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Friday, August 31, 2012

फिल्‍म समीक्षा : जोकर

Film review : Joker
प्रिय शिरीष,
आप धन्य हैं, साथ ही अक्षय कुमार और यूटीवी भी धन्य है, क्योंकि उन्होंने आप की विचित्र कल्पना में निवेश किया। अक्षय कुमार तो आप की फिल्म के हीरो भी हैं। हालांकि रिलीज के समय उन्होंने फिल्म से किनारा कर लिया, लेकिन कभी मिले तो पूछूंगा कि उन्होंने इस विचित्र फिल्म में क्या देखा था?
बहरहाल, आप ने अक्षय कुमार और सोनाक्षी सिन्हा को कामयाबी की हैट्रिक नहीं लगाने दी। हाउसफुल-2 और राउडी राठोड़ के बाद अक्षय कुमार को झटका भारी पड़ेगा। वहीं सोनाक्षी सिन्हा दबंग और राउडी राठोड़ के बाद नीचे उतरेंगी।
ताश की गड्डी के जोकर को फिल्म के कंसेप्ट में बदल देना और फिर उस पर पूरी फिल्म रचना। आप की कल्पना की उड़ान की दाद देनी पड़ेगी। पगलापुर भारत के नक्शे पर हो न हो, आप के दिमाग में जरूर रहा होगा। और उसका संपर्क किसी और इंद्रिय से नहीं रहा होगा। आजादी के 65 सालों के विकास से कटे गांव के अक्षय कुमार का नासा पहुंच जाना भी विचित्र घटना है। और फिर उसका भारत लौटना। पगलापुर को ध्यान में लाने के लिए एलियन की कहानी बुनना। लॉजिक तो हिंदी फिल्मों में आम तौर पर नहीं मिलता, लेकिन आप ने तो इलॉजिकल होने की पराकाष्ठा पार की।
फिल्म के पोस्टर पर लिखा है कि कभी-कभी एलियन होना ही अकेला विकल्प होता है। आप ने वह विकल्प भी खत्म कर दिया। अब जोकर का क्या होगा?
आप के ट्विट में जबरदस्त विट और ह्यूमर रहता है। इतना ज्यादा कि आहत होकर शाहरुख खान आप पर हाथ उठा देते हैं। फिल्म के संवादों और दृश्यों में वह विट और ह्यूमर नदारद है। अक्षय कुमार, सोनाक्षी सिन्हा, अंजन श्रीवास्तव,दर्शन जरीवाला, ब्रजेश हीरजी, मिनिषा लांबा,असरानी,पित्तोबास त्रिपाठी और श्रेयस तलपड़े आदि जैसी प्रतिभाओं का दुरूपयोग कोई आप से सीखे। इनमें से एक-दो कलाकारों के सदुपयोग से •ुछ मामूली फिल्में भी मनोरंजक हो जाती हैं। आप ने तो सभी की प्रतिभा पर पानी फेर दिया। हां, अकेली चित्रांगदा सिंह का काफिराना अंदाज थोड़ी मस्ती दे गया। ऐसी ही मस्ती तीस मार खां की शीला की जवानी में भी थी। बेहतर होगा कि पूरी फिल्म के बजाए आप आयटम सांग ही सोचें और शूट किया करें। एलियन को बैकड्रॉप में रखकर हॉलीवुड के निर्माता एक से एक फिल्में बना रहे हैं। राकेश रोशन की कोई ़ ़ ़ मिल गया भी अच्छी कोशिश थी। और एक आप हैं, आदमी के सिर और शरीर पर सब्जियां चिपका कर एलियन का भी मजाक उड़ाते हैं। शिरीष आप की जोकर फिलहाल 2012 की सबसे साधारण फिल्म है। मुझे तो लगता हे कि दशक की साधारण फिल्मों में भी यह शुमार होगी।
मैं फिल्म देख कर आने के बाद से सिरदर्द से परेशान हूं। फिल्म में मन न लगे तो 105 मिनट की फिल्म भी लंबी लगती है।
अवधि- 105 मिनट
रेटिंग- * एक स्टार 
आपका,
अजय ब्रह्मात्मज

Thursday, August 30, 2012

लेखकों के सम्‍मान की लड़ाई

-अजय ब्रह्मात्‍मज 
आजकल जितने टीवी चैनल, लगभग उतने अवार्ड। ये अवार्ड टीवी सीरियल और शो में उल्लेखनीय काम कर रहे कलाकारों, लेखकों, तकनीशियनों और निर्माता-निर्देशकों को दिए जाते हैं। याद करें कि क्या आपने किसी टीवी अवार्ड समारोह में किसी लेखक को पुरस्कार ग्रहण करते देखा है? न तो किसी लेखक का नाम याद आएगा और न ही उनका चेहरा, जबकि टीवी और फिल्म का ब्लू प्रिंट सबसे पहले लेखक तैयार करता है।
फिल्मों के अवार्ड समारोह में अवश्य लेखकों को पुरस्कार लेते हुए दिखाया जाता है। टीवी के लेखकों को यह मौका नहीं दिया जाता। क्यों..? टीवी लेखकों का एक समूह मुंबई में यही सवाल पूछ रहा है। उनके संगठन ने सदस्य लेखकों का आवान किया है कि वे अपने सम्मान के लिए पुरस्कार समारोहों का बहिष्कार करें। वे अपने नाम से दिए जाने वाले पुरस्कारों को ठुकरा दें। उनकी अनेक शिकायतें हैं। पुरस्कारों के लिए नामांकित लेखकों को समारोहों में बुला तो लिया जाता है, लेकिन उन्हें पुरस्कार ग्रहण करने के लिए मंचपर नहीं बुलाया जाता। उन्हें रिहर्सल के दौरान ही पुरस्कार देते हुए शूट कर लिया जाता है और आग्रह किया जाता है कि पुरस्कार समारोह की शाम भी उसी कपड़े में आएं। अगर कभी मंच पर बुलाया भी जाता है तो उन्हें पुरस्कार देने के लिए किसी नामचीन हस्ती को नहीं चुना जाता। इतना हो भी गया तो पुरस्कार समारोह के प्रसारण से लेखकों का फुटेज काट दिया जाता है। लेखकों ने इस अपमानजनक स्थिति को बदलने का बीड़ा उठा लिया है। हाल में दो लेखकों के नाम पुरस्कारों की भी घोषणा हुई, लेकिन उन्हें समारोह में बुलाना उचित नहीं समझा गया। लेखकों को संदेश दिया गया कि उनकी ट्रॉफी उनके घर भिजवा दी जाएगी। आत्मसम्मान के धनी उन लेखकों ने पुरस्कार लेने से ही मना कर दिया।
इस साल फिल्मफेयर अवार्ड समारोह में आई ऐम कलाम के लेखक ने पुरस्कार ग्रहण करने के बाद चुटकी ली थी। उन्होंने कहा था कि उनकी पत्नी ने तो यह समझ कर उनके साथ शादी की थी कि लेखक हैं तो क्रिएटिव व्यक्ति होंगे। मुझे आज पता चला कि मैं टेक्नीकल आदमी हूं। लेखन एक क्रिएटिव प्रॉसेस है, लेकिन अवार्ड समारोहों ने उसे टेक्निकल कैटेगरी में डाल दिया है। गलत पहचान की पीड़ा बहुत तकलीफदेह होती है। संजय चौहान ने अपनी चुटकी में जिस दर्द को बयां किया था, वही दर्द टीवी लेखकों को भी है। उनकी मांग है कि लेखकों को कहानी, संवाद और पटकथा के लिए अलग-अलग पुरस्कार दिए जाएं। उनके पुरस्कार को निर्देशन के पुरस्कार की तरह का सम्मान मिले। वास्तव में यह सम्मान की लड़ाई है, जिसमें वे एकजुट होते नजर आ रहे हैं। पिछले दिनों मुंबई में फिल्म राइटर्स एसोसिएशन के मानद महासचिव कमलेश पांडे ने इस मुद्दे को जोर-शोर से उठाया।
गौर किया जाए तो टीवी हो या फिल्म.., दोनों ही माध्यमों में लेखक की भूमिका बुनियादी होती है। वही नींव रखता है, जिसके ऊपर मनोरंजन की इमारत खड़ी की जाती है। लेखकों की महती भूमिका के बावजूद उन्हें अपने योगदान की तुलना में कभी सम्मान नहीं मिला। सलीम-जावेद की हिट जोड़ी एक जमाने में अवश्य प्रभावशाली रही, लेकिन वे अपवाद ही बन कर रह गए। आज भी यदा-कदा कुछ लेखकों का नाम बताया और पोस्टर पर लिखा जाता है। ज्यादातर फिल्मों और टीवी शो में लेखकों के नाम क्रेडिट रोल में चलते हैं। फिल्म या टीवी शो के प्रचार में उनकी भूमिका गौण मानी जाती है। गीतकार तो फिर भी चर्चा में आ जाते हैं, लेकिन लेखक गुमनाम ही रह जाता है। अपने किरदारों को उनका वाजिब हक दिलाने में कामयाब लेखक अपने हक की लड़ाई में अभी तक हारते ही रहे हैं। वक्त आ गया है कि मनोरंजन जगत में उनके महत्व को नए सिरे से आंका जाए। उन्हें क्रेडिट और उचित सम्मान दिया जाए। साथ ही पुरस्कार समारोहों में भी उन्हें समुचित प्रतिष्ठा मिले। अभी यह आवाज टीवी के लेखकों ने उठाई है। कल फिल्म के लेखक भी जगेंगे..।

Monday, August 27, 2012

दो तस्‍वीरें : बिपाशा बसु


बिपाशा बसु की दोनों तस्‍वीरें राज 3 से ली गई हैं। इस पफल्‍म में वह ढलती उम्र की अभिनेत्री की भूमिका में हैं। कहते हैं कि विक्रम भट्ट ने उनका किरदार अमीषा पटेल से प्रेरित होकर गढ़ा है। कभी अमीषा और विक्रम गहरे दोस्‍त थे।

an interview with sriram raghvan

चवन्‍नी के पाठकों के लिए यह इंटरव्‍यू फिल्‍म रायटर्स सोसिएशन के साइट से कट-पेस्‍ट किया गया है.... Bang-bang, wham-wham! – Sriram Raghavan admits that childhood for him was a series of feature films, films like Born Free, Ben Hur and Hatari!, films that helped him get over the tedium of studies and school. Later, he was fascinated by Johnny Mera Naam, Sholay and Vijay Anand became an icon to look up to. The influence of those childhood films remains with him even today in himself and the films that he writes and makes.

