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Birthday Special: “If ‘Aradhana’ Is Remade, The Casting Needs To Be Super-Fabulous, To Match With The Cult Classic,”Says Ashim (Shakti) Samanta


Today,  musical mega-hit bold cult film ‘Aradhana’ (1969)  starring Rajesh Khanna ( he became a super-star)  and Sharmila Tagore ( she won the Filmfare Award) directed by legendary film-maker Shakti  Samanta,  celebrates its 50th golden jubilee anniversary of its release – Chaitanya  Padukone 

Shakti-da’s talented  film-maker son Ashim Samanta  seemed euphoric as he jogged into memory lane.  “It was  a glorious cinematic milestone for our banner and till date, the songs of Aradhana are evergreen. It is often mentioned that ‘Aradhana’ is inspired from  a Hollywood movie ‘To Each His Own’ .

But factually  speaking, the second half of the original movie script with some other title, was changed and re-written by two eminent writers within a few hours on-the-spot in my dad Shakti-Da’s presence.

Initially, Sharmila Tagore was skeptical to play the middle-aged mother of the hero that too with silver-grey hair get-up.

But my dad who had launched Sharmila in her Hindi debut ‘Kashmir Ki Kali’ ( 1964)  eventually convinced her that it went with her long-term imprisoned distressed character.

It worked effectively and her soul-stirring performance is considered among the top benchmarks,” smiles Ashim-da who recalls how his dad Shakti  Samanta gifted a attractive classy model of Plymouth Barracuda car to Rajesh Khanna to mark the phenomenal success of  ‘Aradhana’.

“In fact Kaka-ji  (Khanna) had told him in advance, that if the movie ran for 50 weeks, he should gift him that car,” recalls Samanta who has no issues if some competent film-maker dares to revisit and remake  ‘Aradhana’.

“ Since it would be compared to the original cult classic, , the casting has to be super-fabulous. At times I feel, that if  Akshay Kumar and Twinkle Khanna’s handsome son Aarav turns out to be a good actor, the modern adapted version of Aradhana could be a great launch-pad for him,” insists Ashim-da.

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