“‘Paathshala’ is small in comparison to some other films that I am doing. Moreover, I not a quintessential hero in the film. However, it isn’t as if I have a special appearance in the film, as has been speculated by some. I have a substantial role that lasts for 30-40 minutes in the film,” Shahid, who had two releases — “Kaminey” and “Dil Bole Hadippa” this year –, told IANS.
“Paathshala” was earlier being co-produced by choreographer-turned-filmmaker Ahmed Khan with Big Pictures. However, as per current developments, Eros International would be presenting the film.
The first look of the film was revealed a year ago with “Karzzzz”. It was expected that the film would release in January 2009, but it continued to move ahead. Directed by award-winning Marathi film director Milind Ukey, “Paatshala” is expected to release in the first half of 2010.
“Yes, the film moved from Big Pictures to Eros and they would be making plans to line up the film in a proper manner. However, I am sure they would have the right campaign in place for the film’s release. The film has to be protected and released when there is no other film of mine coming up,” said Shahid, who plays a teacher in it.
The film brings together Ayesha Takia with Shahid after “Dil Maange More” and “Fool-N-Final”. Incidentally, the two had worked together years ago as child artists in the famous commercial for the health drink Complan.
The film also stars Nana Patekar along with child artists Swini Khara, Ali Haji and Dwij Yadav.
Set against the Indian education system, “Paathshala” deals with contemporary and socially relevant issues regarding children. It claims to carry a heartfelt message for children, parents and teachers.
“It’s a very socially relevant film and talks about the education system in the country. I am really happy to have played a role in it. I have seen the rushes of the film and really cried throughout. I get really emotional when watching a film. Even during ‘Taare Zameen Par’, I cried throughout and was looking around me if anyone was watching me,” he said.
Unlike “Taare Zameen Par”, which was shot on real locations, “Paathshala” was filmed on a set. To give it an authentic look, Khan had erected a massive set of a school at Film City — it consisted of class rooms, dormitories, principal’s cabin, staff rooms, half a dozen huge corridors, basket ball court, garden, assembly hall, music room and canteen.