x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

A night to remember at Palace premiere

The actress Shweta Kumar joins her "Karzzzz" co-stars on the red carpet before the exclusive movie festival screening.

The Bollywood actress Shweta Kumar takes time to talk with a reporter on the red carpet before the screening of her film, Karzzzz, during the Middle Eastern International Film Festival at Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi on Oct 16 2008.
The Bollywood actress Shweta Kumar takes time to talk with a reporter on the red carpet before the screening of her film, Karzzzz, during the Middle Eastern International Film Festival at Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi on Oct 16 2008.

ABU DHABI // Bollywood actors Dino Morea and Shweta Kumar added glamour to the Middle East Film Festival yesterday at the world premiere of their eagerly anticipated film, Karzzzz. The stars mingled with fans at the Emirates Palace hotel before making the traditional red-carpet walk prior to the screening last night. The film's leading man, Himesh Reshammiya and Bollywood actress Urmila Matondkar, who plays wily seductress Kamini in the film, also attended the premiere.

Kumar, 24, considered a rising star in Bollywood, said she spent much of the day preparing for her film debut and soothing last-minute nerves. "I am trying to keep myself calm and from getting too excited," she said. "This will be my first time seeing myself on the screen and I am really happy that all this is happening in this beautiful place, where the people are so warm." The daughter of Indra Kumar, the Bollywood producer and director, Kumar said she chose to work with Satish Kaushik, the director of Karzzzz, because it is based on a much-loved classic. The film is a remake of the Bollywood movie Karz (1981), which in turn was inspired by the 1975 Hollywood film, The Reincarnation of Peter Proud.

Karzzzz follows the life of a young pop star who is haunted by flashes of his previous life, which he is forced to undergo in order to unearth answers about his disturbing and violent death. The plot deals with the pain and betrayal of a past life, explored in a story about good versus evil. When Karz was released, it was a sensational hit in India. It is still considered an important milestone in the history of Bollywood cinema and is steeped in Indian superstition and belief. As such, when the production company, T-Series, announced it would remake the film, the news received a mixed reaction.

"I remember watching the film as a kid and loving it. It was such a big hit," said Kumar. "Then, when Mr Kaushik offered me the role, I watched the '80s film closely a couple more times." Kumar's co-star, Morea, 33, said the remake was handled well. "This is a contemporary version of the original and I am sure Satish has done a good job." Kaushik, an actor turned director, said his film was an ode to 1980s Bollywood movies.

"It reminds me of the time when I was thinking of direction and this was one of those movies that had such an impact back in the day. "The base of that film was very strong; it was about rebirth and the love of a mother for her son and there were some very emotionally chilling scenes. So this is my tribute to that era and the film." But he added he did not take liberties with a classic. Instead he chose to play with only those elements of the film thought needed an update.

"The soul and the narrative are intact but I changed the framework," he said. sbhattacharya@thenational.ae