Shooting Elvis song was devastating: Siddharth Malhotra

Shooting Elvis song was devastating: Siddharth Malhotra

By Subhash K. Jha

Mumbai, Aug 23 (IANS) Filming the Indian version of Elvis Presley’s track “Jailhouse Rock” in the forthcoming film “We Are Family” was more like a nightmare for the crew and director Siddharth Malhotra describes it as the most devastating moment of the shooting.

Releasing Sep 3, the film starring Kajol, Kareena Kapoor and Arjun Rampal is the Indian version of Hollywood hit “Stepmom”.

Earlier, producer Karan Johar had obtained the rights to the song “Pretty Woman” for “Kal Ho Naa Ho” fairly easily. This time too getting the original copyright holders of “Jailhouse Rock” to say yes was easy enough.

The nightmare began later.

Apparently just days before filming, the official contract arrived from the US. To their horror, Karan and director Siddharth discovered that they were not allowed to use any image, visuals, dance steps or even the words associated with the original Elvis song!

At that late juncture everything from the dance steps, to the set to the lyrics had to be changed and the Elvis’ classic song “Jailhouse Rock” was titled “Dil khol ke let’s rock”.

“The contract arrived just days before shooting. We got to know that we couldn’t use anything to do with Elvis. We had everything ready, the set, the costumes, the songs and words… Most importantly we had images of Elvis splashed all over and we had incorporated the words from ‘Jailhouse Rock’ into the track. All that had to be scrapped.”

For a while Karan and Siddharth contemplated scrapping the song altogether.

“What is the point of a tribute to Elvis when we couldn’t use his face, his dance steps, even his images as props on the sets? We couldn’t even replicate any of the lyrics from the original and had to rewrite the words on the spot. So what could we use?

“It was the most devastating moment of the shooting. First, Kajol was three months pregnant and we had to change all her steps. Then we had to change everything because we hadn’t read the contract.”

Matters got worse when the little girl playing Kajol’s younger daughter suddenly fell sick with chickenpox.

“We had to rewrite the scene explaining her absence in the song. It was a nightmare. And one we’d never like to go through again,” said Malhotra.


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