Hema Malini admits to pulling out all the stops to make sure her daughter Esha Deol’s career takes off. After taking over directorial reins for Esha’s re-launch vehicle, Tell Me O Kkhuda, the actress now plans to re-make Razia Sultan (1983) with her daughter as the lead.
The Dream Girl confidently says, “Esha would look beautiful as Razia.” Since the film wasn’t Hema’s most successful, why is she choosing to remake it? She says, “The 1983 film script couldn’t do justice to the queen’s ‘rutba’ (panache). I feel it lost focus because the film shoot went on for over seven years.” Hema, incidently, got married during this time and Esha was born.
Talking about her fascination for the first empress of Hindustan, Hema says, “Two men were in love with her. One was a slave who trained her for action, sword fighting, horse riding and how to tackle things on the battlefield. And the other man was a prince. The story talks about how she handled both and faced the war.”
Will Esha have a dance number in Razia? She says, “Queens don’t dance. They are the epitome of grace. But I promise there will be lots of action, horse riding and beautiful war scenes.” The actoress-director adds, “When Jodha Akbar was being made, I was sceptical about it, but see how beautifully it turned out. It goes to show people love seeing grand historical stories, if told well.”
However Hema refuses to get into the director’s chair with this one. She says, “It will be an expensive project. I will look for a good financer to co-produce with me, and will get another director. Directing is a tough job, and shot taking is tedious. I will be involved in the creative process but I don’t want to direct again.” The actress, who made her directorial debut with Dil Aashna Hai (1992), reveals that she took over the reins of Tell Me O Kkhuda from another director, reluctantly, because when she saw the first rushes, she didn’t feel like they were in sync with the story. Hema says having worked with masters like Manoj Kumar, Vijay Anand and Asit Sen prepared her for this film, despite having no formal education in film direction.