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To Bollywood, many soaps and cups of tea later

By Sukrat Desai, IANS

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What do "Bhavni Bhavai", "Mission Kashmir", "Mere Yaar ki Shaadi Hai" and now "Wajahh - A Reason to Kill" have in common?

Download Wajahh WallpapersNot much except that all are Hindi films borne of ideas thrown up at a small tea kiosk rather ingeniously named P.C. Point in Gujarat's principal city.

Great ideas have germinated over cups of tea leading to Ketan Mehta's classic "Bhavni Bhavai", Abhijat Joshi's script for Vidhu Vinod Chopra's "Karib" and "Mission Kashmir", Mayur Puri's screenplay for "Mere Yaar Ki Shadi Hai" -- and now Sandip Patel's screenplay for "Wajahh..." which hit the screens Friday.

Speaking about his "journey" from Ahmedabad's P.C. Point, where so many writers have found their creative instincts, to Bollywood, Patel, the prolific director of TV soaps, said: "Don't call it a journey? It's a very tiring word. For Gujarati writers, the journey to Bollywood has mostly been a cakewalk. The struggle part is always done in Gujarat itself. What Bollywood gets from Gujarat today is the cream of this struggle."

Patel has directed more than 1,000 episodes of serials for state-run Ahmedabad Doordarshan, Sab TV and Zee TV's Alfa Gujarati - besides presumably endless cups of tea at P.C. Point - before joining filmmaker Gautam Adhikari in "Wajahh..."

Adhikari, who has his name listed in the Limca Book of World Records as the director with more than 1,500 episodes of TV serials, had earlier made two feature films -- "Bhookamp" in 1993 and "Chehra" in 1999.

Patel said he developed the script for the two-and-a-half hour film from only two lines.

Download Wajahh Wallpapers"Two lines about a doctor and his wife living happily together and a palmist's prediction to the doctor that his wife's murder was written in his hand, but then what? This is what I heard from Gautam Adhikari," Patel told IANS.

"I just chanced upon 'Wajahh...' while working for the Adhikari Brothers for whom I had directed two serials. I went to the Adhikari Brothers with the idea of my film, which they decided to include as one of their future projects. But first, Gautam Adhikari wanted to be done with his two-line subject.

"The freedom that he gave me to develop his plot, I don't think I would have got while working for Ram Gopal Verma or Vidhu Vinod Chopra," he added.

He said "Wajahh..." starring Arbaaz Khan and Gracy Singh was special because of its screenplay, which has a distinct Hitchcock flavour. Incidentally, Patel has the complete collection of Alfred Hitchcock and Frances Ford Coppola in his film library containing more than 700 titles.

Elaborating on the film, he said: "Arbaaz Khan plays a reputed neurosurgeon and Gracy Singh plays his wife whose fear psychosis generated over the palmist's prediction about her murder at the hands of her own husband gets compounded when attempts on her life are made in quick succession.

"It's an ordinary love story, which turns into an extraordinary psycho thriller. I can't say anything about its fate at the box office. But one thing is certain. It's a fast paced film."


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