It is likely that you will be treated with surprises triggering off like flying bullets if you are watching a Sriram Raghavan film. His name pronounces thrill and frolic. He is a master chef at maneuvering riveting cinematic experienceswhich take one back to his childhood. His films throw a keyed up audience into the middle of a suspenseful plot. You can let your hair down while watching gripping twists and turns in his movies.
With just three films, Ek Hasina Thi (2004), Johnny Gaddar (2007) and Agent Vinod (2012); he has become one of the most sought after writer-directors in Hindi mainstream cinema.

This Film & Television Institute of India alumnus, who has an uncanny knack of dealing with edgy subjects like con, killing, revenge and even secret agents, himself is a warm, down-to-earth personality. His candid fascination with the silver screen surfaces itself quietly freely as he talks about cinema with twinkling eyes and a perpetual smile.

He tells you how a few things didn’t quite go right with his last film Agent Vinod, in an unapologetic manner; “I knew the film was a little long, little bloated when it was being written but couldn’t crack that.” Ready to innovate and improvise till the very last minute as a director, Sriram confesses that he is rather undisciplined when it comes to writing. Apart from writing episodes of C.I.D. and Aahat; Sriram had made two short films, Raman Raghav (45 minute docudrama) and The Eight Column Affair (his student diploma film at FTII, edited by Rajkumar Hirani, which went on to win the National Film Award in 1987.

Surprisingly, at one point of time Sriram didn’t want to enter the film school. He recalls, “Saeed Mirza had told me something which I could never forget. He had said-- An institute will polish pebbles and dim diamonds.” Getting into the FTII almost did not happen. Sriram was assisting Mukul Anand in Khandala and had decided to skip the final interview. Luckily, the shooting got cancelled and Sriram showed up at FTII, just for the heck of it. The rest, as they say, is history.

(Excerpts from the interview-)

How did you get into films?
I have been fond of films since childhood. I found them better than school and at that time, they were your only escape as TV wasn’t around. I used to watch as many films as I could because my parents, especially dad, weren’t too enthusiastic about me watching too many films. Shridhar wasn’t even born at that time while I must have been just a kid. My parents allowed me to only go for films like Born Free, Ben Hur or Hatari!, but slowly I could go out of my own. I didn’t know what direction or filmmaking was all about. For me, films were a good escape to get lost into another word.

Then, I wanted to be a journalist and worked with some magazines. But I wasn’t particularly good at it as I had a very bad stammer at that time. After a few months, I backed out and joined Mukul Anand as an assistant. I had met him while doing an interview. I had told him, “I wish to know more about films.” His reply was, “Come and join me. However, there is no money.” I worked with him on his second film Aitbaar (1985) which had Dimple and Raj Babbar. Later, I joined the film school (FTII).

So you didn’t learn filmmaking between Apollo and Alankar, like your brother? Obviously, I did watch a lot of movies at these two theatres. We, me and my brother, discuss that though today we watch so many movie via different modes of viewing, like laptops, the scenes which we actually remember are from films like North By North West, Jewel Thief, Sholay, which we had watched at a very young age. These are the movies which I remember vividly. I may have seen a movie last week and even liked it but it comes and goes like that without leaving that great an impact.

What made you go for a formalized learning at FTII?
I was assisting Mukul while some of my friends were attempting the exam. I also went and took it. Due to the chance factor I got called for the interview. But I didn’t want to go because even though I was just a novice, I was actually enjoying working with Mukul.

We were shooting a song for Aitbaar in Khandala. Somehow, the shooting got cancelled for two days and while main artistes went away, rest of us stayed back. I thought of visiting my house in Pune as I was already close by. That was also the day of the interview and if shoot was there, I would not have gone.

Earlier, I had talked to Mukul about joining the film school. He was a far sighted kind of a person and told me that working with him would take me a few years to make my own film, whereas at the film institute, I could have made films instantaneously. He was also alert about the advent of TV and somehow, knew how big it was to become. He told me that though many people do without any formal learning it’s actually good to have it. “Just do it.” he said.

I had also met other filmmakers, including Saeed Mirza, while working as a journalist. I had asked Mirza if going to a film school was a better idea than doing a job and what he told me was something I could never forget. He had said, “An institute will polish pebbles and dim diamonds.”

Did FTII polish the pebble or dimmed the diamond?
(Chuckles) I have no idea. I think polished the pebble, probably.

How was the training at FTII?
I did the three year diploma in direction course at FTII. It’s a great place where one gets to watch so many films. The whole campus keeps abuzz with films screenings and subsequent discussions. Apart from the formal learning, the environment also acts upon you in an overall sense. The individual exercises also help you a lot. You try to come up with a masterpiece every time and end up making a not so good stuff. But one learns and keeps on learning from his mistakes.

How did you become a writer?
I do write stuff but I don’t think I am as prolific or disciplined as I should be. I write out of compulsion than choice. I enjoy writing but lack the discipline to sit and write. The shooting process is equally fun for me. So I finish shooting one film and then sit to write the other one. It takes me time. Now I am also trying to work with other people and collaborate, along with writing my own thing. Writing is fun for me but it requires major discipline which I need to get.

What happened after FTII?
I went to ISRO, Ahmedabad, for two years and was making documentaries on various social issues. Then I came back and for a while wasn’t doing anything. I used to write for B P Singh, the director-producer of CID and Aahat. My brother was actually writing the bulk of those episodes. But sometimes when he wasn’t free and a story was needed immediately, I would chip in. That would take care of few of my expenses. Then, I started directing some episodes of these two shows.

For almost 10 years I was trying to make a feature film but it wasn’t easy at that point of time. I made a film named Raman Raghav which never got released. I made it for a company named Media Classic which was into making Marathi TV serials.They wanted to do something on true incidents of Mumbai cops and gave me 5-6 stories based on old police case files which included the case of Charles Sobhraj escaping from the Tihar Prison.

Raman Raghav’s story was also one of them. I found him as a very fascinating character. He was probably India’s first Serial Killer. I had a lot of access to the cops who had actually worked on that case. I met all of them and got the required material. I came up with a script which was very dramatic. I had also spoken to Raghuvir Yadav and had told him about Raman Raghav’s life story; what he did and why, how he was caught and things like that.

One of the people I had met during my research was a psychiatrist who had examined and treated Raman. He told something which made a lot of sense to me. He said, “He is not criminal but a sick person. He has paranoid schizophrenia which is kind of a disease.” Then a few days before the shoot, I went back to my script and found it very fake. The murders were overly dramatic, while in reality there was no drama but a man compelled to do something. I felt the script was completely wrong and told my EP, “I will not use this script. I will just shoot what actually happened.” Of course, parts of the script remained but the drama was gone. I and Raghuvir Yadav shot it just like what had happened in reality. It didn’t remain fiction but something based on facts.

That film earned me some kind of recognition. Ramu (Ram Gopal Varma) saw it and asked me to write for him. This is how I got into writing.

What did you write after that?
I had been writing a couple of scripts for Ramu but he would back off midway saying “This is not what I want to do right now. I want to do something else.” There was one story involving an encounter cop which he wanted me to write. He gave me a lot of material while I also did some research. At one point he said “You will make this film.” My reaction was “Oh, I would love to.”

But I remember Company was just getting released at that time when he told me “I think it’s not the right time to make that film. The cops don’t want something like this to come out. Wait for some time.”

May be he saw that I was disappointed and then offered me another story to read. It was Ek Hasina Thi. It wasn’t a proper script but kind of a novelette written by a first timer. I read it and liked a lot of its elements. Then we sat and rewrote it to be made into a film.

Before that, I had mostly written for television. It’s only for B P Singh that I have written stuff which he directs otherwise, I write only what I have to direct myself. So would you say, for you, films are more important and writing is just a way to get them made?
Not really. Writing is of course a way of making films but it also has its own joy which one can relish. It’s just that for me, because I always wanted to make films eventually, all my writing got focused around what I could make or get produced. Once or twice people have told me to write for them but that was in a very initial phase. One film was even ready to be shot but then it didn’t happen. So finally the first script which I wrote was that of my own film. I wasn’t a writer first and then a filmmaker, I was a bit of both all the time.

Your first film came in 2004 and third film came in 2012. Would you say you are bit on the slow side?
Of course, there is no way I can avoid that. I am now trying to be prolific. Sometimes you don’t plan such delays, they just happen. Once you finish a film you do take six months to one year to write another one and that is time consuming. Apart from that, there are no excuses to such long gaps. I hope it doesn’t happen again.

Your brother (Shridhar Raghavan) is also a writer, any possibilities of collaborating with him? We keep talking about it but he is kind of a busy writer. We both actually want it to happen and it might happen soon. In fact, whenever he writes something he bounces it up to me. It’s like if he is writing something and I am doing something else, it’s bound to take both of us some time to reciprocate.

It’s just that we haven’t sat down together and worked on a project. We were supposed to work together for Agent Vinod but then that film was taking its own time in terms of when we were to start. So at one point of time he moved on and said “Ok, another time.” We will definitely work together. It’s like having a writer at home whose work I really like. I’d really like to work with him.
And Javed Akhtar?

I am fond of the films he has written. Personally, I have just met him once. There was a screenwriting seminar in Pune which Anjum (Rajabali) had organized. It was one of the firsts of its kind, around some 5-6 years back. He told me to speak about Salim-Javed and I readily agreed. I love Salim-Javed’s work and have grown up on their films like Zanjeer, Deewar, Sholay and Trishul. So I made some notes to come prepared and to my horror, I found Javed Saheb sitting right there in the audience! I got too nervous.

So I spoke to the audience that when I was 8-9 years of age, we used to listen to the radio which had slots for different kinds of programs, just the way TV has today. I told them about listening to the ad of Zanjeer. My father would be having a shave, few others kids would be waiting for me downstairs and I would be hearing: ‘Yaadon Kee Zanjeer Mein Lipta Hua Inteqaam Ka Shola’ followed by the ‘Diljalon’ song and ‘Prakash Mehra’s Zanjeer’ while getting ready for school.

