Thursday, September 21, 2006
Isn't Aishwarya Rai looking simply stunning in this still from JP
Dutta's magnanimous opus Umrao Jaan.
While the general notion is that JP Dutta's film is remake of
Muzzaffar Ali's 1981 film by the same name starring Rekha, the fact
is not entirely true. Rather than a remake, JP Dutta's film is an
Mirza Muhammad Hadi Ruswa had originally written the novel by
the title of UMRA-O-JAAN-E-ADA in the 19th century. This
novel is one of the foremost literatures in Urdu and was published
in the year 1899 by Mahadeo Prasad, Publishers of Lucknow.
Ever since then the novel has a quality that has inspired many
generations of film-makers to recreate the enigmatic character of
Umrao Jaan. And interestingly neither Muzzaffar Ali's nor
JP Dutta's version is the first cinematic adaptation of the classic
literature. Other films already made on the novel include Zindagi
Aur Toofan and Mehendi.
More interestingly even before these films, someone else had
started making a film on this novel. And the person was none other
than OP Dutta, father of JP Dutta. In the 50's, O.P.Dutta was the
first person to start a film on Umrao Jaan starring the
then popular actress Nimmi. Unfortunately that film could not be
So in a way by making this film J P Dutta has lived his father's