The Tribune - Spectrum

Sunday, January 30, 2000
Bollywood Bhelpuri

Hey Ram!
By Madhur Mittal

KAMAL HAASAN, it simply must be admitted, is not only an actor par excellence but a startlingly sensitive film-maker, as well. An admirably cordial and casual guy in real life...his in-depth thoughts are known to turn into the most special pictures in reel life. His films are searing and scathing as well as controversial...!

Shah Rukh Khan, Saurabh Shukla and Kamal Haasan in Hey Ram Right now, he’s hopping mad over the treatment meted out to his new, latest offering — Hey Ram—by the scissors of the Censor Board. Understandably so. When a film-maker with (genuine) feelings, creates a ‘‘stopper’’after putting in, all the emotions and energy he can suck up from his innermost reservoir of gut feelings, his last exhausted, fervent hope ‘n’ prayer is: ‘‘ Please, God, let my film be a success’’. Now if the Almighty listens and bestows His boons ‘n’ blessings upon the devotee, all one has to shout is ‘‘Jai Sai Ram... knowing that things will carry on ‘‘divinely’’. Otherwise, the only alternative happens to be an exasperated moan: Hey Ram !!!

  Kamal’s film is ‘‘An experiment with truth’’. And, as in all the movies he makes, there’s something special that hit the viewers in the solar plexus. He always dares to provoke! Speaking at the Taj Ballroom to select mediapersons (in the company of Rani Mukherjee, Shah Rukh Khan, Om Puri and pretty wifey Sarika — not to forget his sister, Subhangi, the bereaved wife of actor Mohan Gokhale), Hassan reiterated his resolve to show the unfair ‘‘cuts’’ on cable TV soon. ‘‘Legally, the Censor Board cannot stop my screening on an international satellite channel. And I aim to expose the Censors’ bureaucratic bungling...’’ So watch out!

(And may young Mohan’s soul, who died in Chennai while shooting for this film, rest in peace.........)

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