This Farah Khan debut directorial was one of the impressive hits of 2004. It was the second highest grossing Indian film of the year, behind Veer-Zaara – both ironically starred Shah Rukh Khan and were set against an India-Pakistan backdrop. The film remains memorable for several reasons such as…
Message of peace
Starring Shah Rukh Khan as Indian army Major Ram Prasad Sharma, it was one of the most successful films discussing the Indo-Pak conflict from a neutral point of view. The hero’s involvement in Project Milap - the releasing of civilian captives on either side of the borders of India and Pakistan – made for a stirring watch.
The names of the film’s characters are taken from the Ramayana - Ram, Lucky (Lakshman) and Raghavan (Ravana). What’s more, in the film, Lucky (Lakshman, played by Zayed Khan) mentions that the house would feel like a Mahabharata if he was called Lakshman. His brother and mother correct him by saying Ramayana!
Sushmita Sen as the sexy teacher won loads of love. She wore a sari on screen for a song, which was shot on the first day of the shoot – and left jaws dropping.
The funky girl who twirls her plaits in the song, 'Gori Gori...’ happens to be TV’s known face, choreographer and reality show judge Geeta Kapur. Better known now as Geeta Maa, she was choreographer-director Farah Khan’s dependable assistant and dancer then.
Not all who were on the original wish-list finally made it to the cast. Farhan Akhtar was the first choice to play Lucky (Laxman), the role that was eventually played by Zayed Khan. Aishwarya Rai was the original choice for the role essayed by Sushmita Sen. Even the title of the film was originally pegged to be The Outsider before it finally went down as Main Hoon Na. Incidentally, that happens to be a dialogue that SRK often uses.
The film was shot at St Paul’s, Darjeeling, which made the logistics a tad challenging. On one occasion a sequence had to be shot but the trucks containing the costumes had not reached the venue. In true jugaad spirit, they borrowed clothes from dancers and went on with the shoot as planned!