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Sudhir Mishra is back with a bang

By Viral Bhayani

Mumbai, Jan 8 Director Sudhir Mishra looks very excited.

Though his "Calcutta Mail" failed to impress, he is back with new projects.

His cult political thriller, "Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi", starring Kay Kay Menon and introducing Chitrangada Singh and Shiney Ahuja, has been selected for the 54th Berlin International Film Festival.

The festival has always been a platform for commercial as well as independent cinema from around the world.

The film captures the spirit of the turbulent 1970s. Based in the emergency years, this movie has been hailed by Shekhar Kapur as "the most significant and real film that he has recently seen and, without doubt, the most important film to come out of India in a long, long time".

Mishra's "Chameli", which was started by the late Anant Balani, is a two-hour film that hits the marquee this Friday.

But why did Mishra have to make the movie from start after the demise of Balani and how did he manage to convince a busy actress like Kareena Kapoor to shoot scenes that she had already canned?

"Anant Balani was a good friend of mine and I have great respect for him. But you have to understand that two directors are very different - the way we think and the way we want the movie to look would be unlike," Mishra told IANS.

From the way "Chameli" is promoted, it looks like a very sensuous movie. How does Mishra justify the image of the film?

"We have made a film on a prostitute and all that we have done is tried to focus on the other side of this prostitute. In no way is it vulgar or hurting. In fact I can say that we have made a film that my mom can watch along with me without any embarrassment."

"The character Chameli is no different from any other woman, doing what she's doing without any apologies. Chameli is not in the business of prostitution out of any compulsion. She hates being a prostitute, but she is not a sobbing martyr who wants to get away from her wretched life," adds the 45-year-old Mishra.

For Kareena it must have been a great challenge. She even went to a red light area to do her research on how prostitutes behave. How was the experience of working with her?

"In my entire career I haven't seen any actress like Kareena. She was very cooperative."

Next on the cards for Mishra is "Nawab, The Nautch Girl & The John Company", a Rs.320 million fun-filled flick to be produced by Shekhar Kapur.


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