They made history together in 1980 with Karz, considered by many to be the best work of producer-director Subhash Ghai and the versatile actor Rishi Kapoor.
And now 32 years later Rishi Kapoor is back in Ghai’s next directorial venture where Rishi will play an out-and-out villain, though with an unexpected twist.
Keeping in mind Rishi’s immensely popular image of the stage performer in Karz, his character in Ghai’s next would be a musician.
“Jee haan, Rishi and I are coming together again. He will play a ‘musical khalnaayak’ in my film,” informs Ghai who turned Sanjay Dutt into a very unmusical Khalnaayak in a film of that title released in 1993.
Reluctant to reveal more on Rishi’s role Ghai finally shares some more information. “Rishi who played the lovable romantic lover-boy in most of his films has lately discovered his mean bone as an actor. Just look at him in Agneepath! I didn’t want to cast him as a conventional evil-man. Rishi is a negative character but a man who is heavily into music.”
Apparently Rishi’s character would play several musical instruments in Ghai’s new film including the piano. And he won’t fake it this time like he did in Karz where playing the rock-star Monty Rishi pretended to pound the guitar on stage.
“Nothing about Rishi’s character in my new film would be fake, not his evil streak and not his interest in music,” promises Ghai, and is reluctant to shed more light on the film which will be officially launched on October 24, the anniversary of Ghai’s production house Mukta Arts.
We however dug up information on Ghai’s new film and came to know that it’s the story of a 17-year old girl’s journey from the mountains to the city, akin to the journey that Mandakini undertook in Raj Kapoor’s Ram Teri Ganga Maili.
Ghai admits, “Yes, it is the story of a young innocent girl’s journey from the mountains to the city. She’s a girl on a mission. Raj Saab made Ram Teri Ganga Maili about a girl’s journey. Back then the heroine was Ganga. Today it’s Veronica. I have to draw a balance between Ganga and Veronica.”
The Showman says he has zeroed in on three girls one of whom would finally play his protagonist to Rishi’s Kapoor’s antagonist.
Ismail Durbar would compose the music.
Says the director known for his great musical scores, “Earlier I had Laxmikant-Pyarelal. Now I feel Ismail Durbar can create a score where music is the backbone because, as I said, Rishi plays a musician. I remember I used to have these heated arguments with Laxmikant-Pyarelal. When they composed Ho ramji tere lakhan ne bada dukh di na for Ram Lakhan they insisted only Lataji can sing the song. But she was away, so I argued, ‘Why not another voice?’ But Laxmikant stood his ground. When I finally heard what Lataji did to Ho ramji I knew why she was the only voice for that song. I need that calibre of dedication in the music for my new film.”
Ghai is kicked about returning to direction after 4 years. “I directed Black & White and Yuvraaj in 2008. Then I got busy with my film school Whistling Woods. Now I am ready to direct again. The other day I attended Mr Yash Chopra’s 80th birthday where he announced his retirement at 80. I have to make some more films before I reach that age.”