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Starring: Raj Babbar, Tarun Arora

Director: Ashok Pandit

Release date: June 21, 2004
Run time: 141 mins

Of passion and pain
"A Film on Kashmir, Not Shot in Kashmir By a Kashmiri Pandit... " That's how writer-director Ashok Pandit describes his film `Sheen' to be released in August.

GOOD ACTING: Raj Babbar gives a performance of a lifetime.

THIS MAN feels much cheated about what has happened to the men of his community. A Kashmiri pandit by birth, the memories of the night when lakhs of Kashmiri pandits were thrown out of their homes in the beautiful valley haunt him.

Says Pandit, "The treatment given to this entire issue, shows how badly the government has failed us. While the whole world watches the drama of Kashmir, no one wants to come up with a solution."

Writer-director Ashok Pandit is making a film on Kashmir called Sheen. "I have a good mind to write in the titles, `A Film on Kashmir Not Shot in Kashmir, By a Kashmiri Pandit', simply because I am too humiliated now," says Pandit.

Pandit has received threats asking him not to come to Kashmir as well. "I don't care for threats, but I feel humiliated. Politicians will use my shooting in Kashmir to say that everything is under control. I don't want to be a scapegoat and let someone think that the situation is in control when terrorism is at its peak and the valley is controlled by terrorists." And he has not shot in Kashmir. Without the pandits, the valley is dead, says Ashok Pandit. His affair with television and filmmaking goes back many years; he worked under Raman Kumar and Ramesh Talwar and assisted in projects like Saath Saath, Nukkad and Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi.


Says Pandit, "I learnt a lot from these directors. Most important being discipline."

The first independent opportunity came along when he did Filmi Chakkar... that crazy serial with Ratna Pathak and then came Tere Mere Sapne, a family serial.

The star cast of Sheen includes Raj Babbar, Tarun Arora, Anup Soni and a new heroine Sheen. The story is based on a short story by Dr Agni Shekhar, Mulk Azad Karo. It depicts the father-daughter in this period of crisis. But it is basically a love story set against the backdrop of the Valley.

DIRECTOR'S CUT: Pandit in conference with Babbar and Sheen.

Says the 37-year-old Ashok Pandit, "the protagonist, Raj Babbar, has given the performance of his life. I wanted to be doubly sure of the project and everyone's performances. So we set up a set in Mumbai and rehearsed well for many days. Eventually the shooting took only 40 days in Manali."

The music is by Nadeem Shravan and lyrics by Sameer. And everyone who has heard the music says it is extremely refreshing and intense.

He is thankful to Sahara for making the film and says, "it was a rare honour to be working with a man like Sahara Shree Subroto Ji."

The film will be released in August and already a lot of expectations are building up. Does that scare the writer-director? "No, my biggest dream is just about to come true and I have put in my best efforts. My efforts are as true as the pain of all of us who belonged there." Here is a man with a mission. And pain. He bursts into tears while talking of his film - a dream of those moist eyes.


Source: The Hindu


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