All I can say is that I have watched Salim-Javed’s films at a very young age and they have left imprints on my mind. I have watched them many-many times as in those days, there used to be reruns in theatres. I have seen all these film 20-25 times each. That way, they get stuck in your mind and get tattooed. Even today when me and my brother, or even Rajat (Aroraa); get stuck somewhere we think of scenes from these movies.

What about Vijay Anand and his films?
Similar. I used to love Dev Anand as an actor. Probably the reason for it is that I could see films like Johnny Mera Naam and Jewel Thief at a young age. Quite at the same time while I watched Salim-Javed’s films.

We see a lot many movies and somehow, some of them stand out. May be it’s because of the way they are shot, directed and edited. Later on you learn to appreciate such films and get to know how Teesri Manzil is different from other thrillers. Vijay Anand and Hitchcock are directors whose works are textbooks for me. They are the people whose work I have liked first as viewer and then later on tried to figure out why their films worked so much.

As a writer, is there a particular genre you like to work in?
Not particularly. I have only done thrillers so far but I would like to explore other genres as well. In fact, I am currently writing a few things in other genres. It’s not like I am genre specific.

Even if I talk about Vijay Anand and Alfred Hitchcock; I mean a certain kind of thrillers. A crime novel or a crime film can explore whole lot of other things and I don’t feel restricted by doing a film in that genre.

From idea conception to actual shooting, what is your process of writing?
I wish I had done twenty films, only then I could have given a clear-cut answer. I am still finding my process. Right now, or rather so far, it’s a little haphazard. Writing with B P Singh was always a last moment kind of a thing. Friday I was asked to write something so that shooting could take place on Monday. The only motivation to write at that time was of getting paid. That could buy me some more time of my own.

It was like you know it’s a CID episode, so you work under that pressure and sometimes come up with good stuff and sometimes, not so good stuff.

The first film which I did, Ek Hasina Thi, was not actually my script. It was written by a writer named Pooja Surti and what she had written was actually like a novelette. Scenes were not defined, dialogues were little more descriptive and so on. But the essence of the story was there in that broad one-line: A girl who gets conned by a good-looking charmer eventually goes to jail where she gears up to take revenge. At that point of time, I was so desperate to make a movie that I would have probably said yes to whatever Ram Gopal Varma had given me.

What I liked about this story was that it had a love story in the beginning, followed by a jail drama section and then a revenge story in the end. So it was three different kinds of movies packed in one. I jumped on to it. Ramu asked me to flesh out the script and then we sat down and rewrote it in three months. A lot of things which made into the film actually happened while we were writing it.

What is your writing process right now?
Now I am in a different phase. On one hand I am trying to recharge myself after Agent Vinod and trying to watch as many movies, on the other I am also trying to write two scripts at a time. One I am writing on my own and another one I am writing with someone else. It’s an early stage for both these scripts where I just know the broad story. I am just jotting down scenes which I feel can happen in these films. I am not writing extensively but what I am putting together is a shoebox of ideas. One story is set in early 50s-60s and right now, what I am writing are all the possible things which can happen in that film. I can tell you only this much because after that, everything goes into a vague territory. Once I find my shoeboxes full, I will start putting pen to paper.

Somewhere the story also evolves in this kind of a process. Sometime later I will try and start writing it like the first draft of a script. Then I will write one version which is right up to the end. That is the way I wrote Johnny Gaddar. Good or bad, I write a draft till the very end. Usually it doesn’t come out good but it at least has some good points. Then you have something to improve upon. It’s a lot of rewriting actually.

Give examples from your films: What gets you fascinated to a subject and how you finish writing it?
I will take the case of Ek Hasina Thi. It has a very normal premise: A girl gets betrayed, gets into jail, escapes from there and takes her revenge. It’s not a very novel one-liner. Now what I liked is that the initial part was a love story.

So Pooja and I started working out scenes and as the first version, we wrote a very Yash Chopra kind of a love-story to establish how the relationship between the girl and the boy develops. Ramu felt we were keeping it too regular and suggested us to go a little edgier. Then he gave us a couple of leads on that. For example there was a scene which Ramu had suggested to us. There was scene in which she comes out of the supermarket, some thief snatches her bag and runs off. This main guy goes in, catches that guy and gets the bag back. She thanks him and he asks her for a cup of coffee. Now, Ramu suggested that the boy would make fun of the whole thing and say “Oh, that guy was a bit short, that’s how I could get him down.”

Similarly there is a scene in which some guys try to hassle her and he comes in and hits one of them breaking his arm. Later on he says “I broke his arm, I will have to pay him more money. I had paid them just to hassle you.” But you never know if he is lying or whether it actually happened. So these little ideas which Ramu gave us suited well to the character and made the film edgier.

We reached a point while scripting the movie where in spite of it being a thriller, there was nothing thrilling for the first 40 minutes. Ramu said, “People will think it’s a love story. Where is the thriller? We should try and inject something.” He told that since Karan, the character played by Saif (Ali Khan), is a mafia-related guy we should have had some hint of that background. To overcome this we tried to think of scenes which would not look like expository or explanatory kind of scenes. Then Ramu recalled a scene of Godfather 3 in which the lead pair is in bed when suddenly a sound is heard and a guy is found hiding. But if we had done some something too similar, it would have stood out reminding people of that film.

I think it was Pooja’s or Ramu’s idea because it wasn’t mine, but what we did was that these two are in bed when she suddenly she hears something and goes to the kitchen. We then hear her scream and we hold on Saif and wonder what happened inside. He goes there and finds that she is scared at finding a rat. That is kind of a false alarm and it also gets a laugh but I told myself “Even if it’s not the thriller I was looking for, there is some edge to it.” Then, thanks to that one scene, we got the whole motif of rats in the movie. We made her be a person who is scared of rats (Even I am terrified of rats myself!). We used rats even in the jail sequence and then again, in the absolute climax. It is magical how one gets something for one reason and then three-four more scenes fill in and suddenly it starts looking like something completely organized and planned. If we hadn’t thought about that scene in Godfather Part 3 we wouldn’t have got that sequence.

This is how ideas come in the real process of writing. What you end up with is pretty much what anyone else can write, but in the process, you have to be alert enough to keep getting those terrific little ideas otherwise, writing is a very painful and lonely kind of a thing. So one good idea can give you the momentum to do well and can charge you to go ahead.

How did Johnny Gaddar happen?
That was one script I had written even before my first film. I had seen Reservoir Dogs, Tarantino’s film, and had loved it. I read Tarantino speaking in an interview that he was so keen to make this film that he had thought of making it with newcomers in less than 50 thousand dollars. Of course, the script then went out to Harvey Keitel and became a big enough film with known actors who were willing to work in it because they loved the script.

So I thought it was a good route to take. I wanted to make a low-budget thriller without stars, with somebody new. I wanted to make it as cheap as I could. I am a big fan of the French Film Noir, filmmakers like Jean–Pierre Melville, the American Crime Thrillers of the 40s and so on.

That was the space, the world I was trying to work out. I had a list of movies like Kuberick’s The Killing and Blood Simple:All low-budget crime films. Then, I took the simple idea of ‘a caper which goes wrong’ and slowly, bit by bit, was trying to come up with a workable story. I had this story even before I met Ram Gopal Varma and made Ek Hasina Thi. So I had the script but didn’t have a producer or a financial backing. Even though it was a small-budget film nobody was interested in making it as it was about a new guy, whom nobody knew, committing all these murders. It was a very dark kind of film. So it never got made at that point but after Hasina Thi it got easier to make that film.

I also remember that much before Hasina Thi, I had also narrated it to Kundan Shah. I wanted Saif to play the title role and Kundan was working with him at that point of time.

I told him I wanted to narrate the story to Saif and he asked me to narrate it to him first. We sat at my house for a drink and chatted. But he didn’t like my story. He said “It’s just the plot which you’ve got, there is no character, story; there is no film in it.” I said it at least had an interesting plot. He then said one line which made a lot of sense to me, “The plot has no life and life has no plot.” From what he said, I understood that plot should be just an excuse to explore characters and go much beyond.

Though my script was named Johnny Gaddar even at that point of time, it wasn’t the film it became later on because it was only plot-driven. There was nothing else. Then after Hasina Thi I again took it up and rewrote it. Rewriting a script years later gives you an upper hand. I gave Dharamji’s character a wife and tried to look at each character like actual people while not thinking too much about the plot. Then, the plot and the characters kind of matched together.

What about Agent Vinod?
Vinod happened because of a meeting with Saif where both of us discussed the spy films we loved as kids, like the Bond franchise. We talked about the original Agent Vinod, starring Mahendra Sandhu, which both of us had loved. He asked me to try and do something like that. I didn’t want to remake the old film for sure because if you watch it today, it comes across as a spoof on other Bond and spy films.

So we took the title, because it sounds retro and cool, and tried to make our own contemporary film. Ours was a today’s film with a different story – only the title was borrowed from the old film.

Frankly speaking, Agent Vinod hasn’t done well enough to match our expectations but that’s a part of the game. We did spend a lot of time making it and had worked really hard on it.

Why do you think it didn’t work as you had thought it would?
After a thing hasn’t worked, every answer seems to have some value. I really can’t say. I knew the film was little long, little bloated when it was being written but couldn’t crack that. The story had already been defined in a certain way. It was a 2 hrs 40 min film which was too long for an action-thriller spy movie. It should have been only 2 hrs. But I felt it would not bother anyone if they enjoy it. Today, Anurag (Kashyap) has made a 5 hrs long film. So, if you like it you watch it; it’s not about time or length.

I don’t know the real reasons behind Agent Vinod’s poor run though I have tried to analyze. I had a co-writer for that movie, a guy named Arijit Biswas. We had spent time thinking of a good story but then we felt, we should take a very standard kind of a story. What happens in most of the spy films? -- The agent saves the world. Bond films are not about stories; they are about sequences, locations, moments and things like that. If you look at the story of Casino Royale, it is quiet a nonsensical story. I can point out more flaws in it than I have in my own film. But it doesn’t matter because it’s about the rush and the excitement which you get and which has been promised in the title.

