"The concept of that film could not be developed. "
Ram Gopal Varma's protege Shimit Amin’s second film CHAK DE! INDIA (for Yash Raj Films) has been mired in controversy. In an exclusive chat Amin defends his second baby.
How did you come on the YRF board? Aditya Chopra had seen my first film AB TAK CHAPPAN and he thought that I would be suited to direct this one.
But after AB TAK CHAPPAN, you were supposed to do a film with Ramu again. Didn't you'll have a fall-out? We didn't have a fall out. But yes, I was supposed to direct a film for him after AB TAK CHAPPAN.
Then why didn't that film happen? The concept of that film could not be developed.
What is CHAK DE! INDIA about? Kabir Khan (Shahrukh Khan) knows what it's like to come back from the dead. The ex-Indian Captain has now come back in the avatar of the Coach of the Indian Women's National Hockey team - a team that exists more on paper and less in reality. The team is a rag-tag bunch of girls with their own agenda, who have forgotten what it is like to play for the love of the game. They have forgotten playing for what they are worth.
Salman Khan was the first choice for SRK's role? No. Those are just rumours and I don't know from where they originated.
Neetu Chandra was the first choice for Vidya Malavade's role? Neetu is a fine actress whom I personally know. We did audition her. She even did her hockey rehearsals. But somewhere we thought that… (pauses and does not finish the sentence). Actually, there are 15 girls in the film. Some needed to be better actors. Some needed to be better players. It was quite a long process to cast them.
People hooted the promos of CHAK DE aired during the screening of JHOOM BARABAR JHOOM? Firstly, that was not a promo. It was just a theatrical music video. And I for one don't know how people reacted in the theatres. I think that was just loose talk.
And then you got in another promo as per what SRK wanted? No. That promo came at the time when we had planned to induct it.
SRK was upset with you for asking too many retakes and he stormed out of the set? Actually, SRK was cool about me asking for retakes. That's the real story. But wouldn't publications get more readerships if they turn the story upside down? That's what happened.
Was it tough to work with SRK? He must have given a lot of inputs? I am not interested in actors who don't give inputs. And I would be an idiot to turn down useful suggestions.
Indian Hockey Federation is worried that you guys may not have shown the hockey players in good light? I had heard this loose talk. Yet another fabricated story. I wish that journos are more ethical.
Didn't you get worried by all these stories? Don't you think it gave negative publicity to the film? Frankly, I was too busy with the post-production during the time period that these stories appeared. I had to choose- either to react to them or to continue with my work.
Ramu is your mentor. Are you inviting him to see CHAK DE? I don't think that he has the time to come and see other people's movies.
Will you work with him again? (Smiles) Right now, I am under a 3-film contract with YRF. That means two more to go.