Saturday, November 24, 2001. It was an evening to remember. A get-together with a difference! The principal cast of one of the keenly awaited films, KAANTE Amitabh Bachchan, Sanjay Dutt, Sunil Shetty, Kumar Gaurav and Mahesh Manjrekar (Lucky Ali, the sixth lead man, wasn't in town!) gathered under one roof to share their experiences while filming this venture in Los Angeles, U.S.A.. The cream of the entertainment industry from J.P. Dutta to David Dhawan to Yash and Karan Johar were present on the occasion, which was primarily held to celebrate the completion of this grandiose project. KAANTE may be the fourth project actor Sanjay Dutt and director Sanjay Gupta are associated with (AATISH, JUNG, KHAUFF), but it is the first project that brings them together as producers. Pritish Nandy, who presents the film, set the ball rolling with a speech that struck the right chord. "I know nothing of business; I am a creative man. When the two Sanjays came to me with the offer to back the film, all I said was, 'The project sounds great. Let's go ahead with it.' We have completed the film in a record period of 31 days, which was unbelievable by all standards. We dared to dream." Portions of the film, that includes songs and vital sequences, were screened for the august gathering. But before every promo was screened, a prominent journalist was invited on the dais to pose three questions to each star of the film. The function was different in the sense that there were no marathon speeches by those associated with the film, but four prominent journalists posed questions, one after another, to one member of the cast. Sanjay Dutt was first to answer questions related to the film, which were posed by Taran Adarsh. 'Showtime' Editor Kanan Divecha quizzed Mahesh Manjrekar, followed by 'Bombay Times' correspondent Suresh Nair posing questions to Sunil Shetty and 'Indian Express' correspondent Rajeev Masand quizzing Amitabh Bachchan. The excerpts: Taran Adarsh: What's tough being an actor or producer? Sanjay Dutt: Producer! I couldn't afford to come late on the sets. Being a producer is more difficult definitely. Taran Adarsh: Since the film in entirety has been shot in the U.S., with all American technicians, how Indian is the film? Sanjay Dutt: The script demanded that we shoot in America, but the emotions depicted in the film are Indian. It's an out-and-out Indian film. Kanan Divecha: What's the message you wish to convey with this film? Mahesh Manjrekar: No message or sermonising, please! All we want to say is, Go to the theatre and enjoy this flick. Suresh Nair: How was it working with Amitabh Bachchan? Sunil Shetty: It was like working with God! Rajeev Masand: What prompted you to accept this film? Amitabh Bachchan: There was an emotional reason behind it. In 1968, when I was a rank newcomer, the late Mrs. Nargis Dutt-ji was instrumental in having me screen-tested for the role in RESHMA AUR SHERA, which was produced by Shri Sunil Dutt. I could never forget what Mrs. Nargis Dutt-ji did for me. So when Sanju approached me with this offer, I had to do the film. Yet another highlight of the evening was the key portions screened for the majestic gathering. The two songs Chhodna Chhodna Chhodna Re (picturised on all the six stars) and Mahiya (picturised on Malaika Arora, who plays the romantic lead opposite Sunil Shetty) have been picturised in one day each and the results are spectacular. The sequences between the six stars, mainly the confrontation between Amitabh, Sanju and Sunil, have also been remarkably shot. The music of KAANTE will be released by T-Series in February next year and the film will hit the theatres in April.
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