Fenil and Bollywood

Shabana wore cheap salwar suits!-Gurinder Chadha

Posted on: December 15, 2009

BONDING AT WORK: Gurinder Chadha

Gurinder Chadha on movies and being back in Mumbai

MEENA IYER (BOMBAY TIMES; December 15, 2009)

Gurinder Chadha, the NRI film-maker, who tells delectable stories of Punjabi families living in Southhall, UK—i.e. Bend it like Beckham (2002), Bride and Prejudice (2004); is back with her latest offering It’s a Wonderful After Life.
The film has an obese Shabana Azmi (yeah, she piled on 20 pounds for the lead character); with other popular names like Sendhil Ramamurthy (from the popular television series Lost), Sally Hawkins (Golden Globe winner), Chris Wilson and Jimi Mistry. The film itself is scheduled for a summer 2010 release, but the internationally feted filmmaker was in Mumbai with her twins, on a whirlwind trip to bond with some of Bollywood’s best.

Says Gurinder, “I’m a bit more sensitive to Mumbai after the 26/11 terror attacks.” She says her son Ronak loves it here and every time he smells the ‘stench’ in the air around the sea, he keeps saying, “Mommy someone is frying fish.”

For Gurinder however, even making a trip to the five-star hotels that were under siege, was a onerous task because “it will break my heart to go in there and pretend all is well.’’ About her completing a ‘trilogy’ of sorts with It’s a Wonderful After Life, she says, “It’s a funny film with a heart. It talks of what would happen if women ruled the world.’’

About Shabana who is the protagonist, Gurinder says, “Shabana who had to pile on pounds for the film had a field day eating parathas and cake.’’ She guffaws as she adds, “She also wore the cheapest cardigans and flowery salwar-kurtas with kothis (jackets) to look the part. And she perfected her Brit-Punjabi accent by attending a baby shower of one of my relatives.’’ Gurinder adds, “Shabana is a legend in India and working with her was indeed a pleasure.’’

And guess what, thedrawn-to-India-forever-film-maker will return to Kerala for her next film that revolves around two children. “I’m in talks with Santosh Sivan,’’ she
says.
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