Fan Shahid’s tribute to Aamir
He has been a self-confessed fan of Aamir Khan ever since he began acting. Now Shahid Kapur wants to pay tribute to his favorite actor. In his new film Paathshaala, he plays a music and English teacher who helps a group of troubled young students a la Aamir in Taare Zameen Par. Choreographer-turned-producer and Shahid's close friend Ahmed Khan admits that Paathshaala is in many ways similar to TZP. The film is being directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali's former assistant Milind Ukey. Acknowledging wholeheartedly that TZP has made a big difference to the way we look at entertainment in films and at the parent-child relationship, Ahmed says although Paathshaala is inspired by TZP, it was conceived and written a year ago. The movie depicts a sensitive teacher's interaction with a group of children, he says.
For Paathshaala, Ahmed has signed some talented kids like Sweeney Khare from Cheeni Kum, Ali Haji from Fanaa and Dwij Yadav from Nanhe Jaisalmer. He says he is fortunate that he has been able to gather so many talented kids for the film. “When there are so many talented children, why not put them to creative use? We should now start addressing issues regarding children in a serious but entertaining way," he adds. Interestingly, Ahmed himself was a child actor in Mr. India and he has introduced some excellent child actors in the recent past. Shahid also began as a child actor and so they know the mind of a child and the child within a man.
Ahmed has donned the director’s mantle in two films, Lakeer and Fool N Final – both duds at the box office. He is not ready to accept the blame for the failure of Fool N Final. "You shouldn’t blame me. Blame the producer. It’s only in Paathshaala that I'm doing a film straight from my heart," he says. The set representing the school where Shahid teaches his students has taken shape at Film City. "We even have a basketball court as part of the school set," Ahmed announces proudly. We all wish Paathshaala and its team a huge success.