It wasn't easy to direct Madhuri Dixit in her comeback film, but director Anil Mehta thanks the actress for making it a smooth ride for him.
Mehta placed Aaja Nachle in a small town because big cities don't fascinate him.
Excerpts from the interview:
The small-town ambience in Aaja Nachle is splendid. Did Madhuri make it any easier for you?
We created it on a set in Mumbai and if people thought it was a location that's a big compliment. I went on a 20-day recce, checked out towns like Bhopal and Indore. Lots of real construction material was used on the sets. We wove in the chaos and confusion of a small town into our fictional town. She's such an easygoing person. She never let me get stressed about making Madhuri Dixit's comeback film. She was willing to give all of herself.
Did Madhuri come into the picture before or after you wrote the script?
It's a bit of a chicken-and-egg thing. The idea was floating in my head. Then Madhuri was cast and the story just flowed from there.
<b1>Did you ever anticipate furore over a line in a song?
Not at all. If you look at the spirit of the film, it isn't about discrimination, it's about the participation of people from all walks of life.
You're known to do work only now and then.
That's why I moved from Mumbai to Bangalore. I wanted to live peacefully. But somehow I've worked at my own pace. I was fighting shy of direction for long. One day when I was shooting Veer-Zaara Aditya Chopra asked me if I wanted to direct. I've kept the treatment very simple.
Why did you choose to hand over the cinematography to someone else?
I purposely made that choice. You've to be very talented to do both direction and cinematography. When I took Mohanan on, I let him interpret my vision from the start. The whole business of direction is so consuming, I left all others aspects of the film to others. Cinema to me is about collaboration with everyone including choreographer who in this case is very important. I'd always insist on getting a cinematographer on board when I'm directing.
What would your next directorial assignment be?
I haven't given it any thought. Even as a cinematographer I never planned to take on another project before finishing the one I was doing. I intend to do the same as a director. After Aaja Nachle it's my time to hibernate.