HT Image
HT Image

Amol Gupte lashes out at Amir Khan

Almost four months after the release of Taare Zameen Par, its writer Amol Gupte talks about his disappointment when Aamir took over the direction of the film.
By HT Correspondent | IANS, Mumbai
UPDATED ON APR 10, 2008 11:53 AM IST

Almost four months after the release of Taare Zameen Par. its writer Amol Gupte talks about his disappointment. He says he was both surprised and hurt when Aamir Khan said he was the director of the movie.

The film about dyslexia, which had Darsheel Safary in the key role and won many awards, was Aamir's directorial debut and everyone felt that he had created a perfect winner with the film.

Excerpts from an interview:

How much of Taare Zameen Par (TZP) is actually yours?
(Ponders) Does it really matter? It has paid back in multiples. Whatever happened, let's drown it in the Ganga and move on. Aamir has been on the shoot with me for 109 days and he has acknowledged I was there throughout. Now let's leave it behind.

The project was with you for many years?
I've been involved with children's projects for many, many years. In fact, I used to have a kids' show on Sony called Bindaas Bol, which addressed itself to the parent-child relationship, peer pressure and related issues. I've since then became a surrogate-parent to children everywhere. I'm like a one-man Suvidha (children's shelter). TZP was an extension of an ongoing affinity to children's issues. I share a lifelong affinity to juvenile problems. Imagine a sixth standard girl carrying a six-kilogram schoolbag! What does it do to her tender back?

Did you anticipate such an overwhelming response to TZP?
Actually, this was just a part of the ongoing children's projects that my wife Deepa Bhatia and I share. For us Project Child is a journey. TZP was an important part of that project. We waited two years for Aamir to just listen to our script. I knew Aamir from our college and theatre days. After that he shot a short film with me in the lead. So did Aamir's cousin Mansoor. So I've been associated with his family for many decades.

I didn't know you were an actor!
But I wasn't the Khan family's favourite actor for sure. Otherwise, I'd have done Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak. Jokes aside, I didn't have the courage to ask Aamir to work in my film. I wasn't that ambitious. I asked him to help me talk to Akshaye Khanna because I had seen Akhaye portray a sensitive painter in Dil Chahta Hai. But when Aamir heard my script was about children, he said he wanted to hear the narration. That took a long time.

Even I got busy playing father to my son who was born in 2001. I put him in school and tried to be as much part of his schooling as possible. Finally, in September 2004 he heard TZP. The very next week he proposed to produce the film. Then again there was a delay because Aamir got busy with MangalPandey and his personal life.

So what exactly went wrong between you and Aamir?

I'm trying to put it behind me... Let me just say, right from choosing all the kids for the parts to the final editing, I was right there on board... I wanted to preserve the kids' natural innocence. So I never auditioned them. I used to engage them in discussions and workshops with the camera held out of their vision by an assistant.

Where did your creative inputs in

TZP

end?

They ended when Aamir, his wife, my wife and I saw the film's first edit. It's misreported that I didn't like the edited version of

TZP

. There was no question of not liking the edited version because my wife Deepa was editing the material in Panchgani as we were shooting. We were all very proud of the film. Then we had a wrap-up party. And that's when Aamir announced he was the director of the film. That's when I got to know of his intentions.



Has this betrayal made you stronger and wiser?

It has made me question myself. Where did I go wrong? Had I not been there throughout the shooting for every take including Aamir's wonderful performance, I'd have understood that I've gone wrong somewhere. But I've enacted lines for all the actors in

TZP

. It hurt a lot. But I didn't want a confrontation.

How different is the final film from what you shot?
What I shot and what you saw aren't different at all. My narration is the same as the married print. Of course, Aamir was there with me throughout.

And he didn't shoot anything on his own?
Yes, he re-shot the first six days' material. I didn't participate in that because I stood by the rushes of my first six days' shooting. However, what he shot wasn't radically different from my style.

The standard inference is that the project was taken over from you?
I don't understand this business of taking over. When I was around how could the project be taken over? What would any competent director be doing for 109 shooting days? It makes no sense at all.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
app
Close
Navya with her parents.(Instagram)
Navya with her parents.(Instagram)

Navya Nanda on her dad: 'Can't wait to carry forward this incredible legacy'

PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 02:49 PM IST
Amitabh Bachchan's son-in-law Nikhil Nanda recently bagged an award for being among the best CEOs in the country. And cherishing his legacy, hard work and ambition was his daughter Navya Naveli Nanda. She dedicated a social media post to him.
Close
Sonakshi Sinha has bought a new house for herself in Bandra.
Sonakshi Sinha has bought a new house for herself in Bandra.

Sonakshi Sinha buys 4BHK home in Bandra: 'It was my dream'

PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 02:40 PM IST
Actor Sonakshi Sinha has fulfilled a life goal and has bought a house for herself in Mumbai's Bandra. She, however, has no plans of moving out of her parents' house yet.
Close
Priyanka Chopra has shot for a new episode of Hot Ones.
Priyanka Chopra has shot for a new episode of Hot Ones.