When my film got released, many people had expected a Johnny Gaddar kind of a story. This movie wasn’t clever in that sense. And this might be one among those few reasons which I can think of after the film hasn’t done well. But I won’t be able to pin point one exact reason. May be there was a flaw in the script which for some reason I couldn’t crack. Now I have to let it go.

One flawed scene which I can think of is when Kareena’s character goes to discover the villain. There were so many cops around but she doesn’t tell them and goes all alone. That was something which seemed weak on paper itself but sometimes you try to get over these things as a director. But sometimes the problem just doesn’t get solved. I can’t make out why the movie didn’t work. All I do is to listen to the reasons which people tell me. Obviously, I have learnt from them and if I would get a chance to make another such movie, I would probably make new mistakes.

Many critiques say your films are about films. What would you say to your style of injecting references to your favorite films?
I don’t sit with a list telling myself which movies I should pay homage to. My films are about films in a way that probably most of my experiences are from films. All that I know is from films and somehow it shows up.

Having references to other movies is something which is fun. But it should not be in- your-face and hamper the story. A film can’t highlight such elements as some private jokes which only I and a few people can understand. That’s not the virtue. You can do that but it doesn’t help the film in an overall sense.

In Johnny Gaddar it all happened on its own. In fact, only after I read the reviews I could realize that there were so many references. I hadn’t thought that people were going to make a list of them. In the initial draft of the film, there was no reference to Parwana. But I remember from my childhood that it has a nice sequence of a guy taking a train, going somewhere else and creating an alibi for himself. So, I knew that the idea was from there. I asked Pooja, my co-writer of Ek Hasina Thi, “What if the remote gets switched on accidentally when these two are in bed and they find Parwana running on TV?” She laughed and agreed that it was a fun thing to do.

Later on, I used this idea in Johnny Gaddar where the protagonist watches Parwana on TV and then, formulates a plan. Otherwise how do you tell your audience that he has suddenly decided to steal the money? How do you visually do that? So that’s where Parwana came in.

In a similar incident, once Neil Nitin Mukesh had read the script and everything else had also got finalized, I went to meet his father Nitin Mukesh. He asked me why the film was titled Johnny Gaddar. I said “There is no reason, expect the fact that I like Johnny Mera Naam and this guy is a gaddar.” But he was apprehensive about this odd title and said “But still, why not a simpler name?” We had already started shooting for the film and I thought it was a question which needed to be answered.

Then there was a scene which has Vikram (Neil Nitin Mukesh’s character) going to a hotel in Pune and there he has to register himself. He would have normally said any name but not his actual one. So I thought what if the receptionist is watching the film Johnny Mera Naam on TV? It keeps coming on Sony and even today I end up watching it again and again.

One of my favorite scenes in Johnny Mera Naam is that of the confrontation between Pran and Dev Anand at the top of a hill. They fight with each other and then realize that they are actually brothers. So I thought what if that “Bol Kya Naam Hai Tera?” dialogue is being played out on TV at the hotel reception? So it clicked just like that. Then the receptionist asks about the surname in Marathi and Vikram doesn’t get it so he says “Ji?” The guy writes down the name as “Johnny G.” in his register, which eventually becomes allegoric to the title Johnny Gaddar. So again it’s like some magic idea which happens but not all the time.

Today, why do you think there are more writer-directors than sole writers or sole directors? There is no trend behind it. I think most of the directors would prefer to be given a superb script. Then they just have to shoot it and enhance in whatever manner they can. But you don’t get those scripts so easily. Somehow most writers, like Abbas Tyrewala, began as writers and then turn directors. I think other than Shridhar (Raghavan) and a few more people, majority of writers have gone this way. As directors we do write our own stuff but say for example, you have a subject and I find it interesting why would not I make a film on it? I would love to do that. So it’s not like I only direct what I write.

Does a scriptwriter contribute to the situations for songs?
I think yes, definitely. I love songs in movies. Hasina Thi didn’t have scope for songs because we were not going for that conventional love-story but it had a background score. Johnny Gaddar had a lot of music but not songs in the usual sense. For Agent Vinod, I knew I had to have songs in it because it was a big budget movie. I didn’t want a situation where someone tells me afterwards that there are four songs which need to be put in and then to wonder where do I put them.

At writing level, we are clear what can be a song situation. In Vinod, most of the songs happen while the scenes unfold. But there is no lip-sync song where the hero suddenly bursts into singing. Every song had a definite placement and has some part of the story unfolding at that time.

I can give examples how it was done in earlier films. If you take a movie like Guide and remove all its songs, it would collapse. The songs tell you so much about the character, the story and so on. With due respect to Guide, all I want to say is that I love music in films but I can’t have a hero suddenly bursting into mouthing a song.

So no lip-sync for you?
Nothing like that! I would love to do it if I get a chance. Maybe I should do it out of a gut feeling! Mostly, my films are set in realistic zones so I am bit wary of how to make that look convincing. To break that, is not easy, but people have done it. Rangeela does that beautifully – very realistic film, expect the songs are treated like a musical. So you have to find your own method to do it.

What about your future projects? Is it true that you have signed for a fantasy film, Happy Birthday with Ramesh Sippy, which will star Shah Rukh Khan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan? Happy Birthday is a subject which is very close to me. I was to do it 2-3 years back with Mr. Ramesh Sippy but there were date issues with the actors. Most importantly, I wasn’t also happy with the climax. I didn’t have the last 30 percent, so to say, and what I had was not good enough to make me happy. I told Rameshji that I could shoot it till what I had with me and was sure that the rest would get cracked in the meanwhile. But I didn’t know how.

He got worried anticipating too many changes happening later and asked me to put it on hold. Later on, I had solved the problem but by then I had lost the dates of the actors. That is one film I want to do but it’s not immediately going into production. There is time for that. Right now I am actually writing another thriller. Luckily, I have got 3-4 producers who are interested in working with me. I am just taking off time in watching movies and planning things and maybe a bit later, will decide upon what I have to finalize.

How much time does it take you to write a subject?
I have not written too many films. Each of my films has taken its own time. From now on probably I will know if it takes me 3 months or 6 months. Otherwise, I feel, Agent Vinod has taken the longest time. Its first version took 6-9 months. That period also included a lot of reading, research and false starts.

At some point, we deiced about the characters and the story we wanted to tell. Then we began writing. Vinod, for me, was mostly about the sequences. It wasn’t about the story, really. It was meant as much for kids. Even the title Agent Vinod is not like Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy where I could have gone into serious examination of a RAW agent’s life. It meant for a fun ride. The idea was – What if there could be an Indian Bond?

I know I am not answering your question and talking more about Agent Vinod. I had decided that it wasn’t meant to be an ‘adults only’ film. Both my earlier films were not for kids. So, I deliberately kept the violence on a very fun level. Therefore, even when Vinod is tortured he is just given a serum otherwise they would probably break his knuckles and do things which are done to a spy. But here I went for a fun approach.

That is probably why many critiques felt that it did not have the cleverness of Johnny Gaddar. Well, it wasn’t meant to be but they can have their own perceptions.

If you were to take a class on script writing, what would you tell to young writers who look up to you?
I don’t teach script writing. Sometimes I go to such classes just to share my experiences. I talk about things like - What it was, what it became, how does a scene change or evolve, why had I shot it in a certain way etc. I don’t have a very academic approach to writing.

How do you teach writing? How do you teach someone to tell a joke? It’s just has to be done. I meet a lot of writers and get a lot of scripts of which out of 10, 8 are bad or unreadable. I don’t have an answer to why that happens.

I think writing is rewriting. Many people write a draft and feel they are done but maybe there is just a germ of an idea there. Maybe, there is something good which one can encapsulate.

I write till the day I go for the shoot. My scenes are open for improvement till the last moment which is one reason I don’t believe in a completely bound script. I keep one door open all the time so that I can incorporate if I get something better. Of course, I would not say tomorrow suddenly that I want a giraffe on the set but within the scene, within the dialogues, it can improve to a large extent. In Vinod, maybe I overdid that. Sometimes you should also know where to stop.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

