Rituparno Ghosh to direct Soha Ali Khan

By Subhash K. Jha, IANS
6/23/2004 12:00:00 AM
Just when Amitabh Bachchan  and Sharmila Tagore  are ready to come together for a film, their children too are all set to co-star in a movie by Rituparno Ghosh.

Ghosh's next film, in Bengali, would feature Abhishek Bachchan and Soha Ali Khan in a passionate story.

Says the director: "I wanted an actor who had the brooding intensity, bronzed appeal, penetrating eyes and silent smouldering personality of Mithun Chakraborty in Mrinal Sen's 'Mrigaya'. Abhishek is perfect."

But how would Abhishek speak Bengali?

Explains Ghosh: "Abhishek plays a Bihari character (again, after 'Yuva'). He doesn't have to speak at all.

"But the leading lady has to be fluent in Bengali. That's why I needed someone who knew the language. Soha Ali Khan is right for the role," says Ghosh who worked with the young actress' celebrated mother Sharmila in "Shubho Muhurat".

With the film being in Bengali, Ghosh would have to drop plans of signing Kareena Kapoor.

"I can't have two non-Bengalis in the lead. And since Abhishek remains silent, there would be no problem with his speech.

"As for working with Kareena, I'd have to regretfully postpone plans for later. I was supposed to work with her in 'Raincoat' as well. I'd love to work with her. She's a fabulous actress."

Though Abhishek has played a small role in another Bengali film - Raja Sen's "Des" where he was cast as his own mother Jaya Bachchan's son - this would be his first full-fledged foray into regional cinema as well as off-beat filmmaking.

It also takes him to his mother's land where Jaya started as an actress with a Satyajit Ray film. He's naturally excited since his father too would be working with Ghosh later during the year, albeit in a Hindi film.

Ghosh is confident Abhishek and Soha will make magic together even as Amitabh Bachchan and Sharmila Tagore co-star in Mahesh Manjrekar's "Viruddh" later this year.

Ghosh will shoot the Abhishek-Soha film in a 20-day schedule in September. He plans to go into his Amitabh Bachchan film by December.

Bengal's most prized filmmaker has just completed his first Hindi film "Raincoat" featuring Ajay Devgan, Aishwarya Rai and Mouli Ganguli of "Kahin Kissi Roz" fame.