Aishwarya Rai Bachchan
Actress’s introductory sequence in her next boasts of international concert standards thanks to star American choreographer, Frank Gatson Jr
Natasha Coutinho (MUMBAI MIRROR; July 10, 2018)

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s introductory song in Fanney Khan, ‘Mohabbat’, which has been directed by international choreographer Frank Gatson Jr, is being touted as one of the highlights of the musical drama.

Atul Manjrekar, who makes his directorial debut with the film, told Mirror, “The concept of the song came through Aishwarya’s character in the film. She plays a diva, a singing star. She’s the number one singer and the most beautiful woman in the country. The song sees her character touring across India and performing in front of a live audience. For the sequence, we referenced recent concerts that featured Arijit Singh, Ed Sheeran, Coldplay. That was the starting point.”

According to Atul, the team was looking for authenticity in terms of look and costume changes as they happen during real live concerts, when the film’s producers, Bhushan Kumar, Anil Kapoor and PS Bharathi stumbled upon Frank, who has worked with international icons like Beyonce, Rihanna and Jennifer Lopez, among others. Why an international choreographer, you wonder, and the filmmaker says, “There is great talent in India and one of them, Ganesh Acharya, is the main choreographer for my film. However, with Aishwarya’s song, we were attempting a performance of an international calibre. That said, let us not call Frank a choreographer. He is more of a performance designer. It’s more of a performance oriented number than a dance sequence,” Atul explained.

Was it difficult getting someone of Gatson’s stature on board? “When we approached him, he was very excited about the project and wanted to work with Aishwarya. The prospect of doing a Bollywood song appealed to him,” Atul said, adding that fashion designer Manish Malhotra has created Aishwarya’s look for the sequence.

The director revealed his leading lady is a fabulous singer off screen too. “She would sing in-between takes and I was stunned when I heard her voice for the first time,” Atul said.