‘Maan Gaye Mughall-E-Azam’ a different comedy, says director

By Radhika Bhirani, IANS,

New Delhi : Watch my film because it’s different, says writer-director Sanjay Chhel of his latest offering “Maan Gaye Mughall-E-Azam” starring Mallika Sherawat and Rahul Bose that releases Friday.

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“I am urging people to watch my film because the idea and its treatment is very fresh. It is a very out-of-the-box comedy,” Chhel told IANS over phone from Mumbai.

He added: “If people don’t watch and encourage such films, filmmakers will use the same old formulas of NRI films and ‘boy-meets-girl’ kind of scripts.”

The story of “Maan Gaye…” takes inspiration from the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) and RAW (Research and Analysis Wing) officers who were on high alert due to illegal activities in Goa following the Babri Masjid demolition in December 1992, which had triggered communal riots.

“My film is a satire, a black comedy. It has all the madness a comedy has and is also packed with moral values.”

The film, made on a budget of Rs.90 million, shows how a small theatre group called Kalakar Theatre Company saves the country.

“The theatre company performs this play titled ‘Mughal-E-Azam’ in which characters perform multiple roles. The performances are interactive. It is genuinely a fresh comedy,” Chhel maintains.

While Paresh Rawal and Mallika play the lead actors of the theatre group, Rahul is a RAW officer, who falls in love with Mallika, who is married to Paresh. Kay Kay Menon too plays an important part in the film.

Chhel says more than bringing the actors together to play multi-character roles in the film, it was a daunting task to write the script thanks to the various languages he has used.

Asked whether he chose Rahul and Mallika due to the superb chemistry they shared in “Pyaar Ke Side Effects”, Chhel said: “Not really. I signed Rahul first and never thought Mallika will agree because I thought both would be doing ‘Pyaar Ke Side Effects 2’. But after a point, I took a chance and she agreed.”

While making the film, Chhel had the 1983 blockbuster political satire “Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro” in mind.

“I’ve not treated the film in ‘Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro’ style but my approach to ‘Maan Gaye…’ was similar to the former film,” he clarified.

The director claims that one of the unique selling points in “Maan Gaye Mughall-E-Azam” are witty one-liners.

Chhel is particularly known for writing snazzy dialogues for films like “Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani”, “Partner”, “Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya?” and others.

Talking about the music, he said: “For the song ‘Pyaar kiya toh darna kya’, we have only picked up this line from the old film ‘Mughal-E-Azam’. Neither the tune nor the rest of the lyrics are the same. Besides, we have a ghazal by Pankaj Udhas also.”