Trip the light fantastic
Madhuri Dixit insists it is by chance and not design that her big comeback jive, Aaja Nachle, is a dance film
Dance with me Madhuri Dixit is on familiar ground in Aaja Nachle
In this day and age of reinvention — look at Madonna who went from pop tart and disco queen to earth mother and retro revival goddess — it is a tad surprising that Madhuri Dixit who had the world and then some more dance to her tunes in t
he Eighties and Nineties chose Anil Mehta’s “Aaja Nachle” to announce her return to tinsel town.
“I did not go looking for a dance film you know,” Madhuri says with a hearty laugh.
“It all just came together. The film has a lot of layers and is not only about dancing. ‘Nachle’ is also about the triumph of the human spirit.”
Madhuri says the fact that “Nachle” is produced by the Yash Raj banner was a big plus. “Yashji has worked with married actors before and is mindful of our needs and commitments.”
The “ek do teen” girl’s first thought on being offered the role of Dia was “is the public still interested in seeing me. That was my immediate reaction. No, I did not say ‘yes’ right away. I thought about it, discussed it with my family. I was not sure if it would all pan out you know. I took four to five days to make up my mind.”
Madhuri says it was no walk in the park there after.
“Of course I was nervous! But then when I stood in front of the camera, it was like I had never gone away. Everything miraculously fell in place.”
Talking about her role, the 42-year-old mum of two says: “I play Dia, who leaves her small town, Shamili, to go to New York where she makes a name for herself as a choreographer.
She returns to Shamili when her guru calls her, as his theatre, Ajanta, is under threat from builders who want to tear it down.” One of the things one remembers about Madhuri in the eighties and nineties apart from nimble dance routines are the truly hideous costumes! Who can forget the frizzy hair topped with gaudy ribbons, the garish make up and the huge, tacky accessories?
All that changed in 1997 with Yash Chopra’s “Dil to Pagal Hai”. Haute couturier Manish Malhotra stepped in and turned Madhuri into a sexy swan. The matte look coupled with flowing chiffons and nude make up created a serendipity of style.
No prizes for guessing who is doing Madhuri’s clothes for “Nachle.” “Manish has designed for me. Since the movie is set in a small town, and I am a working woman, my clothes are not very glamorous. They are all about comfort.” Anil Mehta has already spoken of the burden of expectations for what is being touted as Madhuri’s comeback film—it is not like she has been away forever. Sanjay Leela Bansali’s paean to retinal fatigue, “Devdas”, was released just five years ago.
Talking about expectations, the good doctor Nene’s missus says: “Expectations are so varied. Each person would be looking for something else, so the best thing to do is believe in the film and everything else will fall in place.”
In the five years she has been away being wife and mum in the US of A, Madhuri says of the changes in tinsel town: “Corporates and multiplexes have changed the map of the movies. Now we have access to the best of everything — from technical support to writers, music, everything. There is greater discipline and everything is planned to the last little detail. This has made working in the movies very easy for actors.”
Madhuri feels audiences and filmmakers have matured and are more accepting of married actors now. “Kajol did a wonderful job in ‘Fanaa.’ You may say these roles are few and far between but at least it is a start and people are attempting something different.”
And to all of us who moan the mindless monotony of every actor, la Dixit says: “You mean every actor has the same make up and straight hair? Well, that is because some one in Paris decides the look of the season and everyone blindly follows it. But the soul of a film is created by the actor and that will come through irrespective of the styling!” While it is easy for us as audience to pick our preferred Madhuri Dixit film, Ms. Twinkle Toes finds it a tough task to pick her favourite.
“It is hard to say. Every film is special in its own way. I learnt something from each of my films. As of now my favourite film is “Nachle’ as I had so much fun. It was great working with all these talented young actors.”
Mehta has said how working with Madhuri was very easy as she is very down to earth. “That is the way I am. It does not require any particular effort.”
Madhuri does not want to commit about whether she would take up other acting assignments in the future. “I don’t want to compromise on my boys,” the yummy mummy signs off with suitable maternal flourish.
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