Director Anil Mehta on Aaja Nachle and Madhuri

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Next Friday we will finally see the comeback film of one of Bollywood’s greatest stars, Aaja Nachle starring Madhuri Dixit. Aaja Nachle is also the debut film as a director for cinematographer Anil Mehta, who worked on a few films you might recognize: Lagaan, Saathiya, Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna and Kal Ho Na Ho. Recently he gave an interview on his experiences as a director and on working with the gorgeous Madhuri.

Mehta said that directing “requires a lot of concentration” and that, “It has been very exhausting. We are at the finishing stages. It’s been quite tiring. The first print just came out. The entire schedule was quite packed. It was not as if I was gunning to be a director. It was Adi’s (Aditya Chopra) idea. He has written the story. It all started as a casual chat while shooting Veer Zaara. The script appealed to me. After this I may or may not direct again.”

The director was nothing but praise for his star and said that working with her was special, “I had not worked with her earlier even as a cinematographer. She is an iconic figure of our times. For me she is a special performer. At the end of the day it was an enriching experience. She is a fantastic person to work with. When she started working, she worked with ease and grace. She is a very easy person to get along with. What started off as a huge task, just got simplified.”

Adding, “Madhuri is one of the finest dancers and she is making a comeback of sorts with a film which has dance as one of its principal element….for she is back from US to save a dance academy… It’s not a formal dance school. She has an open air theatre space. Song and dance is woven in the narrative. When you see Madhuri dance, it can’t be spoken of, it just connects. These things can’t be articulated. I had to watch the footage of her dancing again and again in the post production stage. But I was never tired of watching her dance. She is a very very special performer. She is a trained Kathak dancer. Grace is a part of her.”

He also was nothing but praise for co-stars Konkona Sen Sharma and Kunal Kapoor. “In the second half, they play an important part. Konkona is fabulous. Kunal is a toughie who is into local politics. For him it’s a journey for realizing that there are other important things in life as well,” Mehta said.

Mehta also said that his favorite music tracks were ‘O Re Piya’ and ‘Show Me Jalwa’. “’Show Me Your Jalwa’ draws from small town feel. It has a pretty upbeat tempo, yet it’s folksy. It’s not just a pop number. ‘Ishq Hua’ is a soft romantic number. I believe release of the film will give a fresh lease of life to music as well,” he added.

However he refuses to give away any details about the 25 minute Nautanki that was written by Piyush Mishra. “Chod Do Main Karwaoongi, Aur Inhi Logon Se Karwaaongi…It’s at the culmination of the film. It wouldn’t be proper to talk about it till you actually see it.”

We are certainly eager to see that part of the film, in fact the whole film and to see the dazzling smile and incredible dancing of Madhuri on the silver screen. Be sure to check out ,Aaja Nachle when it opens in theaters on November 30th.

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