Shekhar Kapoor’s dream project Paani, which was shelved by Yash Raj films, has now moved West. The director, who has helmed some extraordinary films in the West, including the Oscar-winning Elizabeth, is all set to do Paani in the West with two top-notch Hollywood actors in the lead.
Says Shekhar, “It is true I am no longer doing the film with Adi (producer Aditya Chopra). But, that doesn’t mean I won’t be doing this film. I’ve lived with the project for many years now. When I first spoke about the impending water scarcity 12 years ago, everybody laughed at me. Today, the water famine is a looming reality,” ays Shekhar pensively.
He, then, chuckles, “I do hope I am able to make Paani before water becomes a rationed commodity. If I make it then, no one would be able to afford cinema tickets.”
So what happened to the collaboration with Aditya Chopra and Yash Raj Films?
Shekhar, never known to weight his words, is understandably circumvented in answering this one question that is on everybody’s mind.
He finally says, “See, you have to understand Adi is not only a producer. He is also a very accomplished filmmaker with extremely independent ideas on cinema. Adi and I are both fiercely individualistic filmmakers. We just couldn’t agree on the way Paani should be made.”
What Shekhar leaves unsaid is that the budget which Shekhar required to make Paani did not suit Yashraj and Aditya Chopra.
Poor Sushant Singh Rajput lost close to two years of his career preparing for Paani. Says Shekhar regretfully, “We spent close to two years planning the project together. But it wasn’t meant to be. Not with Adi. I’ll now make Paani elsewhere.”