Basu Chatterjee Not Only Disapproved Of Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon But Also Of Kareena Kapoor Being Cast In It

Basu Chatterjee was a man of few words, but he always spoke his mind. Here’s a story where he spelt out his anguish that Chitchor was remade as Main Prem Ki Deewani Hoon, plus it had Kareena Kapoor.

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A trifle nervous, I stood outside Basu Chatterjee’s door waiting for someone to open it. I was working for Mumbai Mirror then. It was March 28, 2013. It was an appointment for an interview, with no time slot attached to it. Basu da had told me to come around lunch time. It was sharp 1pm when I rang the doorbell but what if he thinks that the lunch time is 12.30 or 2 and snaps again? He had snapped at me on the phone a day prior to the meeting when I’d asked him his address.
But what a meeting it turned out to be. Almost each and every word is still resonating in my ears. I was extremely privileged to meet a man of his calibre and skill.
 
I remember starting it off by asking him what he felt about his Shaukeen being remade as The Shaukeens. Those were the days when Sai Paranjpye was very upset because Chashme Buddoor was being remade. Said Basu da, without batting an eyelid, “At times, it is the producer who takes the call, the director has no say. Rajshri Films tried to remake my Chitchor with Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon, which turned out to be a dud. The concept of Chitchor revolved round a 17-year-old girl and they cast Kareena in the lead role, who could never look like 17 or 18. Classics can be tackled, but correctly and only if you are competent enough. Else you have to face the music.”
 
Last evening, we brought you the story of how Basu da’s attempt to cast Jaya Bachchan in his maiden film Sara Akash had gone in vain. “I requested the principal of FTII to allow Jaya to work in my first film Saara Akash. The principal refused saying she was too young. What kind of a principal was she, who had no foresight,” he’d lamented, with anguish.

Basu da, your passing away is an irreparable loss. 

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