He serves the best food for thought in the film industry. Having made immensely thought provoking movies like Kairee, Dayraa and Anahat, Amol Palekar needs no introduction.
Widely appreciated for his sensitive filmmaking, Amol is a regular at various film festivals across the globe. With Paheli he moves out of the 'festival circuit' with none other than Shah Rukh Khan backing his film, everything seems to be falling in place.
With only a few days left for the release of this grand fairytale, Amol chats about a vision called Paheli.
Where did the idea of Paheli germinate?
I had read Duvidha, the novel, way back in 1984, and since then I have been an admirer of Vijaydan Detha, the author. The story 'Duvidha' remained with me and continued to fascinate me. The stories that I read remain in the back of mind and grow like a plant grows, the same must have happened with Duvidha. It was about 3 years back that I thought I must make a film on this. Then Sandhya, my wife and I started discussing on this. We also got in touch with Bidji (Vijaydan Detha) and the whole process started.
When did you approach Shah Rukh Khan?
| Editor's Choice|
While Sandhya was writing the script we also visited Rajasthan four times. By the time the shooting script was ready we knew exactly where we wanted to shoot every scene of the film. All the aspects of art direction, sets and locations were getting crystallized. The costumes were also being developed. We had approached M.M. Kreem for music and we had finalized the tunes. We approached Shah Rukh at that stage. After listening to the narration he said “Sir do you mind if I produce the film?”. That came as a pleasant surprise and there on the film went in full force.
Did SRK tell you what he loved about the film?
He loved everything about the script. Even today when we recollect, he is absolutely in love with Sandhya's script. Besides the script, he must have loved his role too. He also liked my style of working, where a lot of things were already taken care of, we knew exactly what to do and maybe that's why he offered to produce the film.
Did you take any cinematic liberties with the novel?
A folk tale has the strength to remain fresh inspite of time. Vijaydan Detha took a folk tale and wrote his interpretation, I took his interpretation and have re-told the story according to my interpretation. So that very process is so exciting and fun. Folktales have this age-old charm. This story particularly has so much depth in it and so many layers to offer all that excited us. We are glad that after Bidji (Vijaydan Detha) read the script he wrote an eloquent letter to us full of unreserved praise and acknowledgement, which is something that overwhelmed us. He said that the script gave him a fresh perspective on the story and should be evaluated as a separate independent work.