Here’s some big news for small screen lovers. Filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali is set to make a foray into the world of television. Based on the popular Gujarati novel Saraswatichandra by Govardhanram Madhavaram Tripathi, Bhansali’s show is likely to retain its title.
The work, called a ‘super novel’ since it was written over a period of 15 years, has already been made into an award-winning, eponymous film in 1968, which starred Manish and Nutan. The novel, whose first volume was published in 1887 and the fourth one in 1902, revolves around the lives of people in the early 20th century, depicting the social fabric of that time: extended family life and the beginning of the meltdown of old customs and traditions.
And though the makers remain tight-lipped, it is said that the show is likely to be based around sisters belonging to a middle-class Gujarati family. Ask Bhansali about it and he says, "It’s a huge, four-volume literary work with chunks of material. The work is still going on. But I will talk about my TV stint in detail later. For now, I am just focusing on Rowdy Rathore and Shirin Farhad Ki Nikal Padi."
The buzz is that TV actor Jennifer Winget might star in the show. Other names doing the rounds include actors Gautam Rode, Monica Bedi and Yatin Karyekar. The show may hit small screens around September-October, after Bhansali wraps up his next film tentatively titled Ram-Leela, starring Kareena Kapoor and Ranveer Singh.
Rowdy talk: BHANSALI
You came up with the title?
For over a month, we couldn’t find the title. But since I enjoyed the film, I got the title instantly. Prabhu sir said, ‘Nahi. Kya Rowdy?’ I said, ‘Listen to me, call it RR and it’ll take care of itself.’
Why a masala film?
Because Saawariya (2007) didn’t do well and Guzaarish (2010) got a lot of critical acclaim, I realised that audiences want full-on entertainment.
Do you identify with Akshay’s ‘rowdy’ character?
When I lived in Bhuleshwar and Bhindi Bazar, we were like these characters. Then I made Khamoshi (1996) and Black (2005). Par andar to woh Bhuleshwar aur Bhindi Bazar ke bachche ka hi temperament hai.
First time with Khiladi Kumar...
He’s so professional. For a 9 am shoot, he’d be facing the camera by 9.04. But there’s no holding back the pack-up time for even five minutes.
Did you give any inputs?
No, once I asked Prabhu sir to do the film, it was completely his take.