Zubeidaa, an inter-faith love story between an actor and a Rajasthani king, didn’t earn cash on the time of its launch twenty years in the past however the film holds a particular place in director Shyam Benegal’s coronary heart because it displays a interval of transition in India- from a feudal society to a democratic one.
Benegal mentioned the story of Zubeidaa Begum caught his consideration when he learn Khalid Mohamed’s article in a newspaper and he thought it was a phenomenal love story.
Mohamed, Zubeida Begum’s son from her first marriage, was initially hesitant as he was undecided about telling his mom’s story on the massive display however issues ultimately fell into place with Karisma Kapoor taking part in the title character, Manoj Bajpayee because the prince and Rekha as his first spouse within the 2001 launch.
“None of them actually earned cash. I don’t assume anybody did the movie for cash. However the movie did win the Nationwide award,” Benegal instructed PTI in an interview on the movie’s 20th anniversary on Tuesday.
“I don’t assume the movie did nicely financially. We had been pleased with the best way all of it occurred. I don’t assume Farouq Rattonsey (producer) was joyful, he hoped he’ll make just a little cash,” the director mentioned concerning the movie, which explores the romance between Zubeida Begum, an aspiring actor and Jodhpur Jodhpur Maharaja Hanwant Singh.
The couple died in a personal plane crash that Singh was flying in January 26, 1952 to rejoice his impending victory in India’s first election.
Benegal, credited for beginning the alternate cinema motion within the ’70s together with his classics Ankur (1973), Nishant (1975), Manthan (1976) and Bhumika (1977), mentioned he liked the story of Zubeidaa because the movie depicts a sure interval of transition within the Indian society.
Recalling how he too was born in Hyderabad earlier than India turned impartial, Benegal mentioned the Zubeidaa reminded him of his personal days when he may really feel the modifications round him.
“The feudal system was being dismantled, there was a churning occurring in Indian society. I discovered that very fascinating. Sure individuals took time to adapt, whereas some had been incapable. From a feudal state of affairs, we became a democratic system. The story is ready in that cusp second.”
Requested whether or not it could be potential to discover an inter-faith love story nowadays with none bother, the veteran director mentioned there has by no means been a time in historical past when “individuals had full freedom” to make what they wished.
“Then or now, the actual fact is it’s a must to work inside what is feasible and what’s not, it’s a must to stretch the restrict of prospects, it’s a must to make what appears unattainable, potential. That’s essential. It’s essential to imagine in your movie,” mentioned the director, who’s among the many most revered names within the Indian cinema.
Benegal, 86, mentioned the polarising that is happening in society “must be corrected each on political and social stage”.
“We’re a democratic structure and we’re secular nation. It means you don’t recognise the variations. You recognize there are (variations) however you don’t recognise them beneath the legislation. It’s altering this sort of social change takes a very long time.”
“As of late there’s a drawback in all places on the planet however increasingly more in older and sophisticated societies like us as a result of we now have a number of religions, communities, ethnic teams, languages, and so forth. We’re a masala nation and due to this fact these issues are additionally there. We’re a multi-layered nation, there are specific habits, attitudes which can be medieval, that belong hundreds years in the past.”
The movie, with a phenomenal rating from A R Rahman, concludes Benegal’s trilogy that started with Mammo (1994) and Sardari Begum (1996) – all three written by Mohamed.
These tales, he mentioned, are ruminations of Mohamed’s circle of relatives, Mammo dealt together with his grandmother, Sardari Begum about an aunt whereas Zubeidaa on his mom.
For the versatile director too, tales are sometimes drawn from his experiences.
“When you find yourself making one thing, there’s at all times an autobiographical component in it. In any other case, how do you develop your perspective, your understanding of the world? There are issues that come from your personal experiences. Some are nearer to you or are from different individuals’s experiences however they ring a bell whenever you see or hear it.”
Recalling how the solid of the movie got here collectively, Benegal mentioned he had labored with Rekha on Kalyug and knew that she was an “extraordinarily succesful actor” whereas Karishma’s title was recommended by Mohamed.
“She is a quintessential actress. There’s far more to her than you noticed of her. Manoj is a advantageous actor, now you possibly can see his vary as a performer. He has at all times been eager to tackle challenges as an actor. Karisma is a pure actor,” he mentioned.
Benegal is presently engaged on an Indo-Bangladesh co-production on the lifetime of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
“We’re getting ready to shoot, it’s pre-production. We’ll shoot each in India and Bangladesh. The shoot will begin this yr. It’s titled Banga Bandhu. Sheikh Mujibur was known as by that title therefore the title comes from there. The movie is in Bengali so the solid is from Bangladesh.
“Arifin Shuvoo will play the title position, he’s an excellent actor,” the director mentioned.