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Dancer in the light

Farah Khan is phasing out her choreography assignments and concentrating on direction



Farah Khan: sitting pretty - Photo: R. Ragu

FARAH KHAN like best friend, philosopher and guide Shah Rukh Khan, "cannot sit idle." The lady who has had every star dancing to her tune now has the box office dancing to her tunes with her debut film as director, Main Hoon Na, (MHN) becoming a humungous hit. The movie, which Farah describes as "an out and out commercial film," has fashionistas waxing eloquent about the retro look.

Dress code

"I had a very definite idea about the look of the film," Farha explains. "I wanted it to be completely Indian. I did not want clothes that screamed Ralph Lauren or Polo. I think I drove Manish (Malhotra) crazy with all my specifications. For Amrita (Rao) I felt a grungy look would be right as junk rules in college corridors. Shah Rukh and I decided on his look.

The brief was Amitabh Bachchan in Don — you know the tight waistcoat, big collars and flared trousers."

Shah Rukh Khan and Sushmita Sen have never been cast together before MHN. Farah always had "Sushmita in mind. I wanted someone who Shah Rukh can be in awe of. Any of the teenyboppers cannot really carry that of. Sushmita is a true diva, she has a sizzle (anyone would vouch for that!) and they looked wonderful together."

Farah went on record saying she would rather cast newcomers in her next film as then she could bully them. "Oh, I keep saying that! I just might cast Zayed Khan so I can whack him daily!"

In between, Farah is doing "a whole lot of ads for Shah Rukh's production house. I have directed the Videocon ad, which features Shah Rukh and Priety Zinta and the Hyundai ad."

And then she drops the bombshell, when she says she is thinking of "retiring from choreography and concentrating on direction. I have been there and done that. Ab National Award (for Koi Mil Gaya) bhi aaya. The National Award was a bonus. When I did not get the National Award for Chaiyya Chaiyya (Dil Se) I was disappointed."

Though Chaiyya Chaiyya did not impress the judges, it impressed Danish director Lars Von Trier enough to use the concept in his Dancer in the Dark with Icelandic rocker Bjork. "I think Chaiyya looked much better," Farah says.

No doormats

Farah does not see herself as a feminist. "While I do not overtly go for any feminist causes, I do not portray women as doormats." She has nothing against "chick flicks. I enjoy watching them but I do not think I would like to make one. There are anyway men making romantic movies. I know I can make a chick flick with my eyes closed but I do not like the concept of a man and woman in a movie for the sole purpose of falling in love."

And love brings us to the love of Farah's life, editor Shirish Kunder. The romantic engagement in Goa had the normally cynical filmi types smiling indulgently. "What can I say?" Farah said her cheeks touched with a delicate shade of pink. "It happened and we are happy. When would the marriage be? There is no end to these questions, is there? Then it would be when is baby coming? Sometime this year — the marriage not the baby! Otherwise I will have my mum crib ki you never told me about the baby!"

MINI ANTHIKAD-CHHIBBER

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