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    Meet the conman!

    [Interview by Joginder Tuteja]
    Monday, November 21, 2005
    2005 has been an exciting year for newcomers in Bollywood. And just when 2006 is round the corner, there comes another director whose style of direction catches you by surprise. Young Suparn Verma, an accomplished script/screenplay writer who has been associated with movies like Chhal, Yeh Kya Ho Raha Hai, Zameen, Qayamat, Jaanasheen and Karam, all belonging to diverse genres, makes his directorial debut with a con film presented in noir format - ''''''''Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena''''''''.

    Your career graph has been on an upswing from writing movies like Chhal, Zameen, Qayamat, Jaanasheen and Karam to now directing Ek Ekhiladi Ek Haseena. Was it a difficult transition?

    Oh no, not at all. After you have written a few films, its quite simple. One has to just visualize the script and that's all. After this, it's a matter of putting visuals and voice to words!

    So how did the idea of 'Ek Ekhiladi Ek Haseena' originate?

    I always had in mind to be a director and took a gradual step by first writing scripts. I wanted to make a con film and present it differently. I had Fardeen in mind from day one and narrated him the idea in January last year. I was in the process of creating drafts and then met Pritish Nandi [producer of the movie] who loved the idea. It took me further 3-4 months to develop the subject and we had the stage set for Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena!

    Didn't Fardeen find it too risky a project?

    No, in fact he loved it and was on board right away.

    And when did the shooting happen?

    We completed the shooting in mere 45 days between March and June this year.

    That's quite quick! How did you manage to pull it off with a reasonable budget in hand when the fact is that the movie appears to be quite large on scale?

    Its all about how you use your cameras to give the movie a grandeur appeal. And then obviously if you have done your homework right, its only about presenting your imagination on screen.

    In fact the visuals boasted of prominently Red colors.

    Right, and also Black. We had finalized the combination of Red and Black before the shooting began. The idea was presented to the art director and we were on. That's the reason why you would see the red and black in the frames.

    It appeared as if Firoz Khan's presence in the movie was an afterthought. Was that really the case?

    Not at all. It was always Firoz Khan for the role of Jehangir Khan. There is NO ONE apart from Firoz Khan who could have portrayed the character of Jehangir Khan better!

    But some folks felt there was too less of Firoz Khan in the movie.....

    His role was meant to be a special appearance and that's the reason why he appeared in only six scenes. [Smiles] Also it's fun to have audience looking for more by giving them something less!

    Though the movie was indeed interesting, there were distinct shades of Hollywood inspirations, one of them being recent Hollywood flick 'Criminal'.

    Mine is a con film and 'Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena' has its reference points to not any single movie but all con films. At the end of the day, for the betterment of my product and present something good to the audience, I will beg, borrow or steal. [Smiles again] No issues there!

    In hindsight, which was the most difficult scene to shoot?

    [Promptly replies] No doubt the last 25 minutes of the movie. It was quite tough to bring together number of sequences happening in parallel with Mukul Dev returning from Bangkok, Gulshan Grover being arrested, Koena and Firoz Khan meeting, Fardeen and Kay Kay fighting....the movie nearing its climax!

    Yes, I agree. In fact the effort shows as the pre-climax and climax have been widely appreciated and they do take the movie to an all time high.

    True! And it was imperative to keep every scene glued with each other as the script demanded a twist a minute. One minor slip up and the movie would have fallen as a pack of cards.

    So what does Suparn Verma have to recommend to audience as the USP of the movie?

    The movie pushes you and the surprises continue to come along at regular intervals. There are twists and turns aplenty and keeps you involved throughout. Also, last but not the least, it respects your intelligence!

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