Friday, April 20, 2007
"Saif has been a fantastic actor right through. It is only now that people are writing roles for him. He is a complete natural. I feel he is a director's actor," says Siddharth Anand, the director of forthcoming Yashraj style flick Ta Ra Rum Pum starring Saif Ali Khan and Rani Mukherjee. Remember Anand and Saif had hit it off well with Salaam Namaste a couple of years ago. They are hoping to rock the Box Office soon in a year that has been less than exciting for the film industry so far.
Siddharth in an exclusive interview revealed a brief gist of the story. And a lot more. So, here it goes: "Saif is playing a race car driver whose family goes through turmoil because of the extreme highs and extreme lows in his career." Salaam Namaste was urban centric and even your latest film seems to cater to an NRI audience. "It's just that the story is set abroad but everyone in small towns will relate to the story. It's very universal. I have shown the grittier, grungier side of New York, the alleys, the poor side."
Rani Mukherjee's cool-chic look where she flaunts those mini skirts, un-creased smiles and a trendy hairstyle is being talked about a lot. "Rani and Saif play two age groups. First one is before they become parents and then there's an eight year gap where they are shown as parents of two children. In the first portion they are rich while in the second half everything is not so hunky dory. So, obviously looks change. There had to be a stark contrast," Siddharth says.
In recent media reports Saif has been complimenting Rani about her commendable acting skills and how he was motivated to perform better. "Both Ta Ra Rum Pum and Salaam Namaste are very dialogue based films. If the other person is not having the correct Sur or pitch then you can't maintain what you feel is right. If your co-star has the grip of the character then you relate better. Rani and Saif gel very well in that regard." But there were widespread rumours about both sharing icy vibes while filming in USA and how they lived in separate hotels. "I don't know why those reports were there. Saif was living away from the unit in a studio apartment where he can cook and wanted his space. Too much is being made out of that," says Siddharth rubbishing all rumours. Hmmmm....
Well, you've repeated Saif but not Preity Zinta (both were paired in Salaam Namaste remember) even though she was pretty good in the movie. Any specific reason or are we reading too much into it? "It's not a big deal. I haven't repeated Arshad Warsi and Tania Zetta as well. I take someone if they suit the role. Rani suited this role much better." But what about Javed 'Egg-jacktly' Jaffery? "If you're looking for what you saw in Salaam Namaste then you'd be disappointed. The way he has been presented in this film is much different. He is playing an actor. He is playing a strong supporting role. He is not just a caricature. Ta Ra Rum Pum is a realistic film. I didn't want any loud characters."
The promos of Ta Ra Rum Pum show some exciting car racing sequences and then Saif's car crashes into dismal oblivion. It must have been difficult filming those sequences. Isn't it? "It was not really difficult. At the end of the day it was driving a car. But the car was complicated as its engine was heavy but the body was light. We don't get such cars here. My action crew was very well organized. Everyone was very clued in," the director says.
Action looks neat, but the music of the film has come in for criticism, wouldn't you agree? "The brief I gave was 70s, Shankar-Jaikishan, Laxmikant Pyarelal feel. Vishal-Shekhar are known for their hip hop club numbers. It was a challenge for them as well. I couldn't have asked for better music. I am saying it because I have seen the film. Once you see the film, you'll fall in love with it." And your favourite track is: "Sayya Ve".
Siddharth Anand looks confident about one of the biggest releases of this year. Will it prove to be another winner for Yashraj banner! Come 27th April and you shall come to know. But one wonders why everything they do is kept under such massive wraps?