Umrao Jaan Ada is the talk of the town as Sajal Aly is all set to step into character. Hence, we bring you 5 lesser known facts about the previous blockbusters starring Rekha and Aishwarya Rai respectively. Read ahead for more
Sajal Aly is all set to grace the big screen as Umrao Jaan, based on the story by Mirza Hadi Ruswa. The story of Amiran, a courtesan from Lucknow, her hurdles and life. This Urdu novel is widely read and perceived by reading enthusiasts. With a newer version on the way, here are 5 lesser known and interesting facts about the previous adaptations. Let’s see how many of these are new to you!
1. Long History Of Adaptations
Muzaffar Ali’s Umrao Jaan in 1981 came nine years of the artistic and aesthetic, Pakeezah which starred Meena Kumari in the lead. During the 20th century, speaking on, and highlighting the topic of courtesans was considered taboo and not openly put forth. Despite all this, Umrao Jaan, starring Rekha, Farooq Sheikh and Naseeruddin Shah in the leads, was well-received by the audience. Its artistic theme, music, ghazals, choreography, and costume design all come took the film to another level.
Umrao Jaan 1981 also marked the directorial debut of Muzaffar Ali, known for his signature style in Indian cinema
Later in 2006, Umrao Jaan was once again adapted into a film, directed by J. P. Dutta, this time with former Miss Universe, Aishwarya Rai as Amiran/Umrao Jaan, and Abhishekh Bachchan as Nawab Sultan in the leads.
2. Budget Constraints Nearly Stopped Production
In 1981, the production of the film saw budget constraints, which inevitably pushed it almost being shelved. One way or another, it pulled through and saw the light of day.
Also, due to the lack of financing, Rekha used her costumes. All the bling you see, the Anarkali dresses, those were Rekha’s too!
3. Role Of A Lifetime!
For Rekha, Umrao was an instant yes!
Rekha’s adaaein, grace, expressions are like no other. Truly unmatched. Her intricate dance moves, expressions truly fit the character and poetry of the play. In Aankho Ki Masti, her eyes speak louder, her expressions on point and dance beautifully portray the essence of the song and Umrao’s character. Rekha underwent extensive training in classical dance and music to bring her character to life on screen. No one has so far, recreated the magic of Rekha’s Umrao Jaan Ada !
Umrao Jaan Ada received several awards and nominations, including a Filmfare Award for Best Actress for Rekha. The film’s intricate dance sequences, choreographed by Saroj Khan and Rekha’s adaptation and intricate costumes, sets and cinematography teleported viewers into the 19th century courtesan days in India.
4. Umrao Jaan Runs In The Family!
In the 2006 version, Shabana Azmi stepped into the shoes of Khaanum Jaan. This role was previously played by her mother, Shaukat Azmi, in 1981.
5. Some Of The Actors Almost Didn’t Play Their Respective Roles
For starters, Naseeruddin Shah, who played Gohar Mirza, initially refused to be cast. However, Muzzafar Ali insisted and convinced him for the part. At the final screening, Shah was disappointed as most of his scenes were edited out. Do you feel the same?
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Priyanka Chopra Jonas swapped roles! In 2006, Umrao Jaan was initially set to be played by Priyanka Chopra Jonas but she declined as she had to work on Bluff Master in the same year. Vice versa, Aishwarya Rai was all geared up for Bluff Master but played Umrao instead. How do you think it would’ve been if the roles were reversed and originally planned?
Now we impatiently wait for Sajal Aly to take up the role and we’re sure she’ll kill it!
The project is an Abu Dhabi-based production from Hamid Hussain and Muhammad Yaqoob, we’re curious to know how this one will be packaged and the ensemble cast members reveal that define the story vis-a-vis Nawab Sultan, Gohar Mirza, Khanum Jaan and others. Will there be a spark for the current generation to watch it? Tell us what you think! Read more here.
With that, we leave you with In Ankhon Ki Masti. Enjoy!
(Sources: IMDb, Indian Express, The Hindu)
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