Samstag, 8. September 2007
Some information about Nidaan
In a Stardust interview in April 2000, Mahesh Manjrekar (director of Vaastav and several more films with Sanjay Dutt, also actor in some movies produced by White Feather Films) spoke about his early film Nidaan which had to wait long for its release and then flopped. Nidaan is a film about AIDS, an issue which in 1997, when Mahesh did his film, in India still was highly explosive. It tells the story of a young girl getting infected with the HIV virus, and of the reactions in her surroundings. In the end-90es, this issue obviously was so risky that Mahesh only with great difficulties found a producer at all and had to cast a newcomer for the leading role as none of the established heroines wanted to play a girl suffering from AIDS.
Interesting in the double sense is the role Sanjay Dutt played in this project. For a long time I thought that his special appearance simply was a gift to his Vaastav director. But fact is that they didn’t even know each other when Mahesh worked on his Nidaan project. He wanted the girl suffering from AIDS to meet the hero of her dreams, and as Mahesh always had been very fond of film actor Sanjay Dutt he imagined him for this part and asked Jackie Shroff whether he could introduce him to Sanjay. After a few futile tries Mahesh’s chance to tell Sanjay about his project finally had come, and Sanjay not only agreed to do this special appearance, he even did it for free – something he often does for friends, but this might be the first time that Sanjay in this way supported a director completely unknown to him. On the other hand, it’s widely known that Sanjay does a great deal for suffering people, be it cancer or AIDS, and he knew that also with a guest appearance like this he could attract attention for important issues and for people who need help. (Video of Sanju's scene)
Obviously, this film was never released on VCD or DVD. But in any case, Nidaan was the trigger for the very fertile cooperation of Mahesh Manjrekar and Sanjay Dutt. Their next joint project was Vaastav, and the rest is history.
By the way, in the Stardust of October 1997 I discovered the up till now only picture from the film: Sanjay, still long-maned, sporting jeans and a checkered shirt, is sitting on the edge of the sick girl’s bed, surrounded by other cast members (Nisha, Reema Lagoo, Shivaji Satham), and heartily smiles at her. The text with the photo says:
"Thank God for small mercies. One finally seems to be waking up to the AIDS crisis, here in Bollywood. Sanjay Dutt has taken the initiative and has agreed to do a special appearance in a film titled Nidaan, along with television and theatre artistes Reema Lagoo, Nisha and Shivaji Satham. The film will go a long way in spreading awareness about the deadly disease and the difficulties that the victims and their families face while dealing with this fatal illness. Sanjay will be playing himself in the film. Cheers to the Deadly Dutt for taking time off his busy schedule to star in this socially moving film."
About the story: Soumya Nadkarni lives a wealthy lifestyle in Mumbai along with her dad, Anirudh, and mom, Suhasini. She is a Science student in Second Year Junior with I.B. Institute, and is a fan of Bollywood actor, Sanjay Dutt. As a child she had her appendix removed, and as an adult is terrified of surgical needles. When her boyfriend, Ninad Kamat, participates in a blood donation drive, she decides to overcome her fears, and does donate blood. She then appears for her final exams, but becomes seriously ill on the last day. She is examined by Dr. S.D. Potnis, who advises complete bed rest, and suspects she may have Malaria. Her fever persists for two months, and she undergoes more medical tests. Then her fever subsides, but Anirudh finds out that his daughter is HIV positive. Devastated, he confides in Suhasini, and they decide to keep this information to themselves. But when Soumya finds out, she decides to live a normal life, and insists on getting married to Ninad. Watch what impact this will have on the Kamat family, and this will be just one of many challenges the Nadkarnis will have to face when their friends will shun them, and their daughter will be refused admission to the hospital of her choice.
Written by rAjOo (firstname.lastname@example.org)
P.S. According to an article in the magazine g from June 1998, Nidaan is a short documentary film. But that's wrong - it's a full-length feature movie (146 minutes).