusual scripts full of surprises and shocks. Nothing predictable. I want to be ten steps ahead of the audience's imagination. Within the parameters of commercial cinema, of course.
I personally love David Dhavan films -- I'd love to make his kind of films. I'm not much for making films with a social message, nor do I want to change people's sensibility.
I believe that despite all the regular ingredients, we can still make interesting films. It has been done abroad and in the south. Why not Hindi cinema?
What else are you working on?
A few people have signed me on but it's their prerogative to announce their films. Talks are on with producers and artistes. But nothing is confirmed yet.
Do tell us what you think of this interview
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