Shahid Kapoor may shoot in Pakistan for Mira Nair film


By Awais Saleem

Islamabad, Oct 22 (IANS) In exciting news for his Pakistani fans, Bollywood heartthrob Shahid Kapoor could be shooting in Pakistan for a Mira Nair film, Aaj TV channel reported Friday.

According to the Pakistani channel, noted Indian film director Mira Nair is planning to make a movie based on Pakistani writer Mohsin Hamid's second novel "The Reluctant Fundamentalist".

The yet-to-be-named film is expected to be shot in Pakistan. But it is not yet clear whether the necessary permissions have been sought for this purpose. The interior ministry and foreign ministry on both sides of the border have to be involved if any such project has to go ahead , the TV channel said quoting unnamed sources.

Shahid Kapoor, the channel reported, has not signed the contract yet but has shown interest in reading the script and is also excited about working with US-based Mira Nair, who has won critical acclaim for her off-beat films. Her "Salaam Bombay" in 1988 was shortlisted for the Academy Award in the category of best foreign film.

Mohsin, a Harvard-educated law graduate, is based in London and has won acclaim for his incisive and engaging writings. He shot to fame with his first novel "Moth Smoke" in 2000. "The Reluctant Fundamentalist" was published in 2007 and soon become an instant best-seller.

Earlier, Mahesh Bhatt had also planned to shoot his film "Mandi" while Shah Rukh-starrer "Veer Zara" was also supposed to be shot partly in Pakistan but the plans had to be shelved because of administrative hassles.

The story of "The Reluctant Fundamentalist" revolves around a Pakistani man who lets go of his life of fame in America after a failed love affair and the 9/11 terror attack. The novel was translated in more than 25 languages, won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and was also shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.

With a dying Pakistani film industry that produces hardly a handful of movies in Urdu, Punjabi and Pushto languages each year, Indian movies are a rage in Pakistan.

The release of Indian movies allowed in Pakistan a couple of years ago after a break of more than 40 years has also helped to bring the general public back to cinema houses.

(Awais Saleem can be contacted at [email protected])