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KHOYA KHOYA CHAND - transporting us back into time

Bollywood Trade News Network
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What are the key elements in the making of Producer Prakash Jha & Director Sudhir Mishra’s KHOYA KHOYA CHAND. Lets peep into what went into determining the look of the film in terms of the locations, the costumes and the choreography.

Sudhir Mishra’s brief to his team was simple. “Do the sets, costumes and music in a subtle way so as to recreate that era, but don’t let it overshadow the performance and the story. Lets begin our hunt or Reece as we call it.”

To transport us back into time they had to recreate Bombay of the mid twentieth century. Combining glamour with realism was very challenging, given the architectural changes that Bombay has seen over the last four decades.

Mumbai, Calcutta, Pune, Panchgani, Goa, Delhi, Pataudi and Lucknow were some of the cities the team scouted for locations. A four hundred-year-old heritage bungalow in Goa, a dense forest in Panchgani and heritage structures in South Bombay were only some of the captivating places where the film was shot. In addition, the film was also shot at studios in Mumbai like Mehboob, Filmistan, Filmcity and Natraj. Incidentally, KKC was the last film shot at Guru Dutt’s Natraj studio before the structure was given up for commercial purposes.
Gautam Sen, the art director, used all his expertise with set design and props sourcing to create a film studio ambience from the 50’s in a vast area of land in Filmcity in Goregaon. The setting was replete with large gates, vintage cars, offices, film hoardings and posters from the period. In essence one was transported right back into the era.

It was important to show the shooting of films (for the films within film section), just the way it was done in the 1950’s and 60’s. Therefore, for this, alongside actual sets built using colours and techniques prevalent in that time, one also dressed up the space with arc lights and matka lights, a Mitchell camera, a crane and a track trolley originally used by Guru Dutt. “I had to go right from Chor Bazar, to all the studios, and even personal collections to handpick the props. And lot of the properties had to be recreated from references,” quoted Gautam Sen.

KKC recreates the glamour and magic of the Golden Years of the Hindi Film Industry with a dazzling audiovisual spread of the quintessential song and dance routine – whether a mujra, a cabaret number, a jazz-ballet inspired piece... or even a steamy rain dance, it has it all. The choreographed songs have been used not only as tools to recreate the period but also to take the narrative forward. So much so, that the run up to the shooting saw Soha Ali Khan training in Kathak from the noted Kathak exponent Ms. Nandita Puri, apart from training in other forms as well.

A film with such an assorted spread needed varied techniques and skill sets for the choreography. So, there is – Harshall-Vithal, Kamal Nath, Oscar Unger and Rajeev Surti - each an authority in a specified technique, lending their expertise to this film. So, where on one hand there is a beautifully orchestrated kathak piece, on the other there is a peppy-rock n roll-60’s inspired swing.

Costume, Hair and Make Up:
Ashima Belapurkar and Niharika Khan, the costume designers for the film, researched intensively to get the look right. Referring to film magazines from the 1950’s, watching old films and period footage, going through photographs of ex divas, searching wardrobes of mothers and grandmothers... no stone was left unturned in the quest for authenticity in the costumes for KHOYA KHOYA CHAND.

Every single character in the film is given a specific look. Diversity has been added by the fact that the characters develop over two decades, the 1950’s and the 1960’s. So whereas in the 50’s we see baggy trousers, silks and palette of blacks, whites and muted shades and the 60’s take us into the era of drainpipes and chiffons and colour burst with captivating bright hues.

This differentiation is seen in the hairstyling and make up as well. Characters have been fashioned after style divas like Nadira, Nargis, Meena Kumari and other great actresses of the time. The production worked with make up artistes who have actually painted the faces of these women in their heydays.

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