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Are you Rege?

After a splendid run at film festivals across the country, politician-turned-director Abhijit Panse brings his critically-acclaimed film Rege to theatres next week

Mumbai |
Updated: August 15, 2014 1:00:22 am
Aroh Velankar in a still from the film Aroh Velankar in a still from the film

By Aashay Khandekar

Tumcha tumchya mulakade neet laksha aahey ka? (Are you paying enough attention to your child?)” asks Abhijit Panse’s directorial debut Rege, with the sensitivity of a counselor to each parent who is blinded by the love for his/her children. After winning critical-acclaim at festivals across India, Panse is set to release Rege on August 15.
Rege is the story of any middle-class teenager who’s considered immune from the evils of society. Nowadays, parents have become very liberal. It has become a fashion to be careless or to be least bothered about the activities of your child,” says Panse, “On the other hand, children have also become very rebellious and aggressive about their private life. But what happens if something goes wrong — the film addresses this issue.” For the police, says Panse, a criminal is a criminal and they don’t care about the family background of a person when they’re on a hunt. Rege has been screened at MAMI (Mumbai Film Festival), PIFF (Pune International Film Festival) and the International Film Festival (IFFI) of India, Goa. It has also travelled abroad to participate at the South Africa and Mauritius International Film Festivals respectively. “I didn’t launch this film commercially earlier because I wasn’t sure how well it will be acknowledged. Many people asked me, ‘Why did you select such a heavy topic for your debut? You should have picked a lighter subject.’ But when I observed the response at these film festivals, all doubt in my mind was cleared,” Panse adds.
It was after the MAMI screening that the director of Balak-Palak and Timepass, Ravi Jadhav, approached Panse. “He came to me and said he wanted to be associated with this film in some way. He insisted on producing it because he could relate to the plot and to the fact that anyone could wind up in protagonist Aniruddha Rege’s shoes; an outstanding MBBS students who gets framed for a crime he had nothing to do with,” says Panse.
The director auditioned 80 students for the role of Aniruddha Rege. It was after much effort that they found Aroh Velankar, who won the Best Actor award at the prestigious Purushottam Karandak in 2010. “He is one talented lad,” says Panse, “I have seen him perform in various plays and in his debut film. He outdoes himself.”
On August 15, along with Rege, Singham Returns will also release. Observing the police element common in both the films, Panse says, “I am very critical of the ‘glamour’ connected with police and the underworld in such films. Top cops and top goons are like you and me. This superhero image is very misleading and has turned shady and dark characters into heroes. You won’t see anything like that in my film.” Panse also serves as lyricist to Rege and the songs have been composed by Avdhoot Gupte, sung by Swapnil Bandodkar. Disturbed by fake encounters, Panse wrote down the story a year ago. The movie has been shot at various locations; MIT college being one. With Aroh Velankar, Pushkar Shrotri and Mahesh Manjrekar, many fresh faces will be seen in the movie, all chosen on the basis of merit.


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