A dash of sunshine
Amitabh Bachchan and Rani Mukerji in New Delhi. Photo: Rajeev Bhatt.
HE STILL has that aura, and she, that poise that mark their films too. Amitabh Bachchan and Rani Mukerji carried the same feel with them at the press conference in New Delhi's Crown Plaza Surya for their film together Black; Sanjay Leela Bhansali's latest platter. A beeline of photographers clicking without a pause, jostling with each other to get some exclusive shots. The crew along with Anshuman, the CEO of Applause Entertainment, presenter of the film and Anil Kaushik, the marketing personnel, is just half an hour late. And for Big B who has earned a name for himself to be on time, it is big thing. Hence, the first sentence he utters is, "I apologise for being a little late". The atmosphere is set. His apology is taken graciously.
"A remarkable story" which has Amitabh in "one of the most challenging roles ever" Black shows him as a teacher in the school of deaf, dumb and blind. He is asked to retire from that school. Unemployed, he lands up a job to teach a student (played by Rani) at home, who too is deaf, dumb and blind. "I play her guru, her mentor and help her achieve her goals but I develop Alzheimer disease later and here we shift gears. She not only makes way to achieve her goals but also helps her guru grow normal," he informs.
"With this film Sanjay Leela is going to rise several notches," declares Amitabh.
"When Sanjay Leela Bhansali came to me with the offer, I turned it down. I was not confident enough to play such a role as I had no reference. But Sanjay told me `you have to play it'. It was his passion and confidence in me that I agreed to play the role," admits Rani.
To make them feel at home for playing such roles, they were trained at Hellen Keller Institute in Mumbai "for six to seven months".
"The institute was an eye opener. I got to know that for such physically challenged people palm of their hands is the only reference point on which sign language is taught. For them touch is very important. You have to talk to them through touch and the sign language on the palm," Amitabh states.
"For me apart from the training, a keen observation of how such girls, talk, eat, drink and do what when they are alone helped me live the role," says Rani.
Such films do acclaim critical applause but the box office pickings are often meagre. Will such a film achieve success all across?
"We make films for ourselves, for our country. If it is welcomed everywhere, we would appreciate that. But we not going to anybody to give it a certificate of merit... " Amitabh's polite tone turns firm.
You know, patriots don't crave for recognition by foreign countries.
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