'We are living in a utilitarian age' Dilip Saheb
INTERVIEW BY ADIL RASHEED (Khaleej Times Staff Reporter) / 3 February 2005
Even as Dubai readies to release the digitally enhanced version of the greatest Bollywood epic on February 15, thespian Dilip Kumar remembers the people who made it possible in the first place
Do you think the coloured and digitally-enhanced Mughal-e-Azam has accentuated the epic quality of the film or has it undermined it?
My dear, first tell me have you even seen the movie?
I have seen the movie in its original black-and-white form. The colour version has not yet been released in Dubai.
Okay. Let me say this. It is an epic remake of the film. The changes are not just cosmetic. They are important value-additions. I can say that many of the subdued details and nuances have come to light because of the technological treatment. The re-release of the movie, has therefore, been highly successful.
Akbar Asif, the son of K. Asif, has played a pivotal role in reviving the film for the new generation of audience. Do you think he has done his father proud?
Akbar Asif! I have not met this young boy. I could not even meet him at the premiere of the movie amidst all the 'hungama'. Generally speaking, there are many people who are trying to take credit and if they are trying to do so let us concede it.
Do you think anyone could make a movie like Mughal-e-Azam again? The world and its values seem to have changed and it would be difficult to have filmmakers and actors of similar repute grace the silver screen again.
It is possible that a film like Mughal-e-Azam is made again. People say such films are being made in the West. However, one should know that we are living in a utilitarian age. You understand what I am talking about. We have a utilitarian work culture. Some people tell me they cannot understand the dialogues of Mughal-e-Azam. They say the Urdu spoken in the film is too difficult to understand. They tell me they would watch the movie again to understand it better. So I think the world has changed.
Would you be coming to Dubai for the upcoming premiere of Mughal-e-Azam?
I do not think I would be coming to Dubai. However, I would like to be there. I do not know if it could be worked out but I would love to come if there are adequate arrangements in place.
During the course of our conversation you spoke about some people taking undue credit. Would you like to elaborate?
Do you want to know the truth. Well! It seems strange that there is no mention of the great contribution of the producers Shapoorji-Pallonji in the making of the film. Their dedication and loyalty was vital in making the film such a big success in the first place. But, as they are not amongst us, the world seems to have forgotten them.But, I would like to say here that let us not belittle a great work (Mughal-e-Azam) with small talk.