Priyadarshan is a happy man. His latest Bollywood flick Khatta Meetha
has been passed by the censors with a clean U certificate. In an exclusive with BT, the Chennai-based director said, “I would rate this as my best Hindi film to date. It is a satirical comedy loosely based on my 1989 Mohanlal-Shobhana starrer Vellanakulde Nadu. A year ago, I read an interesting survey that out of the budget allocated for development of infrastructure in India, only 30 per cent is actually spent on it. The remaining 70 per cent goes into the corrupt hands of politicians, middlemen and the local administration.”
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When asked about Trisha, who’s making her Bollywood debut with this film, Priyadarshan waxes eloquent. “Trisha is my baby. I discovered her while doing an ad film and cast her in my Lesa Lesa,” he reveals, adding, “I did not consider her as a great artiste at that time, but over the years, she has made me proud with her achievements. In my film, she’s stepping into a role done by Shobhana, one of the finest actresses in India. After watching the first copy, I’m convinced that Trisha has done justice to her role.”
Clearing the air about why Akshay Kumar isn’t talking about Trisha in his interviews, Priyadarshan says, “It was Akshay, one of the producers of the film, who wanted a new face from south India to play the heroine’s role. When he saw some film clippings that featured Trisha, he readily agreed to cast her as his heroine.” About questions being asked in Kollywood on why Trisha is not getting the kind of media hype and promotion that Asin got at the time of her launch in Mumbai, Priyan shoots back, “Asin had given her dates to Aamir Khan and her focus was completely on her launch vehicle, which paid rich dividends. Trisha is shooting somewhere in Europe for a Tamil film. She should have been here now and attending promotional activities with Akshay in north Indian cities. I strongly believe in Bollywood’s marketing strategy — promote or perish.”
Priyadarshan, who has set his story against the Marathi milieu, has Akshay essaying the role of a struggling but honest road contractor (Sachin Tichkule) who ultimately succumbs to the corrupt system. Trisha plays Gehna Ganpule, municipal commissioner in the same town, and ex-girlfriend of Sachin, who now hates him.
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