Tuesday, April 27, 2010

No frontal nudity for Ravi Kishan : Sudhir Kadam

THAT Ravi Kishen is playing an aghori, a naked godman, in Sudhir Kadam’s Man From Benaras is known by now. What is little known is that Ravi’s episode in Raaz Pichle Janam Ke is what inspired Sudhir to cast him as the aghori. “Raaz Pichle... was about past life regression. It revealed that Ravi was a Naga baba (nude baba) in his past life. That’s when I thought no one would suit the role better than him,” says Sudhir, who’s making the first commercial film on aghoris.

The film, to be shot in Kathmandu and Varanasi, will be directed by Viktoria Sege and Sudhir’s wife Tejaswi. The story revolves around the aghori and a foreign journalist who comes to India to track the story of the aghori and falls in love with him. The female lead could be played by a top Hollywood actress. But it could also be Italian hottie Maria Grazia Cucinotta, who was in the Bond film The World is Not Enough and the Italian film Il Postino. “We’re approaching her through agents. We need a popular actress, but it’s an English film, so it could also be a Hollywood actress,” says the California-based Sudhir,
who’s come down to India for the film.

The 100-minute-long film will mostly cater to the overseas audience. “There will be lots of protests here from different sects, and not just because of the nudity in the film, which will be very subtle. There’ll be no frontal nudity. While shooting, he (Ravi) will have to sit nude. But a loincloth will be used for close-up shots,” maintains Sudhir.

Documentaries on aghoris and literature on them have formed the core of Sudhir’s research. “We have enough depth in the subject to make the film. Aghoris are followers of Shiva. They are mostly ostracised from society. They’re found in Ujjain and Nepal also. They eat out of a human skull for 12 years and possess supernatural powers,” he reveals.

The film will be shot by an American crew who’ll soon come to India for the recce. Sudhir calls it a supernatural thriller. “Two people — the police and the journalist — try to investigate the case of the aghori. Whether he really possesses supernatural powers with which he attempts to save people, is debatable. I have Naseeruddin Shah in mind for one of the roles,” says Sudhir.