I want to direct films, but later: Manisha Koirala

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Mumbai, April 16 (IANS) After staying away from the arclights for a couple of years, Nepali beauty Manisha Koirala returns with "Sirf - Life Looks Greener On The Other Side". The actress also plans to take up direction in a year or two.

"Definitely, I do want to direct films. But right now the priorities are different. May be in a year or two I will start direction too," Manisha told IANS.

"But believe me, being an actor is the most blessed position because they are the most pampered lot," said the 30 plus actress who comes from a politically prominent family in Nepal. Her granduncle G.P. Koirala is the current prime minister there.

She debuted in Bollywood with Subhash Ghai's super hit "Saudagar" and went on to star in films like "1942: A Love Story", "Bombay", "Gupt", "Dil Se" and "Kachche Dhaage".

After Kamal Haasan's "Mumbai Express" in 2006, "Sirf" is the first film in which she will be playing the main lead. She made sporadic appearances in duds like "Darwaza Bandh Rakho" and "Anwar". She also went off to the US for a film course.

Manisha is paired opposite Kay Kay Menon in "Sirf", a film about four couples that has been directed by Raajatesh Nayar, erstwhile assistant of Raj Kumar Santoshi.

"I am playing the character of Devika who is married to Kay Kay. I own an ad agency. My character is very lonely because her husband is too busy with his work. But she is strong too and holds her own even when the odds are totally against her," Manisha said.

Manisha says she doesn't identify with her character in the film except that she too is a strong person in real life.

"Yes, I am a strong woman, but Devika is not me completely. In some places I do connect with the character and that's all. The film is about vacuum in people's life, how they think everybody else has more than them. I have never had that kind of misconception."

The film also strars Sonali Kulkarni-Ranvir Shorey, Parveen Dabbas-Rituparna Sengupta and Ankur Khanna-Nauheed Cyrusi as couples.

"I have worked with Kay Kay, Parveen and Ranbir. While Kay Kay is an extremely strong but subtle artiste, Parveen is extremely expressive and casual about it. Ranvir is good. They all had their own style and each is very good but Kay Kay is brilliant. He can enact the most intense scene without any histrionics."

About the director, she said: "I have worked with Raajatesh during 'Lajja'. So technically I do know him. He is a very good and clear-cut director. He has a very clear vision of what he wants. Although he had trained under Santoshi, his style of filmmaking is very different."

"I think 'Sirf' is closer to 'Life in a... Metro' than any of the films made by Santoshi. Because of his training and exposure, Raajatesh has shown a lot of maturity in handling the subject," she added.

All the four couples belong to different levels of society and each has its own problems to deal with, but somewhere they all come across each other. En route the film has humour and also pathos at times. The film is scheduled for an April 25 release.

Talking about her forthcoming projects, she said: "I am in talks with many makers for various international projects. I will choose with care. Then 'Chehra' is on the floors. In this film I play the role of a complete diva."

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