हंगल की स्‍मृति में


मैं अपनी अनूदित पुस्‍तक सत्‍यजित भटकल लिखित ऐसे बनी लगान से एके हंगल से संबंधित अंश यहां दे रहा हूं। ए के हंगल की स्‍मृति को समर्पित यह अंश प्रेरक है.... 
24 जनवरी 2000 
हंगल डॉ राव के अस्‍पताल में विश्राम कर रहे हैं।डाम्‍क्‍टर दंपति ज्ञानेश्‍वर और अलका परिवार के किसी सदस्‍य की तरह ही उनकी देखभाल करते हैं।पिछले दो सालों में हंगल ने पत्‍नी और बहू को खो दिया हैत्रवह उनके प्रेम और स्‍नेह सेप्रभावित हैंत्रआज शाम 'लगान' के कई लोग डॉ राव के अस्‍पताल जाते हैं और हंगल की सेहतमंदी के लिए गीत गाते हैंत्रअस्‍पताल के बाहर आधा भुज जमा हो जाता है।हंगल बिस्‍तर पर पीठ के बल लेटे हैं। उनकी तकलीफ कम नहीं हुई है,लेकिन व‍ि द्रवित हो उठते हैं। 
आमिर और आशुतोष महसूस करते हैं कि हंगल शूटिंग करने की अवस्‍था में नहीं हैं,वे दूसरे उपाय सोचते हैं। आमिर हंगल से कहता है कि वे वैकल्पिक व्‍यवस्‍था करेंगे,लेकिन वह बीमार एक्‍टर के जवाब से चौंक जाता है।हंगल उससे कहते हैं कि अगर प्रोडक्‍शन एंबुलेंस से उन्‍हें सेट पर ले जाए तो वे शूटिंग करेंगे। आमिर उनसे गुजारिश करता है कि उनकी पीठ फिल्‍म से अधिक महत्‍वपूर्ण है,पर कोई फायदा नहीं होता।जिंदगी के इस दौर में हंगल का स्‍वास्‍थ्‍य गिर गया है,लेकिन उनकी दृढ़ता जस की तस है। 
हंगल ने जिंदगी से प्‍यार किया और मुश्किलों से निकलकर आए।बचपन में पेशावर में जब ब्रिटिश टुकडि़यां निर्दोष नागरिकों की हत्‍याएं कर रही थीं तो हंगल बाल-बाल बचे थे।जवानी में विभाजन के समय उन्‍हें पाकिस्‍तानी जेल में डाल दिया गया कि उन्‍होंने दोरोष्‍ट्रों के सिद्धांत को स्‍वीकार नहीं कियात्रबुढ़ापे में उन्‍हें ठाकरे का कोपभाजन बनना पड़ात्रउन्‍होंने अपने काम का बहिष्‍कार सहा। अब काम से भाग जाना उनके स्‍वभाव के खिलाफ होगा। 
25 जनवरी 2000
मैं एक एंबुलेंस लेकर डॉ राव के अस्‍पताल जाता हूं।मुझे हंगल को सेट पर ले जाना हैत्रअस्‍पताल में पगवेश करने पर देखता हूं कि एक निस्‍तेज व्‍यक्ति बिस्‍तर पर सिमटा पड़ा है। मुढे देखकर हंगल मुस्‍कराते हैं,पर वह थोड़ा भी हिल नहीं सकते।मैं सोचता हूं कि ऐसी स्स्थिति में वह शूटिंग केसे करेंग।हंगल के सहायक गोपाल की मदद से हम उन्‍हें उठाकर स्‍ट्रेचर पर रखते हैं।उन्‍हें बिस्‍तर से उठाकर स्‍ट्रेचर पर रखने में पंद्रह मिनट लगते हैं।उनके शरीर के किसी भी हिस्‍से के हिल-डुल का खयाल रखना है और पूरी सावधानी बरतनी है।हमारी तमाम सावधानी के बावजूद हंगल दर्द से तड़पते हैं। 
यथासंभव धीमी गति से एंबुलेंस कच्‍ची और उबड़-खाबड़ सड़क से होकर चंपानेर पहुंचता है।पा्रेडक्‍शन एरिया का सख्‍त लनयम है कि शूटिंग एरिया में कोई भी गाड़ी नहीं आएगी।वचे पीरियड फिल्‍म में गलती से भी टायरों के निशान दिखाने का जोखिम नहीं लेना चाहते।हंगल के लिए विशेष छूट मिलती है।जैसे ही उनका एंबुलेंस सेट पर पहुंचता है,यूनिट के सदस्‍य तालियां बजाकर उनका स्‍वागत करते हैं।स्‍ट्रेचर बाहर निकलता है और हंगल हाथ हिलाकर सभी को धन्‍यवाद देते हैं।दर्द पहले की तरह बरकरार है।हंगल की दाढ1ी छांटी जाती है और उन्‍हें याूटिंग के मुताबिे कपड़े पहनाए जाते हैं।हंगल कराहते हुए यह सारा काम करते हें। इसके बाद बड़ा क्षण आता है।सात किरदारों से घूता हुआ कैमरा आकर हंगल पर रुकता है।हंगल को संवाद बोलना है-नहीं,नहीं।इस साल जो अनाज है उसी में गुजर-बसर हो जाइ,लेकिन अगले साल अगर यही हाल रहा तो गांव छोड़ने के अलावा कौनो रास्‍ता नाही बची,कौनो ही रास्‍ता ही नहीं बची। 
पांच टेक में शॉट ओके हो जाता है।एक बार गोली से गड़बड़ हो जाती है।एक बार अनिल ना,ाुश होते हैं,एक बार नकुल....लेकिन हर बार हंगल का टेक परफेक्‍ट होता है।ण्‍क बार भी वह अपनी पंक्तियां नहीं भूलते,एक बार भी दर्द से नहीं कराहते,एक बार भी उनका अभिनय कमजोर नहीं पड़ता। रात के खाने के समय माहौल गंभाीर और मननशील है।सभी जानते हैं कि उन्‍हें आज कुछ खास देखने का मौका मिला।उन्‍होंने शरारपर जोश की जय देखी।
 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Tracking the coming of age of Bollywood’s enfant terrible -Namrata Joshi

चवन्‍नी के पाठकों के लिए अंग्रेजी आउटलुक में छपा नम्रता जोशी का लेख... 
 Swear By Him
It was in the August of 2001 that Outlook got a call from the writer of Satya, Shool and Kaun about a run-in with the censors over his directorial debut, Paanch. About five youngsters who are part of a rock group called Parasites, the film was rejected by the Central Board of Film Certification for glorifying drugs, sex and violence, besides the foul language and negative characters. Paanch never saw the light of day and jokingly came to be referred to as the most widely seen unreleased film in the history of Indian cinema. Its director Anurag Kashyap, however, became a regular presence in our Bollywood forays—mostly for controversial reasons. In a scathing column in 2004, he got after every big name in the industry, from Khalid Mohammed to Subhash Ghai. “We are running a donkey’s race, swimming in the shallow end of mediocrity, believing we are masters of the sea,” he wrote. Letters poured in, in provocation.
For many years thereafter, Anurag remained a filmmaker in search of a debut, acquiring in the process a new middle name: jinxed. Black Friday, a no-holds-barred recreation of the 1993 Bombay blasts, came to be stuck for a few years because of a court stay. No Smoking (2007) did get a release but got roundly thrashed for being a dense, pretentious and self-indulgent take on fascism. Eventually it took Dev.D (2009), a reinterpretation of Sharat Chandra’s Devdas, to rescue him from oblivion and set him on an upward trajectory.
It was still hard, though, to imagine a Kashyap film as the stuff of huge kitschy hoardings, releasing with more than 800 prints and running more than five shows a day in some suburban multiplex. Gangs of Wasseypur 1 and 2 has changed that. They have made him a brand, one with more than a dozen films riding on him (see box). Anurag Kashyap is now the toast of international film fests, attending Cannes with three films and a 40-strong contingent, and due at Toronto, four films in tow. “He has got acceptability, visibility in a certain constituency that frequents the multiplexes,” says Shohini Ghosh, professor at the AJK Mass Communication Research Centre, Jamia Millia Islamia. “In that sense, he is a mainstream filmmaker now, but an interesting mainstream filmmaker.”
Remarkable about Anurag’s success is that he has no qualms about working with new people, taking risks with untested talent or backing projects of debutants. If Gangs... brought us face-to-face with lesser-known names like Nawazuddin, Huma Qureshi and Richa Chaddha, Bombay Velvet will have a script written by historian Gyan Prakash. “I like their energy,” says Anurag, “and I have believed in a conscious attempt at not playing safe.” No other filmmaker in Bollywood, not even his favourites Vishal Bhardwaj and Dibakar Banerjee, is taking such risks. Says Umesh Kulkarni, director of Vihir and Deool, “Good cinema has to be a movement like the New Wave, Dogma. And he has the courage to back and produce all kinds of films, not just his own.” Filmmaker and friend Sudhir Mishra affirms that: “He’s putting his weight behind all sorts of films.”
Anurag also gives the young creative freedom like no one else. He handed Wasseypur’s script to composer Sneha Khanwalkar and lyricist Varun Grover and asked them to create music of their choice for various points in the narrative. “I delegate a lot,” he says. In return, he expects total commitment and hard work. But unlike even his own mentor RGV, he doesn’t hog the limelight. “It’s about the whole team,” he says.
His greatest strength, Anurag claims, is his lack of insecurity. He will let industry people read his film scripts. He has let journos see early cuts of his films. “It improves films, it’s a constantly evolving process,” he says. The only rule is not to do what people expect you to do but what you want to do. Says Mishra, “He is stubborn in what he wants. He has the courage to say no even when circumstances demand a yes.” There is one thing, though, that he has learned over the years. “You are taking money from someone and he needs it back,” he says. The Wasseypurs may have changed that.
With success, however, has come criticism. Many feel he has lost his innocence, begun playing to the gallery, is using and abusing media at his convenience; that his idealism is nothing but empty bluster. “I don’t wear idealism on my sleeve any more,” he admits. “I am going along the industry way but creating my own path.” Criticism keeps him going, it’s praise that makes him anxious. “I am trained to deal with the public not liking me. I am used to being criticised.”
And he has criticised others in return, recklessly at that. Bollywood’s enfant terrible has taken on many holy cows and powerful individuals, be it Bhansali or RGV’s films, YRF’s filmmaking or blasting Amitabh Bachchan for allegedly playing dirty with Bedabrata Pain’s Chittagong over Abhishek starrer Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey. “We’re used to nobody saying anything. I engaged and fought.”
Success, however, is also the great equaliser in Bollywood. The Big B has been recommending Wasseypur to his Twitter followers even as one wonders whether the white flag portends Abhishek landing up in a Kashyap film. In an answer to the query, Anurag shows me the long SMS he has sent Big B, an apology as well as a dig, from Bachchan’s “sabse bada, moonhphat aur bewakoof fan”. There is no reply in his inbox yet.
The entry into the big league has not gone to his head yet, he’s probably still coming to terms with it. Like when I ran into him at Delhi airport soon after the release of Dev.D and he threw me a big grin: “My film is making money.” I asked him to write another column. “I won’t be able to do it,” he replied. “There’s no angst left in me any more. I won’t be able to say anything provocative.” Anurag was in a happy place post Dev.D, and not only because of its success, Kalki Koechlin too had entered his life. “There is stability in life,” he tells me now. “Did I tell you this is my own house?”
He’s talking of the Versova duplex, where huge posters of In the Mood for Love and Jean Paul Belmondo, not any trappings of stardom, adorn the walls of the living room. The stairs leading up to the study are lined with family pictures, he with daughter Aaliya and Kalki. He blames it on Kalki. “I am not driven by nostalgia,” he says. For him, life is cinema, cinema is life. The evidence lies in the DVD-lined walls of his study. Has he catalogued the collection? “In my head,” he says, rolling a cigarette. He admits he wrote dialogues in crappy films like Shaka Laka Boom Boom to build a collection that most of us would turn thieves for. Now working in ads feeds this film-buying frenzy. He has no other indulgences in life, save books. And maybe good booze. “I travel economy. Kapde apne aap mil jaate hain,” he says.
What about family? Sister Anubhuti works on his projects while brother Abhinav is himself in the big league with Dabangg under his belt. His parents—an engineer father and a teacher mother, now retired in Varanasi—are not his core audience. They are hardcore Bollywood buffs. His own early memories of movies are of Bachchan and Dharmendra, of watching 3-4 films at a go on a rented VHS, of catching Heat and Dust, Junoon and Ankur on DD. He breaks into Jeeta tha jiske liye from a fave small-town movie, Dilwale. He tells you how Loha still gets played in Varanasi theatres. International films happened to him much later—when he was doing street theatre with Delhi’s Jan Natya Manch and Vittorio De Sica’s Bicycle Thieves became the epiphany that made him pack his bags and move to Bombay. Today he has enviable linkages with Dardenne Brothers, Fatih Akin, Danny Boyle, Michael Winterbottom, Danis Tanovic et al. Martin Scorsese may call soon.
Like them, cinematic quality informs Anurag’s own craft. Shohini Ghosh finds him the most exciting Indian director cinematically. “It’s about the telling as much as the story. He shoots things in a manner that you are riveted by the narrative even when the story is not interesting. He draws you in,” she says. Umesh Kulkarni finds his use of music interesting. “It’s like an actor,” he says, at times, rising above and compensating for the film’s flaws, like in Gulaal. “He has a vision and stamp on life, and communicates with the audience. He doesn’t just mumble to himself,” says Mishra.
However, Ghosh finds the political ambivalence in his films puzzling. Perhaps because Kashyap himself is politically aware, but not a political creature. The crime, violence subculture and a male universe are other leitmotifs. Ghosh finds his films have “too many men doing manly things”. However, women do hold their own, though Ghosh thinks they need to go beyond just being sexually liberated, “he needs to get into emancipatory sexual politics.” In his defence, Anurag says, “My women can’t be girls next door, they can’t be pretty faces, there has to be more to them.”
This is a man who knows what he’s doing. What he needs to guard himself against is The Anurag Kashyap Myth, the trap of a glorious self-image. “He has been lionised by a small group of people in a very fulsome manner,” says Santosh Desai, MD & CEO, Futurebrands India Ltd. He has become a posterboy, a whole bunch of young filmmakers and film buffs (jokingly called Kashyaptards) having their own demands and expectations of him. It’s something Anurag realises: “I feel I am getting categorised.” They want to lock him into a formula but he wants to do something they may not expect from him post-Wasseypur. “I have fought with the industry all this while. It’s the fanboys I have to fight now.” With Kashyap, the battles change but never quite end.

