Sara Ali Khan

THE big Bollywood release of the week is romantic drama Kedarnath. The latest film from director Abhishek Kapoor is a love story set to the backdrop of the devastating Uttarakhand floods that created havoc in the state in 2013 and killed thousands.

The filmmaker has overcome a number of obstacles and challenges including demanding shooting conditions to complete the movie, but he enjoyed the process of tackling a new subject.

“Every film I try to attempt, the idea is to start from scratch. As a filmmaker, I do feel challenged when I enter a new territory. I try not to repeat myself as far as story and theme is concerned. So that when you get into a new film and idea, it is all very pure,” explained Abhishek Kapoor, before adding, “Also it is enriching to jump into a new world and explore it without having any kind of style from my earlier film into the next movie.”

Saif Ali Khan and Amrita Singh’s daughter Sara Ali Khan makes her debut opposite Sushant Singh Rajput in Kedarnath and explained that the story drew her towards the film.

“My father had told me I had to finish my studies first and after that if I want to be a part of the movie industry, I can. When I got a script like Kedarnath and got the opportunity to be part of this film, and even though my parents were totally supportive, I liked this script so much that I wasn’t going to listen to anyone after that as my heart was set on doing this film,” said Sara.

The newcomer plays a wealthy Hindu woman who goes on a pilgrimage and falls for a hard-working Muslim guide, portrayed by Sushant Singh Rajput. The popular actor was full of praise for the Bollywood debutante and said she surprised him with her talent. Sara credited Sushant for helping her take on the challenging film.

“I don’t know how I’ve done in this film. I really tried my best, but I don’t think I would have been able to do any of it without Sushant. He has been the most helpful person. There were days when I was a little lost, a little scared, but he was there so helpful and hands-on,” said Sara.

Director Abhishek had earlier launched Sushant Singh Rajput into Bollywood with 2013 release Kai Po Che and is now doing the same with Sara Ali Khan with Kedarnath. He praised both stars and said he likes working with new talent because they add a new dimension and have something fresh to offer.

Talking about the two leads, Abhishek said: “They are both extremely talented people. Sushant has had so much experience and he’s sharpened his skills over the years and is really effortless and at the same time, he is so into it and very well prepared.

“This is Sara’s first movie and I remember when my writer and I narrated it to her she took to it as a story and what I appreciate is that she wasn’t looking for a launch film. She heard the story and wanted to be part of this movie and wanted to contribute to this role. She took to it as a character and is an extremely intelligent girl.”

Kedarnath is in cinemas now