Movie: Umrao Jaan
Starring: Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai, Shabana Azmi, Suniel Shetty
Director: JP Dutta
A courtesan and a poetess in her own right, Umrao Jaan was a name to be reckoned with in any description of life in Avadh. If Lucknow was the heart of Avadh, Umrao, alias Amiran, was the heart-beat. Amiran, who hailed from a lower middleclass family, came to Lucknow when she was just eight years old. Khannum’s kotha was not only an important centre of entertainment in Lucknow but was also known for teaching performing arts. Little Amiran grows up there and Khannum gives her the name Umrao. Bua Hussaini brings her up in style, Khan Sahib grooms her into the world of music while the great Kathak Acharya teaches her the steps. With the penname Ada, she develops a flair for poetry. Graduating in years, Umrao becomes a rage in Lucknow.
USP:Besides the lead pair, Aishwarya and Abhishek, the film scores high on screenplay.
- Shabana Azmi plays the character of Khannum, which was played by her mother Shaukat Azmi in Muzaf far Ali’s Umrao Jaan. Interestingly, this time Shaukat herself bought Shabana’s clothes.
- Divya Dutta’s character Bismillah, who is Khannum’s daughter, was not there in the first version.
- Bindiya Dutta and Bijon Dasgupta, the art directors, sourced the furni ture, used in the film, from the an tique markets of Lucknow.
- Ayesha Julka and Divya Dutta had a fight during the shooting. Initially, both the actresses got along very well but later they fought over costume and makeup.