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Veteran writer Kamlesh Pandey is quite gung ho about his latest work in Rang De Basanti. Says the writer, "Till date as a writer I had been just writing what others either wanted or expected from me and hence hired me to write. I think I have had enough of it. Now that I do not have to prove to any one about my capability, I have decided to write what I want. And my latest release as a writer - Rakyesh Om Prakash's 'Rang De Basanti' is one subject with which I am literally gung ho about." Kamlesh who had started his career, as a writer with Pankaj Parashar's Jalwa, has indeed come a long way. Among the films which he has written are Tezaab, Chalbaaz, Dil, Saudagar, Khalnayak and Beta.
Right now, Kamlesh is excited with the course his career has taken. Zinda just released a couple of weeks back for which he had penned the dialogues and Rang De Basanti hits the screens tomorrow. "I am excited about both the films. While I have just written the dialogues of Zinda, which has been inspired by a South Korean film called Old Boy, I have written the screenplay and dialogues of Rang De Basanti, which is essentially Rakyesh Mehra's baby", adds Kamlesh. "Luckily Rakyesh and I share the same emotions and concerns. Rang De Basanti may have a cynical point of view but I think it is the wake up call or today's youth, who seem to have compromised with the two monoliths - the corporate and the family, who actually shape your mind and make you believe what they want you to believe". Kamlesh is happy that Aamir Khan has loved only two subjects in the last ten years - Sarfarosh and Rang De Basanti. "The way Aamir has accommodated himself so beautifully and dissolved himself in the group is to be seen to be believed", says Kamlesh.
Aamir Khan has loved only two subjects in the last ten years - Sarfarosh and Rang De Basanti.
The under current of the film Rang De Basanti, according to Kamlesh is what would Bhagat Singh had done if only he was alive today. "I wrote Rang De Basanti out of a sense of anger because under the guise of cinema, we only find crap cropping up every now and then. I had grown up on a staple diet of Guru Dutt, Raj Kapoor as a child. I belong to the school, which thinks that a film ought to have some substance and set out to say something. I have used a very odd structure for the film, which was very difficult. I feel that it is the director's vision, which has to take over once my script is ready because it is the director who sets out to execute on celluloid what the writer writes on paper. It is creditable that Rakyesh has delivered what he had promised"
Kamlesh laments the fact that though we claim to be the biggest film industry in the world, we do not even have a film course or workshop for screenplay writing in even a single university. "It is pathetic that we do not have even half a dozen competent writers though we claim to producer around 800 films in a year. India has been unfair to writers who I feel have not been given their due credit and status. No wonder almost 95% of the films released every year flop miserably. Though the media is ready to write reams and reams about any girl who is willing to take off her clothes, it does not bother to respect writers who are treated like illegitimate children."
Kamlesh who has also written for TV serials like 'Mrs Madhuri Dixit' says that though he is out of television more or less because he is not able to relate to the vision people have on television, he couldn't say no when Ekta Kapoor approached him with the offer to be on her panel of writers and supervise her serial Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki with his story inputs. Says Kamlesh, "I have known Ekta right from the time I had commissioned her TV serial Hum Paanch for Zee TV almost a decade ago."
Though we claim to be the biggest film industry in the world, we do not even have a film course or workshop for screenplay writing in even a single university.
Kamlesh Pandey is not ready to just sit on his laurels now that both Zinda and Rang De Basanti have reached the winning post. He has started working on two projects for Rakyesh Mehra for whom, incidentally he had also written Aks with which Rakyesh has made his debut as a director. "One of the two films will be 'Delhi 6', which will be a light hearted film about real people in flesh and blood who inhabit Chandni Chowk in Delhi while the other one will be a musical called 'Bhairavi' for which A. R. Rahman has promised to compose music provided Rakyesh is ready to wait for two years."
Kamlesh Pandey has added one more feather to his already crowded cap by writing a stage musical called Bharathi for Pashagoshi Productions from Israel, who have earlier produced several stage musicals like 'The Fiddler On The Roof', 'Phantom of The Opera' etc. "I was given a brief to write a stage musical on India with 14 popular Bollywood songs and weave a story on India. It is a live show with Bhavana Pani, daughter of writer-director Uday Shankar Pani in the title role. Ganesh Acharya, Remo and Jojo Khan have done the choreography for the live show, which consists of 60 dancers from India. The play has run for a month and a half in Israel in the Hebrew language and is now all set to open in France on January 26 this year in French."