Rani Mukerji is nostalgic on the 16th anniversary of her film Hum Tum starring Saif Ali Khan and Rishi Kapoor.
“Hum Tum will always be memorable for me because it was the film that Chintu uncle was part of and I fondly remember our shoot in Amsterdam. Recently, when I met him before his untimely demise, we were chatting about the Hum Tum shoot and we were recalling the days of how much fun we had during the Amsterdam schedule,” says the actress, adding that doing Hum Tum was a new experience for Rishi.
“Chintu uncle belonged to the era where actors never did sync-sound and Hum Tum was a sync-sound film. We were shooting in a house in Amsterdam that had wooden flooring and Dilip Subramaniam was the sound recorder. He kept telling Chintu uncle that each time he would take a step in the house, the floor would creak and the sound would come. Chintu uncle invariably moved and Dilip would say cut, we will need one more!” she laughs.
Since Rishi was never used to another take, he would go berserk, leading to the team cracking up. “He was not used to one more take and we used to all crack up because he would fire Dilip. ‘What the hell is this, why is the take not getting okayed and why is the floor creaking?’ he would say! He was hilarious. It was quite a first for him because he had to actually understand what this sync-sound is all about because earlier, they would dub for their films and these things never mattered. It was a first for him. We used to have lots of chats and laughs about this. I have always been a huge fan of Chintu uncle and his demise has been a double loss for me, as somebody whom I knew very well and also as a fan,” she rues.
The actress opines that a film like Hum Tum was definitely ahead of the curve by showing a progressive portrayal of women in cinema. She says, “Hum Tum was a very special and a modern subject. It was definitely ahead of its time. The way my character Rhea reacts at the end and walks away from Saif’s character’s (Karan) life when he just randomly suggests getting married because they had physical intimacy, was bold.
I think that was way ahead of its time for a woman to do this in a Hindi film… I think Rhea’s character stood for the modern Indian woman at that time and I remember when Adi offered me the film along with Kunal, I had completely gone gung ho and really, really loved the script and had said this is great! Let’s do this!” she concludes.