Friday, August 24, 2012

फिल्‍म समीक्षा :शिरीन फरहाद की तो निकल पड़ी

-अजय ब्रह्मात्‍मज
संजय लीला भंसाली की बड़ी बहन बेला भंसाली सहगल की पहली फिल्म है शिरीन फरहाद की तो निकल पड़ी। बेला काफी अर्से से फिल्म बनाना चाहती थी और वे पहले भी असफल कोशिशें कर चुकी हैं। एक समय अदनान सामी के साथ तो उनकी फिल्म लगभग फ्लोर पर जाने वाली थी। बहरहाल, भाई संजय लीला भंसाली ने बहन की ख्वाहिश पूरी कर दी। बेला भंसाली सहगल ने अपने भाई से बिल्कुल अलग किस्म की फिल्म निर्देशित की है। वैसे इसे संजय लीला भंसाली ने ही लिखा है। शिरीन फरहाद.. की प्रेमकहानी मशहूर शिरीं-फरहाद की प्रेमकहानी से अलग और आज के पारसी समुदाय की है।
शिरीन फरहाद.. पारसी समुदाय के दो कुंवारे प्रौढ़ों की कहानी है। फरहाद की उम्र 45 की हो चुकी है। सीधे-सादे और नेक फरहाद के जीवन में अभी तक किसी लड़की का आगमन नहीं हुआ है। मां की प्रबल इच्छा है कि उसके बेटे को एक लायक बीवी मिल जाए। बार-बार संभावित बीवियों से रिजेक्ट किए जाने के कारण फरहाद अब शादी के नाम से ही बिदक जाता है। उधर शिरीन पारिवारिक जिम्मेदारियों के कारण शादी के बारे में सोच भी नहीं सकी है। दोनों किरदारों के घरों में कैमरे के आने के साथ हम पारसी समुदाय की जीवनशैली, सोच और आचार-व्यवहार से भी परिचित होते हैं। हिंदी फिल्मों ने तो इन्हें ज्यादातर मजाकिया अंदाज में ही छोटे किरदारों में पेश किया है।
शिरीन फरहाद.. का पूरा परिवेश पारसी है। बेला भंसाली सहगल ने बड़ी खूबसूरती के साथ उसे रचा है। हास्य पैदा करने के उद्देश्य से उन्होंने पारसी समुदाय के हंसी-मजाक, बैठकें और सामुदायिकमेल-जोल की जो तस्वीर पेश की है, वह पारसी समुदाय की सही तस्वीर नहीं लगती। सामुदायिक मेल-जोल में उनकी मार-पीट और उठा-पटक के दृश्य नाटकीय और नकली हो गए हैं। हां, उन्होंने शिरीन और फरहाद को गढ़ने में नाटकीयता का कम उपयोग किया है।
एक जमाने में जैसे परेश रावल गुजराती किरदारों के लिए तयशुदा कलाकार थे। वैसे ही इन दिनों पारसी किरदार के लिए बमन ईरानी पहली पसंद बन गए हैं। पिछले दो-तीन सालों में हमने अनेक पारसी किरदारों में उन्हें देखा है। शिरीन फरहाद.. में बेला ने उन्हें रोमैंटिक और संवेदनशील प्रौढ़ की भूमिका दी है। मां और शिरीन के बीच फंसे फरहाद के द्वंद्व को बमन ईरानी ने समुचित ढंग से व्यक्त किया है। लहजा, शैली और बात-व्यवहार में वे बिल्कुल पारसी लगते हैं। इसके विपरीत शिरीन की भूमिका में फराह खान दिखने में तो पारसी लगती हैं, लेकिन जैसे ही मुंह खोलती हैं, तो उनका लहजा उनकी पोल खोल देता है। फराह खान और बेला भंसाली सहगल ने शिरीन के लहजे पर बिल्कुल ध्यान नहीं दिया है। इस एक कमी से फराह खान की ईमानदारी और सादगी खटाई में पड़ जाती है। फिल्म में नाचते-गाते समय वह बहुत स्वाभाविक लगती हैं। खासकर, स्वयं नृत्य निर्देशक होने की वजह से उनके डांसिंग स्टेप्स लय में दिखते हैं। बमन ईरानी ने भी डांस करते समय उनसे तालमेल बिठाने की पूरी कोशिश की है। अन्य किरदारों में फरहाद की मां बनी डेजी ईरानी और दादी शम्मी आंटी स्वाभाविक और प्रिय लगते हैं।
बेला भंसाली सहगल ने प्रौढ़ प्रेमियों के प्रेम, मिलन और विछोह को उनकी उम्र के मुताबिक शालीन और रोचक ढंग से पेश किया है। शिरीन और फरहाद की मां की मुलाकात का पहला दृश्य काफी मजेदार है। शिरीन फरहाद.. में सारे महिला किरदार स्ट्रांग और स्वतंत्र हैं। ऐसा लगता है कि पारसी समुदाय में परिवार और समुदाय का नियंत्रण महिलाओं के हाथ में ही रहता है। यों यह संयोग भी हो सकता है कि इस फिल्म में पुरुष किरदार नहीं आ पाए हों। बेला भंसाली सहगल ने मार्मिक विषय चुना है, लेकिन उसे पेश करने में वह मार्मिकता कहीं खो गई है। हम शिरीन फरहाद.. की तकलीफ देखते भर हैं। उसे महसूस नहीं कर पाते। फिल्म में गीत-संगीत का अधिक योगदान नहीं है। सारे गाने जबरदस्ती ठूंसे गए हैं, इसलिए अनावश्यक और लंबे लगते हैं। 
संरचना और प्रस्तुति की अंतर्निहित कमियों के बावजूद हमें बेला भंसाली सहगल के इस प्रयास की तारीफ करनी चाहिए कि उन्होंने लोकप्रिय हो रहे अर्थहीन और कथ्यहीन सिनेमा के इस दौर में एक खास समुदाय के प्रौढ़ों की समस्या पर संवेदनशील फिल्म निर्देशित की है। चूंकि रोमांटिक कामेडी में फूहड़ता शिल्पगत विशेषता के तौर पर घुस गई है,इसलिए संभव है कि उन पर बाजार और समकालीन सफल फिल्मों का दबाव रहा हो। बमन ईरानी और फराह खान को लीड भूमिकाओं के लिए चुनना ही क्रिएटिव हिम्मत है।
अवधि- 112 मिनट
*** तीन स्टार

