Too close to reality? Here's why Rekha opted out of 'Fitoor'

Updated: 06 January, 2016 11:59 IST | Shaheen Parkar |

Buzz is the real reason for Rekha's exit from Abhishek Kapoor's upcoming film 'Fitoor' is that her character was uncomfortably close to her own life

Abhishek Kapoor's upcoming film, Fitoor may be a desi remake of Charles Dickens' classic 'Great Expectations', but if gossip mills are to be believed, it also has bits of similarity with a Bollywood celebrity's life. Guess who? Veteran actress Rekha, claim sources, adding that the uncanny resemblance to her own lifestory was precisely why she chose to walk out of the film when it was on the verge of completion.

Also read: When Bollywood films were marred by casting woes

Tabu, who replaced Rekha (inset) in Abhishek Kapoor’s Fitoor, in a still from the film, a modern-day take on Charles Dickens’ 1861 novel, Great Expectations
Tabu, who replaced Rekha (below) in Abhishek Kapoor's Fitoor, in a still from the film, a modern-day take on Charles Dickens' 1861 novel, Great Expectations

While the makers had originally zeroed in on Rekha to essay the role of Begum, a reclusive woman who leads an enigmatic life, but is still spoken about for her relationships — it is inspired by Miss Havisham, the famous troublemaker from Dickens' 1861 novel. However, after shooting for the film, including an outdoor stint in Kashmir, the actress decided to leave the project in May last year. Tabu was then roped in as a replacement and several scenes had to be reshot.

Also read: Tabu took only 5 hours to say yes for 'Fitoor'!


Says a source, "The character of Begum is akin to what Rekha is in real life. When she realised that, she found it difficult and uncomfortable to play herself and opted out of the film."

Tabu in the film poster and Rekha (right)
Tabu in the film poster and Rekha (right) 

Adds the source, "The similarities between Begum's character and Rekha will be quite evident in the film's first look (see cover). Begum has been depicted as a heartbreaker and a seductress, which are synonymous with Rekha who remains an enigma."

Also read: 'Fitoor' makers facing budget issues?

When she decided to quit the project, there was speculation that Rekha and the makers of the film had creative differences. She and the director were apparently not on the same page on how the character should be etched, the reason why she preferred to walk out rather than have the audience find her story being played by herself on the big screen.

Tabu and the makers remained unavailable for comment.

Slice of real life

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Sai Paranjpye's 'Saaz' (1998), starring Aruna Irani and Shabana Azmi, was based on the life of legendary singing sisters Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle.

First Published: 04 January, 2016 09:29 IST

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