'Right time for movie on match fixing'

May 16, 2008 NR

Mumbai, May 16 (IANS) Mahesh Bhatt's "Jannat", a movie about match fixing, is being released when the country is in the grip of cricket fever. Sameer Kochar, who plays an important role in the film and also hosts Indian Premier League (IPL) on TV, says it has come out at the right time.

Starring Emraan Hashmi in the lead role, "Jannat", released Friday, revolves around betting and match fixing in international cricket.

"As the IPL tournament is going on, I consider this is the right time to release the film," Sameer told IANS.

Sameer sees links between IPL and "Jannat".

"First, the movie is being released when the IPL tournament is going on. Second, I am a common factor in both. Finally, Vishal Malhotra, who is my co-host in the field, also plays a part as Emraan's friend in the film."

Commenting on his own role, Sameer said: "In the movie, I play a police officer and Emraan plays a cricket bookie. I try to convince him to leave his dirty job. I even let him go several times because of his father for whom I have deepest respect."

However, Emraan is adamant and leaves for South Africa to pursue his ambitions to strike rich quickly in order to impress his love, debutant Sonal Chauhan. Finally, Sameer catches up Imraan and the story takes a new turn.

Sameer, who had made his debut with Bhatt's "Zeher", said the debutant director Kunal Deshmukh had promised him a role in his film when he was assisting Mohit Suri in "Zeher".

Sameer played a negative role in the film while Emraan was the good guy. "Now the equation has changed, while I play a positive role, Emraan plays the opposite."

Sameer is all praise for Bhatt for encouraging new talent. He said: "Who can dream of debuting as a director at the age of 24? But Kunal is doing so. They have also given me a great opportunity."

Sameer has just finished shooting for Manish Jha's "Mumbai Cutting".

"Manish is a good friend and it was really a great experience to work in the film which has many noted directors in it," he said. "The film has eleven stories directed by as many directors."

Besides "Mumbai Cutting", the actor has also completed shooting for "Shaadi Ke After Effects" with Arbaaz Khan and Tara Sharma as co-stars and Mukta Searchlights' "Cycle Kick" directed by Shashi Sudigala. Sameer plays one of the central characters in these films.

Besides playing a lead role in a Harry Baweja's as yet untitled film, Sameer is also playing an important character in two new feature films by K.C. Bokadia.

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