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Schrader reveals more of Xtreme City

PaulSchrader.jpg We heard back in November 2008 that Paul Schrader was working on a Bollywood film, and then that he had delayed because the script wasn't strong enough. Now it is, and he's revealed just how much of a Bollywood film it's going to be, and the answer is mostly.

Not just that but he discusses the feel of the film, comparing it to the recent Slumdog Millionaire (Filmstalker review), and some unnamed source begin firing around suggesting actors for the different roles.

We heard some time ago that Xtrme City was to be a bilingual film with east and west talent and various film styles mixed together, including Bollywood. Telling the story of a former U.S. ranger whose sister-in-law is kidnapped by a crime lord in Mumbai and teams up with an Indian commando to rescue her.

Now, Paul Schrader has revealed a little more saying:

"There will be at least five songs and dances in the film, typically Indian stuff. This will attempt to be the first crossover potboiler…A Bollywood potboiler used to have a dozen songs earlier, a comedy had around eight...I think now it can be five and we are safe"

Now that suggests to me that it's going to be heavily Bollywood, but there will still be room for the western style of film, especially since there will be western talent involved and that the locations for the film will include Hyderabad in India, Dubai and New York. Still it's clear that it's going to be Bollywood borrowing from Hollywood, and not the other way around.

In the interview he gave India Today through The Playlist he also talks about what the film will not be, and he clearly states:

"My film will not be a shanty film. Not like Slumdog Millionaire at all, thank you…

…unlike Slumdog, my focus will not be shanties. Slumdog was too British...and too one-sided. Danny Boyle's film, well...It seems that India is boiling with poverty all the time. That is the way the West wants to see it. But my film will be different…Xtreme City will show Mumbai at its colourful best."

I think that sounds rather promising and I think it will be good news for fans of Indian cinema too. The bringing together of the two clearly separate styles and cultures could make for a really interesting film and for future projects.

That's something backed up by the co-producer and co-writer Mushtaq Sheikh who said:

"Other films show India's pimples...we will show the dimples. Slumdog Millioanire cannot be the end point of all matters Mumbai. This "White man, please save me,' syndrome is disgusting. We are not going to allow milking this city dry because the West wants to live in that myth."

Those are strong words from Sheikh and Schrader, and both appear to want to distance themselves from Slumdog and show the stronger side of India.

It's then that the article turns to conjecture from "sources close to Schrader", which as we know could mean anything from someone inside the production to someone who was standing nearby at the time and had an opinion, about the casting of the film and the main roles.

The casting rumours suggest Priyanka Chopra for the role of the kidnapped woman, Shah Rukh Khan as the Indian commando with someone like Brad Pitt or Leonardo DiCaprio as the U.S. ranger.

It wasn't until the Pitt/DiCaprio part of the rumour that I realised it was conjecture as it sounds more like a wishlist of top actors than the actual cast. Mind you, it could be true and we just have to wait to see who does get chosen for the role.



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