A chance encounter with Gulzar
I recently visited the home of celebrated poet-lyricist-filmmaker Gulzar in Mumbai. The reason was to meet his daughter, filmmaker Meghna, and while it was delightful to catch up with her, the photographer and I shared a secret wish that we might be lucky enough to meet her father too. So you can imagine how pleased we were when he did join us during the shoot and was kind enough to give me a tour of his art and sculpture collection. Dressed in his trademark starched white kurta-pajama, he spoke impeccable Hindi, which made me aware of my inadequate command over the language. His most recent work is writing lyrics for Meghna’s film ‘Talvar’, with music by his long-time collaborator and
friend Vishal Bhardwaj.
Heroics on sets of Hero
Director Nikhil Advani, handpicked by Salman Khan to helm his production Hero, a remake of the Subhash Ghai hit of the 1980s, enjoyed working on the action sequences in the film. So much so that during the shoot in Kothi, Himachal Pradesh, Advani decided the best location for a particular scene was in a valley. “I wanted it to look impossible,” and it was, by all accounts. Getting to this location required 270 people to rappel down the side of the cliff everyday and then up again at the end of the shift for 10 days. Even all equipment, from snowmobiles etc, was brought down by zip-line. “It was a very steep valley and we shot a massive action sequence there,” says Advani. Ask him why he chose a place inconvenient and challenging and she says, “ Because I liked it.” Let’s see how this
translates in the film, which releases today.
Some unwelcome changes
Filmmaker Anees Bazmee had to face finicky questioning by the censors ahead of the release of his latest film Welcome Back. Sources say they objected to two things in particular: a shot of a woman leaving a swimming pool dressed in a bikini and the use of a rather pedestrian slang word. Bazmee, we hear, tried to reason with the members that a woman in a swimming pool would naturally be dressed appropriately and what could he do to change that. It seems the compromise was to reduce the length of the shot. As for the slang, one will only know if the filmmaker bleeped out the word or was able to convince the censors that a word, which also means wife’s brother, is hardly considered abusive. Welcome Back, which releases today, stars John Abraham, Nana Patekar, Anil Kapoor, Shruti Haasan and Dimple Kapadia.
Shattered glass on set
A source from the shoot of the Hindi remake of the supernatural thriller Oculus tells a story from the London schedule. Directed by Prawaal Raman, the remake stars brother and sister duo Huma Qureshi and Saqib Saleem. The story revolves around the power of an antique mirror so you can imagine how creepy it was when the mirror being used in the shoot broke, not once, but twice! Seeing this as some sort of omen, the source reveals that the producer apparently flew in his pandit from India to perform a prayer ceremony. “Things were fine after that,” says the source.