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Thread: Abhi dies in Delhi 6 at Venice
08-03-2009, 12:39 PM #1
Abhi dies in Delhi 6 at Venice
Was the quick-fix revive-the-hero ending the undoing of Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s Delhi 6
Rakeysh seems to think so. Without anyone’s knowledge he has re-edited the film , restored the original ending , submitted it to the Venince Film Festival and got selected for one of the most prestigious sections at the festival.
Says Rakeysh, “This is quite exhilarating . The Venice film festival is considered as posh as Cannes and Berlin. So it’s great fun. I got the email informing me of Delhi 6 being selected at the Venice film festival on Thursday night. They loved the film. It will be screened on either 2 or 3 September.”
The most exciting part of this festival journey is that the version of Delhi 6 they saw in Venice was radically different from what audiences saw when the film released.
Says Rakeysh, “I sent Venice a new version of Delhi 6 quite different from the one we saw here. My original script was different. I went and shot another version quite different from the one people saw. I had to do this. Otherwise I wouldn’t have died in peace.”
Apparently Rakeysh had been forced to incorporate a happy ending for the sake of the distributors. He admits he wasn’t happy with the original ending.
“I’ve a new beginning and end . This was how I originally intended the film to end with Abhishek’s character’s death. I’ve realized there were people who were genuinely confused by some aspects of the film. After much introspection I discovered where I had gone through. One thing was about the mirror about looking within oneself, then the Kala Bandar metaphor also didn’t work....The joy of being selected for Venice has washed away all these wrongs in the script. I’ve been invited to share the platform with some of the world’s best filmmakers.”
Rakeysh admits he erred with the substitute ending for Delhi 6. “Sometimes in life you do lose track of the destintation during the journey. But three months after the film I’ve gone, re-shot and re-edited the ending, sent it to Venice where it’s now cruising with the best cinema in the world.”
Now Rakeysh wants Indian audiences to see Delhi 6 with the changed beginning and end. “It’s the director’s cut, like Francis Coppola’s Apocalypse Now which didn’t make sense the first time . Later it went on to make history after the changes. We shouldn’t have been in a hurry to release a film which tries a new grammar and idiom. But the whole experience has been eye-opener .To make the changes in vision and then get selected for such an honour, is such a blessing.”
Rakeysh has been missing from the action. “I just went into a shell, writing. I’ve three subjects now. Any of them could be my next film.Yes, I do want to do Mirza Sahibaan with Sonam Kapoor and Abhishek Bachchan. The two are like my piece of the art.It’s crazy what we share. I can’t put it in words.”
Rakeysh and his lovely wife N Bharati (who edits his films) have just returned from a camping holiday from Leh and Ladakh. “It was our first holiday since we started Dehi 6. We left after we shot the new version, filmed the sequence of Abhishek’s character’s ashes being immersed in the river . The film now begins with his voiceover announcing he’s dead now. So it’s now a dead man’s story. Everything falls into place now.We also understand why Abhishek played the role so quietly, sensitively. It was such a beautiful piece of grammar. I don’t know why I abandoned it for a happy ending.”
Sighs Rakeysh, “I’be grown wiser now. I’m happy I’ve gone for the sad ending in Delhi 6. This is a creative correction that has made me sleep easier.”
08-03-2009, 12:40 PM #2
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