For over a month, producer-director Vishal Bhardwaj has been in the news for Ekta Kapoor’s Dreams. Earlier, Shahid Kapoor was expected to be part of it. Then, it was said that Bhardwaj had case Saif Ali Khan. Now, buzz is that even Khan has pulled out of the project.
Bhardwaj, however, surprises us, saying that he’s not even working on Dreams! "Right now, it’s just a dream," he chuckles. "Shahid won’t be in it. Hrithik (Roshan) won’t do it. Ditto Salman (Khan), Shah Rukh (Khan) and Saif. If I have not been approached with a script for a film, how can I cast for it?"
Prod him further, and he shrugs, "I don’t know why is so much being written about it. There is no film on the cards for me besides Saat Khoon Maaf."
The film, an adaptation of Ruskin Bond’s Susanna’s Seven Husbands, is in the post-production stage right now. It toplines Priyanka Chopra opposite seven actors. Bhardwaj admits he’s partial to women in key roles.
“I realised Priyanka’s immense dedication while working on Kaminey. She’s a beautiful girl and a fantastic actor. I couldn’t think of anyone better than her to have seven husbands,” he exults. Bhardwaj believes that women in the past didn’t get their due space in the movies.
“Heroines were props. Everything revolved around the hero and as soon as the conflict in the plot was introduced, she would fade out. Now, things have changed,” he asserts. “Women occupy centre-stage in cinema now.” The director, also a popular composer, cites — Sarita Choudhary, who has acted in the upcoming movie, For Real, and Sona Jain, who has directed it —as prime examples of women being more assertive in Indian cinema.
“They’ve done a fabulous job. They’ve captured and displayed the emotions of a working mother in the film,” Bhardwaj says.