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Thursday, September 23, 2021

It’s a Match

When it comes to India and Indians,getting married is a matter of life and death.

Written by Jaskiran Kapoor |
July 4, 2010 4:10:37 am

Filmmaker Rajshree Ojha talks about Aisha,her Hindi adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma

When it comes to India and Indians,getting married is a matter of life and death. “And there’s bound to be a meddlesome matchmaker trying her best to put people in twos. Jane Austen’s Emma is one such character. I couldn’t resist the temptation of adapting the novel for my Bollywood directorial debut,” says Rajshree Ojha,whose Hindi adaptation of Emma,called Aisha,will hit the screens on August 6.

Ojha found her Aisha in Sonam Kapoor. “There are a lot of layers to Aisha. Here’s a girl who lives in her own world,is oblivious to her own flaws and goes about meddling in other people’s business without realising the repercussions,” she says. The original story has been ‘Indianised’,with Ojha weaving in the elements of status,class,looks and money against a backdrop of the class-conscious Delhi society.

So far,Ojha’s been on an adventure. To make her debut an out-of-the-box film,she worked tirelessly on the script and got her casting director to put together a young and not-so-starry cast which includes actors like Arunoday Singh,Ira Dubey,Lisa Hayden and Amrita Puri. “We had costume designer Pernia Qureshi who pulled the look together for the women and Kunal Rawal who did it for the men. There is an audience for every kind of film,and I’m confident the women will love this one,” says Ojha.

After studying cinema in the US and picking several serious subjects for her films there,Ojha decided to make her Hindi debut with a rom-com. “I guess I owe the risk to the changing face of the audience. They are younger,smarter,more aware and open to new ideas,” says thirty-something Ojha,whose “arty” first feature Chaurahein in 2007 did not have a mainstream release .

Ojha adds that it is an uphill task to get the right producers and sell her film. “It’s sad that we still have to prove ourselves,and struggle to break the stereotype. It’s impossible to change cemented mindsets,” she says,before adding that she’s lucky that Anil Kapoor Productions took up Aisha. However,the filmmaker,who spent a part of her life in Kolkata surrounded by Satyajit Ray’s films and stories,is determined to stay on in Bollywood. For only here can she explore emotions like loneliness,burden,disease and pain with a sense of humour. After Aisha,Ojha is looking forward to experimenting with every other genre Bollywood has to offer. “Action,mystery,drama,war epic and so on. And one thing’s for sure,I will find my audience,” she says.

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