Debutant director brings Naseer, Anupam together after 12 years

August 16th, 2008 - 12:07 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 16 (IANS) To debutant director Neeraj Pandey goes the credit for bringing together two Bollywood veterans, Naseeruddin Shah and Anupam Kher, after more than a decade. He says both the actors fell for the script and were thrilled at the idea of being pitted against each other in “Wednesday”. “They agreed to do the film because of the good story and good script. When they came to know that they are pitted against each other, they were extremely thrilled,” Pandey told IANS on the telephone from Mumbai.

The two actors started their career almost at the same time. While Naseer become an actor to reckon with in his 1975 film “Nishant”, Anupam took a few years to make his mark on the big screen. He made it big with his outstanding performance in “Saaransh” in 1984.

Very few know that both acted together in Kundan Shah’s 1983 dark comedy “Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro “, but all of Anupam’s scenes were edited out. Later they teamed up in Subhash Ghai’s “Karma” (1986), “Pestonjee”, “Tridev” and their last film together was Mahesh Bhatt’s “Chaahat” that was released in 1996.

Pandey, who owns a production house called Friday Filmworks, says that he and his actors did good homework before filming and that both the veterans interpreted their characters perfectly.

“I had reading sessions with both the actors. It was spread over two weeks. When we started shooting, very little was left for experimenting on the sets. Both of them have interpreted their characters the way I conceived them,” said Pandey who has also worked for TV.

While Naseer plays a cold and calculative terrorist, Anupam features as a police commissioner in the film being made with a budget of Rs.35 million. The film is co-produced by UTV Motion Pictures, Anjum Rizvi Film Co. and Friday Filmworks.

“The film is about Mr. Kher’s character pondering over the most interesting case in his career. He is doing it on the eve of his retirement,” said the director who was inspired to write the script by what was happening around him.

Asked why the film is titled “Wednesday”, Pandey said: “It is the story of a particular Wednesday. The story is set between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. - in short, it is a four-hour story told in 105 minutes.”

Contrary to reports, “Wednesday” is a mainstream commercial film.

“A commercial film’s definition is that it entertains - my film will also entertain because that’s the agenda. I am confident about it because the final product is good. It has turned out the way I wanted it. But at the same time I would say: let the audiences decide.”

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