Now animation versions of Ashok Kumar, Rajesh Khanna and Big B's films

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By Subhash K. Jha, Bollywood Hungama News Network

One of our most prolific sensitive and underrated director, Shakti Samanta, who made some of the most enduring and melodious mellow-dramas in the 1970s, is about to get an unusual boost up into the limelight.

Pritish Nandy Communications(PNC) is about to make trendy spruce-up animation versions of three Samanta classics Howrah Bridge, Amar Prem and Barsaat Ki Ek Raat. Says the company's prime mover, Pritish Nandy, "This is my homage to one of the most underrated filmmakers of the country. When I met Mr. Samanta, he was so pleased to know his films would reach out to a new generation. Howrah Bridge is one of my favourite noire films. The magic of Sachin Dev Burman's music, the chemistry between Ashok Kumar and Madhubala and the seductive charm of Ashok Kumar's baritone….all that I want to capture in animation form."

Why these films from Shakti-da's astonishing oeuvre? Why not the other classics like Aradhana, Amanush and Kati Patang? Says Mr Nandy, "I've chosen Howrah Bridge, Amar Prem and Barsaat Ki Ek Raat because they not only represent three phases in Shakti Samanta's career but also three generations of superstars Ashok Kumar, Rajesh Khanna and Amitabh Bachchan. Barsaat….is not one of Mr Bachchan's better known films. So there's an added excitement there of introducing a neglected AB film through animation."

PNC won't only pay a homage to the Bengali mellow-dramatist but also to the immortal melodies of Sachin and his son Rahul Dev Burman in the cinema of Shakti Samanta. We'll be hearing the animation figures sing songs like 'Aaiye Meherbaan' in Howrah Bridge, 'Yeh Kya Hua' and 'Raina Beeti Jaaye' in Amar Prem and 'Apne Pyar Ke Sapne' in Barsaat Ki Ek Raat. Explains Mr Nandy, "We'll have the original music from these films. But we'll also have re-mix version of the originals side by side."

In the meanwhile Mr Nandy speaks for the first time on his international project Karna. "It's tie-up between PNC and a Hong Kong company. Earlier, we tied up with Motion Pixel Corporation with whom we're doing six animation films starting with Ek Haseena Ek Deewana." Mr Nandy denies that the animation version of the Fardeen Khan-Koena Moitra starrer will be true to the feature film. "It just uses the two main characters played by Koena and Fardeen as a spring board. The animation feature takes the characters forward. We'll have a series of animation films based on the adventures of these two characters."

With PNC, Yashraj Films, Karan Johar and Ajay Devgan doing animation, is that the flavour of the season? "What we're doing is something different. We also have an animation version of Sholay", signs off Mr Nandy.

Shakti Samanta's Magical Melodies:
'Aaye meherbaan': Asha Bhosle: Howrah Bridge
'Taarif Karoon Kya Uski': Mohd Rafi: Kashmir Ki Kali
'Raat Ke Humsafar': Asha & Rafi: An Evening In Paris
'Kora Kagaz Tha Yeh Man Mera': Kishore & Lata: Aradhana
'Roop Tera Mastana': Kishore: Aradhana
'Yeh Shaam Mastani': Kishore: Kati Patang
'Yeh Jo Mohabbat Hai': Kishore: Kati Patang
'Raina Beeti Jaye': Lata Mangeshkar: Amar Prem
'Yeh Kya Hua': Kishore: Amar Prem
'Sun Ri Pawan': Lata: Anurag
'Aapke Anurodh Pe': Kishore: Anurodh
'Chotasa Ghar Apna': Lata: Charitraheen
'Teri Meri Yaari Badi Purani': Asha: Charitraheen
'Dil Aisa Kisi Ne Mera Toda': Kishore: Amanush
'Do Labzon Ki Hai Dil Ki Kahani': Asha: The Great Gambler
'Mere Naina Sawan Bhadow': Lata/Kishore: Mehbooba

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