Guru Dutt's life story continues to inspire filmmakers

gurudutt.jpg

Mumbai, Feb 15 (IANS) Guru Dutt is a name that evokes awe and a sense of romance and tragedy. Besides being a master filmmaker, his personal life also holds an endless appeal for directors, two of whom are eager to bring his life story to the big screen.

The two filmmakers - Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra and Shivendra Singh Dungarpur - not only want to make a movie on the legendary actor-director but they also seem to have the same leading man in mind!

Guru Dutt himself made "Kagaz Ke Phool" based on his own life. Much later filmmaker Johnny Bakshi got Rajesh Khanna to play Guru Dutt in "Khudaai", a clumsily fictionalised version of the movie legend's life.

While Mehra's film will be based on Nasreen Munni Kabeer's biography of Guru Dutt, Shivendra Singh is going ahead with his own research on the life of the legend.

The mythic movie maker's son Arun Dutt is also collaborating with Singh for the biopic.

As for Mehra doing his own take on Guru Dutt's life, Singh said: "It's a free world and Guru Dutt is part of public folklore. Anyone can make a film on his life. Why just Rakeysh, I welcome many others to do the same. There were so many films on the life of Bhagat Singh."

Shivendra Singh, who is cricket administrator Raj Singh Dungarpur's nephew, started his career making a shelved film featuring Karisma Kapoor, Sanjay Kapoor and Chandrachur Singh 15 years ago before gravitating towards ad films. But he is confident of his grasp over Guru Dutt's life.

"I've spent many years researching Guru Dutt's life. Two years ago Anurag Kashyap was brought in to write the film. We're sure of what we're doing," he said.

The title "Guru Dutt" has already been registered. And Singh wants to cast Aamir Khan in the lead role.

Interestingly, Aamir is also reportedly Mehra's first choice. But the scales would be tilted in Singh's favour because Guru Dutt's family is backing the project.

Also, Aamir is very fond of Guru Dutt's sister Lalita Lajmi, who is filmmaker Kalpana Lajmi's mother. Lalita had even made an appearance in Aamir's "Taare Zameen Par".

Kalpana, in fact, was planning a film on her legendary uncle's life but backed out when she heard of Singh's plans.

"My mother told me Anurag Kashyap is scripting and Shivendra Singh is directing the film. They've informed my mother that it won't be fictional but a biopic on my uncle. My uncle's only living heir Arun Dutt has also given his nod to the project. So we're all for it," Kalpana said.

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