By: Joginder Tuteja, IndiaFM
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Firoz Nadiadwala has been known for his passion of making big films with a major starcast and has never felt shy of proclaiming his films to be 100% pure masala entertainers. His recent Phir Hera Pheri' was an example of the same and soon he would be having his next Welcome arriving in screens. Starring Feroz Khan, Anil Kapoor, Nana Patekar, Akshay Kumar, Paresh Rawal, Katrina Kaif and Mallika Sherawat in principal roles, it could be any film maker's dream. The film is also special since it is also the first new project from director Anees Bazmee to hit the marquee [his 'Sandwich' was a delayed product] after No Entry. Here we get into an exclusive conversation with Bazmee as he talks about the starcast of his film.
You will be seeing Akshay Kumar in a different light altogether in Welcome. While he has been famous for his pranky/notorious/fun loving image on screen, in my film you would see him as a young man who is very 'shareef', comes with a lot of 'sanskar', gives a lot of importance to relationships, is quite well educated and understands the value of giving and receiving love. No, don't compare him with the character he played in 'Ek Rishta' since in case of Welcome the situations are completely different.
Katrina is Akshay's ladylove in the film and be assured that you are in a surprise with what she portrays on screen. She is a female who wants to love him but things are not that easy for her. On the contrary it is quite difficult for her to get what she wants. Why? Because there are some more characters who trap her into innumerous complex situations since they themselves are trapped in certain difficulties. Want to know more? Then hear me on about these extra special characters!
Feroz Khan. Now he is a legend. And look at the way he has created such an unshakable position in the industry in spite of working in just about 40-50 films in his decades old career. He is very selective when it comes to doing films and I am glad that he chose Welcome. He loves me and he loved No Entry and that's the reason why he said YES to Welcome. He plays a very larger-than-life character who has a style in everything that he does. He travels in a helicopter, wears long coats, has a lot of attitude and an air of confidence around him. I enjoyed immensely while shooting with him and I could see that all the actors simply loved him. Believe me, I would have been in a major problem if he would have said NO to Welcome. Because there is just one name that can justify an all important character in Welcome. And the name is FEROZ KHAN!
He is one of the characters who bring around a lot of confusion and complexities in the plot. I have always believed that the way he has been portrayed in films like 'Ram Lakhan' and 'Taal', has been by and large appreciated by the audience. I saw him succeeding when he did something similar in No Entry and I am sure Welcome too would be another memorable performance in the similar genre for him. Watch out for him - you would simply LOVE him in the film!
Aaaah.... now he is one man who does SERIOUS COMEDY! Now can you beat that? You would witness him in a never-seen-before role here. And this is where I want to put a full stop about him since saying anything more would take a lot of sheen away from his character and performance. ROCKING is a way I want to describe him in a single word when it comes to Welcome.
Paresh bhai is a darling and needless to say a great actor. He has a superb timing and if you ask me which is his film I liked most, it is difficult to tell. And no, he is not for some standalone comic track in the film. In fact he has an extremely important role in the story because without him there would be NO story at all. It is because of him that the story moves forward. It is because of him that the twists come. It is because of him that the situations get complicated. And it is because of him that the complications get solved!
You may not believe me if I would say that there were a lot of girls who wanted to play the role that is being played by Mallika, though I won't tell you their names. She is the most critical part of the story. She has grown so much as an actress over the years. In fact I want her to respect her for the stand she took for Welcome since when I approached her for the film, she said she didn't want any discussions; she just wanted to DO the film. She told me pick and choose any dates I wanted, which was big for me at that time since I was looking for 40 dates for an actress to play the role. She wasn't even finicky about the price she wanted and didn't even get into a debate about the money she wanted for the film. She was so happy when presented with Welcome. She said that after years someone had given her such a detailed script narration. Now look at what she has done in 'Pyaar Ke Side Effects'. Finally she has got her due and people are looking at her differently. There are some actors who want good roles but then are greedy and always want the price to come with them. She is one of those actors for whom a role is above everything else. Mallika ke liye bhi isi ki ahmiyat sabse zyaada hai!
See, you must be wondering that I am mentioning each and every character as the most important but I can't help it since it is a fact. Now look at No Entry. Can you say that the presence of Anil Kapoor was of a lesser importance than that of Salman Khan? Or say Celina was not as much required in the script than Lara Dutta. Ditto was in case of Govinda-Chunkey Pandey starrer 'Aankhen' that was written by me. Can you ignore any one character from the film? Nahi naa! The same holds good for Welcome.
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