Mid-way into his shooting and Sudhir Mishra is already fighting off misinformation about his new project Bahut Nikle Mere Aramaan, which might be re-titled Khoya Khoya Chand. Says Sudhir, "One paper has written that my film is based on the story of Guru Dutt and Waheeda Rehman. I don't know why they wrote that when I categorically denied it when they asked me! Maybe the Guru Dutt-Waheeda Rehman angle gives a romantic tinge to the story. But it's not my story. My film is a tribute to the film industry and everyone who existed during the 1950s. But yes, Ive spoken to Waheedaji at length to get the nuances of the period right. I went over and chatted with her about the era. She has such a lovely sense of humour. And so very modest and encouraging of young people." Sudhir is undecided about the title. "It could be either Khoya Khoya Chand. I've gotten used to Bahut Nikle Mere Armaan. But a lot of people would think it's a sequel to Hazaaron Khwahishein Aisi". Besides Shiney Ahuja and Soha Ali Khan, Sudhir has cast the half-Pakistani half-French actress Sonia Jehan who played Mumtaz Mahal in Akbar Khan's Taj Mahal. Says Sudhir, "She's Noor Jehan's grand-daughter. And she's perfect for the part of the Urdu-speaking actress of the 1950s. I also need a Urdu-speaking hero to play a leading man of the 1950s. I've decided to cast a Bollywood actor in that role." Chances are Rajat Kapoor will be cast in that role. Art director Gautam Sen is already busy with the task of recreating the film industry of the 1950s. "But," warns Sudhir "This is going to be my most expensive film ever. And it will have a lot of physical detailing from the 1950s. But I don't want to make a period film where the art direction, sets, costumes location and music overwhelm the story. I want people to forget the period while watching the film. I don't want it to be like some of the Merchant-Ivory films where people were too busy watching the period details. During Hazaar Khawishein Pritish Nandy told me to forget the entire ambience and focus on the characters." Sudhir has shot with Soha, and he can't stop talking about her. "She's really wonderful. She has been busy preparing for the part, brushing up her Kathak dancing and Urdu diction. And Shantanu Moitra is doing outstanding music. It will be music similar to the era that my film is set. But it's also the kind of music I generally do in my films."
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