By Subhash K. Jha, Indo-Asian News Service
Mumbai, (IANS) It looks like a season of real-life characters on screen. By now everyone knows Madhur Bhandarkar's
"Corporate" - the second part of his proposed trilogy on metropolitan mores and communities - will feature Bipasha Basu as a
steel-willed business tycoon.
What is not known is that the character is based almost lock, stock and barrel on a real-life female entrepreneur. She is
apparently a very high-profile woman and well known in social circles for her power panache and sex appeal.
"That's why I wanted to cast a woman and not a girl. The trouble is most of our high-profile heroines seem to have stepped
out of their teens, which is a good thing really. But not for this film," Bhandarkar told IANS.
"While 'Page 3' needed an innocent girl to play the ingénue, 'Corporate' needs a full-blooded woman with tremendous
reserves of sensuality, nerves of steel and the look of gritty determination. Bipasha fitted the bill perfectly. I don't
think she has ever done a role like this before. In fact, I don't think any leading lady in our film has done something like
'Corporate'," he added.
The film produced by Sahara's Percept Pictures, who produced last year's top grosser "No Entry", is almost ready.
"Besides Bipasha, K.K. Menon, Sammir Dattani and Minissha Lamba, not too many faces will be known or recognisable. I
wanted to get actors from theatre who would look their parts," said Bhandarkar.
"I wanted the film to be as hard-hitting, edgy, raw and real as 'Chandni Bar' and 'Page 3'. There were no compromises.
Yes, the film will have songs composed by Shamir Tandon. But they will be part of the narrative. Why should I get away from
the musical format when it served my narrative's purpose so well in 'Page 3'?
"The important thing for me is to build on the reputation of an intense filmmaker which I have earned again after 'Page
3'," said Bhandarkar.
"Page 3" was the closing film at the 10th Kerala Film Festival last year.
As "Corporate" completes filming, speculation about Bipasha's true-life parallel is bound to grow. "I can see a lot of
'Page 3' regulars looking into the mirror to ask, 'Is it me?' grinned Bhandarkar.
Other films in the pipeline on real life characters are:
1. J.P. Dutta's "Umrao Jaan"
2. J.P. Dutta's "Gayatri Devi"
3. Rituparno Ghosh's proposed film on the life of a legendary Bengali director
4. Deepa Mehta's "Kamagata maru"