Reema Kagti Interview on Talaash and working with Aamir Khan

  1. Ritz 12 years ago

    “See, Talaash has been a very difficult film to make. I distinctly remember the time when I came up with its first cut. It would be an understatement to say that I was totally horrified with what I saw,” confesses Reema. That was the time when Aamir sat her down and had a heart-to-heart chat with her which made things better.
    “He asked me not to worry and told me that out of 40-45 films that he has done over 25 odd years, none of them looked perfect in the first cut. The significant thing was that I was aware of the existing problem and wanted to work on it.”
    Soon Reema’s close friend and co-writer Zoya Akhtar jumped in to save the day. “This happened a year ago and post that we have worked on subsequent cuts, each one better than the other. It was Aamir who never lost patience — he was so much into the film,” Reema adds.

    • Author
      sputnik 12 years ago

      hmm… interesting. This could be the reason for the delay. They must have re shot some of it.

      • Baba Ji 12 years ago

        Sunil Koelr
        November 23, 2011
        If a film is reshot then its flop, if talaash is reshot then its flop.

  2. FS 12 years ago

    Looks very chalu director… Is she a drug addict or what? look at her face. Seems like must have gone through some forgettable torturous pain.

    Anyways, the way she is talking about talaash, I would say it will be the best film of this year and since 3Idiots. Though she is not into “crore” type, deep in her heart 300cr blockbuster is beating out fast 😛

    • Ritz 12 years ago

      She is a smoker as per her own interviews.

      She also has/had a tiff with censors on the smoking.

      They want me to insert tickers in smoking scenes. Heroine was allowed as it had up to 40 minutes of smoking and so much cannot be cut. Tobacco and cigarettes are sold at every nook and corner. I myself am a smoker. The only way I will stop smoking is if you ban the activity in the country. Why can’t they understand such a simple thing? Believe it or not, I called up the Censor Board to ask for the guidelines before I shot the smoking scenes and at that time, there was no ‘ticker’ rule. Anyway, it doesn’t make sense… You can show rape but objections are raised over scenes depicting consensual sex. God…

  3. Author
    sputnik 12 years ago

    Reema Kagti Times of India Interview

    ‘How did you get into films?
    I was born in Assam where going to a boarding school was the done thing since the educational system was not that good. So I studied from class 7th to 10th in Delhi Public School, RK Puram. I always had the film bug and scaled and jumped walls of the school to go and watch a film at Chanakya Puri. At some point in time, the school administration just caught on and used to send the bus with the wardens to Chanakya Puri and Nirulas to pull us out of the hall and bathrooms, where we would hide to avoid being caught. My older sister was at that time studying in Sophia College in Mumbai and I too moved to Mumbai and joined Sophia. Growing up in the north-east, we did not have access to films as going to a theatre was unsafe and, thus, most films did not release there. I am a product of piracy as I grew up watching pirated films. In Sophia, I joined the film club where for the first time, I got to see a lot of international films which I did not have access to earlier. After graduation, I landed my first job for assisting Rajat Kapoor in his film Private Detective, that never got released. I consider him my film daddy and learnt filmmaking, across various departments, under him.

    Did you have any icons in the film industry in your growing years?
    I was obsessed with Mr Bachchan. I was not only crazy about his films, but I wanted to be him. He was so stylish and I was so much in love with him that I used to wear jackets like he wore, take out a middle parting and take pictures of myself looking like him. While editing Talaash, Aamir and I were having a conversation about actors crying in films where Aamir’s view was that generally men don’t like to cry in films as they look strange. So I asked him ‘Who looks ok when they cry?’ and he instantly said ‘Mr Bachchan looks fine when he is crying.’

    Zoya Akhtar and you are known to be best friends. How did both of you come to know each other?
    Zoya and I were assistant directors on my second film, where we became friends. She was senior to me as an assistant and thus I reported to her and learnt from her. We have been together ever since and have both been assistant directors on Dil Chahta Hai and Lakshya. A part of our bonding was that we were both closet writers and would discuss and show each other what each of us wrote. We then wrote Luck By Chance and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara together. We both knew we wanted to become directors.

    What is Zoya like?
    She is extremely intelligent, intuitive, charming and witty. She is a bit of a ball breaker and can be exacting and it’s very difficult to win an argument with her. While she is very accessible and is a democratic and fair person, she is impatient with people less intelligent than her.

    Even though Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara won the popular and critical awards, it was accused of being a copy of an international film. Was it a copy?
    This ridiculous and baseless allegation was started by Sanjay Gupta at one of the film awards jury meeting. I think a person like Sanjay, who does not have a single original frame in his seven films, should not be talking about originality. I take my work seriously and would not like it said about me that I am a plagiarist. While ZNMD drew strongly from Rock On!! and Dil Chahta Hai tradition, it was a totally original film.

    How did Talaash happen?
    Zoya and I co-wrote it about nine years back, long before we became directors. Farhan read our story and liked it and bought the script from us as a producer. Zoya and I were thrilled that our story had been bought and we took the money we got and went for a holiday to Thailand and Cambodia. But we were in love with our story and when we came back, we regretted selling it so cheap. So, we went to Farhan requesting him to return our script, but since we had taken the money and even gone on a holiday with that, we did not get it back. Finally after I directed ‘Honeymoon Travels’, we asked for it again, when, we not only got it back but I got to direct it.

    You have known Farhan Akhtar for a long time? What is he like?
    When I met Zoya, Farhan was the younger brother who used to do nothing and his life was only about girls and watching TV. He was also one of the funniest people I knew. Zoya at that time was considered the more responsible person. Farhan over the years, has really switched gears and become an admirably remarkable man.

    It’s not easy to convince Aamir. How did you do it?
    His wife Kiran and I were assistant directors on Lagaan where I met him for the first time. I again worked with him in Dil Chahta Hai. Zoya and I wrote Talaash only keeping Aamir in mind. When Ritesh (Sidhwani) called him, Aamir was doing Ghajini after which he was doing Dhobi Ghat after which he would take a break. He said he could listen to the script only after two years. So we moved on and approached several actors as we could not get Aamir, but it did not work out. It was three years post Honeymoon Travels and we had tried enough so we decided to shelve the film when Ritesh just took a chance to call Aamir again to find out if he would do it. Aamir coincidentally said he was listening to scripts and called us for a narration. By that time, I had lost all hope and had told myself that films were probably not meant for me and that I would become a poker player and had gone to Goa to play a poker tournament at a casino when I got a call from Ritesh saying that Aamir wanted to hear the script in an hour. I met Aamir and the script did all the talking. He heard the narration twice and was on the film.

    How was Aamir to work with?
    He is a superb guy who has a great vision for his films. He is down-to-earth and makes you feel very empowered, is cooperative and brings a lot of ideas to the table and at the same time, never ever shoots down your ideas. He prepares himself, gets into every detail and will hear as much as you can tell him. He creates the environment for dialogue and will never tell you to stop and will hear you out fully. He is inspiring and a great collaborator.

    There have been stories about Talaash being similar to Kahaani ? Is there any truth in that?
    The only similarity is that they are both suspense dramas. I guess we live in strange times where all publicity is good publicity.’

  4. Serenzy 12 years ago

    Good Interview Up there by Kagti.

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