Cross-generation relationships in vogue in Bollywood

Aug 17, 2006 Subhash K. Jha

Mumbai, Aug 17 (IANS) Shashilal Nair did it with "Ek... Chhotisi Love Story", V.K. Prakash with "Freaky Chakra" and now Ram Gopal Varma is filming an adaptation of Vladimir Nabokov's celebrated "Lolita" -- Bollywood filmmakers continue to portray generation challenged romances on screen.

The issue of a much older man falling in love with a very young girl will be explored in Varma's "Nishabd", which stars Amitabh Bachchan who is attracted to Jiah Khan.

Nothing sleazy about it. If Amitabh can do a "Lolita" without trepidation, why not the ladies?

Producer Keshu Ramsay, who executed all those slick "Khiladi" movies in the 1980s for his favourite actor Akshay Kumar, is on to a new ball game.

He will soon produce a film that will cast his son Aryeman (seen recently in Ramsay's "Family") as a young man desperately and passionately in love with a much older woman.

Confirming this information, Ramsay told IANS: "Yes, I am making such a film with my son. The hunt is on for a suitable actress and a director."

Ramsay has already sounded out a stunning actress, who hasn't been seen on screen much lately. The hunt is on for a "suitably sensitive" director.

Interestingly, this isn't the first occasion when Ramsay will go into the sexually challenging world of a cross-generation relationship.

In "Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi", Ramsay had Akshay panting after the hot and sensuous Rekha. They even did a mud bath together.

It isn't only Ramsay who is thinking of an unspeakable rapport between a child-man and an experienced woman. In Hyderabad, the production company Colorchips, who have just completed Mani Shankar's "Mukhbir", plan to start their new film about a sensitive relationship between a young man, to be played by Sammir Dattani, and an older actress.

"We believe the audiences' tastes are changing. They are open to seeing new permutations and equations in the man-woman relationship. No one wants to see teenyboppers running around trees," said Sudhir Rambhotla of Colorchips.

In fact, painfully young men falling in love with experienced women is not a new theme to Hindi cinema. We've seen Dimple Kapadia do it with Akshaye Khanna in "Dil Chahta Hai" and Amol Mhatre in "Leela" and more recently Saif Ali Khan-Shabana Azmi in "Being Cyrus".

Earlier, Raj Kapoor shocked the world and its prudish aunt when he allowed little Rishi Kapoor to fantasise about Simi Garewal in "Mera Naam Joker".

But the question is would audiences watch the unconventional pairs without a squirm?

"Why not?" shot back Dino Morea. "I've done a beautiful romance with an older woman played by the beautiful Jaya Prada. It's a film directed by Mahesh Manjrekar called 'Deh'. It all depends on the treatment."

Sammir, who will play the 22-year-old love interest to a 45-plus co-star in the Colorchips film, says it is all about the aesthetics.

"Such attractions are not uncommon. When I was in school I had a crush similar to Rishi Kapoor's crush in 'Mera Naam Joker' on my teacher.

"Guys of my generation always find older women fascinating, and that's also true of the girls. I'm looking forward to doing the film. Hopefully, my co-star will be Shabana Azmi or Dimple Kapadia."

It looks like a spirit of perestroika is finally prevailing in our films.

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