Suneel Darshan is set to return to the screen as director five years after his 2007 musical, ‘Shaka Laka Boom Boom’, featuring Bobby Deol, Upen Patel and Kangana Ranaut. He’s busy with the post-production of ‘Ek Haseena Thi…Ek Deewana Tha’, which he describes as a “dreamy Mills & Boon love story with a tinge of mystery narrated in an unusual way”. He’s purchased the rights to the 1980 chartbuster from Subhash Ghai’s ‘Karz’, sung by Kishore Kumar and Asha Bhosle, but will use it only in the title and not re-create or re-mix the song. “Why ruin it?” he argues, adding that the film features five new compositions, soulful, romantic melodies.
The film will relaunch his son, Shiv Darshan, who took a three-year sabbatical after his debut, ‘Karle Pyaar Karle’, produced by his dad and directed by Rajesh Pandey. “Shiv deserves a second production because he has all the qualities of a superstar. Everyone has to stand the test of time and at the end of the day it is the audience that makes you a star,” asserts Suneel, who launched Miss Universe Lara Dutta and Miss World Priyanka Chopra in his 2003 film, ‘Andaaz’. “I once noticed a young girl sitting in my office waiting for an appointment. There was something in her mannerisms that worked for me and I cast her in ‘Andaaz’. We all know where Priyanka Chopra is today. Ditto Juhi Chawla for ‘Lootere’,” he reminisces. And when he was writing ‘Ek Haseena Thi… Ek Deewana Tha’ in a cafe, a beautiful, young girl walked in and he knew that he wanted to cast her.
“I’d wanted an established actress, after roping in Upen Patel for an important role. But one look at Natasha Fernandez and I knew my casting was complete,” he says. He also admits being that back on a film set is a ‘different high’. Suneel shot in UK cities like Cornwall, Dartmouth, Cardiff and Manchester through freezing winter. “You will see England as never before. Rough terrains in rough weather will bring out the different moods and shades of love,” he signs off.