निर्देशन में राकेश रोशन के 25 साल

निर्देशन में राकेश रोशन के 25 साल-अजय ब्रह्मात्‍मज 
राकेश रोशन का पूरा नाम राकेश रोशनलाल नागरथ है। संगीतकार पिता रोशन के पुत्र राकेश को छोटी उम्र से घर की जिम्मेदारी संभालनी पड़ी। पिता की मौत के वक्त उनकी उम्र मात्र 17 साल थी। वयस्क होने से पहले ही पारिवारिक स्थितियों ने उन्हें जिंदगी के चौराहे पर लाकर खड़ा कर दिया। उन्होंने पढ़ाई जारी रखने या पूना फिल्म इंस्टीट्यूट जाने की अपनी इच्छा का गला घोंट दिया और एस एस रवेल के सहायक निर्देशक बन गए। उन दिनों एच एस रवेल दिलीप कुमार और वैजयंतीमाला के साथ संघर्ष बना रहे थे। रवेल के आरंभिक प्रशिक्षण के बाद राकेश रोशन ने निर्देशक मोहन कुमार के साथ काम किया। मोहन कुमार के साथ उन्होंने अनजाना और आप आए बहार आई फिल्में कीं। राकेश रोशन की इच्छा कैमरे के सामने आने की थी। उन्हें टी प्रकाश राव के निर्देशन में बनी घर घर की कहानी में बतौर हीरो अवसर मिला। सीमा, पराया धन और मन मंदिर से उन्हें पहचान तो मिली, लेकिन हिंदी फिल्मों के कामयाब हीरो का रुतबा उन्हें नहीं मिला। वे फिल्में करते रहे। बीच में उन्होंने निगेटिव शेड के किरदार भी निभाए। बेहतरीन अवसर न मिलने से निराश होकर वे खुद फिल्मों के निर्माण में उतर आए। इस प्रयोग में भी उन्हें अधिक सफलता नहीं मिली। अंत में निर्देशन में उतरने का फैसला किया। सन 1987 में आई खुदगर्ज उनके निर्देशन में बनी पहली फिल्म थी।
खुदगर्ज के साथ निर्देशन में उतर कर राकेश रोशन ने करियर का बड़ा दांव खेला था। फिल्म नहीं चलती, तो उनका बेड़ा गर्क हो जाता। एक्टिंग के दिनों में भी राकेश रोशन फिल्म के प्रोडक्शन और डायरेक्शन की बारीकियों पर नजर रखते थे। चूंकि एक्टिंग में ऊंचाई तक नहीं पहुंच पाने का अंदेशा उन्हें पहले से था, इसलिए करियर विकल्प के रूप में उन्होंने निर्देशन में हाथ आजमाने का मन बना रखा था। मेहनत काम आई। दोस्ती और रिश्ते पर आधारित खुदगर्ज खूब चली। राकेश रोशन चाहते, तो अपनी कामयाबी को फार्मूले के तौर पर अगली फिल्मों में दूह सकते थे, लेकिन उनकी अगली ही फिल्म खून भरी मांग थी। यह हीरोइन प्रधान फिल्म थी। राकेश रोशन कमर्शियल फिल्मों के कामयाब डायरेक्टर हैं। कमर्शियल ढांचे में वे प्रयोग करने से नहीं हिचकते। यही वजह है कि उनकी हर फिल्म पिछली फिल्म से अलग होती है। अपनी कामयाबी के बावजूद उन्होंने क्वालिटी को हमेशा प्राथमिकता दी। पचीस सालों के डायरेक्शन करियर में अभी तक उन्होंने केवल 12 फिल्में ही निर्देशित की हैं। कोई और सफल डायरेक्टर होता तो फिल्मों की झड़ी लगा देता। भले ही उनमें कुछ असफल रहतीं।
राकेश रोशन ने हमेशा अपनी प्रतिष्ठा का खयाल रखा। उन्होंने कुछ अद्भुत प्रयोग भी किए। हिंदी फिल्मों एलियन और सुपरहीरो पर केंद्रित फिल्में बनाने वाले वे पहले डायरेक्टर हैं। उनकी हर फिल्म सभी उम्र और तबके के दर्शकों को पसंद आती है। कोई मिल गया के बाद उन्होंने बच्चों को भी आकर्षित करना शुरू कर दिया है। उनके समर्पित दर्शकों में बच्चों की अच्छी तादाद है। राकेश रोशन ने कभी दावा नहीं किया कि वे कोई नई या गंभीर फिल्में बनाते हैं। वे मानते हैं कि दर्शकों के मनोरंजन के साथ वे फैमिली एंटरटेनमेंट की वैल्यू का ध्यान रखते हैं। उन्होंने आम दर्शकों के लिए फिल्में बनाई। उनकी फिल्मों का कैनवास बड़ा होता है और उसका प्रोडक्शन वैल्यू हाई क्वालिटी का रहता है। वे कहते हैं कि मैं अपनी तरह से इंटरनेशनल सिनेमा के स्तर की फिल्में बनाता हूं।
उनकी नई चुनौती कृष 3 है। इस फिल्म की शुरुआत के समय भी वे पहली फिल्म की तरह नर्वस थे। उन्हें हमेशा अगली फिल्म का निर्देशन मुश्किल काम लगता है। उन्होंने एक बार बताया था, प्लानिंग से लेकर रिलीज तक मेरी फिल्म में दो साल लग जाते हैं। मुझे दो साल बाद के दर्शकों की पसंद की फिल्म आज ही सोचनी पड़ती है। अच्छा है कि मैंने युवा सहायकों की टीम रखी है। वे मुझे हमेशा अलर्ट करते हैं। मेरी कोशिश रहती है कि मैं भी उनकी सोच से तालमेल बिठा सकूं। अभी उन्हें रितिक रोशन से भरपूर मदद मिलती है। पिता-पुत्र की जोड़ी अभी तक कामयाब रही है। उम्मीद है कि वे आगे भी इसी तरह मनोरंजक फिल्में लाते रहेंगे।

Thursday, August 23, 2012

mahesh bhatt in hindu


-Anuj Kumar
From master of soul curry to purveyor of carnal potpourri, Mahesh Bhatt has come a long way
Once upon a time Mahesh Bhatt defined subversion in Hindi film industry but in the last few years the enfant terrible of Bollywood seems to have conformed to the needs of the market. Once he caressed the wounds of soul, found new meaning in man-woman relationships, today he panders to the baser instincts. He might have said good bye to direction but he remains the voice of Vishesh Films. Recently he wrote Jism 2 for his daughter Pooja Bhatt and in a few weeks from now he will be presenting another sequel of Raaz. He still makes a lot of sense on social platforms and his steamy flicks make a lot of money at the box office but it is hard to find a connect between the two Bhatts. One appeals to mind while the other seems to be after the easily-stirred parts of the body.
“In 2000, after I gave up direction and Indian economy had opened, all kind of international content had begun to pour into our homes so much so that even the tribals of Bastar could watch Star World. The emotional images and sound consumption which were very middle class and austere were replaced by very luscious and erotic images. I felt that the world has changed but the Hindi film industry has not. That’s when we introduced films like Raaz, Jism and Murder. The business proposition was clear in our minds. Hollywood had already gone through the erotic thriller phase,” he confesses.
He reminds that the banner had not given up on diversity all of a sudden. “Pooja has only one hit in the last decade and that is Jism. She made Holiday, a story of middle class and not so good looking girl. She made Dhoka, which pointed out how state could behave like a terrorist. It was perhaps the first film where a Muslim protagonist had said, ‘you have cheated the Muslims of India.’ Why does a section of society come and ask questions when all that the majority wants is instant gratification. ”
Bhatt holds that you can’t entrust the task of leading a lost generation on filmmakers. He underlines that he refused be straitjacketed even in the 80s. “I made Saraansh and then immediately followed it with Naam. People commented, oh! you are selling out your soul. The problem of cultural czars is that they want I should be only their dog, singing their song according to their likes and dislikes. The moment I start to sing to a population which has alternative tastes they think it is deterioration. In the Centenary year of Hindi cinema why the stunt films that my father (Nanabhai Bhatt) made should not be celebrated. Why Homi Wadia’s work should be ignored? They entertained the people of India, the rickshaw puller, the poor farmer. Is it just because the museum keys are in the hands of people, who have a particular colonised taste?” Bhatt asks.
He alleges that these are the kind of bureaucrats and politicians who had disdain for Mehboob Khan. “Because they considered him illiterate, because he didn’t speak their language.” It is this bureaucrat-led aristocracy that he holds responsible for the collapse of NFDC movement. “They made cinema which the audience could not connect with, but they gave it awards. That cinema didn’t work even for television. I have no problem with pluralism but I detest tyranny of taste. I come from a middle class background. I don’t have cultivated tastes like the great filmmakers of Europe.”
He insists nobody enters the entertainment industry for selfless service. “But if you notice the content of Jism and Raaz, it has a world view. It may be wrapped in an erotic thriller or horror but has a perception which is not borrowed from international film festivals. It is mine; it has Mahesh Bhatt’s finger prints.”
Still, at a time when the youth is going through socio-political upheaval why numb their minds with images of an adult film star. “The image of a ‘Chameli’ standing on a street corner is passé. It is a reference which has worn out. Today we have porn stars. The story was about a woman yearning for enduring love. Middle class woman might disown her but she has similar cultural aspirations, kind of hard wired in her. As for the Anna movement you are referring to, it was yet another fairytale of national awakening which has died.”
In the last few months there have been films which said something substantial. But Bhatt begs to differ. “In 1974 my first film Manzilein Aur Bhi Hain was banned for subverting the institution of marriage. At 22, I realised in India good people fall in love, bad people have sex. My heroine was in a relationship with two men. It is still not part of mainstream discourse.”
The problem, he says, lies in the hierarchy of thought that we have created. “You find the person going to the bar inferior to the person going to the temple. I see them as the same. Both are running away from the inner anguish. Both are seeking to escape from something. Both will flourish. The pursuit for enduring pleasure could either be through intellectual understanding or flesh.” Then why do most of his films conform to societal norms after intermission? “The values are so deeply structured in us that we get trapped. So every narrative moves from darkness to light.”
If he has accepted the route why doesn’t he return to the director’s chair? The ground seems to be swelling with defiant ideas. “I am done with it. The parameters of cinema are not wide enough to express my subversive nature. In my book I could stare down at things without worrying about box office repercussions. Films demand huge investments and a feel-good end and I cannot give painful truths to make money.”
At a time when his second daughter is entering the film industry, he is giving an impression that this generation doesn’t deserve him.
“I have told Alia to discover her own path. You have only two choices. Either go with the truth or stay safe with lies. All of you have chosen to stay safe with lies.”
Meanwhile, he promises to continue to write for films for a generation, which he says, still believes in fairytales.
“They want to see enduring love that justice lasts…and I am here to reinvent those fairytales put in the garb of modern cinematic idiom, till the time they like to hear the lies in an engaging way. But is this something germane to my understanding of life, I would say no. Kabir made pots. I do foolish things but that doesn’t mean I am foolish,” concludes Bhatt.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

दो तस्‍वीरें यश चोपड़ा की अनाम फिल्‍म की


                      यहां है फर्स्‍ट लुक वीडियो...                                                                                                     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ApoyH11WJWo&feature=player_embedded


