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Friday, February 6, 2009

Who’d Be Benegal’s Chamki?

Shyam Benegal is coming back with his costliest project ever, ‘Chamki Chameli’ an Indian version of French musician Georges Bizet's 1875 opera ‘Carmen’. The opera has been adapted into movies many a time and has had some very big names playing title roles. Latest being Beyonce in ‘Carmen: A Hip Hopera ’ in 2001. The big question is: Who has the mettle to play the title role of a free-spirited fiery-tempered gypsy, Carmen on the Indian Screen? Priyanka, Kareena or Urmila? Who could be Benegal’s Chamki?

Chamki, a musical requires a trained dancer preferably in Rajasthan folk. Urmila was offered the role and rumors have it that she opted out because of money issues. She has awed everybody with her powerful performance in ‘Pinjar’ and not to forget the beautiful dancer girl she is. She could do justice to unconventional Chamki.

Since Priyanka is trained in Kathak, she becomes a strong contender. Priyanka was approached for this role a few years back but problems with then producer Sanjay Gupta refrained her from accepting the role. With a variety on her platter, if she rethinks about the offer, she’d actually be a good choice for playing the promiscuous Chamki.

Size zero Kareena was impressed with what Shyam Benegal had done to her sister in ‘Zubeida’. She initially was super charged about the role; but soon opted out as she normally does with parallel cinema roles. This is not the first time Bebo has shown inhibitions to non- mainstream cinema. Apart from ‘Chameli’, offbeat challenges like Deepa Mehta’s ‘Water’and Rituparno Ghosh’s ‘Raincoat’, didn’t quite appeal her. She still is quite lipped about the offer.

The film is a project Benegal has wanted to make for long. Chamki, set in Rajasthan, is vouched for being a lavish epic musical with A R Rahman creating music, Javed Akhtar and Gulzar writing lyrics. Unlike earlier, hopefully this time money won’t be a constraint to rope in the best of Bollywood as Big Pictures is producing the film now. The film will go on floor once the cast is finalized.

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