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|August 20, 2001||
Subhash K Jha
Imagine Madhuri Dixit and Hollywood actress Goldie Hawn coming together in an English version of Astitva, a critically acclaimed film about a woman's identity.
Ideally, that's what director Mahesh Manjrekar would like when the tentatively titled It Was Raining That Day gets rolling next year.
The English version of the Hindi-Marathi film that starred Tabu will feature Madhuri Dixit as the
For the role of the heroine's progressive and supportive friend, Manjrekar wants to rope in Goldie Hawn.
But before that, Manjrekar is looking forward to his four new films. Ehsaas, Pitah, Tera Mera Saath Rahe and Pyaar Kiya Nahin Jaata are all complete and being readied for early release. What's more, they are all completely different in theme, mood and style from one another.
Manjrekar, who has his roots as an actor and director in theatre, is also getting ready to face the camera in Los Angeles alongside Amitabh Bachchan and Sanjay Dutt in Sanjay Gupta's Kaante next month.
Manjrekar says,"I didn't plan to become an actor in films with Kaante. Nor did I plan to release four films last year and this year. It just happened. Four of my films are going to come one after another. Hopefully, audiences will like all of them."
The first one off the block is Ehsaas, an emotional father-son story featuring Sunil Shetty as a single father in Goa. Manjrekar says this is one role that he would have liked to play himself. "Ehsaas has only four main characters. It was therefore the most difficult screenplay for me to write."
His next release Pitah, Manjrekar says, is his safest commercial bet. In that Manjrekar's favourite hero Sanjay Dutt teams up with an unusual costar Nandita Das to play an oppressed family of farmers battling landlords. The film is inspired by John Grisham's thriller, A Time To Kill.
Manjrekar's third film is his most atypical work. He describes Pyaar Kiya Nahin Jaata as a Mills & Boon-style love story featuring Sonali Bendre and newcomer Diwakar Pundhir.
But the film Manjrekar is most excited about is Tera Mera Saath Rahe. He says: "This is my favourite subject, one which I've been meaning to make for a long time."
The film tells the emotional story of a man's (Ajay Devgan) love for his sibling who's stricken with cerebral palsy.
Says Manjrekar, "The boy who plays the victim of cerebral palsy is so good nobody will believe he doesn't actually suffer from the disease."
"So far I haven't made any film that I'm ashamed of. My four forthcoming films will make or break my career," says Manjrekar, before disappearing into the darkness of the editing room.
Indo-Asian News Service
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