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‘Umrao Jaan’ is no remake: director

April 13, 2006

LUCKNOW: Bollywood movie director J.P. Dutta has made a movie of the classic story Umrao Jaan about a woman kidnapped and sold into a brothel _ but insists it’s no remake of the famous film made 25 years ago.

“This is my version of the story,” he told reporters in Lucknow. “I did not get inspired by Muzaffar Ali’s film.”

Ali, another prominent director, won numerous awards for his movie of Umrao Jaan, which has become a classic of Bollywood cinema.

The film tells the story of a courtesan named Ameeran, or Umrao Jaan Ada, who was kidnapped from her home and sold into a brothel filled with dancing girls in the old Indian kingdom of Oudh centred around Lucknow.

“When I read the original novel I was completely taken by the story and felt that there are many aspects that were ignored by earlier filmmakers,” Dutta said.

The film includes some of Bollywood’s biggest stars, with Aishwarya Rai playing Umrao Jaan alongside Abhishek Bachchan, Shabana Azmi and Sunil Shetty.

The film was shot in Jaipur and in dusty villages near Lucknow. Dutta is currently finishing up shooting around Lucknow.

Dutta, who has achieved fame for such films as Border and Refugee, said he’s thrilled with his new movie.

“It is really difficult to come out of the influence of Border, but this period flick is really exciting,” he said.

The movie will be released in August.—AP