Amitabh is crowning glory of ‘The Last Lear’: Arindam Chaudhuri (Interview)

August 25th, 2008 - 11:12 am ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 25 (IANS) Producer Arindam Chaudhuri can’t stop raving about Amitabh Bachchan’s performance in his ready-to-release English language film “The Last Lear”. He says the Big B’s work in the movie is even better than in “Black”.”I feel this is Amitabh’s best performance. He was the obvious choice for the role,” Chaudhuri, managing director of Planman Motion Pictures, told IANS in an interview.

“Amitabh suited the role of the ageing theatre actor perfectly. I don’t think anyone would have fitted the bill so well. He is so eccentric, performs so brilliantly and the way he speaks English is so impeccable and clear. I feel he is the crowning glory of the film.”

“The Last Lear”, directed by award-winning filmmaker Rituparno Ghosh, highlights the different acting skills required for theatre and cinema.

Based on Utpal Dutt’s play “Aajker Shahjahan”, the film also stars Preity Zinta, Arjun Rampal, Shefali Shah and Divya Dutta. It is slated for a Sep 12 release.

Besides Amitabh, Chaudhuri is also all praise for director Ghosh, who has earlier made critically acclaimed films like “Chokher Bali” and “Raincoat”.

He said: “Rituparno Ghosh creates magic out of relationship based cinema. I don’t think anyone would have treated the script the way he has done it.”

The producer currently has no plans to release this Rs.8.5 million film in Hindi and feels it is meant for a niche audience.

“This film is in English and anyone who understands the language can enjoy it. It imparts undertones of various messages and talks in particular of the conflict between theatre and cinema.

“I love watching a film like ‘Om Shanti Om’, but I know there are better people who are making such masala and romantic films. Now more intelligent and meaningful stories need to be told. Even ‘Mithya’ was such a film,” he said.

The producer says that he intentionally delayed the film’s release in India. “The Last Lear” was ready for release last year and was screened at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI).

“‘The Last Lear’ is a niche film and so it was required to be shown internationally before being brought it to India. It has already travelled to film festivals in Toronto, Rome and London.

“When we thought of releasing the film around the summer vacations this year, the IPL (Indian Premier League) matches were on and there were also a lot of big films packed till now. We wanted to release it at a decent time when there won’t be many commercial films to compete with,” explained Chaudhuri, who is also a management guru.

The theatrical trailers of “The Last Lear” were added to Akshay Kumar-starrer “Singh Is Kinng”, which has created waves at the box office.

” ‘Singh Is Kinng’ has turned out to be a huge success. I think it will also help our film as seeing a trailer in a theatre is very different from seeing it on TV. The theatrical trailer definitely has more impact and also generates more curiosity in the audience,” he said.

“The Last Lear”, shot in Kolkata, Mussoorie and Uttarakhand, will be distributed by PVR across all multiplexes,” Chaudhuri added.

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