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The lone ranger's star trek

Discussion in 'Paheli' started by Wafa, Jan 21, 2006.

  1. Wafa

    Wafa I want my Mom!!!

    When Palekar offered Shah Rukh Khan a role in Paheli, the latter was so enthused with the script that he offered to produce the movie too.



    The promos intrigue film buffs with a glimpse of the happening lead pair: Shah Rukh Khan and Rani Mukherjee. By now, it is known that marquee names like Amitabh Bachchan, Anupam Kher, Juhi Chawla, Suniel Shetty and Rajpal Yadav also grace the credits. Then there's Sonu Nigam, Sunidhi Chauhan, Madhushree and Shreya Goshal rendering brilliant Gulzar lyrics to M.M. Kreem's soulful music. The use of special effects and elaborate sets whips up more curiosity. Which is why viewers do a double take on spotting Amol Palekar's name as the director of the soon-to-be-released movie Paheli!

    Palekar, the 61-year-old veteran of nine intense, critically-acclaimed Hindi and Marathi movies, probing stark, unconventional subjects and raising uncomfortable questions that make you cringe, squirm and, in a rarity of sorts in Hindi cinema, ponder and think. For those unaware of what it means to push the limits of cinematic narration and widen its canvas, his subjects hold the clue: girl sacrifice, ritual murders, male and female sexuality, birth control when the subject was still taboo, and regressive fatalism.

    But Palekar himself is amused by all the fuss. "It's a wrong notion that I am averse to working with stars," he says. "I've worked with stars in the past. My stories are not written with stars in mind. But if the story demands them and they fit the role, I'm always keen to work with them." He is also conscious that an impressive star cast can help a movie reach wider audiences. "But one doesn't have to make a senseless film and wither away all the advantages," he adds, in a veiled attack on filmmakers who are all style and no substance. "With Paheli, my aim was to make a sensible, lovely, enjoyable movie." That perhaps explains the film's use of music — a surprise element in a Palekar movie. "I've done films with music and mainstream elements. Ankahi, Anaahat, Daayra, Thoda Sa Rumani Ho Jaaye — all had songs," he points out. "If a story or a situation can be best conveyed through a song, why should anyone have a problem with that? It's not the same as throwing in a certain number of songs — regardless of whether they fit the story — and they turn into item numbers."
     
  2. Wafa

    Wafa I want my Mom!!!

    This is the first time he has erected copious sets to recreate Rajasthani havelis in Mumbai and used special effects and sync sound (no dubbing). "If I didn't have them in Paheli, I'd have been unfaithful to the story," he says. "Every subject chooses its own idiom, texture and cinematic language. I choose my ingredients not because the market demands them, but because the story does."

    The film is based on Rajasthani author Vijaydan Detha's novel Duvidha, which had inspired a Mani Kaul movie of the same name over three decades ago. "I have wanted to make this film for many years," says Palekar. "I've been a great admirer of Detha's since the 1980s. He is among the most progressive of contemporary Indian writers. What fascinated me was that this story offered many interpretations, while retaining its core. Paheli deals with a woman's right to choose — a recurrent theme in my films."

    So how different would Paheli be from Duvidha? "Totally different," he says. "As different as Mani Kaul and Amol Palekar are."

    And different he is — even those who have remotely followed his film and theatre trajectory would vouch for that. A post-graduate in Fine Arts from Mumbai's JJ School of Arts, Palekar became "an actor by accident, a producer by compulsion and a director by choice", as he has said often. As an actor, he was much like R.K. Laxman's common man: building extraordinary fame on subdued ordinariness. Most of his movies — such as Rajnigandha, Choti Si Baat, Chit Chor, Gol Maal, Baaton Baaton Mein, Gharonda or Naram Garam — owe their abiding appeal to middle-class innocence and realism. For someone who has bagged numerous Filmfare, State and international awards and who still calls himself the "Lone Ranger" in the film industry, he continues to remain grounded in the realities of his middle-class upbringing and his uncompromising cinema.

    "I make films because I become obsessed with a certain story and want to share it with as many people as I can," says Palekar. Says Sandhya Gokhale, his wife and Paheli's scriptwriter and associate director, "Amol is a very visual person and knows exactly where to shoot what. Apart from being difficult to please, Amol uses his veto power very strongly."

    Like his earlier movies, this one too was shot on location — in Rajasthan, where the love story is set. "For sync sound, people on the sets must maintain pin-drop silence. To our surprise, the thousands of star-struck onlookers readily cooperated," he recalls. Far from Bollywood's infamous star tantrums, Palekar had a smooth run with the celebrities. "How else could I have completed the shoot in 45 days flat," asks the director known for his near-academic discipline and micro planning.

    And how was it working with Big B? "We have worked earlier as co-stars. It was indeed nice of him to accept the offer. He says he always wanted to work with me and couldn't have said no to Shah Rukh." Gauri and Shah Rukh Khan's Red Chillies Entertainment is producing the film. "I'd gone to ask Shah Rukh if he'd be interested in the role. After hearing Sandhya's script, his first question was whether he could also produce the film. That was a pleasant surprise."

    Shah Rukh has made no secret of how much he liked Sandhya's script and how obsessed he is with the project's success. "Most of the key names were decided early on," says Palekar. "Shah Rukh suggested some of the names. As a result, this is the first time I am not working with my regular team of cinematographers, editors, et al. But the ones I have worked with in Paheli are also top-notch."

    The team brims with stories of how Big B would arrive on the sets with a childlike enthusiasm and unfailing punctuality, and how Shah Rukh offered creative suggestions and roped in technicians from abroad.

    Says Sandhya, "Shah Rukh perhaps liked the script's blend of substance with the paraphernalia of mainstream cinema. Unfortunately, these two are widely thought to be mutually exclusive. But films like Maqbool and Black prove otherwise." Concurs Palekar, for whom the most exciting part of Paheli is the "Amol Palekar — Shah Rukh Khan synthesis". "This combination by itself deserves notice," he grins. "Why should we be perceived as having our faces in opposite directions?"
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  3. Wafa

    Wafa I want my Mom!!!

    I loved Paheli from the first time I watched it. and every time I watch I love it even more and more.
     
  4. Mazerq_j

    Mazerq_j Well-Known Member

    Palekar is one of the very best! and he has worked with the the very best too. i like the story and wish for the best at the oscar

    tahnx wafa for sharing
     
  5. sanjani

    sanjani Ullu-Club Member

    I just discovered this thread... :eek:
    Thank you for sharing! :)
    I too love Paheli so much and more with every time I watch it again! :nod: :heart:
    The story, the locations, the colours, costumes...
    And the best: ShahRukh!!! :D :heart: :heart: :heart: :thumb: :clap2: :clap2:
     
  6. KKhan

    KKhan Well-Known Member

    i also think paheli is a good film its truly a nice film to watch and i also want to watch it again
     

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