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By: Upula KBR, Mid-Day
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Anil Kapoor may be known as an actor who demands his money's worth from his producers but he abided by certain principles when it came to his home production, Gandhi My Father. The actor-producer refused to take money from Godrej though the company has a definite presence in Gandhi My Father
Says a source connected to the Gandhi My Father, "Harilal, Mahatma Gandhi's son, worked as a salesman for Godrej in Kolkata for some time. The producers could commercially exploit the situation and Godrej would have gladly accepted.
Anil Kapoor refrained from such acts as the film is about certain principles and Gandhi. Godrej was not charged a single penny though their presence is big in the film."
It's a fact that Parmeshwar Godrej too vouches for. "Anil Kapoor and Feroz Abbas Khan had contacted us for some visual representation of the company which was true to that period. Harilal Gandhi had worked with us in Kolkata.
We assumed our presence in the narrative will be treated as in-film branding opportunity and we would be asked to pay for it. We were surprised that Anil Kapoor didn't and the producers simply said that they were just sticking to facts that were an important part of Harilal's journey." Anil Kapoor adds, "This film is based on facts. We have shown a representation of Godrej in the film but we didn't want to commercially exploit it. The spirit of the film prevented us from doing so."
Recounting Parmeshwar Godrej's reaction when he approached her, Anil Kapoor laughs, "Parmesh got the shock of her life when I said that I don't want any money but I need the Godrej wrappers (tied around a new product). Historically, it is known that the senior Godrej was very close to Gandhiji. I met Adi and Parvesh who went through the archives to get the wrappers for us."
Anil says when he told his son Harsh that he wasn't taking any money from Godrej "He asked me why was I being such a fool. I told him that I wanted to make the film in all its integrity. But my son and daughter Sonam are slowly corrupting me," Anil grins.
What attracted Anil to producing the film was the story. "Everything about the film has been exciting. I love the script, the director Feroz Khan, storytelling, techniques and performances.
It's completely based on true facts as much as is humanly possible and has nothing to do with the play. I had a chalta-phirta encyclopedia in Feroz. After the film, people will love and respect Mahatma Gandhi more - they will see the human side of him and worship him more."