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Saturday, Sep 21, 2019

'Abhishek not being promoted by Big B'

Someone else is Jr B's mentor, says JP Dutta.

india Updated: Apr 21, 2006 11:33 IST
Alka Rastogi
Alka Rastogi

While JP Dutta compares Ash to stunner Rekha in Umrao Jaan, the director claims that it's not Big B, who is Abhishek's mentor, but someone else. Read more.

Abhishek has worked in your film Refugee. How do you rate him? Is it true that his father is forcibly promoting him and that he is not very talented?
This is so wrong. He made his debut in Refugee and proved that he is very talented. It is sad that he is not getting success. But, it is only a matter of time when he will earn a big name for himself. I don't believe that he is not talented and senior Bachchan is forcibly promoting Abhishek. In fact, I am proud to say that I am Abhishek's mentor.

How did you decide to work on Umrao Jaan?
My father had worked on this story earlier. But our project was shelved when Muzaffar Ali's movie bearing the same title was released.

When I read the novel I found that Muzaffar Ali ignored many interesting aspects of the novel. And I found my father's script very convincing.

You are credited with making good films like Border, LOC and Refugee. Why are you making a film, which is re-make of an earlier film by the same title?
I seriously object to this statement. It is not a remake of the earlier movie by the same name.

Why do you say so?
Both the movies are based on the novel Umrao Jaan Ada written by Mirza Hadi Ruswa. But both of have their own interpretation of the novel. My film is my version of the novel and is not a remake of Muzaffar Ali's film.

What are the differences?
For instance Lucknow was shown as as a dilapidated city whereas during that period of history it was a grand city at the height of glory. Moreover, I have tried to keep my movie close to history.

Do you think that Aishwarya would be able to act as well as Rekha who was in the old film?
I strongly believe that Ash will be able to match Rekha's magic. In fact, she will be able to improve upon Rekha's National award winning performance. I took Aishwarya because I think she is a very strong woman who would definitely improve on what Rekha had delivered.

The film has seven ghazals. Do you think in this era of sexy and raunchy tunes, ghazals of your film would be appreciated?
I hope that the ghazals would hold equal appeal for the audience.

Do you feel Lucknow still holds onto its Tehzeeb?
Yes, very much. I had my first brush with this city of urbanity and culture when I first came to shoot for LOC.

First Published: Apr 21, 2006 10:33 IST