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"<i>Bas Ek Pal</i> is not parallel cinema"

 
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Friday, September 15, 2006
Juhi ChawlaNew Delhi (UNI): She lends an aura of simplicity and grace to the face of the Hindi film heroine through her portrayals in the 80s and the 90s. In a scene dominated by the charming Madhuri Dixit and the vivacious Sridevi, Juhi established a distinct niche for herself on the Bollywood through her "girl-next-door portrayals" in films from Qayamat Se Qayamat tak to Aaina to Benaam Baadshah to Darr, Hum Hain Raahi Pyar Ke, Lootere and Yes Boss. The new millennium has seen this beautiful actress leave a mark on the Hindi film scene through her sensitive portrayals in Jhankaar Beats, My Brother Nikhil, Khamosh and Paheli. Now, after a long hiatus since Paheli, Juhi will be seen in Onir's Bas Ek Pal, which releases across India today.

Talking to UNI on the eve of the release of the film, Juhi said, ''Nowadays, I do a film only if it is good or has something special to offer. I do not want to do unsubstantial roles.'' In Bas Ek Pal, a romantic thriller based on the sensitive theme of relationships, Juhi essays the role of Ira Malhotra, a former Miss india who gave up her life of glamour to get married to Steve, the man she loved. As the marriage sails into turbulent waters, Ira wants to leave but cannot as Steve keeps threatening to kill her if she mentions wanting out. Bas Ek Pal is Juhi's second film with the director Onir, with whom she had earlier worked in the Internationally-acclaimed My Brother Nikhil. ''I took up the film as I was deeply moved by its script. What I liked about the film was its tremendous intensity. Also having worked with Onir in My Brother Nikhil, I have complete faith in his capabilities as director,''Juhi says. ''As a director, Onir has a complete understanding of the medium of cinema. At the same time, he is a completely modest and unassuming person,''she added.

Asked as to how she would categorise Bas Ek Pal;- as an art or a commercial venture, Juhi said,''I do not look at a film in terms of whether it is an art or commercial. For me, a film is either good or bad.'' However, she categorically stated that Bas Ek Pal was not an example of a so-called parallel film. Bas Ek Pal is not a parallel film. Rather, it is a thoroughly commercial film with a lot of emotions,'' she said. Among her forthcoming films is Nikhil Advani's much-awaited Salam-e-Ishq and Punjabi film Waris Shah-Ishq Da Waris, which will have Punjab's popular actor-singer Gurdas Mann in the lead. Salaam-e-Ishq is an interesting film with six heroes and six heroines where I am paired opposite Anil Kapoor.

On the Punjabi film Waris Shah, Juhi said,''I had earlier done another Punjabi film for the same production house two years ago and was highly impressed by their style of working. Moreover, I liked the script of the film. Waris Shah- Ishq Da Waris is a film made on the life of Waris Shah, who is considered to be the 18th century legend of Punjabi poetry. Directed by Manoj Punj, the film has been written by Gurdas Mann while the music has been composed by Jaidev Kumar.

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