Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘the namesake

Rani Mukerji to work with filmmaker Deepa Mehta in the screen adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children

By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; January 04, 2010)


Last month, Rani Mukerji had a secret, productive and extremely encouraging meeting with author Salman Rushdie and director Deepa Mehta in Toronto. Rushdie and Mehta are coming together for a screen adaptation of the former’s celebrated Booker-winning novel Midnight’s Children. According to reliable sources, Rani met the author and the filmmaker for a good two hours and is now part of the screen adaptation. The buzz is Rushdie took a great fancy to her.

Rani Mukerji

Deepa is evasive about confirming Rani’s presence in Midnight’s Children. She says, “Yes, Salman Rushdie and I met her informally in Toronto, but nothing has been finalised.”

However, reliable sources insist Rani is part of the coveted project which already has Shabana Azmi, Seema Biswas and Nandita Das in its cast.

Hinting at the possibility of working with Rani, Deepa says, “I don’t know about Rani’s current box-office status but I have always wanted to work with her. I saw her work in Hey Ram, Black, Bunty Aur Babli and Veer-Zaara and loved it. She is among the best talent in India today. Whether it is Preity Zinta (Heaven On Earth), Shabana Azmi (Fire) or Seema Biswas (Water), I have always enjoyed working with strong, female actors.”

Rani too is on the lookout for a challenge that will take her beyond the roles she has done in Hindi cinema so far. Interestingly, she has never worked with a female director in her entire career. She came close to working with Mira Nair in The Namesake. She lost the prized role to Tabu because she didn’t want to play Abhishek Bachchan’s mother. Later, Abhishek too opted out of the project.

Deepa Mehta Salman Rushdie

HARD TALK: Mira Nair

SUBHASH K JHA Times News Network (BOMBAY TIMES; November 27, 2009)

After the mixed response to her latest Hollywood bigbudget film Amelia, Mira Nair is all set to plunge into a far more contemporary and headline-screaming work. It’s going to be a thriller called The Reluctant Fundamentalist and will be set in Lahore, Chile and New York.

Mira had been angling for the filming rights of Pakistani author Mohsin Hamid’s novel by this name for some time now. The deal has finally come through. The Reluctant Fundamentalist is about the impact 9/11 had on the life of a young Pakistani Muslim in New York and requires an intense Muslim actor to play the protagonist, Changez, who can express bitterness, rage and acceptance within the same scriptzone.

The buzz is that Mira has decided on her old favourite Irrfan Khan with whom she did The Namesake and Kosher Vegetarian. However, there is pressure from the American studios to cast a Hollywood actor in the main role so that the international bestselling novel would get the audience it demands and deserves. Global terrorism is not just a theme that fascinates the international film fraternity. Bollywood has produced at least three talked-about films on it this year. Mira is keen to watch her good friend Karan Johar’s Kurbaan and Kabir Khan’s New York to get a look at another filmmaker’s perspective on how 9/11 changed the world-view for Muslims.