|HOME | MOVIES | BILLBOARD|
|September 18, 2001||
He's got 12 films on hand.
A conservative description of his life would be to say that he's busy.
Four films are in the post-production stage, four in various stages of shooting and another four in the scripting and finalising stages.
Mahesh Manjrekar has no time to stand and stare. For now, he's busy directing Sanjay Dutt (his favourite actor) and Nandita Das in the period film, Pitah.
The film is said to be in a milieu that is not contemporary, but not too old either.
The sets resemble a rural district collector's office. The high ceiling of the room and garish yellow paint on the walls lend an old world look.
Nandita plays farmer Sanjay Dutt's wife. Incidentally, Tabu was Mahesh's first choice for this role. Not that you would know, looking at Nandita now. Devoid of makeup and clad in a simple sari, you can't imagine anyone else slipping so easily into the role.
As she waits for the cameraman to set up the lights, one asks if she minded being taken as a replacement for Tabu. "I have no problems taking up a role offered to any other person," she retorts quickly.
A commercial setup might be comparatively new for Nandita as she is used to working with filmmakers like Deepa Mehta. But, from the looks of it, she seems to be perfectly fine in this commercial setup as well. There is a difference though.
In the so-called art or 'thinking' cinema, actors have more than a chance of discussing scenes with their directors and finally doing it in a way that appeals to a person's intellectual sensibilities.
In commercial cinema, certain scenes are a direct challenge to anyone's sensibilities.
But when one works with 'realistic' commercial filmmakers like Mahesh Manjrekar, it often means that one gets to tread the middle path. An actor may be asked to do a scene that defies his or her personal logic, but the director does explain his stance.
Right now, Nandita Das is not at all convinced about this scene. She wants to know how a woman, otherwise shown to be bold and confident, would beg and plead a police officer.
A verbal duel of sorts ensues between her an d her director. The actress is not very happy over a few lines in the dialogue; the director won't allow any change either.
Mahesh explains calmly that the woman is desperate and is ready to stoop to any level, casting her ego and pride aside. Nandita accepts the point gracefully and the matter ends there. The shot is canned without any further problems.
While this shot gets completed, Sanjay, has been relaxing in his room, as he wasn't needed. He emerges the moment Manjrekar sends an assistant for him.
Nandita is ready with her dialogues, most of which are from the previous scene.
Mahesh tells Sanjay that he is supposed to pound at the officer's desk so hard that it rattles the items placed on it, scaring the officer.
This is a scene without dialogue, and must create an impact.
Sanjay and Nandita are ready. She rattles off her lines, and the kids do their crying bit.
Sanjay hears them and as if in retaliation, bangs the desk hard enough to startle everyone.
The shot is canned without a problem.
India News Feature Service
ASTROLOGY | BROADBAND | CONTESTS | E-CARDS | ROMANCE | WOMEN | WEDDING
SHOPPING | BOOKS | MUSIC | PERSONAL HOMEPAGES | FREE EMAIL| MESSENGER | FEEDBACK