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'It was interesting to direct Kareena and Shahid together'
Vickey Lalwani | August 19, 2004
Ken Ghosh is biting his nails.
His debut film, Ishq Vishk, was a big hit and catapulted its hero into stardom overnight.
Will his second film, Fida, which has generated a generous buzz, live up to its promise?
"Of course, there is pressure on me," admits the former video maker. "There is always pressure on a director, even for his tenth film."
Fida, starring Kareena Kapoor, Fardeen Khan and Shahid Kapoor, will release on August 20.
Excerpts from a chat with Vickey Lalwani.
I heard a few scripts but nothing seemed exciting. So I bided my time.
Then, [writers] Lalit and Sunny Mahajan came to me with two stories. I liked one of them very much. And it became Fida [smiles].
Who thought of the title?
The title was suggested by [scriptwriter] Milap Jhaveri. He's a friend of the Tauranis [Kumar and Ramesh, head honchos of Tips, which is producing the film]. We thought the title suited the story to a tee and went ahead with it.
The cast and crew ofFida seems secretive about the film...
(Interrupts) I am no exception.
Fidais my baby. All I will say is that it has two love stories and both do not end perfectly. It's the story of three people -- Jai (Shahid Kapoor), Neha (Kareena Kapoor) and Vikram (Fardeen Khan).
Does it have a sad ending?
I would not say it has a sad ending. It's a radically different film. It's a short film. At the same time, it's completely commercial. It has everything from chases to songs to action to romance.
There are rumours that Salman Khan plays a cameo...
Rubbish! There's no Salman Khan [in the film]. There's no fourth character in the script. I am not going to pull any rabbit from my hat in the end (laughs).
In one of his interviews, Salman happened to say something about Shahid and himself. It was wrongly interpreted as an admission that he was part of Fida.
How did you choose your cast?
I had always wanted to work with Shahid again after Ishq Vishk. He is a very good actor and played a big role in making my debut film a hit.
Frankly, I also wanted Amrita Rao again. There is always the temptation to repeat a hit jodi. But when I sat on the script at length, I thought Amrita would not suit the role. I cannot tell you why. If you see the film, you'll understand.
I didn't think Kareena would agree. But she said yes almost instantly.
What about Fardeen?
I especially flew down to Cape Town to meet him. He was shooting for No Entry there.
Kareena gets along very well with Fardeen and Shahid. Did you want to cash in on that?
Nobody except these three could have done the roles. The verdict of whether I cast them correctly or not is just a few hours away.
Did Kareena's and Shahid's off-screen chemistry help?
(Laughs) I wouldn't comment on that. But it was very interesting and challenging to direct both of them together.
Kareena is a spontaneous actress. She is good in her first take and best in her second. Thereafter, she starts worsening.
On the other hand, Shahid is a method actor. He needs time to get into the flesh and mood of the character. He gets better with every take. So the director faces the challenge of when to call it okay.
Fardeen and Shahid apparently didn't get along on the sets. Fardeen has even refused to promote the film...
Rubbish! Nothing like this ever happened.
Fidahas whipped up a lot of excitement especially among the youngsters. But is August 20 a good release date, considering the school exams are on?
According to the distributors, August is a good month. Delaying the film would not be judicious. The Ganpati festival begins in September followed by shraadh, which is considered inauspicious for a new release.
Fidahas been timed as a solo release. I guess it's fine.
But a thriller does not have a long shelf life. Once the secret is out, it loses it's repeat value.
A good thriller is not only about twists, it's also about the journey from one twist to another.
Take Titanic. Everyone knew the ship was going to sink. They even knew Leonardo De Caprio will not survive, only Kate Winslet would. Still, they went to see it again and again.
Are you open to outside offers, apart from Tips?
I am looking at a few scripts of different genres. Let's see. At the moment, only Fida is on my mind.