By: Faridoon Shahryar, IndiaFM
Monday, June 18, 2007
"Every Indian should have Lagaan DVD," said Perfectionist Khan, Aamir Khan at the launch of DVD/ VCD of Oscar nominated film Lagaan and the making of the movie titled Chale Chalo (directed by Satyajit Bhatkal) at an event in Mumbai yesterday. Aamir, along with director Ashutosh Gowarikar, Gracy Singh, Javed Akhtar, Satyajit Bhatkal and other members of the Lagaan team watched a special screening of Chale Chalo. "It brought tears to my eyes while watching Chale Chalo at several occasions," he said.
Noted scriptwriter and lyricist Javed Akhtar summed up the Lagaan experience succinctly. "How time passes. Seven years have passed. In retrospect I have learnt how to write a script. For, here is a film that breaks all norms. When Ashutosh Gowarikar came to me first and narrated the script, I had tremendous sympathy and compassion for him. Here was a man planning to commit suicide. I sent an SOS to Aamir sahib stating the same. A film with a rural background, hero wearing a dhoti, rural folk music, heroine wrapped in a sari, cricket was a poison for box office....this film was exactly the opposite. But after Lagaan I have realized that there's no formula, no law. Only law is instinct, passion and love for cinema. What is admirable is the passion, the junoon that went in making this film. Hats off to Aamir and his team for the junoonthat is a rarity these days," Akhtar said.
Aamir on his part as a producer clarified that he couldn't release the DVD for six years after the release of the film as he was under a contract which stated that he can't bring out the DVD of the film in the market for five years after the release of the film. "People say that I take a lot of time in taking decisions....Log kahte hain ki abhi tak soch raha hoga....but it was nothing of that sort," Aamir said. And why did he choose Excel Home Videos? "I chose Excel because I wanted high quality. I also realized Excel can give me commitment, care and passion."
Releasing the DVD after six years...Any apprehensions how the commercial fate would be? "Sach aur sahas hai jiske mann mein...anth mein jeet usi ki rahe, " Aamir said in a dramatic pose with Lagaan fist pointed towards the journo who asked the question while the rest of them bursting into a loud clap. "We've had record bookings. Lagaan may turn out to be the largest selling DVD," said Muslim Kapasi, Managing Director, Excel Home Videos.
Aamir also clarified that Chale Chalo is not for promotional purposes. "It's about the experiences that went in making a film like this. I asked Mr Kapasi to get all the buyers and show them Chale Chalo," Aamir said. Kapasi added, "All the buyers were wondering what the film would be like. Aamir had asked me to tell them that he would be there during the screening as well which would at least keep them in the theatre. But I didn't do that. Everybody sat. The response was overwhelming." Aamir further said that the success of any film depends on word of mouth. "One person sees it, he will tell ten other people."
Director Ashustosh Gowarikar on his part said, "Making Lagaan was one thing. Watching the Making of Lagaan is a wonderful achievement. A big round of applause for Satyajit. Cheers to all the lovers of Lagaan." Bhatkal reiterated what Javed Akhtar had said earlier. "It's all about Junoon. Filmmaking is about abandonment of pragmatism. I kept shooting in an unplanned manner. And then we realized we had the rushes to make this movie." While it was a very very special day for Gracy Singh as she met her Lagaan team, Javed Akhtar had the last word when he narrated a funny anecdote during the making of the song Chale Chalo (on which The Making of Lagaan is named). "Music directors tend to give dummy words for their compositions. Rahman sahib who doesn't have an enviable grasp of Hindi Urdu had given the dummy words as Nasha Nasha. If I wouldn't have given the words Chale Chalo, this making would have been called Nasha Nasha," the wordsmith said amidst peals of laughter.
Well....it may be Chale Chalo that is creating waves....but the true spirit of Lagaan lies in the line...Sach Aur Sahas Hai Jiske Mann Mein Ant Mein Jeet Usi Ki Hi Rahe...Wonder in an era when multi crore deals are the order of the day, a film that unites the nation with good humour, mellifluous music, pertinent message and Retreat to Victory ecstasy will ever be made in the near future. What do you say!
The Flag is a period film based in 1942
Bow Barracks Forever is a true story