By Chaitanya Padukone
Veteran, yet young-at-heart brilliant Bollywood filmmaker Rahul Rawail seemed elated with the latest positive double-whammy development as they say, that too in Russia. The latest is that Rawail’s benchmark memoirs best-seller book on legendary Raj Kapoor is now being translated into ‘Russian’! Just a few weeks ago the ’Betaab’ movie director (Rawail) was lauded by the Indian film fraternity and media for being appointed as the Chairperson of the Jury for the prestigious 45th Moscow International Film Festival, which was held last week from April 20th to 27th, 2023.
Speaking exclusively to Cine Blitz from Moscow, Rahul reacted, “I am overwhelmed at the global glory my book ‘Raj Kapoor The Master At Work’ with its Russian translation, which has been formally finalized. This is in addition to English, Hindi, Marathi, and Gujarati translations. The ‘BOSS Showman’ is back in the country (Russia) he loved like his second home– where the countrymen worship him. Die-hard Russian fans will get to know many more authentic insights about my mentor-Guru iconic showman actor (Raj-saab) whom I assisted in his movies”, enthused Rawail.
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In keeping with fond sentiments, the Russian translated version (yet to be titled) is expected to be released on Dec 14th, 2023–Raj Kapoor’s 99th birth anniversary. Which in turn would then usher in the Centenary Year of the music-savvy Showman who was and is popular for his evergreen lyrical film melodies and his Chaplinesque ‘common-man’ connection.
As a matter of pride, ‘star-maker’ Rahul has shared his image at the signing of the formal agreement with the Russian publisher Antonina Anshukova and editor Nina Kochelyaeva, for the translation into Russian procedure of his best-seller book “Raj Kapoor–The Master At Work”’
This correspondent had the privilege to personally interact with genius film-maker Rahul Rawail in mid-February 2023, at the grand well-attended launching of the 11th International Documentary Film Festival—Noida 2023 convened by the dynamic, charismatic Festival President Dr. Sandeep Marwah under the aegis of the International Chamber of Media & Entertainment Industry (ICMEI) and backed by AAFT (Asian Academy of Film & Television.
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It is widely known that ‘director Rahul Rawail’s’ name was ‘dropped’ from the rolling credit titles and publicity of the mega-hit movie ‘Love Story’ (1981) by iconic actor-producer Rajendra Kumar. Recalling the dilemma-crisis, Rahul said that they had “creative differences about the producer wanting to include an additional romantic song to be recorded and picturized on the character actors after the movie was completed. Which I felt was redundant and would deviate from the completed movie.”
Continued Rawail, “At that point in time, being hesitant, I got courage and blessings from my Guru Raj Kapoor to fight back and withdraw my name as ‘director’. Following which Raj-saab embraced me for my courageous decision,” recalls articulate Rawail who frequently conducts movie-centric Master-Class sessions in various cities. Not one to remain complacent, the ‘Arjun’ movie seasoned director has been sharing his filmy gyaan-expertise at periodic events convened by the prestigious Prabha Khaitan Foundation.
Rawail is also delighted that the filming rights for OTT and a Russian feature for Raj Kapoor– The Master at Work book, has also been finalised. The formalities have been completed with Russian producer Tatiana Voronetskaya of Factory Art Kino Company and with Creative Consultant Nina Kochelyaeva.
(The writer of this news-story Chaitanya Padukone is an eminent award-winning senior entertainment journalist-author)