Pooja Bhatt's production Cabaret, a film about the life of a cabaret dancer, is all set to make its much-delayed debut on the Internet as a web feature film on January 9. The team is glad it will reach its right audience via the medium. The beleaguered project started in 2015 with Richa Chadha and Gulshan Devaiah in the lead. Directed by ad filmmaker Kaustav Narayan Niyogi, it was meant to be start-to-finish project that Pooja launched with much excitement.
Pooja searched and even found a newcomer to play the lead. But she finally opted for Richa. Explaining that, Pooja said, "It was a close call. I was contemplating a newcomer for the part. And I nearly went for it. But then I realized it was too much to expect a newcomer to deliver what the character required." Not only is the girl in the title role required to perform the traditional cabaret, but she must also be a top-notch dramatic actress.
[caption id="attachment_136868" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Pooja Bhatt[/caption]
Pooja added, "It's a very difficult role. Somehow Richa's face kept returning into my mind. When I mentioned her for the role, some people told me she was too desi, too much of a Delhi girl. But I feel the sensuous side of Richa is ready to be tapped. I asked her to meet me. Richa came straight over and said, ‘You wanted to see me about something urgent?' I told her I want her to do 'Cabaret'. We were both on the same page on this. Richa knew she'll have to work very hard to get a cabaret dancer's body language right."
Gulshan stars opposite Richa in the film. About the director, Pooja said, "I had been asking Kaustav to direct a film for years. He finally took the plunge...I can see the crackling chemistry between Richa and Gulshan. They've set the screen on fire."
Gulshan and Richa were in the cast of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's "Goliyon Ki Raasleela - Ram Leela", though they didn't have many scenes together. Pooja said she is very happy with the web release. "What I thought then was a roadblock turned out to be the universe conspiring to give 'Cabaret' a platform that represents the future, which is now," shared Ms. Bhatt.
Pooja herself had her origins on the web. "My launch came from Daddy, a film produced by Doordarshan. The industry then questioned why Mahesh Bhatt was launching his daughter in a TV film but the medium enhanced the films and ensured it still resonates in people's hearts. Also, Zee Telefilms and Mahesh Bhatt created a stir, and how, with Phir Teri Kahaani Yaad Aayee. The satellite and digital space is where the audience for Cabaret lies. A discerning lot who don't rush to the cinema hall on the first day, first show and prefer instead to consume their entertainment at their time and comfort."
Pooja feels Cabaret will find its right audience on the web. "It's a simple film. Stylistic yes. But made by a first-time writer/director who also composed the music of the film. He has remained true to his heart. I backed his vision and gave it flight," shared 90's star.
Richa is equally enthused."Cabaret is going straight to digital. I am glad the producers Pooja Bhatt, Waves and T-Series have sorted all the problems. All our hard work will finally be seen by the audience," stated the actress.