A couple of days back, filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt, who produced CITYLIGHTS, gave away his award for SAARANSH to national award winner director Hansal Mehta. He was so impressed with Hansal’s work in CITYLIGHTS that he honoured the director at the special screening. But little did one know that Hansal will also remake the film!
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Yes, Hansal will now direct a remake of the 1984 social drama SAARANSH, which will be co-produced by him and Mahesh Bhatt’s daughter Pooja Bhatt. Though after SHAHID and CITYLIGHTS, Hansal Mehta was set to direct a film on Section 377, the law criminalising homosexuality, starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui, it seems his newly-found mentor Mahesh Bhatt had other plans for him.
Pooja Bhatt, confirms the news, saying ‘After CityLights, we have decided that Hansal is the right person to remake Saaransh.’ The decision comes after CityLights, their last collaboration received both critical acclaim and good box-office numbers. ‘Hansal has always articulated to me that Saaransh has been a guiding star in his journey. In fact, he tried making a film like Saaransh In his younger days but did not succeed. I think he will do justice to my film,’ said Mahesh Bhatt, who had earlier last month handed over the Filmfare Award won by for the 1984 film, to Mehta. Hansal’s protege Rajkummar Rao is the leading contender to play B V Pradhan, the retired head-master played by Anupam Kher in the original. The 1984 film was about an elderly Maharashtrian couple struggling to cope with the death of their only son in a mugging incident in New York.
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Kher was only 28 when he played the senior citizen and Pooja maintains that a young actor can step into his shoes. ‘I don’t need a senior actor this time too. Moreover Hansal and Rajkummar are on a roll right now/’ says Pooja. Saaransh was Kher’s debut film and established him as an acting talent to watch out for. On May 25 when the film completed 30 years, Kher had tweeted.’ Saaransh changed my life, my thinking forever. It made me a better person. It’s not a film but a philosophy for me.’
The film which starred Rohini Hattangadi, Madan Jain, Nilu Phule, Suhas Bhalekar and Soni Razdan in pivotal roles, was chosen as India’s official entry for the 1985 Academy Award in the Best Foreign Language Film category.