Peepli [Live] is ready to open this Friday and its debutant director, Anusha Rizvi, is relieved. She’s been waiting for this day for nearly seven years. And it still seems incredible that after hearing the story, Aamir Khan not only agreed to produce the film for her, but wanted to act in it too.
Three month delay
"Aamir was to start four films, one each with Amol Gupte, Abbas Tyrewallah, Abhinay Deo and me," informs Rizvi. When he took over the direction of Taare Zameen Par, Khan gave Rizvi a couple of scenes to test-shoot. Fortunately for her, he was pleased with the results and gave her the go-ahead, Peepli Live went on the floors in January 2009.
About the delay in starting the film, Rizvi says, "It was on hold for three months as some problem or the other cropped up," adding, "It was frustrating, but I didn’t think of taking the project to another producer."
So, in the interim, she kept herself busy working with her husband, theatre director Mahmood Farooqui. “He was reviving an old form of story telling in theatre with Dastangoi and I got involved with that,” she recalls.
No future plans
In time, the film began rolling again and speculations were rife about Khan’s creative interference. Quiz her on this and she says, “There were a hundred people working in the film and Aamir came on location just once. All this talk of interference undermines the effort we’ve all put in.”
Will she do another film with Aamir Khan Productions? Rizvi is non-committal: “I had a story that I wanted to tell, so I made this film. I don’t know what I’ll do next. When I have another script, I’ll discuss it with Aamir.”