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Zindagi Rocks for director Tanuja Chandra

From Dushman to Sur, Tanuja Chandra has earned critical acclaim and commercial success with films that thrive on plot and characters rather than star value. In her new film Zindagi Rocks - earlier titled Rockin' - the film-maker explores urban relationships. Diganta Guha tells more. Shiney smitten by Sush | Sushmita?s Rocking' gets new name

india Updated: Jun 10, 2006 20:38 IST

From Dushman (1998) to Zindagi Rocks (2006), Tanuja Chandra has earned critical acclaim and commercial success with films that thrive on plot and characters rather than star value.

HT City caught up with the filmmaker on Zindagi Rocks, which is slated to release in August with Sushmita Sen and Shiney Ahuja in the lead and was shot in 45 days on a shoestring budget.

This film was earlier called Rockin’, wasn’t it?

It was, but we thought many people may not be able to understand Rockin’. So we changed the title to Zindagi Rocks. My target audience is not just the youth. It has women at the heart of it. There is a family involved in the plot.

From Dushman to Zindagi Rocks, Tanuja has earned critical acclaim and commercial success.

Is the film about a singer played by Sushmita Sen?

Sushmita (Kriya) is a singer. But the film is more on the individual than the performer- the story of her relationship with a doctor played by Shiney Ahuja who has suffered a tragedy and the crazy family that she belongs to. Sush’s character is fun loving and instinctive. She shows the same traits as a human being as she does as a singer. Shiney, on the other hand, is very shy and it is left to Sush to make the first move.

It's a love story…

It is an urbane love story, quite a progressive one. It looks at relationships the way modern people do. You know love is boring, so you need a solid plot and in my film there is an underlying conflict because of the events. The relationship between Sush and Shiney makes them partners in crime.

What made you choose Sushmita and Shiney?

Sush is what Kriya is. She plays the character as nobody could have done. She had the same fantasy as Kriya. She loved doing the film. Shiney was signed when he was not what he is now. I had just seen the promos of Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi. There were doubts whether he will be saleable or not. But he is definitely star material. And he is so good looking.

What about the music?

It’s by Anu Malik, who has the capacity to do amazing songs. The five songs in the film are slightly rockish and Sunidhi Chauhan is Sushmita’s voice. Four tracks have been recorded and we plan to shoot one more.

You must have been disappointed with Film Star not releasing in theatres?

The confusion was on the part of the producers - Sahara. It was meant to be a film for television. Then the film was lying for a year, with the producers not knowing what to do. Finally, they said they were starting a new slot on their channel for films. It’s a good idea but I wish I was told about it earlier so that I could have made the film that way.

And Hope and a Little Sugar, your English film?

The film is over, but in the US the stages of post-production are different. They re-edit the film and it does make a lot of difference. I hope the film will be released this year.

What's next?

I am planning a period film on a large scale with my mother, Kamna Chandra, who has written films like 1942 A Love Story and Bhairavi. We are at the stage of talking to actors to finalise the cast.

First Published: Jun 10, 2006 20:38 IST