When Juhi Chawla charmed the audience in the 1987 film Premaloka, the actress was just 20 years old. Now, a year shy of 50, the actress is back in Sandalwood for a special song in the film Pushpaka Vimana and with age, she is splendid.
Going by the stills of the song sequence which City Express got hold of, Juhi takes us back in time. Clad in a classic Indo-Western look, she shows no sign of age, instead looking youthful and at her cheerful best. She was in Bengaluru last week to shoot for the song which also features Ramesh Aravind, who plays the lead in the film. According to Vikhyath, one of the producers of the film, she looked astounding and took everybody on the sets by surprise, when she danced to the Qawwali steps choreographed by Murali Master.
“Juhi still mesmerises with her presence. The film’s story is based in the 1980s and is taken through a sepia tone, and it is Juhi, who brings a transformation with her song which is slotted ten minutes before the climax. She takes the film to another level altogether,” he says.
The makers have spent a little more than half the budget of the film for the song itself, and Vikhyath is confident that it is worth every penny. “It has cost ` 1 crore including the remuneration, stay and other facilities. ` 20 lakhs was spent only for the interiors created by art director Shivakumar, which was set up at Dreams I Studio. It was so impressive that when Juhi entered the studio, her first words were, ‘Have I entered a Sanjay Leela Bhansali set?” mentions Vikhyath.
Explaining the reason for zeroing on Juhi, Vikhyath points to her connection to Premaloka and a few other films during that period. “Since our film runs in the 1980s, we had to tune the audience’s mind to that period. So we had to bring in a well- known actress of the time. The moment Kannada audience thinks of Juhi, they only go back to Premaloka. Having today’s heroine wouldn’t have been worth. We have been ensuring every minute aspect of the film from the beginning and her choice was unanimous and she has justified it thoroughly” he says.
Vikhyath makes a special mention of cinematographer Bhuvan Gowda and says that he has visually changed the pattern of the song and captured it perfectly. “In fact, Juhi also praised Bhuvan saying he has the talent of a B-Town cameraman,” he notes.
The producer is confident that the song as well as its picturisation and choreography will click with the audience. “Music director Charan Raj has a touch of Illayaraja and Rahman for this particular track. He adds distinct flavour to the song written by Pavan Wadeyar, which comes with a mix of Urdu. The jugalbandi of classical and western taalas will be the highlight of the song,” says Vikhyath.
The film, directed by S Ravindranath, is made under Vikhyath Chitra Productions in association with Pavan Wadeyar Film Factory. Child artiste Yuvina Parthavi and Rachita Ram are two others in the star cast.