'Karzzz' release coincides with Simi Garewal's birthday

By Subhash K. Jha

Mumbai, Oct 16 (IANS) Urmila Matondkar says her latest movie "Karzzz", a remake of the 1980s hit of the same name, will be released Friday to coincide with the birthday of Simi Garewal who played the ferociously ambitious and villainous Kamini in the original.

"It's our way of saying Happy Birthday and also a reminder of how much impact the original 'Karz' has on audiences' minds to this day," Urmila told IANS.

Added Simi Garewal: "Well... I know the new 'Karzzz' wasn't planned as a birthday gift for me. I just hope it turns out to be a pleasant surprise."

The new "Karzzz" is directed by Satish Kaushik and Himesh Reshammiya plays the male lead in the film.

For Urmila, Kamini was one of her most challenging roles.

She said: "It's one helluva of challenging role. It was a turning point in Simiji's career. She did a fantastic job and left a lasting impact on audiences' minds. I didn't even dare to go where Simiji had. I adopted a completely fresh approach.

"It stuck me that each time we look at a great villain on screen, we think of him or her - mostly him - as flamboyant and propped up by fearsome accessories, makeup, get-ups, etc - like Mogambo in 'Mr. India' or Gabbar Singh in 'Sholay'. I've played this villain called Kamini as gorgeous and glamorous and yet she has a dark and evil side to her personality. I've played dark before in 'Kaun'. But 'Karzzz' is something else."

Urmila is quite satisfied with her performance in the film. She saw the part coming alive when she dubbed for it.

"I'm surprised at the end results. I got no reference points, no props. I created an aura through my personality. I don't know what audiences expect from my Kamini. But it's a very rare role and I enjoyed it to the hilt," she said.

Simi never got to sing and dance in "Karz", but Urmila does plenty of that.

"We've tried a fresh approach. Both Himesh and I have tried to play our characters very differently from the actors in the original. Himesh hasn't even tried to replicate Rishi Kapoorji's aura. Likewise, I'm far more myself, more a woman of today than Simiji's Kamini, very contemporary. In the dance movements, I don't try to be Urmila. I become Kamini. Urmila would probably have broken her waist doing those intricate movements in the songs.

"Everything about my character - from clothes to attitude - is subtle. Also, the chemistry between my character and Himesh is very different from Simiji and Rishiji in the earlier 'Karz'. Our characters bond very differently in the two films."

Urmila has not only shot the original evergreen song "Ek haseena thi" for "Karzzz", she has also acted in a film by that name.

"I was thrilled to bits when I did Sriram Raghavan's film by that name. When I shot for that song in 'Karz', I died! It's one of my all-time favourite songs. In fact, one of the highest challenges of playing Kamini was to do the song 'Ek haseena thi'. I had no dancing to do in the song. I just had to express various conflicting emotions in the songs just sitting down."

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