Monday, November 01, 2004

Nightmare for Bunty & Bubbly

Shaad Ali, the director of Sathiya, and son of director Muzzafar Ali, has been shooting for his next venture Bunty & Bubbly , starring Abhishek Bachhan, and Rani Mukherjee. His father is based in Lucknow, while his mother, CPM leader Suhasini Ali, is based in Kanpur.

The movie itself is based in various cities of Uttar Pradesh. So far so good. But since Shaad is bred under Muzaffar Ali and Mani Ratnam( he was his assistant) school of direction, he yearns for realism in his movies. That's why Sathiya was so refreshing. Therefore, he decided to do shooting in Uttar Pradesh, itself.

That, I thought was highly adventurous, especially when Kanpur was one of the locations. Deepa Mehta'sWater ran into problems because of VHPs and Shiv Saniks in Varanasi. A case is running against in Kanpur Dehat against the crew of Lazza. These self-styled preachers always poke their nose in such matters.

Then, there is no limit of unemployed, frustrated hoodlums and mischief mongers. They simply won't allow shooting to happen. That's exactly what happened. Public pelted stones at the actors, local media misbehaved, Abhishek Bachhan's pocket was picked by a thief. Kanpur is symptomatic of the degrading culture and rowdism in the cities of Uttar Pradesh, due to unemployment, and exodus of creamy layer.

Lucknow somehow, remains an exception. The shooting of Gadar, was largely incident free. Still, gone are the days of those nafasat, nazatak and tehzeeb when scores of movies like Umarao Jan, Mere Mehboob, Mehboob ki Mehndi, Palki etc were shot in Lucknow.

Shaad will do well to eschew his homely love, and stay clear of at least Kanpur. That is if he wants his movie to finish in time.

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