Stylist Pernia Qureshi, who received much recognition for designing Sonam Kapoor’s look in Aisha, will be seen in Muzaffar Ali’s upcoming period drama Jaanisar, which bears a striking resemblance to his previous movie Umrao Jaan. She is to play a courtesan in the 1870’s pre-Independence drama.
Pernia says that her film will have a lot in common with the 1981 Rekha-Farooque Shaikh starrer, Umrao Jaan, but the intention is not to make a remake or a sequel. “It’s a new film set in a similar milieu,” she adds, “The film is a historic drama revolving around our freedom struggle.” She further elaborates saying that while Rekha’s character in Umrao Jaan Amiran had a quiet and mysterious demeanor, her enchanting character Noor is outspoken and progressive which is quite the opposite of the classic role.
“I am not copying Rekha or Aish,” says Pernia, writing off the similarities with Rekha and Aishwarya Rai’s characters in Umrao Jaan, “I’m prepared for comparisons, they are inevitable, but I’m not copying them. My character is diametrically opposite to theirs. Yes, she’s a courtesan too but she’s more vivacious than coy. Muzaffar sir portrays his women characters sensitively which is why it’s a privilege to debut in a film directed by him.”
When asked whether the stylist in her came out while acting, she promptly replied that there was no need as not even a strand of her hair was out of place in a single shot. She further added that Muzaffar is a perfectionist and that everything was exquisitely designed and filmed by an Italian cinematographer, making the film look gorgeous.
However, her friends and family are yet to see rushes of her work. “We should be able to present it by the end of this month. I’m quite anxious about the responses!” she admits.
What next? “I don’t think I’m even in the mind of any filmmaker as they haven’t seen me act yet,” she says candidly. “Only after Jaanisar releases will I know where I stand as a performer!”