Priyanka Chopra paces around with milk in hand after shooting another Hot Ones

PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 02:20 PM IST
Priyanka Chopra has shot for yet another episode of Hot Ones where celebrities are made to gulp down spicy sauces, to test their tolerance for hot food.
Close
The Rajasthan high court's instruction has come on a petition filed by Karan Johar (HT Photo)
The Rajasthan high court's instruction has come on a petition filed by Karan Johar (HT Photo)

Court bars coercive step against Karan Johar in case involving Pandya, KL Rahul

By HT Correspondent, Jodhpur
PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 01:46 PM IST
  • Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul had petitioned the high court last year seeking quashing of the FIR. The court had already given interim protection to both of them from arrest.
Close
Varun Dhawan at the wedding venue.
Varun Dhawan at the wedding venue.

Varun Dhawan arrives at venue ahead of wedding with Natasha Dalal

PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 01:40 PM IST
Ahead of his wedding with Natasha Dalal, Varun Dhawan was seen arriving at his wedding venue, The Mansion House, in Alibaug on Saturday. See pictures here.
Close
Kareena Kapoor in a glimpse from the photo shoot.
Kareena Kapoor in a glimpse from the photo shoot.

Kareena Kapoor is all about style and glamour in an all-black photo shoot. Watch

PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 01:22 PM IST
Kareena Kapoor has shared a video from one of her glamourous photo shoots. She is seen dressed in a black gown with a thigh-high slit.
Close
Audience will ask tough questions to contestants.
Audience will ask tough questions to contestants.

Bigg Boss 14 promo teases a power-packed Weekend Ka Vaar episode, watch

UPDATED ON JAN 23, 2021 12:28 PM IST
Bigg Boss Weekend Ka Vaar will see a number of ex-contestants grace the episode as well as few audience, some of whom will grill the current contestants. Rahul Vaidya, Abhinav Shukla and Rubina Dilaik will be asked some tough questions.
Close
Taapsee Pannu has shared a post about her 2015 film Baby.
Taapsee Pannu has shared a post about her 2015 film Baby.

Taapsee Pannu recalls the 7 minutes that changed the direction of tide for her

UPDATED ON JAN 23, 2021 01:14 PM IST
Taapsee Pannu has talked about her short role in Akshay Kumar's 2015 film Baby. She said it changed the direction of tide for her.
Close
Akshay Kumar has shared a new still from Bachchan Pandey.
Akshay Kumar has shared a new still from Bachchan Pandey.

Akshay Kumar announces Bachchan Pandey release date with new still

PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 11:23 AM IST
Akshay Kumar has booked Republic Day holiday in 2022 for his upcoming film, Bachchan Pandey. He plays a dreaded gangster in the film.
Close
Here are top entertainment news stories.
Here are top entertainment news stories.

Jasmin Bhasin may return on Bigg Boss 14, Nick Jonas praises The White Tiger

PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 11:01 AM IST
From news reports about Jasmin Bhasin returning to the Bigg Boss 14 house to Priyanka Chopra's The White Tiger earning praise from her husband Nick Jonas, here are top entertainment news stories.
Close
Having shot for ‘Mirzapur’ and ‘Raktanchal’ in Varanasi and Lucknow, actor Pramod Pathak will next shoot in Kanpur. (Sourced photo)
Having shot for ‘Mirzapur’ and ‘Raktanchal’ in Varanasi and Lucknow, actor Pramod Pathak will next shoot in Kanpur. (Sourced photo)

Pramod Pathak: I’ll shoot in my Kanpur from next month

By Deep Saxena
UPDATED ON JAN 23, 2021 10:46 AM IST
UPite Pramod Pathak’s role of JP Yadav in both seasons of ‘Mirzapur’ and Tripurari in ‘Raktanchal’ gave him what his 25-year-long career could not.
Close
Actor Kirti Kulhari will be next seen in the direct to OTT release The Girl on the Train.
Actor Kirti Kulhari will be next seen in the direct to OTT release The Girl on the Train.

Kirti Kulhari on web censorship: It comes in the way of complete freedom of expression, I’m not in favour of that

By Rishabh Suri
PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 10:44 AM IST
Actor Kirti Kulhari who was seen in two successful web series in 2020 — Four More Shots Please season 2 and Criminal Justice Behind The Doors — admits that Indian artistes owe a lot to OTT through which their work is reaching the world.
Close
Hrithik Roshan has shared his new look.
Hrithik Roshan has shared his new look.

Hrithik Roshan shares bearded look from new commercial, see pic

PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 10:44 AM IST
Hrithik Roshan has shared the advertisement of a beard grooming brand which features him in a bearded avatar, enough to be declared as the 'sexiest don alive'.
Close
Naina Singh was last seen in Bigg Boss-14 House. (Sourced)
Naina Singh was last seen in Bigg Boss-14 House. (Sourced)

Naina Singh: One cannot hide their real persona on screen

By S Farah Rizvi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 10:43 AM IST
Hailing from Moradabad, reality TV star Naina Singh feels it’s tougher to be yourself on screen instead of playing a reel-life character.
Close
Salman Khan has been shooting for Antim for some time now.(Varinder Chawla)
Salman Khan has been shooting for Antim for some time now.(Varinder Chawla)

Salman Khan, Mahesh Manjrekar spotted post Antim shoot, see here

PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 10:32 AM IST
Actor Salman Khan, Pragya Jaiswal and actor-filmmaker Mahesh Manjrekar were spotted in Mumbai, after the shoot of Salman's upcoming film, Antim. See pictures here.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP