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Pitaah now pitted against K3G

Subhash K Jha

K3G

Director Mahesh Manjrekar has announced that his film Pitaah will be released in December, along with Karan Johar's much awaited family drama Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham.

For weeks, trade pundits have been wrongly announcing that Ram Gopal Varma's latest directoral venture, Company, will be released with Johar's film on December 14.

Pitaah was initially due in November. But with too many films crowding the month, Manjrekar has decided to "wait and release the film on the same day as Kabhi Khushi...."

"The two films are so different in mood, subject and cast that their audiences won't overlap in any way," he adds.

While Johar's is a multi-star feel-good family film, Manjrekar's Pitaah is a hard-hitting film on oppression and brutality against the underprivileged Dalit community with Sanjay Dutt, as the film's sole star.

Before Pitaah, Manjrekar's other releases -- Ehsaas and Tera Mera Saath Rahe will hit the marquee back to back in November.

The situation is quite like last year's Diwali season when his comedy Jis Desh Mein Ganga Rahta Hai, marital drama Astitva and action film Kurukshetra came in a tumble.

The director has just returned from Los Angeles after facing the camera for the first time in Sanjay Gupta's Kaante, with Amitabh Bachchan.

But Manjrekar is no stranger to acting. He has had 20 years of experience in Marathi theatre before making his first film, Nidaan, on AIDS, which released after the underworld epic Vaastav.

Vaastav Of his experience of shooting for Kaante, the director says, "To face the camera with the great Bachchan was an out-of-body experience. I can't believe that I'll be directing him in my next film Kutumbh."

Kutumbh is Manjrekar's version of Francis Ford Coppola's gangster epic The Godfather, featuring father and son Amitabh and Abhishek Bachchan.

Manjrekar is also ready to go on the floors with a sequel to Vaastav, later this month. Entitled Pratibimbh, the sequel casts the director's favourite Sanjay Dutt in the role of the son of the character he played in Vaastav.

Manjrekar is also excited about the English version of Astitva. He closed the deal during his 90-day stint in Los Angeles. The film features Madhuri Dixit in the role that Tabu has immortalised in the Hindi version.

Speaking about Tabu, Manjrekar couldn't contain his pride and joy at her performance in her latest release Chandni Bar. "I want to form a production company with Tabu so she can star in films that she believes in," he states.

Indo-Asian News Service

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