Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘venice film festival

Delhi-6 to rerelease a year later with a new tragic ending. The new version will have Abhishek Bachchan’s character dying

By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 30, 2009)


A year after the release of the ill-received Delhi-6, director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra is set to release the film with a new tragic ending.

The film was originally planned with Abhishek Bachchan’s character’s death at the end. Mehra, apparently with considerable pressure from his producer, UTV, decided to alter the ending to a happy one. Incidentally, Abhishek had strongly advised his director-friend against the ending.

Delhi 6

A member of the cast says, “Abhishek and Rakeysh had many arguments on the subject. The producers felt that audiences will react adversely to Abhishek’s character dying. Although Rakeysh was unhappy with it, he shot the alternate ending.”

Now a year later, the character Roshan will die in a new version of the film to be released very shortly. Confirming these developments, Rakeysh says, “I made a mistake. I should have gone with my original script with the tragic ending. Going by the reactions I got after I showed the newly edited film at the Venice Film Festival in September, I am sure this is the right version of Delhi-6.”

The new version will coincide with Rakeysh embarking on his next directorial project, apparently the historical Mirza Sahibaan, which the director is now in the process of casting.

Rakeysh Mehra

Rakeysh is also set to begin a professional story bank within his production house. The director says, “While there is an acute shortage of writers in our cinema, new writers seem to have no access to the mainstream banners. We want to give these writers a chance to bring their talents to our company.”

Rakeysh will also be introducing new directorial talent. “I am surprised at the number of new talented writer-directors who are coming to us with wonderful innovative ideas. I want to make these talented filmmakers a part of my team. I can’t make all the films that I want to. These directors can make some of them.”

Shekhar’s Paani is ready to roll in Spain

By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 16, 2009)


Shekhar Kapoor flew into Chennai earlier this month to record his first song for Paani, officially flagging off his first feature film undertaking since the sequel to Elizabeth two years ago.

Says Shekhar, “Paani is now completely on. We start shooting in April 2010. We’re at a pre-visualisation stage. And I needed Rahman’s song for that. Since it is located in a futuristic city, I’ve artistes in Los Angeles, Singapore and India creating my city.”

While the film is set in futuristic Mumbai, Shekhar plans to shoot in Spain. “I’ve had a big offer from Spain to shoot the film in their country. They too are fascinated by the water theme. It’s a massive project. Otherwise it wouldn’t interest me.”

The film will star newcomers in the lead. Says Shekhar, “The girl has to be a 17-year old French-Canadian who lives in the Upper City (the posh area) of  Mumbai. And the young Indian boy is a desi Leonardo DiCaprio who’s a water revolutionary.”

The film is a forbidden love story. “The girl’s father is the global head of a water company. We need another girl, a smouldering entertainer like Shakira, who’s a big star in the Upper and the Lower City. Then there’s an Oracle called Amma.”

Shekhar will cast the hero from India while the girl will be cast internationally. He swears he hasn’t decided a single member of the vast cast as yet. “You know I had planned whole schedules of Elizabeth and I hadn’t found the actress to play the lead. And since Elizabeth wasn’t cast, no one else was. The studios were getting frantic with worry. We tested a hundred actresses. I wasn’t the least worried. I knew I’d find my Elizabeth. I saw two shots of Cate Blanchett in a film no one had seen and I decided on her. The most difficult actor to cast was Richard Attenborough. Likewise I’m not worried about Paani.”

The spoken language of Paani would be English. But there will be a dubbed Hindi version. “Even the characters of the Lower City would be speaking English. Slumdog Millionaire has proved that language is no barrier. Even though all the Indians spoke English, the language didn’t come in the way of credible self-expression. I will have a dubbed Hindi version too.”

Paani will be readied in time for the Venice Film Festival in 2011.

SUBHASH K JHA (Mid-Day; August 1, 2009)

Director Rakeysh Mehra changed the beginning and end of the film before sending it to Venice film festival

Does director Rakeysh Mehra feel the quick-fix revive-the-hero ending became the undoing of Delhi- 6? Yes, he does.

Without anyone’s knowledge, he re-edited the film, restored  the original  ending, and submitted it to the Venice Film Festival. And, it got selected.

Loved it

Venice Calling: A still from Abhishek-Sonam starrer Delhi-6

Says Rakeysh,  “On Thursday night, I got an e-mail informing me that Delhi-6 has been selected for the Venice Film Festival.

They loved the film and it will be screened on either September 2 or 3. I sent them a new version of Delhi-6 based on my original script.

I had to do this, otherwise, I wouldn’t have died in peace.”

Apparently, Rakeysh had been forced to incorporate a happy ending to accommodate distributors.

He admits he wasn’t happy with the ending.

“Now, I’ve a new beginning and end. I  intended the film to end with  the death of Abhishek’s character.

People were genuinely confused by some aspects of the film like the mirror as a metaphor for looking within, the kala bandar metaphor.

The joy of being selected for Venice has washed away all wrongs in the script,” he says.

“Sometimes in life you do lose track of the destintation during the journey.

But three months after the film’s release, I have re-shot and re-edited the ending,” he adds.  Now he wants Indian audiences to see the changed Delhi-6.

“It’s the director’s cut, like Francis Coppola’s Apocalypse Now, which didn’t make sense the first time.

It made history after the changes. We shouldn’t have been in a hurry to release a film, which tries a new grammar and idiom.”

Sighs Rakeysh, “I’ve grown wiser now. I’m happy I’ve gone for the sad ending in Delhi-6.

This  is a creative correction  that has made me sleep easier.”