Finally, after years of abstinence from what he was born to do, Ramesh Sippy is all set to return to direction. For the fans of Sippy's timeless cinema-and we refer not just to the pioneering Sholay but also to the equally powerful Shakti, Saagar, Seeta Aur Geeta and Andaz – the return of the maestro to movie-making is a significant sign of the changing time in Bollywood where the giants had lost the will and the way to create landmarks.
Says Sippy, "I am aware I haven't directed a film for many years. But, I saw no reason to jump into it just because of a time lapse. I've made films out of very powerful scripts in the past. Then I directed Zamana Deewana in 1995, which was not that strong in content. Then I decided if I found no script worth shooting, I won't direct another film if I didn't get the right script."
"It's thriller. An out-and-out thriller written for me by Sridhar Raghvan. Sridhar has worked extensively for our production company. He has written the script for my son's Bluff Master and Dum Maaro Dum. When I read Sridhar's script, I instantly felt I was ready for direction again," admits the director who made the single-most influential film in Hindi commercial cinema.
There were a couple of false starts recently. It was reported that Ramesh Sippy was directing a romantic film. But, as he says he has already attempted the most romantic film he could think of, namely Saagar. "The challenge for me is to venture into the unknown every time I direct a film. When I directed my first film Andaz, it was considered risky to do a love story between a widow and a widower. The thrill in doing a thriller is that I have never attempted this genre before."
The details are now being worked out and Sippy Saab hopes to start his thriller by year-end.
Sighs Sippy Saab, "It's a different world since I last directed a film. Now everything during the process of filmmaking is more corporatized. So I'm tying up with a corporate house."
Though Sippy Senior says it's too early to talk of casting, a little birdie tells us that Sippy Saab would be working again with Big B in the thriller.
Now if the teaming up of the Sholay, Shakti and Shaan combo of Sippy and Bachchan is not thrilling, then what is?