Meet Ben Kingsley’s Mumtaz | india | Hindustan Times
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Meet Ben Kingsley’s Mumtaz

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan will be seen as Queen Mumtaz in a film on the Taj Mahal, where British actor Sir Ben Kingsley is poised to play her husband Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan.

india Updated: Nov 18, 2009 23:59 IST
Himadree

Aishwarya Rai BachchanEven as her father-in-law awaits the release of his first film with Oscar winning British actor Sir Ben Kingsley, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan gets ready to play the role of a lifetime opposite him. The actress will be seen as Queen Mumtaz in a film on the Taj Mahal, where Kingsley is poised to play her husband Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan.

Produced by Kingsley, along with Simone Sheffield and Valerie Hoffman, the film deals with the building of the Taj by Shah Jahan, following the death of Mumtaz in 1648. “The movie examines of the power of love,” says Kingsley, confirming the project. The actor adds, “Taj has recently become one of the seven wonders of the world. It is an indelible monument to passion and love. How did the building evolve in the first place, that is the question we’re looking at.”

Kingsley’s wife, Brazilian actress Daniela Lavender plays Persian Princess Kandahari Begum, Shah Jahan’s first wife in the film, the screenplay for which is written by British playwright and novelist David Ashton. “I play a strong-willed woman who turns to intrigue in order to survive in a world dominated by men,” says Lavender about her role. “I’m reading books about Shah Jahan’s world and his period, finding out how that society operated,” she says, adding, “I’m also looking forward to working with Aishwarya Rai.”

While he is still looking for an A-list director for the project, Kingsley says, “its shooting is scheduled for autumn 2010 in appropriate parts of India”. And though no name has been finalised for the composer, he insists, “The film’s music will be a fusion of East and West.”