24 years of research in Rs 120 million film

MUMBAI: Director Sudhir Mishra’s forthcoming film Khoya Khoya Chand, starring Shiney Ahuja, Soha Ali Khan and Rajat Kapoor is a culmination of Mishra’s experience and learnings from the film industry, the end product of a 24 year long research.  

“When I came into this industry in the 1980s, I was a part of the generation which respected elders and spent time with them. Khoya Khoya Chand comes from sitting and spending 10 years with people I consider my teachers like Mangesh Desai (sound recordist), directors Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Akhtar Mirza (Aziz Mirza’s father and writer of Waqt, Kanoon, Naya Daur). They told a lot about their times and had a lot for me to learn. My 24 years in this industry were a research for Khoya Khoya Chand.”

The film is based in the 1950s and Mishra says it is his most romantic film and unabashed tribute to that time. “Khoya Khoya Chandis based in a period when Bollywood was called Hindi Film Industry and not Bollywood, when filmmakers mortgaged their houses to make films, when film people were outcast because upper-class cultural hierarchy of the country looked down on cinema”, says Mishra.  

Elaborating further on his understanding of that period, he adds, “The characters of my film are a part of the period when Raj Kapoor loved Mukesh, Shankar and Jai Kishan were a part of the RK fraternity, Dev Anand, Nav Ketan and SD Burman worked together, when women were not supposed to be actresses. My characters exist in those times and not times like now, when Karan Johar goes on stage and says technicians are not supposed to thank their parents.”  

This film is presented by Adlabs has been made on a budget of Rs 120 million (Rs 12 crore). It is by far the most expensive film Mishra has worked on, he says. Beside his own knowledge and learning, a lot of specific research has been put together by his team. “In terms of specific research, we spoke a lot to Randhir Kapoor and visited RK studio where they gave us access to photographs, FD documentaries, books and films of that time.” Costume designers Ashima and Nikarika Khan and art director Gautam Sen too have wholeheartedly researched and worked towards making the film as real as possible. The film will release on 25 May 2007.