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    'Mission Impossible' didn't inspire 'Asambhav': director

    Monday, June 21, 2004
    Director Rajiv Rai, who made "Gupt" and "Mohra", is back with a hi-tech thriller that he promises won''t give audiences time to eat their popcorn.

    "Asambhav" is a slick film that he could not have made 10 years ago, Rai told in an interview. He refuted rumors that the film has been inspired by "Mission Impossible".

    Why do you think "Pyar Ishq Aur Mohhabat" failed and why do you think "Asambhav" will succeed?

    As to why I made "Pyar Ishq Aur Mohabbat", there is no reason. You have to keep trying. And you have to make something better than in the past. Techniques change, generations change. It's not like old cinema, what I used to do earlier. It is a story that could not have been done 10 years ago. "Asambhav" is a thriller, more like a crime of today.

    It's more of a youth-centred film. It is a very slick and stylized film. I'm sure everyone will like it. It's not a dramatic film from the story point of view. There is a fair amount of comedy. There are underlying emotions. Emotions are the backbone of Indian films.

    "Asambhav" is the first Indian film to be shot in Locarno. We shot for 65 days consecutively. It's something that has not been experimented by the Indian film fraternity.

    Tell us something about the music and special effects used in the film.

    Firstly, there are no special effects or stunts. You have two kinds of stunts: matting and using ropes. We didn't use either of the two. The entire film is digitalized. No duplicates have been used in the recording. We did not take any risks. We didn't do stunts just because they look nice. I was concerned about safety.

    If you're doing an action film, you need to have an actor who can carry off the role. If the actor is too much into acting, then it does not work. If an actor does not have the necessary body movements, the walk, the attitude, then what can you do? You feel extremely handicapped. I did not have any doubts in my mind while casting Arjun Rampal. I've spent a lot of time with him. He's capable of good action.

    In this film, I don't think you even get time to eat popcorn. Seven hours and 40 minutes of information have been compressed into a two-hour film.

    Viju Shah has composed the music for all my films except one. Indian film music is an important ingredient today. The idea is to make something brand new. People keep asking is the music good? I think it gets better and better with every film. Naseeruddin Shah has sung the first track of the film. His voice has improved over the years. Surprisingly, Viju has even used my voice for one song. From 150 people, he selected mine.

    Is your movie inspired by "Mission Impossible", considering that even the title is "Asambhav"?

    People say my film is inspired by "Mission Impossible". It is not. It is not similar in story, treatment or idea. I had a subject and I was toying with the idea of calling my film "Asambhav" and I really liked it. I had a subject, which was challenging for the actors, director and everybody.

    It is not an art film (laughs). That genre is over. It is time for crossover films. I don't copy American films.

    You have roped in a lot of models for the film. Is it to add glamour to your film?

    I wanted a very Western look, I wanted it to look stylish. Models have a lot of exposure, they are very confident in front of the camera. There are a lot of fresh faces coming into acting. The modelling industry can act. Arjun himself was a model. Models cannot be as good as stage actors, but they're good. We've even picked a boy from the streets of Locarno and the acting bug has bitten him!

    Espionage films usually promote a lot of hidden ideologies. Did you keep that in mind while making your film, which deals with espionage?

    The story and screenplay are mine. There are a lot of hidden ideologies in the film, but they are not harmful. It is not an attack against India or Pakistan. I am portraying a very vulnerable situation.

    It is how the world is, how India is, what people can do, what can happen. In that manner, yes, there are a lot of hidden ideologies. If you read between the lines, you'll know what I mean; you will understand what I am saying. But on the whole, it is a fun film.

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