Filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali is excited about his next venture, sister Bela Sehgal’s directorial debut Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi. Having produced and written the story, the filmmaker claims that this movie is a step in a new direction.
Even though he recently produced a masala film, Rowdy Rathore, he is still averse to directing massy entertainers. “One day when I am in the mood, I might direct a mainstream film. I want to make a murder mystery, a thriller and a romantic film. But I can’t say when. My movies are my views of life. I am pensive and the drama comes from that. Bela is a happier person, so she has made a film on a mature romance.”
The casting of Farah Khan and Boman Irani in Shirin, Farhad… is unexpected. Ask him how Farah came to be part of the film and he says, “We always had Farah in mind for the role of Shirin, even six years ago when we were planning the film. Of course, she and I have had a turbulent relationship. She is a beautiful woman, with great wit and charm, and no one else could have played this role. She was herself in the film and brought a new energy to it.”
Farah made the transition from behind the camera to in front of it, for this film. Does he harbour similar ambitions? “I can’t act at all. It isn’t possible. Farah always had the passion of an actor so she could be one. But I can’t. I am a simple person, while she has the confidence of handling anything. I can’t even stand still for a photograph, so acting in a film or doing a cameo is out of the question.”
Since he’s making a film on mature love, he must be getting pestered with questions about his own marriage. “Everybody asks me that all the time,” he says, laughing. “These are all choices one makes in life. I have written the story and said all I had to say about late marriages through the film. Love can never have an expiry date. You can fall in love at eight or 80.”