Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


I was reading this piece the other day about the renewed interest of many Bollywood film maker's in reconstructing a piece of mythology by making Mahabharata come alive on the big screen. The chance of exploring these age old epics in their own fashion offers tremendous opportunities to these film makers and it would surely be exciting to see how they tell this mother of stories on the silver screen. I have always had this secret wish of directing a movie someday too and coupled with my love for fantasy drafts I decided to jump into making a wish list of actors I would want if I wanted to make Mahabharata for the 70 mm screens too. Now my knowledge of this epic is limited to viewings (and repeat viewings) of its TV adaptation by B.R. Chopra so my choice of characters might be biased by the way they were projected on TV and also might have led me to come up with this wish list of only the characters that stayed with me even after the TV series was over.

The good guys
Yudhishthira: Ajay Devagan has done this bit before playing the guy who has truth on his side, the righteous one who treads the path of truth in the face of all adversities.
Bhima: The role requires an imposing physical presence, a gentle giant who often lets his anger get the better of him making Sanjay Dutt perfect for the part.
Arjuna: Who better than the best actors in the industry to play one of the important and my favorite character from Mahabharata. Aaamir Khan would be perfect perfectionist for this part that requires a certain degree of integrity to reflect in the person to play the character convincingly.
Nakula and Sahadev : I don't remember much about these twins but the record says that Nakula was extremely attractive so I went with Salman Khan for his sheer star power and also so that he doesn't have to act too much to dent this monster of a movie.
Draupadi: This is one of the toughest calls to make choosing probably the only important female part in a male dominated flick. To play a woman who is the object of affection of five important parts in the movie and to effectively play a woman who is so scorned that she is the underlying reason for the biggest baddest battle ever fought, Kajol heads my list followed closely by Rani Mukherjee and Aishwarya Rai with Vidya Balan being the wild card.
Krishna: Who better than Krrishh to play the second most important parts in Mahabharata. The person chosen has to project an aura and charisma very critical for this part while being a very good actor to be able to mouth those heavy lines without sounding cheesy hence the choice of Hrithik Roshan for the part.
Abhimanyu: One of my favorite characters again he shall win all the audience sympathies after his tragic death. I decided to go with either Shiney Ahuja or Abhishek Bachchan with their youthful looks and ability to play to the galleries with their eventual and tragic deaths.

The baddies
Karna: Probably the third most important character in the movie I decided to go with Shah Rukh Khan to play this guy with the heart of gold who sides with the baddies because his word is more important to him. Also casting SRK brings to the screen the dream pitting of Khan vs Khan which is a guaranteed crowd puller.
Duryodhana: For this part I decided to go with Akshay Kumar, an actor who has improved by leaps and bounds and has displayed a mean evil streak in previous movies. Saif Ali Khan could be good too as he displayed with his mean streak in Omkara.
Shakuni: For this small but very important part I went with Boman Irani, for those who think he is only good at comedy revisit Khosla Ka Ghosla and Being Cyrus.

The character actors
Bhishma: The easiest choice of all choosing the Big B to play the Big B of Mahabharata. He will easily do justice to this character who bound by oath undergoes a lot of torture but still sticks by his word Amitabh Bachchan.
Kunti: I just had to cast Raakhee as the mother of the Pandavas and who undergoes a lot of grief fully knowing that the battle will not end without at least one of her sons dying in it.

I had a rocking time coming up with this list which went through a few revisions the more I thought about it. You guys help yourself and engage in some fantasy fun too while I think about coming up with an all time list from all decades from Bollywood.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Just a thought

I heard creating perfectly happy existences was a thankless job, I won't be one to break tradition but I am just glad they picked the right man for the job.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The apple tree

A trip back to India is always a learning in more ways than one. You look back at times you have spent in your motherland, you reflect at what has been and what has shaped your life to the point at where you stand on that day. You look around at places and people who have also had a formative influence on your life and you try and put them against the mental pictures you had of them before. You find out a lot of people have actually changed, but maybe its just you who has. Maybe you have matured and gained a different perspective of them or maybe its just them. A lot of questions remain and a lot of questions remain unanswered. One of these people you get to observe quite closely is your parents, one of the most important things in your life, people battle hardened in life's war, people to whom you speak to almost everyday but who still are separated from you by the physical distances. However you notice how these holders of your genetic pool are really splitting images of yourself split only by spaces of time and a generation. You slowly notice uncanny similarities at they way they handle situations, the way they react, the way they handle people. Its scary at first to finally notice these things which you might have missed when you were less mature. But at the end of the day I realized it was a learning curve. Its a time to pat yourself on the back for the good things you have imbibed and admire in your parents and on the other hand its a time to consciously bring about changes if you think need be, on things which make you incompatible with people while you still can because you are still in a position to do so. Which way you look at it I think if you look hard enough it will be there for you to see that the apple never falls too far from the tree.