Mumbai: Legendary singer-actor Kishore Kumar has become a source of inspiration for director Anurag Basu, who is making a colourful and entertaining biopic on him with Ranbir Kapoor in the lead.
"Ranbir, UTV and I, all three of us are committed to make this film. Ranbir is busy, he is doing two films in between. After 'Barfi', Ranbir and I will come together again for this movie," Basu told PTI.
Born as Abhas Kumar Ganguly, Kishore Kumar was a popular film playback singer and crooned in various languages including Bengali, Hindi, Marathi, Assamese, Gujarati, Kannada, Bhojpuri, Malayalam and Oriya, apart from acting in a number of movies.
Being the youngest of four siblings, with elder brothers like Ashok Kumar and Anoop Kumar, Kishore was more interested in becoming a singer. He was not keen on acting, but Ashok Kumar wanted him to be an actor like himself.
For Basu, penning the story of the film is not an easy task, considering that Kishore Kumar was a legend. "I have started writing it. It is a very tough job to write this, as the whole world will be looking at my work. I should be happy and sure of this film before I jump into shooting it," he said.
The legendary singer changed his name to Kishore Kumar and started his career as a chorus singer at Bombay Talkies. Apart from singing many melodious and popular songs like 'Maana Janaab Ne Pukara Nahin', 'Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke', 'Ek Ladki Bheegi Bhaagi Si', 'Haal Kaisa Hai Janaab Ka', 'Chhod Do Aanchal', 'Mere Saamne Wali Khidki Mein' and others, Kishore acted in films and was known for his comic timing in 'Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi', 'Dilli Ka Thug', 'Half Ticket', 'Padosan' and others.
"The film will have madness of Kishore da. I am lucky that this came to me, UTV was planning this movie, Shomit had written a script. I am a big fan of him. I think he was the most colourful person, so full of life. That's why we thought of making a biopic on his life. It will be a very entertaining film," Basu said. "I had locked this film with Ranbir when 'Barfi' was only one schedule old. I had offered it to him and he liked the idea very much and consented to do it," Basu added.
Ranbir will have to change his look to get into the boots of the stalwart singer. "We did some look test of young Kishore Kumarji on him (Ranbir). We have gone through several such processes before zeroing in on him to play Kishoreda on screen," Basu said.
The film will bring back the black and white era where Kishore Kumar reigned as a comic star and trace his rise in Bollywood's playback scene. "It is a biopic so we are not taking the liberty to make our own story. There are a lot of things that people don't know about him," Basu said.
Kishore Kumar's son Amit Kumar is involved at every stage to provide inputs for the film, Basu revealed. "The family does not have a problem with the film. They have already given the green signal. They are helping us out a lot with his personal things, secrets, which the people are not aware of," he said.
Kishore Kumar had married four times. His first wife was Bengali singer and actress Ruma Ghosh. Their marriage lasted from 1950 to 1958. He later married actress Madhubala, who had worked with him in many films including his home production 'Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi' (1958) and 'Jhumroo' (1961). They got married when she was sick with a heart ailment. However, the marriage was also strained and lasted nine years, ending with Madhubala's death in 1969.
Later, Kishore married Yogeeta Bali in 1976, but separated in 1978. Then he was married to actress Leena Chandavarkar from 1980 until his death. He has two sons, Amit Kumar (playback singer) with Ruma, and Sumit Kumar with Leena. Meanwhile, speculations are rife that Katrina Kaif might be signed to play Madhubala in the film.
"We have not thought of anyone as a leading lady yet. As of now only the three of us (Basu, UTV and Ranbir) are final," he said.