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I feel vindicated: Jagmohan Mundhra

Johnny D catches up with the director. Cannes treat for Aishwarya

india Updated: Apr 25, 2006 14:09 IST
Johny D (
Johny D (

"My trilogy ends with Provoked," declares the director who gave us meaningful movies like Kamla and Bawandar.

The man, known mostly for erotic movies suddenly shot to recognition with Bawandar bagging many awards worldwide.

Looking back, Jagmohan Mundhra confesses, "Making such movies which depict sensuality is not an easy art. However, it is sad that people perceive such movies as soft porn."

"I feel proud making such films as it is a genre not everyone can master," Mundhra confidently declares.

With his much-talked about movie Provoked on the verge of completion, Jagmohan Mundhra is expecting to cast an everlasting impact all over the world with Aishwarya Rai playing the lead role of Karanjit Ahluwalia.

He articulates, "When I met Aishwarya, she was slightly apprehensive to act in my movies and there were many who were instigating her not to work with me."

With his much-talked about movie, Provoked, on the verge of completion, Jagmohan Mundhra is expecting to cast an everlasting impact all over the world with Aishwarya Rai playing the lead role of Karanjit Ahluwalia.

Recalling the days when


was being shot, Mundhra says, "However, it was during the making of the film when Ash got injured, she caught up with


on television and changed her mind."

He further added, "Ash has been a wonderful support and not even for a minute did she act as if she were a superstar. No wonder, she is so popular and this has certainly made Provoked the most-talked about movie."

So, does the talented director feel that the industry has changed its outlook towards him?

"Definitely!" he exclaims, and goes on to say, "Kamla proved a new leaf in my career and I always attempt to make movies which are close to reality."

Mundhra, however admits, "I have made money in Hollywood with movies like Third Eye, Tropical Heat and others. But sadly, movies like Kamla and Bawandar proved to be huge losses."

Talking about his much acclaimed film Bawandar, Jag Mundhra says, "However, with Bawandar, I reached a new high as a filmmaker and every heroine wished to work with me."

He further discloses, "I must confess that L Daniel & Associates, which deals with Aishwarya Rai and is my producer as well, played a significant role in the success of the film."

Mundhra attributes this as the biggest reason for showcasing the movie at Cannes.

He discloses, "The film has been ready since January end but since at Cannes Film Festival, a film cannot take part unless it is premiered there, we had to wait. May 19 will be the day when media all over the world will witness how I transformed a true story on celluloid.

Talking about Provoked, the director says, "Provoked is the 29th film of my career span of two-and-half-decades. I am curious to see how the world will react to the touching saga of the Indian woman Karanjit Ahluwalia."

Provoked tells the story of an Indian woman, who was convicted for killing her husband. How she empowers herself with the help of other women in jail and stands vindicated at the end, is what the movie is all about.

Jag Mundhra enthuses, "Provoked is a multi-layered story, having social stigma attached to it, which states the bitter truth. There is a beautiful line in the film which Aishwarya says after coming to the prison, "How beautiful it feels to be free?" Now, this is something very touching and gruesome at the same time.

How did he convince Nandita, one of his favourites, to play second fiddle in the movie?

Mundhra admits, "Nandita is a dear friend ever since we have worked in Bawandar. She was a bit apprehensive initially to play the role of the social activist. I had to convince her that even though it is Aishwarya's film, the social activist plays an important part in Karanjit's life."

"Everyone will be surprised to see Nandita in a new trendy look. Nandita as usual, loves to come up with new surprises and Provoked will portray her in a new light."

While the world is under the impression that Jagmohan Mundhra is ready with Provoked after Bawandar, he surprisingly concludes, "I was down for two long years for various reasons but in these two years, I directed three movies: Backwaters (thriller set in Kerala), Natasha (thriller set in Romania & UK) and Private Moments (UK based)."

First Published: Apr 25, 2006 10:48 IST