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October 13, 2001

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Dutta ends all speculation

Subhash K Jha

JP Dutta JP Dutta is finally ready to roll with his latest war film.

Numerous rumours were floating about his new project, including speculation about the film's title being Tiger Hill or Mission Kargil.

"No, the film isn't called Tiger Hill nor Mission Kargil," the director clarifies.

"I've decided to let my colleague (filmmaker Vidhu) Vinod Chopra use all the titles with 'Mission' in them," he adds tongue-and-cheek, talking about Chopra's last film, Mission Kashmir.

Dutta, whose films Border and Refugee are critically acclaimed as two of the greatest modern epics on war and peace, has now embarked on the last of his war trilogy. He has decided to make a film on the lives, politics and psychology behind the Kargil conflict.

And, finally, the title of the war epic is out -- LoC (Line Of Control).

"Isn't that a title which would appeal both to the young and the patriotic, in fact the entire Indian populace?" asks JP's creative collaborator and wife Bindiya Dutta, who is currently busy sending out invitations for the film's mahurat on October 18.

A still from Mission Kashmir Anu Malik, who has composed the songs for Dutta's earlier war films, will record his first song for LoC on October 18. The lyrics are by Javed Akhtar.

The mahurat will also mark the end of all speculation about the star cast for the film. In the past few months, every Hindi film star from Shah Rukh Khan to Salman Khan was reportedly part of Dutta's new film.

Actors Sunjay Dutt, Akshaye Khanna, Sunil Shetty and Abhishek Bachchan play the lead roles in LoC.

Sunjay starred in Dutta's best work to date Hathiyar and Kshatriya, apart from a film with Raveena Tandon titled Choodiyan, which was shelved.

The film also stars actors Ajay Devgan, Saif Ali Khan, Rahul Khanna, Manoj Bajpai, Ashutosh Rana, Mohnish Behl, Arbaaz Khan, model-turned-actor Bikram Saluja, Karan Nath and Amar Upadhyay (of television serial Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi fame), all of whom are working with Dutta for the first time.

Himanshu Malik Telugu star Nagarjuna is also expected to join the cast.

LoC also stars Dutta's 'lucky mascot' Kulbhushan Kharbanda, who's been in all of his films from Ghulami (1985) to Refugee (2001).

But the real surprise inclusion in the cast is model-turned-actor Himanshu Malik, who has become the most talked of newcomer in the industry since his debut in Tum Bin.

Though the female cast is yet to be finalised, Dutta has written very strong roles for women for the film. Raveena Tandon and Kareena Kapoor are expected to lead the female cast.

The film will roll in November.

Indo-Asian News Service

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