“I learnt a lot from Bipasha” - Neil Nitin Mukesh

March 25th, 2009 - 11:28 am ICT by Sampurn Wire  

By Joginder Tuteja

Unlike JOHNNY GADDAAR which didn’t quite see a marketing and promotional push to it and relied mainly on word of mouth, AA DEKHEN ZARA has all going for it. The makers have pumped in good money hence ensuring that there is good enough visibility factor around the film. Happy with the way the film has shaped up and pitched in theaters, Neil Nitin Mukesh gets chatting with Joginder Tuteja as he talks about his experience on working in the film and the criteria that he adopts before signing on a project.

You are working with Jehangir Surti, a debutant director, in AA DEKHEN ZARA. Wasn’t it a risky proposition?

Clichéd as it may sound but the fact remains that every director at one point was a newcomer. He/she would have started off with that one film. Now if actors start thinking about it from that prospect, it will only make it lot easier for new talent to come in. In fact I can relate to such situation even more closely since till date I consider myself as a newcomer.

You too didn’t have an easy way into the industry, considering your JOHNNY GADDAR was stuck for a while…

Exactly, it wasn’t an easy going. Now, I so very well understand the situation when you become so desperate for getting good work.

So how do you go about identifying ‘good work’?

It is always a script that is most important for me. Next comes the director and when the two gel, their sensibilities are correct and the director managed to convince me that what he is reading out to me will actually go down well along with the visuals, I am on for a project.

Isn’t there anything else that you look at?

Oh yes, the production house of course. Now how could I forget that. In case of JOHNNY GADDAR, both the script and the director were perfect. However, the film was stuck for close to one year. Now it was some testing period for me. Luckily we all came out of it unscathed but that may not be possible with every release of mine. So I want to make sure that I work with a production house which at the least makes sure that your film releases well in theaters.

So all three selection criteria have been fulfilled in AA DEKHEN ZARA?

Yes, pretty much so. The script is fantastic; EROS is a great production house to be associated with while Jehangir (Surti) is a bundle of talent. He understands the correct pace of film making and ensures that the genre is correct enough to go with the subject. In this context, he pretty much comes from the Sriram Raghavan school of film making.

How is the film any different from JOHNNY GADDAAR?

See, JOHNNY was a very simple film with an extremely interesting narrative. Similarly AA DEKHEN ZARA too is in the same bracket. It is a simple story with a very simple narrative and a X element. All the aspects come together quite beautifully here.

And how about Bipasha?

Oh, she is a brilliant person to work with. Yes, it sounds like all routine but then one can’t help stating that she is a great actor and a co-star. She is not just any other leading lady in a romantic thriller. She contributes immensely to the film’s graph and is simply phenomenal in the role of Simi Chatterjee. In fact I learnt a lot from her and why just her, even from Rahul (Dev) who, in my understanding, is a really good actor.

In just your second film, you have also gone ahead and sung in it. An all arounder in the making?

[Laughs] Not really; it’s just that I really love the song ‘Aa Dekhen Zara’ and thought that I could do justice to it. All credit to Gourov (Dasgupta) for coming up with such fantastic version. He is brilliant, simple a genius. He brings out trump cards every time he begins composing. It’s not easy to handle a new singer but he was very patient with me and made me deliver goods. He has done so well in DUS KAHANIYAAN and RAAZ - THE MYSTERY CONTINUES as well. Yes, Pritam too had given music for AA DEKHEN ZARA and I love his songs here. But then everyone knows him. However, for people out there who are not really familiar with his name, he does deserve to be introduced. As a matter of fact, perhaps I too may need an introduction. I don’t think many people know me as well (smiles).

A camera helping the protagonist see future. Now how could one believe such a plotline?

You have to accept what this protagonist and the camera are trying to tell you. Unbelievable as it may sound but it is this camera that is trying to make a contact with other characters in the film through this protagonist. If you identify with the protagonist in scene one, which by the way is the intent of the film’s narrative, you are with him till the end of the film.

‘Main Khatam To Khel Khatam’ is what your character says in the film’s promos. What’s the significance of this line?

Oh, I love that line; I guess it’s awesome. This line is a part of the film and hints on the game that he has started and will now end with him. See, AA DEKHEN ZARA is a thriller so I can’t talk much about it. After all there are so many moments and so many connections in it. See the film and find it out for yourself!
-Sampurn Media

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