Paying tribute to women's empowerment

Chulbuli Pandey

Major Ashok Kaul, who made his debut as a producer-director with Param Vir Chakra in 1995, makes his comeback as a producer with his latest film, Mumbai Central. The woman-centric film features Rajshri Deshpande, who was seen in Angry Indian Goddesses (2015), in a leading role.

Major Ashok Kaul
Major Ashok Kaul

The cast also includes Brajesh Tiwari, Ruchi Tripathi, Robert Hindle, Cheitanya Adip and Tariq Shah.

Ashok had worked in close association with the late Raj Kapoor in Henna (1991) and Ram Teri Ganga Maili (1985) as a production controller.

For Rajiv Kapoor’s Prem Granth (1996), he was the administration controller. Kaul had also produced and directed India’s first live animation film, Bhagmati (2005) starring Milind Soman and Tabu. The filmmaker believes in quality more than quantity. He says. “If only I had wanted, I could have churned out at least a dozen films in the last two decades, but I chose to make only
films which have content. Ultimately, it is only off-beat and out-of-the box content that matters and not just star power.” Like his guru, Raj Kapoor, Kaul is also an all- rounder having also acted in Bhagmati as a professor.

Mumbai Central’s writer-director is Karan Radhakrishna, who has been associated with Kaul from the days when he was making Param Vir Chakra. Like Kaul, he also believes more in content than star power. Says Kaul, “Mumbai Central is my third film. It is about women empowerment. It is my tribute to the women of our country. It salutes the woman of today who are in no way inferior to men, physically or mentally.”

Produced under the banner of Friday Premiere Pvt Ltd in association with Bridge Art Films, Mumbai Central is based on a story idea by Maya with screenplay by Sunny Tiku. The film has cinematography by B Laxman, editing by Akshay Gvaal and music by Vijay Narayan Gavande. The film is slated to release on March 18 through Shakeel Hashmi of Big Curtains Media Pvt Ltd.

Kaul, an ex-army man, adds that Mumbai Central is a small festival film and not a big commercial venture. He also informs,“I am planning to send my film to various film festivals. I decided to change the name of my film from Bombay Central to Mumbai Central as I was told by the Censor Board the title will not be allowed. They told me that if it was (set in a period) before Bombay was rechristened Mumbai then it would have been okay with them.”

Though he did get quite a few offers from distributors to release his film, Kaul decided to release it through Shakeel Hashmi of Big Curtains since he is of the opinion that a film like Mumbai Central needs to be released with love and passion befitting it. He feels Shakeel will be able to do justice to his film as a distributor.

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