Ashutosh Gowariker to make yet another period film

August 5th, 2008 - 9:36 am ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Jodhaa Akbar
By Radhika Bhirani
New Delhi, Aug 5 (IANS) Though his epic romance “Jodhaa Akbar” got into trouble for alleged distortion of facts, ace filmmaker Ashutosh Gowariker is ready to make another period film. But this time he plans to be more cautious. “I’m doing a period film after my next film ‘What’s Your Rashee?’. But it is a little too early to talk about its details,” Gowariker told IANS.

After helming Oscar-nominated “Lagaan” in 2001, Gowariker went on to make “Jodhaa Akbar”, about the marriage between Mughal emperor Akbar and Rajput princess Jodha and their romance.

But the Hrithik Roshan-Aishwarya Rai starrer sparked protests from members of the Rajput community who alleged that Gowariker had distorted facts and history. The director now plans to be more careful with his next film.

“I had put a disclaimer in ‘Jodhaa Akbar’, still a controversy happened. So I guess I will have to take more care as far as dealing with facts is concerned,” he said.

Gowariker’s “What’s your ‘Rashee’?” is based on US-based Gujarati novelist Madhu Rye’s book “Kimball Ravenswood”. It is a romantic comedy starring Priyanka Chopra and one-film old actor Harman Baweja.

The fact that Harman failed to create waves with his much-hyped supernatural debut “Love Story 2050″ does not perturb Gowariker.

“I took Harman much before his ‘Love Story 2050′ was released. I think he is a good actor and not only that, he is also a wonderful dancer and his comic timing is very good. Besides, Harman and Priyanka look good together. It doesn’t matter if his film hasn’t worked,” Gowariker maintained.

Commenting on Bollywood’s alienation from literature, he said: “I think Bollywood has lost touch with literature. We need to revive that practice. We still have some lovely old classics that have not come to screen yet. It’s just that we need to explore them rather than making remakes or sequels of other films.”

Gowariker has purchased the rights of “Kimball Ravenswood” and has no plans of adding his own twists and turns to the narrative.

Although basing a film on a book relieves a filmmaker from the strenuous task of finding a story idea, Gowariker says making a comedy for the first time will be a tough task for him.

“When I created my original stories for ‘Lagaan’ and ‘Swades’, I had to do a lot of research. For ‘Jodhaa Akbar’, I had to research on the facts of history. With ‘What’s your Rashee?’ I have a ready story. But the tough part is doing comedy.

“I haven’t done comedy ever. It is difficult. And the fact that I have based my story out of a book doesn’t make it any easier for me. In fact, it has made it tougher for me,” he said.

The director was in the capital to attend the concluding ceremony of the WorldKids International Film Festival (WIFF).

At the event, he was honoured for providing ‘entertainment with a purpose’ through his films “Lagaan”, “Swades” and “Jodhaa Akbar”.

His films have always been among the most awarded films. Does he ever anticipate awards while making a film?

“No! Not at all,” he exclaimed. “A film should not be known by the number of awards it gets. I would rather have my film known by what it stands for, the amount of critical acclaim it gets and the number of film festivals it goes to.

“I would never want to colour my mind with the anticipation of an award. I only believe that the story should be well told.”

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