The Tribune - Spectrum

Sunday, January 12, 2003
Lead Article

Honey set to fulfil her Armaan
Kshama Rao

Honey Irani will make her directorial debut with Armaan
Honey Irani will make her directorial debut with Armaan

FROM Chandni, Darr and Lamhe to the story of a woman who bears a child out of wedlock in Kya Kehna, writer Honey Irani has penned many a script. Come 2003 and the writer-turned-director would have two films to look forward to. While the Rakesh Roshan-directed Koi Mil Gaya, starring Hrithik Roshan and Preity Zinta, will have Honey's name against the film's 'scriptwriter', the Amitabh Bachchan-Anil Kapoor-Preity Zinta-Gracy Singh-starrer Armaan will have the mother of Farhan Akhtar don the mantle of writer and director. Yes, in May next, Armaan, will hit the marquee, marking the directorial debut of Honey Irani.

We met the writer-director on the sets of Armaan for a short tete-a-tete. Armed with ready wit and an infectious laugh, she answered all her queries.

So finally, a film, which you get to write and direct?

Yes, finally. It's a great feeling because you are creating a film from the story you have written. It's all about words taking shape in the form of visuals. I just love it - this whole process of shooting my own film—it's wonderful. I'm enjoying it immensely.


The film's set against a medical backdrop. Why is that?

My script, the story suited the medical profession the best. The situations, my characters - everything just gelled perfectly. Besides, it's been a long time since a film was set in a hospital. You have the regular industrialists' families and business tycoons - I didn't want that in my film.

It's a love triangle between Anil Kapoor-Preity Zinta and Gracy Singh.

Yes, though I would call it more a story of relationships between these three people. There is also the father-son relationship between Amitabh Bachchan and Anil Kapoor that I'm exploring. Both Amitji and Anil play doctors who share a dream of running a state-of-the-art hospital but certain circumstances arise which lend to the drama of the film.

What are the problems of shooting a film in sync sound?

The only problem is to shoot the scenes in 100 per cent silence and maintaining that is quite tough but in the long run, it's beneficial. There are no hassles of dubbing and the artistes too are completely focused on the scene. Even they are spared of undergoing that right emotion, the perfect feeling again while dubbing. I'm quite happy with this system.

One sees a lot of women behind the scenes on your set…

Yes (laughs). They all give the entire unit hell. The reason I have more women assistants and no offence meant to men is because they are faster, they can see more details than men and they are organised. They really get the work done well and faster. In fact, my first assistant is a girl who assisted my daughter Zoya during Farhan's Dil Chahta Hai. I know how they work and I'm happy to have a team, which is on the ball. (Laughs) Though I keep telling them that one of these days, a crane is going to fall on our heads and the men on this set are going to do that!

Have you discovered anything about yourself in the course of shooting?

(Smiles) Yes, that I'm a very cool person. I just didn't think I had it in me to tackle so many people on my set and so many departments. Direction is tough as earlier I just gave my script to the director and forgot about it. But while directing Armaan, I have to look into every aspect of filmmaking but I guess I'm doing just fine. I'm even enjoying it.

Has Javed Akhtar contributed to the film?

Yes, in the dialogues department. He's even helped me with the screenplay. Javed was a great help primarily because he is a writer himself and he could see more nuances in the script than I could probably see. His contribution has really been valuable.

Farhan will soon start his second film and your daughter Zoya too is planning a film…

Yes, Farhan's film gets rolling early next year while Zoya's the year after that. So you see there are more writers and directors in the family now. I think very soon we all are going to start hiding our scripts from each other (laughs uproariously).

(Just then Rakesh Roshan calls on her cell and the two fix up a date to watch the rushes of Koi Mil Gaya. After she hangs up, she is delighted to hear from Roshan that the film has shaped up well).

Year 2003 will be crucial for you considering two films of yours, one as writer and the other as director, will release…

(Laughs) Yes, two films next year and no film after that.