Mumbai, March 12 After telling the story of a fashionista in her directorial debut “Aisha”, director Rajshree Ojha returns to tell human relationship stories with her next venture “Chaurahen”. The film is based on four short stories by eminent Hindi litterateur Nirmal Verma and she says that this time she had all the creative freedom.
Ojha’s “Aisha”, which had Sonam Kapoor in the lead role and was produced by Anil Kapoor, was an adaptation of Jane Austen’s “Emma”.
“When we decided to do an adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma, there were many layers to the character. I don’t know where those layers vanished. While doing Nirmal Vermaji’s stories I was very clear on one thing. No compromise this time. I’ve made ‘Chaurahen’ exactly the way I wanted to. I had no money. But I had the freedom to do what I wanted,” she said.
Nirmal Verma was surprised when Ojha told him she wanted to take his four stories.
“I had no money, no contacts. Only my diploma film ‘Badger’ based on a short story by Jug Suraiya. I think Nirmalji liked my short film. He asked me, ‘Okay. Beta take whichever story you like.’ I told him I want four stories. He did a double-take, ‘Chaar kahani kya karegi’. I had to explain to him that I wanted to mesh together four of his stories to depict human relationships,” she said.
One of the stories is about a 60-plus Bengali man, played by Victor Bannerjee, and his irresistible attraction to a foreigner played by Charlie Chaplin’s grand-daughter Kiera.
“I shot with Kiera in New Market in Kolkata where there’s a movie theatre named after her grandfather. I took her to see it. Kiera shot in some of the most crowded localities in Kolkata without any luxuries.
“We had no money to pay her and not even a trailer. She used to sit out in the sun in the streets without a care in the world, unlike some of our stars who can’t seem to step out of their homes without their luxuries,” said the director.