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Daler Mehndi sings free for Hello

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By: Faridoon Shahryar, IndiaFM
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Daler Mehndi recently recorded a song for music composer duo Sajid-Wajid for Atul Agnihotri's Hello. Mehndi was so excited on rendering the song that he refused to take money. Agnihotri on his part presented the Bhangra king with a Tag Heur watch. Confirming the news Atul said, "Daler was kicked about the song. It has a bang on Club Punjabi feel, more Southall touch. It's based on Punjabi speak like rotti shotti, dance wance." The song was picturised on seventy dancer and two hundred fifty junior artistes and you can see Arbaz Khan, Isha Koppikar, Sohail Khan and Amrita Arora grooving along with them.

Hello is based on Chetan Bhagat's widely acclaimed-n-read book One Night @ a Call Centre and it's a story of six individuals working at a call centre and what happens when they receive that 'call'. "It's very rich in content. The book has been widely appreciated and translated in various languages. It's a simple story but the magnitude of its reach is massive. People have reacted to every individual character," says Atul. Hello stars Sharman Joshi, Amrita Arora, Gul Panag, Isha Koppikar, Sohail Khan while Salman Khan along with Katrina Kaif have put in a special appearance.

His directorial debut venture Dil Ne Jise Apna Kaha didn't work wonders. It was obvious to ask him as to what 'different' is he trying in his second outing. "We need films that are rich in content. Every filmmaker puts in his level best. At times we learn lessons the hard way. I've been very cautious. This has been a project where I have 100% control. I initially shot the introductory shots of all the actors. When I was sure about casting, then we moved ahead. All the six characters have unique problems for which they wanted a solution," says Atul.

How does Salman fit in the picture? "The whole climax is on him. We needed a huge star to hold that section for us." There has been a lot of talk about Gul Panag and Sharman Joshi's hot love making scene. "Yes, it's a love making scene in the car. It is in the book. My movie is not depending on such things. I was uncomfortable when this thing came up. Yes there is a scene of passion." Incidentally Chetan Bhagat, the writer of the book has also written the screenplay for the film.

What was in the book that really propelled you into making it as a film? "What got me going after reading the book is that it has all the ingredients of conflict. We have a unique way of looking at it. I feel people will be able to relate to it." Why the title Hello? "It's a story in a call centre. Hello is a universal word; it's a way of communicating. There's also a call from God, a wake up call to us human beings. We knew while making the film that we are targeting the metro, multiplexes and overseas. I had to be aware whom I am catering to." Finally, when do we see you returning to silver screen as an actor considering you've worked with top heroines like Karishma Kapoor and Pooja Bhatt in your prime? "I did a small part in Sameer Karnik's Roshan with Bobby Deol. It is an important role from the story point of view. It was fun," Atul Agnihotri signs off.

Hello is slated for a tentative release on October 12th.

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