Jaya Bachchan's birthday gift - a movie launch

By Subhash K. Jha

Mumbai, April 8 (IANS) Jaya Bachchan turns 61 Thursday and director Revathy Varma has decided to prepone the launch of her women-centric film "Chaassni" by a month to coincide with his lead actress' special day.

"Yes, we've quickened the process of starting the film. April 9 is a very auspicious day," Varma told IANS.

"And my film is about honouring and giving a respectable place to the aged in our society. So what better proof of the film's intentions than to dedicate it to Jayaji's 61st birthday?"

The pre-ponement has been quick and sudden and Raveena Tandon, who plays a pivotal role, is totally taken aback.

"I thought the shooting was supposed to start in May! This is the first time I'm hearing about the April 9 shoot. But I'm happy. We're all fans of Jayaji. And the film is about making her character happy," said Raveena.

Added Varma: "We're doing just a brief shooting on April 9. Then we have a detailed schedule."

Varma entered filmmaking with the Tamil version of "Chaassni". Titled "June R", it was based on the director's own life.

"I adopted a mother from a foster-home. She's no more. But the love she gave me has given birth to Jayaji's character in the film," said Varma.

Varma is planning it as a full-on commercial film with songs composed by Salim-Suleiman. "They can give a contemporary feel to the project," she said.

Tamil actress Saritha had played the pivotal role in the original.

"The Hindi version will be radically different from the Tamil. I've just taken the core of my Tamil film and re-written it completely in Hindi," said Varma.

Ayesha Takia plays Jaya's daughter in the Hindi version. The senior actress' on-screen chemistry with actresses who have played her daughters - Karisma Kapoor in "Fiza" and Preity Zinta in "Kal Ho Naa Ho" - has always been extra special. She now looks forward to getting motherly with the newly-married Ayesha.

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