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Dilemmas of Delhi in Bollywood bilingual

By Hindol Sengupta, IANS

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Bollywood director Rakeysh Mehra says his new bilingual film starring Aamir Khan is about the trials and tribulations of New Delhi, a city "perched to take off".

"The film is about life in Delhi. This is a city poised to gain international fame," said Mehra.

"It's about to take off. And the youth in Delhi have all sorts of issues -- that's what my film is about," Mehra told IANS on the sidelines of the opening of his Delhi restaurant Baujee's late Wednesday.

The restaurant is located in the Metropolitan Plaza mall in suburban Gurgaon.

"Rang De Basanti", being made in Hindi and English with the English version called "Paint It Yellow", stars Aamir Khan, Arjun Rampal, Atul Kulkarni and Kunal Kapoor.

Kunal was last seen in painter-director M.F. Husain's "Meenaxi". Shooting of the film would begin later this year in the capital and it would be released late 2005.

This is Mehra's second film after almost three years. His debut "Aks" was a supernatural thriller starring Amitabh Bachchan and Manoj Bajpai.

"Rang De Basanti" is the first venture of MPD Films, a new company formed by Rakeysh Mehra, Nilesh Dadhich and Angad Paul.

Angad Paul, son of British Indian tycoon Lord Swraj Paul, was also executive producer of the British films "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" and "Snatch".

Nilesh Dadhich is the grandson of late lyricist Pandit Indra, and has returned from the US to set up a film company.

"We believe that Indian stories need to be told across the world. And for that you cannot only be dependent on subtitling Hindi films, so we are shooting the film twice -- every dialogue once in Hindi and once in English."

The film would also have two British actors, a man and a woman. "We want to give it perspective and place it in a modern Indian context, where a brimming city is a mix of many cultures," said Mehra of the $8 million film.

His next film would be a comedy and the script is now being finalised. Till then, Mehra would concentrate on "Rang..." and his first love, food.

His family has another restaurant in Delhi Bauji Ka Dhaba, which was run for many years by his father.


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