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Birthday present for Dimple Kapadia: Her film, Drishti, is going to be restored

Dimpla Kapadia and Shekhar Kapur starrer Drishti (1990) helmed by Govind Nihalani, is being restored by Film Heritage Foundation, led by Shivendra Singh Dungarpur.

bollywood Updated: Jun 09, 2018 12:06 IST
Ranjan Das Gupta
Ranjan Das Gupta
Hindustan Times
Dimpla Kapadia,Shekhar Kapur,Govind Nihalani
A still from Govind Nihalani’s Drishti that is being restored now.

As actor Dimple Kapadia turns 61 today, here’s some news that would surely make her fans happy. The actor’s much-talked-about film Drishti (1990), for which she received a lot of acclaim, is being restored by the Film Heritage Foundation. The negatives and prints of the film, also starring Shekhar Kapur and Irrfan Khan, had been ‘in a very poor condition’.

Which is why the film’s director Govind Nihalani has ‘handed over the original camera negative of Drishti’ to the Film Heritage Foundation, led by Shivendra Singh Dungarpur, and the body is now working to restore the project.

Drishti, which won the National Film Award for the Best Feature Film in Hindi, had Kapadia play a formidable, but also beautiful and sensitive head of a publishing house. Acclaimed filmmaker and Palme d’Or winner Chetan Anand praised the portrayal as ‘sincere and honest’, and the film’s music was composed by noted classical singer Kishori Amonkar. Here’s what Dungarpur, who is leading the restoration, Nihalani and Dimple have to say about the restoration.

Dimple Kapadia

When I was shooting for Drishti, I was initially nervous. One night Raj Kapoor appeared smiling in my dream. Without speaking a word he handed me a white chit. On it was written in his own handwriting, ‘Sandhya’. I was so inspired that the next day I was totally involved in Sandhya. Drishti was my first tryst with offbeat cinema. The scene where I break down pleading Shekhar Kapur not to leave me gave me ample scope to emote. Crying, “Nikhil don’t go”, I really felt I was Sandhya and the vacuum in my life after Nikhil left me. I am happy to learn Drishti is being saved and restored.”

Govind Nihalani

Govind Nahalani remembers Drishti as his experiment (Sonu Mehta/ HT Mehta)

“Drishti was my initial experiment with a romantic angle. The film was mainly shot indoors at Raj Kamal Studios. I, for the first time, opted for a mainstream cinema heroine, Dimple Kapadia. She was the perfect choice for the female protagonist, Sandhya. Gorgeous, disciplined and rising to the occasion when required, she was superb. Subrata Mitra termed Drishti a truly well-lit film. Now since the negative of Drishti is in pathetic state, I have entrusted Shivendra Singh Dugarpur to save and restore it.”

Shivendra Singh Dungarpur

Shivendra Singh Dungarpur reveals that original camera negatives were in a poor shape.

“I was an assistant to Gulzar sahab in Lekin... (1990) Working, I noticed the dedication of Dimple Kapadia as an actress. In Drishti, directed by Govind Nihalani, she was at her altruistic best. Drishti is a film in which the colour schemes are excellent. Govindji handed over the original camera negative of Dhrishti to the Film Heritage Foundation in 2017. The original camera negatives were in a very poor condition. In fact the sound negative is virtually destroyed. The foundation is trying its level best to save the original film material of the film. It is a very common problem as most producers and industry stakeholders do not store their films well. If stored in proper conditions, celluloid has much greater longevity than digital formats as a preservation medium.”

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First Published: Jun 08, 2018 16:02 IST