Mumbai, March 12: Mahesh Bhatt, who had written and directed celebrated films like “Arth” and “Zakhm” based on his own life, is set to pen another biopic — this one based on the passionate 40-year-long relationship between legendary musician Bhupen Hazarika and filmmaker Kalpana Lajmi, who will direct it.
Entitled “Dhumuha: The Storm”, jointly written by Lajmi and Bhatt, the film will be produced by Pooja Bhatt.
“It is Bhatt saab and my homage to a man whom we both consider to be a true son of India. Bhupenda is beyond a legend,” said Lajmi.
“In Assam every leaf that stirs in the trees hums his melodies. He has an all-pervasive impact on our traditional sounds. We will endeavour to put his stormy life and music in one film. A tough task. I hope I am up to it. Bhatt saab certainly is,” added the director of films like “Rudaali” and “Ek Pal”.
A multi-faceted genius, Hazarika was a poet, music composer, singer, actor, journalist, author and filmmaker. He pioneered Assam’s film industry and has been hailed as the uncrowned king of the northeast’s cultural world.
Hazarika died in 2011. He was 85.
The biopic comes at a time when Anurag Basu’s proposed biopic on Kishore Kumar with Ranbir Kapoor in the title role is poised to take wings.
Lajmi says the saga of Bhupen Hazarika is very far from removed from Kishore Kumar’s.
“Both were legends in their own right. But Bhupenda worked within a different discipline . His music was not restricted to cinema,” she said.
How much of her life with Bhupenda would Lajmi be willing to reveal in “Dhumuha: The Storm”?
According to Bhatt: “It would be Kalpana’s and my effort to pay a homage to Bhupen Hazarika. We will look for a new talented face to play the role of the enigmatic Bhupen.
“But first we would excavate from Kalpana’s heart her storehouse of memories of her passionate relationship with Bhupen. It would be her untold story. The story of a girl who worshipped the man and the musician she fell in love with.”
While Bhatt would also be creative head on the project, Santosh Sivan with whom Lajmi worked earlier in “Rudaali” and “Darmiyaan” would be doing the cinematography.
The big question is, who would play Bhupen Hazarika and Lajmi in this bio-pic?
Lajmi said: “The hunt has begun. It is tough to find a face a talent to play Bhupenda. As for me, I don’t know who can play me. Vidya Balan, perhaps.”
Interestingly, she would be approaching two back-to-back biopics.
After the one on her life with Hazarika, she would write and direct a biopic on the slain actress Priya Rajvansh’s 40-year relationship with filmmaker Chetan Anand.
The Priya-Chetan biopic would be produced by Shanu Mehra, the late actor Janki Das’s son who was close to Priya and Chetan.