Stumped and raring to go
Raveena Tandon's new venture as producer is set against cricket and war
Raveena Tandon is tired.
She has been at work in her editing room on Pehchaan, her first film as producer. She has also been busy wheeling and dealing with MSN and Hutchison Max to back Stumped, her second film as producer.
Right now, she is also worried: "Stumped began as a small film with a noble cause. It has now snowballed into something completely big because of the World Cup [cricket] fever. I hope we can live upto all the hype!"
The actress recently unveiled the launch of the MSN Hutch Cricketer along with cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar.
Arti R spoke to the actress to find out more about her plans for Stumped:
What is Stumped about?
Stumped is an interesting film set during the 1999 cricket World Cup. That was when the country was at war, in Kargil, and simultaneously sitting in front of television to watch the game.
The film deals with how cricket and war affect different people differently.
It also reflects the irony of how a battle is being fought at two ends. In fact, it is a lot like [cartoonist] R K Laxman's common man. The film is my way of depicting how futile war is. I hope that somewhere, it will strike a chord among the audience.
When is the film due for release?
We began shooting two weeks ago. It will ready for release by the end of January, just before World Cup 2003. We hope to cash in on the fever and entertain people just before the cricketing action starts.
Is the deal with MSN and Hutch an infilm promotion?
Yes, it is an integral part of the script. When the cable television services are cut by the bad guy in the film, the kids of that society get online on MSN and Hutch Cricketer, as this product is called, to watch cricket. It is the perfect meeting of technology, cricket and emotions.
We will have a company presenting the film. Its posters will soon be all over. They offered support to the film thanks to me. There has been no financial deal so far.
The best part about Stumped and dealing with corporate concerns is how they have all come forward to help us. You keep seeing filmmakers going all out to sell their work. Luckily, we didn't have to do that. Everything has just come our way.
Are you starring in the film? Who are your costars?
The idea was to make a quick film so we have not cast any stars or heroes. There is no single protagonist in the film. Stumped is full of common people and has a lot of actors in the film. I also play a part -- I play myself in the film.
Are there cricketers in the film?
When I narrated my script, all of India's cricketers came out to help me, especially to promote the film. Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Zaheer Khan, Ravi Shastri and Yuvraj Singh have all narrated patriotic lines [in the film] about how they are not heroes, but the ones fighting the war are the real heroes. They did it because they really liked the script and knew of our intentions.
Sourav Ganguly chose not to endorse the film because he didn't believe in its social cause. But the rest have all come forward to help us out.
Sachin says a few lines like, "It's okay when I get stumped on the field. I know I have a second chance. But this is a salute for those soldiers on the border who may never get another!"
The film does not belittle cricket. It is a sensitive film.
I wanted to talk about how it affects the common man. So when director Gaurav Pandey approached me, I was moved enough to make the film. It also made me convey my experience at Kargil, of what we [film personalities] saw when we toured and voiced our support for the soldiers.
How does it feel to be a producer?
We are working hard, very hard. But if we make mistakes, which I am sure we will, please do not hit me!
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Raveena Tandon goes to Kargil
Suniel Shetty goes to Kargil