July 25, 2002 
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Ketan Desai
'Amisha is so beautiful'
Producer Ketan Desai has his fingers crossed for Yeh Hai Jalwa

Ronjita Kulkarni

Friday sees the release of David Dhawan's Yeh Hai Jalwa, starring Rishi Kapoor, Salman Khan, Amisha Patel and Sanjay Dutt in a guest appearance.

Producer Ketan Desai is hoping for the best.

Dhawan and Desai had worked together earlier in the hit film Deewana Mastana (1997), starring Anil Kapoor, Govinda and Juhi Chawla. They now hope their team will click again. "I want Yeh Hai Jalwa to run very well," says Desai. "It has lavish production values, a good story, good family values and is a fabulous entertainer. It is a happy film, with comedy. Haste haste ek baar rula deti hai."

Not many know that son of late veteran filmmaker Manmohan Desai, Ketan was supposed to helm Yeh Hai Jalwa initially. "David suggested this subject," says Desai. "But I asked him to direct it. Besides, at the time, I did not have time to direct a film, as I was busy with administrative and legal matters of MKD productions, which I had taken over after my father's death."

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Over the years, the duo has developed a strong friendship. "David always held my father as his mentor and idolised him. He follows the Manmohan Desai school of thought, though he did not get an opportunity to work with him. David and I do not need to convince each other about anything, as we think alike."

Desai has shared a good rapport with the stars as well. "I have always wanted to work with Salman [Khan], that is why I chose him. Sanjay [Dutt] and I have been friends for 12 years. I knew him before he joined the industry. He was very nice to have done a guest appearance in Yeh Hai Jalwa."

Incidentally, Desai was scheduled to make another film with Dutt in the lead, also titled Yeh Hai Jalwa. It was to have Kareena as the female lead. But the film did not work out and Desai decided to make another film with the same title but different cast and story.

He opted for Amisha Patel. "I have known Amisha much before she entered the industry --- in fact, since the time she was studying abroad. I used to tell her mother, Asha, that Amisha must get into films, she is so beautiful. I have enjoyed working with the cast and crew of this film. They were very professional and wonderful people."

After Yeh Hai Jalwa, Desai plans to direct films. "I am working on a subject. I will have new faces in this film as I want to finish it fast with a moderate cost, so that it hits the screens soon within nine months." While Desai's previous directorial ventures --- Allahrakha (1985) with Jackie Shroff, Dimple Kapadia and Meenakshi Seshadri; Toofan (1989), with Amitabh Bachchan and Anmol (1993) with Rishi Kapoor and Manisha Koirala --- were damp squibs at the box-office, he produced hit films like Amar Akbar Anthony (1977) and his debut production Coolie (1983).

Yeh Hai Jalwa: A Preview


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