Close Encounters With Steven Spielberg
If you read the papers this morning, you couldn’t have missed the giddy coverage of Steven Spielberg’s Mumbai visit. According to the Hindustan Times, the director is about to put Bollywood on the global stage, which, judging by the average Hindi film, might not be in the best interests of the world at large. Spielberg, who is a partner in Reliance DreamWorks with Anil Ambani, is planning to produce a film that will be partly shot in India. He told The Times of India that some of the film will unfold near the Indo-Pak border in Kashmir and that the cast and director are yet to be decided. HT however had the scoop on the cast. An unnamed source told the paper that Spielberg is considering either Aamir Khan, Shah Rukh Khan or Hrithik Roshan for the male lead and Deepika Padukone and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan for the female part. The Hollywood actors who might feature, this mysterious source added, include Denzel Washington, Bradley Cooper and Richard Gere.
Now Spielberg admits that he hasn’t watched too many Bollywood films. Though he liked 3 Idiots and before that Raj Kapoor’s Awaara. But when he does do his homework, he’ll realise that SRK, Hrithik Roshan and (even perfectionist) Aamir Khan are no Daniel Day Lewis, who stayed in character for the three months it took to make Lincoln.
Spielberg spent Monday, March 11, walking around the Fort area (where he surprised a few passers-by) and addressing a congregation of star-struck Bollywood celebrities at the Taj Lands End hotel in Bandra. At the event, Spielberg declared that he was impressed by the Bandra-Worli sea link, saying, “It’s the best piece of art in this city”. (Are we sure this is a compliment?). Either way, this hints at the delicious possibility that a desi Indiana Jones, with SRK–or Aamir Khan or Hrithik Roshan—could potentially swing across its cables, bullwhip (and safety harness and asthma mask) in hand.