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Mohandas - A common man's tale

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    Tuesday, October 16, 2007

    A director keeping track of the schedules of his cast and crew is quite believable. But here's one who jots down his own activities throughout the day to keep work organized. That's Mazhar Kamran for you. The noted cinematographer of films like Satya, Kaun, Jhankar Beats and Masti has turned director with Mohandas. The perfectionist says: I have a habit of noting down my day's activities in a diary and there was nothing unusual that I continued doing so during the making of Mohandas. However, later on when I read some of the pages I had written, they sounded very interesting. The following is the entry dated February 26, 2007, when Sonali Kulkarni (who plays Meghna, a journalist) arrives at a hotel in a remote town.

    We shot the guest house scene today. This is a scene I had written in Bombay. Simple lines. It is a scene where the local stringer Anil Yadav is her guide and he is taking her to her room, with the bellboy carrying the luggage and keys. He is saying things like... Madam, this is nothing compared to what you have in Delhi, but this is the finest guest house in Anuppur.

    The strategic decision was to do no rehearsal with Sonali Kulkarni for this scene because I wanted her to remain unaware of how exactly the place was, and what kind of room she is going to be shown. I wanted her extempore genuine reaction. With others, I did at least 10 rehearsals to get them ready, especially the bellboy, who was in real a waiter of the hotel.

    When the rest were ready, I went straight for a take with a 'let's see what happens' approach. And we got a fine take. The first take was just right. Sonali was surprised when she saw the unkempt shabby 'Best Room' of the guest house. Sonali even ad-libbed a line as she took out her cellphone in the shot. She said 'Yahan network ata jata hai kya...?'; it was just right!

    Besides Sonali, Mohandas stars Nakul Vaid, Sushant Singh, Sharbani Mukherjee, Sameer Dharmadhikari, Uttam Haldar, Aditya Shrivastav, Akhilendra Mishra and Govind Namdeo. This film deals with problems of the common man, with a satirical treatment. The screenplay of the Vertika Films production is by Uday Prakash, the art director is Jayant Deshmukh, the music is by Vivek Priyadarshan and lyrics are by V.K. Sonakia and Yash Malviya. Mazhar Kamran is the cinematography and the editor, Suresh Pai.

    Mohandas is Vertika Films's first endeavour to bring to the viewer good cinema that is both entertaining and meaningful. It hopes to keep up the efforts, with an emphasis on insightful subjects and stories inspired by good literature and writing.

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