Zindagi Khoobsoorat Hai........... REVIEW

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Posted by TARAN ADRSH ( on January 26, 2002 at 11:35:36:


Dreams unlimited

Manoj Punj who is directing Zindagi Khoobsoorat Hai being produced by Manjeet Maan with her husband-actor-singer Gurdas Maan and Tabu in the romantic lead, looks relaxed when we catch up with him at Gurgaon. We’ve caught the early morning flight from Mumbai to New Delhi and arrive at Hotel Bristol to find a troupe of about 50 dancers waiting for instructions from dance director Raju Khan. Tabu and Gurdas Maan are also part of the dance sequence. After a couple of rehearsals, followed by some retakes, Raju cans the final take. A new music director Hemant has composed the music for the catchy song, ‘Saamne jo bhi aata hai, uske jaisa lagtha hai...’ which has incidentally been sung by Gurdas Maan himself.

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The chill of the A/C soothes our nerves and settles frayed tempers, a welcome relief from the scorching heat outside. Manoj explains that Zindagi Khoobsoorat Hai revolves around a singer-actor aspirant who’s in love with a Shaalu who comes from a different social strata. “The message we are trying to drive home is that if you find love you’ll feel as if you’re in heaven even if you happen to live in a hut. But if you have just money and fame and no love then life can be hell,” Manoj maintains.
Manoj had earlier directed Shaheed-e-Mohabbat Bhoota Singh for Manjeet Maan. Gurdas Maan had played the lead in that film too, opposite Divya Dutta.”Shaheed-e-Mohabbat Bhoota Singh was a period film. This one is a fictional story incorporating incidents that happened to Mr. Maan.

However, don’t jump to the conclusion that it’s an autobiographical film,” he hastens to add.
Sooraj Sanim who has earlier written films life Kaash, Des Pardes, Lahu Ke Do Rang, Zakhmi Aurat, Janam, Jahan Tum Le Chalo, Main Tulsi Tere Aagan Ki and Shaheed-e-Mohabbat Boota Singh has written Zindagi Khoobsoorat Hai.

Gurdas Maan who survived a near-fatal accident sometime ago, is happy with the way his role in the film has shaped up. “I want to act in meaningful films which are also at the same time economically viable. Like Shaheed-e-Mohabbat Bhoota Singh and Zindagi Khoobsoorat Hai,” he asserts. When asked why his voice is no longer heard in Hindi films, he insists that it is because he cannot be at the beck and call of music directors who matter. “Whenever a music director needs me, I’m unfortunately out of Mumbai and so unable to rush over and record for a song. Recently Anu Malik wanted me to sing a song for him but at the time I was busy with my concert tour around the globe and was hardly in India. I have no regrets. I’m lucky to be in touch with my fans through my live programmes,” he argues.

Dressed in a black salwar-kameez, Tabu who looks incredibly slim, reiterates that Zindagi Khoobsoorat Hai is not a Punjabi film or a music video to promote a song sung by Gurdas Maan. “Zindagi Khoobsoorat Hai a remake of Life Is Beautiful. I must confess I had reservations about accepting the role initially but when I saw Manoj’s Shaheed-e-Mohabbat Bhoota Singh, I was floored by his sensitive handling of the subject and accepted the film,” she informs.

Tabu detests being bracketed as an art film actress. “I am actress who can work in any kind of film. It’s not that I’m interested in only meaningful films like Astitva. You can work in a commercial film and still make an impact. Every film I’m acting in is important to me and close to my heart, it was Vijaypath and Astitva or Filhaal and Biwi No. 1. I like my role in Zindagi Khoobsoorat Hai. I’m Shaalu who is perennially chasing after elusive dreams,” she smiles.

Manjeet Maan, the affable wife of the unassuming singer-actor Gurdas Maan, insists that Shaheed-e-Mohabbat Bhoota Singh and Zindagi Khoobsoorat Hai belong to two entirely different genres. “The only similarity between them is that both are good films. And the team which is making Zindagi Khoobsoorat Hai is the same as that which was associated with Shaheed-e-Mohabbat Bhoota Singh,” she points out. “Zindagi Khoobsoorat Hai deals with incomplete people who seek completeness in their lives. Besides Maansaab and Tabu, there are six major characters in the film, including a don and Maansahab’s interaction with the mentally challenged daughter of the don who undergoes a radical transformation.”

Beside Gurdas Maan and Tabu, the film also stars Divya Dutta, Rajat Kapoor, Ashish Vidhyarthi and Snehal Vilankar in key roles.

As we leave for Mumbai the next day, Manoj tells us that he has yet to shoot three more scenes and two songs. “My film will be ready for release by the end of MARCH. I hope this second film of mine is as big a hit as my first film, Shaheed-e-Mohabbat Bhoota Singh. I want to continue making clean, wholesome films. Pray for me,” he says fervently.

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