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Amol Palekar

His forthcoming film Paheli is based on Duvidha, a Rajasthani novel by Vijaydan Detha, and produced by Shahrukh Khan’s Red Chillies Entertainment.

Amol Palekar
Amol Palekar
What drew you to Detha's novel Duvidha?
I've admired Detha. He's among India's most progressive writers. This story offers multifarious interpretations while retaining its core strength.

What's the story about?
A woman's right to choose—a recurring theme in my films.

How different is Paheli from a 1973 Mani Kaul film on the same story?
As distinctly different as Mani Kaul is from Amol Palekar.

You've cast Amitabh, Shahrukh, Rani, Juhi. Do you now believe in star power?
I've never been averse to working with stars when the story demands. Every subject chooses its idiom, texture, cinematic language.

Is casting stars meant to gain audiences?
That helps, but one doesn't need to make senseless films for that alone.

Was it easy working with the stars?
How else could I have shot it in 45-days flat?

How did you rope in Shahrukh?
When I approached Shahrukh with the role, he was so fascinated by Sandhya Gokhale's script that he also offered to produce the film.

Working with Big B?
He says he wanted to work with me and couldn't say no to Shahrukh.

Paheli has elaborate sets, six songs...
Without them I'd be unfaithful to the story. If a situation can be best conveyed through a song, why should anyone have a problem with that?

How was it shooting in Rajasthan?
People were very cooperative. The fans on location maintained complete silence on their own.

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