August 14, 2008

Spread Love and Peace

By P Sangeetha

Mr Perfectionist Aamir Khan, who is eagerly waiting for the release of Ghajini was in the city to receive the award for the Best Debut Director of 2007 from the Gollapudi Srinivas Memorial Foundation for Taare Zameen Par.

The award comprises a cash prize of 1.25 lakh and a memento.The actor who does not attend any award functions said he was here since he deeply valued this organisation. "I am really happy to receive this award and I feel honoured. I was here in the city couple of years ago to present the award but I never expected to be at the receiving end. I doubt you will see me in any more award functions," he added.

When asked about his experience in Taare Zameen Par, the actor said that he instantly fell in love with the script. "The script was very unusual with no romance or masala. Acting with 40 children was demanding but I had so much fun. Initially, the kids were all excited to see me. Gradually, we became very good friends. Earlier, Amol Gupte was directing the film, but after a week of shooting, we had a difference of opinion, and I lost trust in his abilities. He then decided not to direct the movie and I donned the director's cap."

When asked whether he was doing any other sensitive subjects, he said, "Not yet, I am still looking for a good script. The good old formula of dance and romance is not working anymore. We have to attempt different stories. After Taare Zameen Par, I have become more sensitive to my children. In the mad rush of our lives, we often forget to connect with our children."

Are Hindi films cut off from reality? "The primary responsibility of cinema is to entertain. It should also bring about a social change and provoke thoughts. I like to be part of films that are both realistic and entertaining. I agree that there is a sharp divide between urban and rural audiences. I am fortunate to have been part of both. Taare Zameen Par touched the hearts of both the urban and rural people." The movie has been dubbed in Tamil and Telugu and actor Surya has dubbed for Aamir in the Tamil version. The Tamil version will be called Vaal Nakshatram.

He also feels that a film should have a good script to succeed. "A film succeeds due to the subject and not the actor. Star value does help a film in the beginning but if the subject fails to impress then the film does not work well. A film succeeds on its own strength," he added.

When asked whether we need more movies like Roja or Sarfarosh at this point of time, the actor mmediately reacted, "I have not seen Roja. But I think we certainly should make films like that. People want peace. It is sad that even some of our politicians are creating a rift between people. We citizens should send a strong message that we do not want to be divided. If a person injects poison into our mind, we, in turn, should spread love. This is my Independence Day Message."

The actor, on the occasion, congratulated Abhinav Bindra and his family for winning a gold medal at the Beijing Olympics. He signed off saying that he was not interested in joining politics.

(c) 2008 The Times of India. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.