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No bones about controversial 'Musafir'

By Subhash K. Jha, IANS

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"Musafir" will do for sex what "Kaante" did for violence in Hindi cinema, promises filmmaker Sanjay Gupta about his controversial new movie.

Gupta is raving not only about his film but also about his heroine Sameera Reddy.

"She's given me more than I expected. Believe me, the quality of performance she has given in 'Musafir' will shake the industry," Gupta told IANS in an interview.

"'Musafir' will do for sex what 'Kaante' did for violence in Hindi cinema."

He's also all praise for the music score by Vishal-Shekhar, which Gupta had got veejay Nikhil Chinappa to arrange. "It's a sound that has never been heard in Hindi cinema." The same was true of the sound in Gupta's "Kaante".

Is Hindi film music shedding its plumes?

"Why just music? Even mainstream Hindi cinema is changing. 'Musafir' is proof of the pudding."

Gupta has been shooting non-stop in Goa for two months. He now wraps up a major part of the film and is looking at a July-August release.

"My distributors tell me that's a good time to release a film."

What the distributors don't tell Gupta is any time is a good time to release a film about three hot-blooded men in a sleepy town, lusting after a much-married woman.

Oliver Stone's "U-Turn"?

"Stone would find it as hard to recognise 'Musafir' as Quentin Tarantino would if he saw 'Kaante'. Wasn't that supposed to be (the latter's) 'Reservoir Dogs'?"

Earlier Sushmita Sen was supposed to star in "Musafir", while music video maverick Sanjay F. Gupta was supposed to direct the film for producer Gupta.

That isn't the only change "Musafir" has undergone. From the original cast of Anil Kapoor, Sanjay Dutt and Suniel Shetty, Suniel dropped out at the last minute.

What happened?

Said Gupta: "I was very hurt when Suniel made a statement to the effect that he didn't want to do a film that he'd be embarrassed to watch with his growing daughter.

"Come on! Anil Kapoor is the most conservative of guys, with daughters he's very conscious about. He had no qualms about doing 'Musafir'. In fact Anil's family is down in Goa right now for the shoot.

"By the way, Anil has given a rocking performance. Anyway, I'm glad I replaced Suniel with Aditya Pancholi. He hasn't been seen for a long time. And man, what a comeback! With his head shaven, Aditya looks like god."

God seems to be on Gupta's side all right.

"I had a providential escape from the clutches of death (again). I was riding my motorbike on the road here in Goa when I came across two dogs fighting. One of them suddenly sprang into my range. I swerved to avoid it, skidded and fell with the heavy motorbike on top of me. What was really scary is that I was injured on the same side that was most badly affected during my near-fatal accident a year ago."

The one good thing that happened during the accident in Goa was that Gupta got a chance to invite his estranged wife over.

"It isn't as if we're getting together again. Not right now. But, yes, we're friends and we both can reach out to each other whenever we want to."


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