`The story drew me to the film'

IN FOCUS Subi Samuel

IN FOCUS Subi Samuel  

Ace photographer Subi Samuel hopes to break the formula with `Alag'

It's an all too familiar phenomenon. The observer studies his subject so deeply that eventually he falls in love with it. For years, Subi Samuel photographed the stars. His list of subjects is a veritable who's who of Bollywood. And now, after chronicling the industry from the outside, the ace photographer has crossed over. His maiden venture as a producer, Alag, is out. The film is an interesting choice for a debut feature. It follows the life of an 18-year-old boy who has no contact with the outside world because he has lived in a cellar all his life. When he finally comes out, he discovers he has super powers that only make him more of an outcast. "The story drew me to the film," says Subi. "I'm a sucker for emotions, and this story has a lot of it," says Subi. One can immediately relate to Tejas, the outcast boy. "He cries easily, laughs easily and believes easily. These are things that we lose out on as we grow up. I really connect with his vulnerability." It is that connection, Subi explains, that drove him to make this film. After all, with an audience that grows more fickle by the day, the lists of hits and misses throw up unusual surprises. "I can't brag about this film and guarantee that it will be a hit. But when you believe in certain fundamental things, you just have to stick by them," he asserts. As the cast also testifies, Alag was made mostly on trust and faith. "A bunch of friends came together and put time, money and effort into the project," says Subi. Sabse Alag, the music video to promote the film, alone seems to have left Subi indebted to friends in the industry for life. The few minutes of song alone feature more stars than the rest of the film, everyone from Sushmita Sen and Lara Dutta to Shahrukh Khan and Karan Johar to Abhishek Bachchan and Preity Zinta. Extending the concept of friends coming together on the project, Subi has even got a close friend, Ashu Trikha, to direct the film. "Ashu is a dear friend of mine, and we've discussed various films over the last few years." Thus, Ashu was a natural choice to direct the film. This, despite the fact that the director's last two films Deewanapan and Sheesha haven't done as well as he might have hoped. "I don't go by the success of the last film. I believed in the project and the team and so I've gone ahead with it," Subi says. RAKESH MEHAR

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