24 तस्‍वीरों में चिटगांव फिल्‍म

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

लौट आई हूं अपने मैदान में- प्रीति जिंटा


-अजय ब्रह्मात्मज
एक तरह की फिल्मों से ऊब चुकी प्रीति जिंटा ने 2008 में एक बड़ा फैसला लिया। उन्होंने इंडियन प्रीमियर लीग में किंग्स एलेवन पंजाब टीम खड़ी की और क्रिकेट के मैदान में उतर आईं। तब अनेक भवें तनी थीं कि इंडियन प्रीमियर लीग में औरत और अभिनेत्री क्या करेगी? प्रीति ने किसी की परवाह नहीं की। वह अपनी टीम के खिलाडिय़ों के साथ मैदान,ग्रीन रूम और स्टेडियम में टिकी रहीं। अपेक्षित जीत नहीं मिलने से वह निराश भी हुईं। ऐसी ही एक निरशा के क्षण वह दलाई लामा के साथ थीं। दलाई लामा ने समझाया कि निराश न हो। क्रिकेट तुम्हारा मैदान नहीं है। यहां तुम दूसरों पर निर्भर हो। अपने अभिनय के मैदान में डटो। वहां हारो तो निराश होना। प्रीति ने कमर कसी और तय किया कि वह फिर से फिल्मों में आएंगी। इस बार उन्होंने निर्माता की भी जिम्मेदारी ले ली है। उनकी फिल्म इश्क इन पेरिस रिलीज के लिए तैयार है। इस फिल्म में वह अभिनय भी कर रही हैं।
- आप ने फिल्मों से मुंह मोड़ा और अब फिर से फिल्मों का दामन थाम रही हैं। फिल्मों से आप के रिश्ते में इन बदलावों की कोई वजह तो होगी?
0 एक ऐसा वक्त था कि हर तरह की फिल्में थीं मेरे पास। मैं नंबर वन हीरोइन मानी जा रही थी। उस समय मुझे लगा कि जिंदगी में कुछ नया करना है। फिल्में आकृष्ट नहीं कर रही थीं। सच कहूं तो मैंने अपनी मां से कभी नहीं कहा कि मुझे हीरोइन बनना है। मैं ट्रक ड्रायवर,एयर होस्टेस,प्राइम मिनिस्टर या आर्मी पर्सन बनना चाहती थी। फिल्मों में अनियोजित तरीके से आ गई। फिल्मों में आने के बाद मैंने सारे गुर सीखे। फिल्में अच्छी मिलीं। सब कुछ ग्रेट हुआ। फिर एक समय लगा कि अब आगे क्या? तब बाजार का बुरा हाल था। फिल्में ढंग की नहीं मिल रही थीं। मैंने सोचा कि जिंदगी तो एक ही है। अभिनय की चोटी पर तो पहुंच गई। अब यहां बैठे रहने का क्या फायदा? क्यों न कुछ और किया जाए। उसके बाद मैं क्रिकेट में गई। क्रिकेट में जाने पर सब ने मुझे कहा कि मैं गलत कर रही हूं। यह पागलपन है। मेरा मानना है कि जिंदगी में च्वॉयसेज अपनी होनी चाहिए। गिरे भी तो क्या? मुझ में वह अंदरूनी ताकत है कि गिरने पर खुद ही उठ जाती हूं। क्रिकेट में अपेक्षित जीत नहीं मिली। मुझे याद है मैं धर्मशाला में दलाई लामा के साथ बैठी थी। हार से मेरा मुंह लटका हुआ था। उन्होंने समझाया कि खेलना है तो अपने मैदान में खेलो। इस खेल में बल्ला तुम्हारे हाथ में नहीं है। मैंने उनकी तरफ देखा और फैसला कर लिया कि फिर से फिल्में करनी हैं।
-निर्माता बनने का फैसला इतनी आसानी से ले लिया?
0 फैसले की उस घड़ी में पवन सोनी से मेरी मुलाकात हुई। पवन पुराने दोस्त हैं। उन्होंने अपनी तरफ से फिल्म का प्रोपोजल दिया। मैं थोड़े समय तक उलझन में रही। निर्माता बनने का फैसला बड़ा फैसला था। मेरे एक दोस्त ने समझाया कि तुम ने फिल्मों से ही सब कुछ कमाया है। जिस करिअर ने तुम्हें इतना कुछ दिया है,उसे कुछ वापस दे दो। फिल्म नहीं भी चली तो क्या होगा? उस एटीट्यूड से मैं प्रोडक्शन में आ गई। पवन के साथ मैंने धर्मशाला में ही इसकी स्क्रिप्टिंग की। अब दर्शक बताएंगे कि उन्हें फिल्म कैसी लगी। मैं भी तो एक दर्शक हूं। मैंने भी नापसंद आई फिल्मों को रिजेक्ट किया है।

- आप का कितना क्रिएटिव इनपुट रहा? या अप सिर्फ एक्टिंग और प्रोडक्शन की सीमा में रहीं?
- प्रेम फिल्म के डायरेक्टर हैं। आइडिया भी उन्हीं का था। मेरा कंट्रीब्युशन रहा है। थोड़ा ज्यादा ही रहा,क्योंकि मैं स्वयं प्रोड्यूसर हूं। एक्टर के तौर पर मैं पहले भी डायरेक्टर को सलाह देती रही हूं। करण जौहर और दूसरे डायरेक्टर भी इनपुट लेते हैं। प्रेम ने बहुत अच्छा काम किया है। हमारी फिल्म में एक नया लडक़ा भी है। उसे पर सभी गौर करेंगे। नए कलाकार के साथ का करने पर समझ में आया कि शाहरुख खान और मनीषा कोइराला ने कितने धैर्य से मेरे साथ काम किया था। मैंने दोनों को संदेश भेजा कि अब मेरी समझ में आया है। मैं इतने सालों के बाद आप दोनों को धन्यवाद देना चाहती हूं। पहली फिल्म में उन्होंने कितनी मदद की होगी। अनुभवी एक्टरों के साथ जो शॉट एक बार में हो जाता है। नए एक्टर के साथ उसी शॉट के कई रीटेक होते हैं। लाइट,फोकस,फील्ड के बारे में समझाना पड़ता है।
-क्या है फिल्म?
0 आज कल फिल्म के बारे में नहीं बताया जाता। यह एक मजेदार रोमांटिक कामेडी है।  फिल्म एक पावरफुल मीडियम है। उसमें मेकर का रिफ्लेक्शन आना चाहिए। मजाक में खूबसूरती के साथ एक वजनदार बात कही गई है। इस फिल्म को देखने के लिए दिमाग साथ ले जाना होगा। यों ही एंटरटेनमेंट के नाम पर कुछ नहीं बना दिया गया है।
- इश्क इन पेरिस ही क्यों? यह इश्क तो पटियाला और पटना में भी होता है?
0 इश्क इन पेरिस इसलिए कि पूरी शूटिंग वहां हुई है। पेरिस रोमांस का शहर है। मुझे लगता है कि फ्रांस से मेरा पूर्वजन्म को कोई रिश्ता है। मेरी पहली प्रोडक्शन वहीं हो सकती थी। एफिल टावर को पूरी रात के लिए किराए पर लिया था। उस रात एफिल टावर पर खड़ी होने के बाद मुझे एहसास हुआ कि मेरा कोई न कोई कनेक्शन अवश्य होगा। हो सकता है मैंने इसे बनाया हो। एक फ्रेंच एक्ट्रेस के साथ काम करने में मजा आया। उनका नाम इजाबेल अजानी है। आप के सवाल के जवाब में यही कहूंगी कि बाद में पटियाला या पटना का इश्क भी दिखा सकती हूं।
- आप क्रिकेट से जुड़ी रहीं। उसी के उदाहरण से बात करें तो आप ने मिली हुई पारी पूरी नहीं की। बीच में ही खेलना छोड़ दिया? आप ने करिअर के उफान के समय ही छुट्टी ले ली।
0 पारी अभी बाकी है। मैंने थोड़ा रेस्ट लिया है। उस समय मुझे लगा था कि दिल ना लगे तो काम ना करो। अनचाहा काम करने पर दूसरे के काम पर भी असर पड़ता है। फिल्म तो पूरी तरह से टीमवर्क है। मैं एक हद तक ऊब गई थी। इस स्थिति में मुझे लगा कि अभी छोड़ देना ही ठीक है। मैं ऐसी ही फिल्में करना चाहती थी,जिन्हें देख कर मेरी फैमिली और फैन गर्व कर सकें। आप सही कह रह हैं। इंडस्ट्री के दोस्त भी कहते हैं कि मैं खेल के बीच से ही निकल गई।
-बिल्कुल,आज तीनों खानों के साथ काम करने वाली हीरोइनों की खास चर्चा होती है। आप ने दस साल पहले ही तीनों खानों के सथ का किया।
0 अच्छा तो तीनों खानों के साथ काम करने से खास शोहरत मिलती है? मैंने तो इस बारे में कभी सोचा हीे नहीं। यही कहूंगी कि तब क्रिकेट ने मुझे खींच लिया। अपनी टीम की बोली लगाते समय एक्साइटेड थी। आईपीएल में बाकी महिलाएं तो बाद में आईं। उस समय मैं अकेली थी। 2008 में सारे मजे लडक़े ही क्यों ले? मैं लडक़ी हूं तो क्या? मुझे भी मजे करने का हक है। मैंने लडक़ों के खेल को लड़कियों के लिए खोल दिया। पांच सालों के बाद कंपनी व्यवस्थित हो गई है।
-क्या लक्ष्य है आप का?
0 बताना मुश्किल है। मेरा किसी से कंपीटिशन नहीं है। तब लोगों ने कहा था कि फिल्मों में रीएंट्री नहीं होती। तुम निकलोगी तो तुम्हारी जगह कोई ल लेगा। मैंने फिर भी परवाह नहीं की। क्या डरना? अभी आ रही हूं। देखती हूं कि क्या होता है। प्रोडक्शन चलता रहेगा। गिनी-चुनी फिल्में करूंगी। हीरोइन बनने के अपने मजे होते हैं। सनी देओल के साथ भैयाजी सुपरहिट कर रही हूं। वहां कोई चिंता नहीं रहती कि क्या इंतजाम करना है या किस का पेमेंट बाकी है। प्रोडक्शन के साथ एक्टिंग करने में काफी दिक्कतों का सामना करना पड़ता है।