By: Upala KBR, Mid-Day
Monday, October 16, 2006
As the chase begins for Don this week, we managed to get an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film. The film stars Shah Rukh Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Arjun Rampal, Ishaa Koppikar, Boman Irani and Om Puri, and they tell us a little bit about their experience in the new and improved formula.
How it began
Says director Farhan Akhtar, "Don released in 1978, when I was four years old, and the image of Amit uncle as Don is something I can never forget. I remember being really scared of Don, but at the same time totally mesmerised. It is with this passion for the character and the film that I set out to recreate Don.
As I met the actors and technicians, almost all of them shared my love for the movie. From Shah Rukh confessing that it was a fantasy for him to mouth dialogues like, "Don ko pakadna mushkil hi nahi namumkin hai," to Saroj Khan revealing that it was after watching Khaike paan Banaraswala three times a day in a theatre in Dubai that made her decide to be a choreographer."
Adds producer Ritesh Sidhwani, "We were listening to a soundtrack of the old Don when Farhan suggested, 'Let's remake Don.' Our Don will take you on a different journey visually. We have shot in Paris, Malaysia and India and there are lots of special effects in the film."
SFX at Red Chillies
All the special effects in Don have been done at Shah Rukh Khan's Red Chillies SFX. Says Sidhwani, "He has recruited a group of technicians from London and they have done a fantastic job. You will see things that haven't been shown, from skydiving sequences to slick car chases. In each department of action, we had different Heads of Departments. Like in skydiving, we have taken Jo Jenning (Charlie's Angels). "
The Ganpati song
The scene was shot with 700 people in March, recreating the entire atmosphere of Ganpati on Versova beach. Last year, while judging Naach Baliye, Farhan noticed choreographer Rajiv Surti (who choreographed Rajeshwari and Varun Badola) and hired him to do the song as he wanted a fresh look.Priyanka's fear
Says Priyanka Chopra who plays Roma, "Keeping the same plot in mind and yet presenting it in such a modern way is a challenge. And it was no different for Roma.
In Farhan's Don, she's already a trained martial artist and therefore more aggressive. The funny side to the whole story is that in real life, I freak out near guns or anything to do with violence. And here I was, playing Roma, a woman after one of the most feared criminals. " Priyanka hired a Shaolin instructor and rehearsed the sequences.
"'But Jasjit was 44!' is what I told Farhan when he first called me about Don. When I met him, little did I know how well he had the whole story structured in his head. To limp was difficult initially, but the concept of using a cane for Jasjit was very interesting. More than a prop, it became a part of the character, as did the kada and the family photograph he carries with him. It was a lot of fun, especially when I had to walk on the top of the Petronas sky bridge!"
'Jaa re bachpan tu jaa' - Moushmi Chatterjee
Farhan and Ritesh speak on Don