Director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra admits that there were some glitches in his movie "Delhi-6", but says the film's selection for Venice Film Festival has washed away all these wrongs in the script.
"I've a new beginning and end. This was how I originally intended the film to end with Abhishek Bachchan's character's death. I've realised there were people who were genuinely confused by some aspects of the film. After much introspection, I discovered where I had gone wrong.
"One thing was about the mirror about looking within oneself, then the 'Kala Bandar' metaphor also didn't work. The joy of being selected for Venice has washed away all these wrongs in the script. I've been invited to share the platform with some of the world's best filmmakers," Mehra told IANS.
Starring Abhishek and Sonam Kapoor, the film was released on February 20, but didn't do well at the box office.
Talking about the changes he has made in the film for the Venice film fest, Mehra said: "I filmed the sequence of Abhishek's character's ashes being immersed in the river. The film now begins with his voiceover announcing he's dead now. So it's now a dead man's story. Everything falls into place now. We also understand why Abhishek played the role so quietly, sensitively. It was such a beautiful piece of grammar. I don't know why I abandoned it for a happy ending."
Mehra says that the exciting part of this festival journey is that the version of "Delhi 6" they saw in Venice was radically different from what audiences saw when the film released.
"I sent Venice a new version of 'Delhi 6' quite different from the one we saw here. My original script was different. I went and shot another version quite different from the one people saw. I had to do this. Otherwise I wouldn't have died in peace."
The director is on cloud nine right now.
"This is quite exhilarating. The Venice film festival is considered as posh as Cannes and Berlin. So it's great fun. I got the e-mail informing me of 'Delhi 6' being selected at the Venice Film Festival on Thursday (July 30) night. They loved the film. It will be screened on either September 2 or 3," he said.
Mehra had been forced to incorporate a happy ending for the sake of the distributors. He admits he erred with the substitute ending for "Delhi 6". Now he wants Indian audiences to see "Delhi 6" with the changed beginning and end.
"It's the director's cut, like Francis Coppola's 'Apocalypse Now', which didn't make sense the first time. Later it went on to make history after the changes. We shouldn't have been in a hurry to release a film which tries a new grammar and idiom. But the whole experience has been eye-opener. To make the changes in vision and then get selected for such an honour, is such a blessing," he said.
The director, who hit the jackpot with "Rang De Basanti", has been missing from the action after "Delhi 6".
"I just went into a shell, writing. I've three subjects now and any of them could be my next film. Yes, I do want to do 'Mirza Sahibaan' with Sonam Kapoor and Abhishek Bachchan. The two are like my piece of the art. It's crazy what we share. I can't put it in words," he said.
Mehra and his wife N. Bharati, who edits his films, have just returned from a camping holiday from Leh and Ladakh.
"It was our first holiday since we started 'Delhi 6'. We left after we shot the new version. I've grown wiser now. I'm happy I've gone for the sad ending in 'Delhi 6'. This is a creative correction that has made me sleep easier," said the director.
Indo-Asian News Service
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