Important for me to let go off my skill: Aamir Khan

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By Ruchika Kher

Mumbai, Jan 19 (IANS) He will try to "drop" his skills for his next film and forget what he's learnt over the years, says Aamir Khan who believes the "real, raw performances" by newcomers in wife Kiran Rao's "Dhobi Ghat" make it an unusual and delicate film that is likely to appeal more to women viewers.

After more than two decades in filmdom, Aamir has come to be known as a perfectionist, but he still craves to learn more. The learning process continued with "Dhobi Ghat", which releases Friday and stars first-timers Monica Dogra and Kirti Malhotra as well as one-film-old Prateik Babbar.

"The one big lesson I learnt while working with these newcomers is that it's very important for me to let go off my skill. Unfortunately, it's a lesson I learnt at the end of the film, otherwise I would have applied it... because when I saw the film I was suddenly hit by their real raw performances," Aamir Khan told IANS in an interview.

"There was too much skill in mine. I wish I could drop my skill a little bit. So in my next film, I'm going to try and forget or unlearn everything I have learnt in so many years. Some things look good, natural," added Aamir.

"Dhobi Ghat", scripted and directed by Kiran Rao, is about Mumbai, its people and its life. While Aamir plays pivotal role in the film, the director also tells her story based on her personal experiences through the three other main actors.

It's a film Aamir is looking forward to enormously, not just because it is made by his wife. Sitting comfortably in his office here, the 45-year-old, dressed in black, says candidly that he has no intention of misguiding his audiences whom he has been entertaining for the last 22 years.

"I am reducing my audience consciously. I am doing that because I have a relationship with my audience which is now more than 22 years old. So they have grown to trust me. It's very easy for me to market this film as a regular film of mine and bring in the audiences in large numbers and take a huge opening. But I don't want to do that," he said.

"I don't want a person to come to see my film thinking that it's another kind of film. I think what we have made is an unusual film and I would be very happy if more and more people come to see it, but I have to be honest to them before they buy tickets.

"I have to inform them that if you are looking for an entertaining film, a lot of dhamaal, action, thrill and fast pace, then this film is not that. It depends on them whether they want to see it or not."

"I believe the film is made for an audience who are maybe more interested in music, art, painting, poetry, reading or people who want to try something different. I also feel people who are a little more sensitive will like the film more. I think women will like this film more. I could be wrong, but that's my sense of it," he said.

Aamir, a doting husband, also clarifies that he decided to produce the film because he liked the script and not because it was being made by his wife.

"The only reason to produce 'Dhobi Ghat' was that I loved the script and I saw in Kiran the abilities of a good director. If I hadn't liked the script, then I would have not produced it even though it was written by Kiran. I would have politely told her that it didn't excite me, I can't be a part of it. I would still support her as a husband, but I would not have directly connected with the film in any way.

"So it's only on merit that I produced the film," said the actor, who is playing a reclusive painter in "Dhobi Ghat".

(Ruchika Kher can be contacted at ruchika.k@ians.in)

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