When Bollywood megastar Dev Anand makes an announcement he is on the look-out for a female lead in his forthcoming Hindi movie, many Indian women and men all over the world wait with bated breath to see who the lucky woman was going to be. Dev did not find anyone in India, so he decided to tour the U.K., and meets with beautiful Tina, who he casts in his next film. While meeting Tina, he also meets 16 year old Madhu Mehra in U.K., who also wants to act in his movie called "Main Solah Baras Ki". The common thing between them is that both share the same birth date (the year is different); Dev likes Madhu, while Madhu loves Dev, and will do anything to make him notice her as a woman, not as a teen. The question is whether this veteran actor can decide to hold onto his own, while this charming teenager turns on her charm on him. Written by
Did You Know?
The highlight of the film is Dev Anand playing himself. He is introducing a fresh face in this film called Sabrina opposite Jas Arora. Dev is following on footsteps of Sushmita Sen who played herself in Mahesh Bhatt's Dastak. Dev Anand, when he had just finished his last film Gangster, said that his next film's subject might be on his experiences when he would visit USA and Canada for the premieres of his film. And that turned out to be true. For a girl kept following Dev Anand throughout. "She was a 16-year-old. I was moving from city to city where felicitation programmes were being organised for me by the Asians there. And here was this little girl who kept calling me and following me relentlessly. I was intrigued by this little girl's overwhelming interest in a star who did not belong to her generation at all. I met her and asked a few questions and she confessed that she wanted to be a film star and that she had read and heard that Dev Anand casts new faces in his films and they went on to become great movie stars." For Dev Anand it was not an portentous experience. For apart from the appreciable amount of mail from prospective stars that is dropped by the Bandra Post Office, he also has many youngsters walking into Anand, his theatre cum office complex in Bandra, seeking a meeting with him."People tend to assume that Dev Anand is inaccessible, but it is not like that. I meet people who come here from faraway places to have a word with me or have a photograph clicked with me. But this girl from the USA set me thinking. I couldn't promise her a film because she was not star material. She did not have the potential to become a heroine. Yet her tale of the home she deserted to follow a star in the hope of fulfilling an ambition enraptured me." In his film Dev has depicted the girl as a lonely teenager who watched films endlessly and was drawn to the escapism that Indian films glorify. "True, the girl was enamoured by reel life incidents," he says. It is strange that all movies made around film stars or makers have never managed to succeed. Be it Kagaz Ke Phool, Phir Teri Kahani Yaad Aayee or even Saaz. But Dev Anand is sanguine and upbeat. The reason being Sabrina. The girl exudes a lot of charm and is very spontaneous. Dev got down to writing his script and he kept in mind a promise that he had made to his NRI fans during his long tour of USA and England, that he would return to make a film about their love for Indian stars. And thus for the first time in the history of Hindi celluloid, a star had to hold a mirror to himself and his life and times with equitable candour and get away with it throughout the film. The script Dev has evolved for Mein Solah Baras Ki is rather close to the realities of the life of Dev Anand, the star. Subtly autobiographical in content, the screenplay revolves round a 16-year-old fan who meets Dev Anand and Dev gives her a leading role in his new film. She undergoes all the transformation that all new entrants in filmdom have to willy nilly undergo. She achieves stardom and in the process finds herself plunging deep into an emotional crisis. Dev's concept is commendable for he has been bold enough to expose himself as a star through a medium which has ironically given him the camouflages and trappings of a legendary movie star. "Stories spin off just like that in my mind," he says, sans modesty. "I have often asked myself questions about Dev Anand the star. At times I am amazed at the following I have. So I said to myself 'why don't I present myself before the people who care for me as myself." See more