“NEWS FLASH: Apparently, No Other Actors Have Ever Existed Besides Amitabh Bachchan and Tabu?! You Won’t Believe What Director R Balki Said About Cheeni Kum’s Success!”

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The Making of Cheeni Kum: R Balki Shares Insights on the Film

Director R Balki takes a walk down memory lane as his film Cheeni Kum celebrates 16 successful years on May 25. Known for his unique storytelling, Balki shares how he chose to take on a romantic comedy genre for his debut film and the risks he took to make it.

The Debut Film Risk
“People told me Cheeni Kum was risky for a first film. I say, this is the only way I know to make films. To do something that has already been done doesn’t work for me. Subconsciously, I gravitate towards subjects that are unexplored. So what you say is taking risks is actually the only way I know how to make films,” says Balki.

The Cast
Cheeni Kum tells the story of a sour and sweet romance between a grumpy 64-year-old chef and a blithe 34-year-old woman who walks into his London restaurant one day to teach him how to make a good biryani. Speaking on the casting, Balki says, “It had to be Amitji and Tabu, and no one else. I wrote the film with them in mind.”

  • Amitabh Bachchan: This was Mr Bachchan’s first of a long uninterrupted association with Balki. In fact, the director mentions that he has to feature him in some form or another in all his films.
  • Tabu: Balki wrote the film with her in mind, and luckily for him, she agreed to do it after returning from abroad.
  • Sweeni Khare: Playing Amitji’s 9-year-old neighbour, Sweeni made a great impression and was Balki’s choice for the character called Sexy.
  • Zohra Sehgal: As Amitji’s 80-year-old mother, Zohra was a complete “blast” according to Balki. He still remembers her motivating Amitji to run near the Qutub Minar.

The Future
Balki’s next film Ghoomer features Shabana Azmi, whom he calls an incredible actor. Interestingly, he mentions that she plays a sports enthusiast and that in real life, if you put Shabana at a tennis match in Wimbledon, she would want to know who Roger Federer is.

As Balki celebrates 16 years of Cheeni Kum’s release, his risk-taking and unique storytelling continue to captivate audiences.

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