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Now a film inspired by Tsunami

Wednesday, April 04, 2007
Bollywood is known for its penchant to strike when the iron is hot. And promptly jump into a breaking story peg for a screen story. Whether it is the devastatingly brave Black Friday based on the 1993 Bombay blasts, or the recent sleazy Undertrial, based on the insane looking father who allegedly raped his own daughter.

It is not only Hollywood and Brangelina who get away with all the accolades for making A Mighty Heart, about the beheading of journalist Daniel Pearl. It has even gone a step further and made Provoked, the story of Kiranjit Ahluwalia who killed her husband, not being able to bare his torture anymore. Though it is made out of Hollywood, Jagmohan Mundhra is an Indian after all, and it stars India's international face, Aishwarya Rai, in the lead.

And Bollywood not only made a film, Bandit Queen, about the woman dacoit, Phoolan Devi, it recently released Wounded on another dreaded dacoit, Seema Parihar, who in fact played the lead herself.

True to type, Bollywood is all set to shoot a love story revolving around the calamitous Indian Ocean Tsunami in 2004 even while scandals are being unearthed about the exploitation of the Tsunami survivors in kidney sale. Tsunami, is proposed to be a bilingual film in Hindi and English to be directed by award-winning Mumbai filmmaker Ujjal Chatterjee, whose attempt it will be to pay homage to the 2.3 lakh who were swept away in minutes by the killer waves on December 26, 2004.
"People have woken up to issues like global warming and important events like the Tsunami, which will forever remain embedded in our minds and that is why it makes an interesting subject to film," Chatterjee was quoted as having said. The Tsunami-ravaged southern coastal town of Nagapattinam will be one of the main backdrops for the film. Other locations are in Bali in Indonesia and Phuket in Thailand.

Chatterjee claims that his film will revolve around three main characters -- a geologist who travels to Bali to study tectonic movements when the Tsunami strikes, his former girlfriend and her husband, who get separated during their honeymoon in the resort.

After months of search, the geologist will find his former love, traumatised in a camp after her husband leaves Bali losing all hope of finding his wife, is how the storyline will go.
Chatterjee's earlier film, Escape from Taliban, was also about the true story of an Indian woman's flight from Afghanistan, but got into plenty of controversy largely because the real-life protagonist attacked Chatterjee for making an Unfaithful film. She then proceeded to make one of her own. More recently, Chatterjee made Unfaithful, which, pre-release, he tried to link with the Jessica Lal murder case, but could not manage to capitalise on.

A portion of Tsunami will focus on unsung heroes like a priest in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu who gave shelter to hundreds of victims. Aamir Khan and Rani Mukherjee, who earlier came together in their hit film, Ghulam, are expected to play the main roles, and heavyweight actor Amitabh Bachchan is being contemplated to play the role of a senior geologist or a priest.

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