'Banaras' interprets existentialism: Urmila Matondkar

Apr 3, 2006 IANS


New Delhi, April 2 (IANS) Actress Urmila Matondkar says her upcoming film "Banaras - A Mystic Love Story" interprets the concept of existentialism with the help of a love story.

"It kind of connects quantum physics to what the Vedas say," Urmila said. "I wanted to do something different from my other films like 'Rangeela'. I have worked hard for this film.

"I went through all the books on Banaras and visited places in the city and mingled with people living there to understand their lifestyle," she told a news conference here Saturday, referring to the temple city of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh.

Talking about her role, Urmila said: "It is the story of a physics scholar Shwetambri played by me - she is bright and beautiful and the only child of rich aristocratic Brahmin parents (Dimple Kapadia and Raj Babbar) and studies at the local university.

"Soham (Ashmit Patel) is a music lover and she falls in love with him. How their relationship shatters the peace of the city is what the film is all about."

As for her co-star Ashmit, who is relatively new in the industry, Urmila said: "It was a great experience for me to work with Ashmit, he is a great actor."

Director Pankaj Parashar, best known for his films "Jalwa" and "Chalbaaz", said: "I am venturing into this genre of filmmaking for the first time and it has been a great experience. Banaras is a beautiful city with profound truth and it is our mission to bring it in front of the world."

Producer L.C. Singh, who also wrote the film's script, said: "I grew up in Banaras and studied at the Banaras Hindu University. The story is written by me and the film is an attempt to introduce young Indian audience to the wonders of Banaras.

"I firmly believe in remaining rooted to my heritage and wanted a medium to communicate this to the younger generation.

"The young generation do not know the city has been the centre of Indian spirituality for more than 600 years. Every Indian spiritual leader from the Buddha to Guru Nanak and Kabir Das to Adi Shankaracharya and J. Krishnamurthy lived there. The only way we can make them realise what India is, is by showing them their heritage. The film is an attempt to do that."

Sharing her experiences on the sets, Urmila said: "My most memorable moment was shooting for the Holi song in the film. Raj (Babbar)-ji was deliberately putting colours on me and I didn't stop him. Later Ashmit and me put colours on Rajji till his fake moustache fell off, and we all kept searching for it."

"Banaras" was shot in Varanasi and completed in a span of 45 days, followed by two days of shooting in Mauritius. It tries to capture the flavour of the holy city without the didacticism of a documentary film.

The film is schedule to hit theatres April 7.

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Banaras - A Mystic Love Story



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