Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Gangubai Kathiawadi starring Alia Bhatt is one of the most awaited films of the year. It is based on the chapter from celebrated author Hussain Zaidi’s book The Mafia Queens Of Mumbai. Zaidi joined Koimoi for an exclusive conversation and spoke about his collaboration with SLB. He also addressed the backlash on the first look. Read on to know more about the same.
Hussain Zaidi, who has iconic novels including Dongri To Dubai, My Name Is Abu Salem and others to his credit feels Bhansali respects and portrays women very responsibly. The author in the exclusive conversation shed light on how the filmmaker was already aware of the Gangubai universe in the very first meeting itself.
When asked how he gelled up with Sanjay Leela Bhansali in their collaboration on Gangubai Kathiawadi, Hussain Zaidi said, “Sanjay Leela Bhansali is very sensitive. If you have seen his films, he portrays the feelings of the women very responsibly and sensitively on the screen. Be it Devdas or any of his other work. In this case, too, you have no idea when I met him for the first time, even in that first meeting, he had read the story so many times. And he has understood and managed to get into the soul of Gangubai.”
Hussain Zaidi added, “For me, it was quite a surprising thing to have a filmmaker who has religiously read the story and seems to know the character so well. So when we met again and several times post that, I was assured that he would do beyond justice on the project.”
Meanwhile, the first look of Alia Bhatt as Gangubai Kathiawadi release earlier this year. Alia looked breath-taking in the posters and fans agreed too. But there were quite a few who criticised her casting and even went on to say that she does not fit the part.
Talking about the same, Hussain Zaidi said, “You know, this is the problem, people form their decisions with the very first look itself. Whoever has read Gangubai Kathiawadi’s story in Mafia Queens Of Mumbai, knows that her journey begins when she was 17 till she turned 70. So this is not the only look you will see Alia will be donning. There will be various shades in her personality. So that first look was from Gangubai’s early days and was released just for the sake of a poster. Based on that, people cannot decide and form conclusions.”
Hussain Zaidi added, “Also, two people can never look the same. When they made Gandhi, they cast Ben Kingsley, did he look entirely like Gandhi? The aim is to portray a character, its struggle, its achievements. Having the same face is not the moto. That is what our audience needs to understand instead of making quick decisions about it.”
Apart from Gangubai Kathiawadi, Hussain Zaidi is busy with a lot of projects. The author collaboration with the Golden Pen is churning out some fantastic stories. As he and his partner Jaspinder Singh Kang rightfully say, their venture is to put writers first always.
The team of Gangubai Kathiawadi is right now shooting for the film. The movie was set to release on September 11 this year but had to miss it due to the pandemic.