Actress Richa Chadha and Kalki Kochelin will swap cultural identities in Jiah Aur Jiah. While real-life Punjabi girl Richa plays a Tamilian named Jiah Venakatraman in the movie, Kalki, who was born in the south, will essay the part of a Punjabi named Jiah Garewal.
The announcement of the movie comes just days after the actress Jiah Khan's tragic death
A case of tapping the collective tear ducts of an emotional nation?
Filmmaker Mudassar Aziz, who is co-producing the film along with Sunil Bohra, vehemently denies that his double-heroine concept of Jiah has any connection with the real life Jiah.
"My film and its concept of two girls named Jiah from different cultural background coming together in unexpected ways for a road-travel movie, materialised long before the tragic death of Jiah Khan," he said.
However, Aziz admits Jiah Khan had approached him for a role.
"Regrettably she didn't fit the bill. I needed two actresses with very specific cultural backgrounds. It had to be Richa and Kalki. And I was sure I wanted them to swap their cultural identities. I wanted Richa to play the Tamilian and Kalki in the Punjaban. They are such deviously accomplished actresses. This is their chance to take another unexpected route," he said.
Interestingly, Richa would be spending time in Kalki's home space in Pudicherry and Kalki would be visiting Richa's home environment in Delhi, so that they can get a feel of each other's culture before plunging into their parts.
The film, to be directed by choreographer Howard Rosemeyer, will be shot in Sweden.
Aziz said: "Why a girl-bonding film shot in Sweden? You may well ask. Well, my counter-question is, why not? Why do we have to have only films about guys bonding? Don't girls have fun when they get together?"