'Love in Tokyo' will have Indian hero, Japanese heroine: Ali

'Love in Tokyo' will have Indian hero, Japanese heroine: Ali

Indo-Japan collaborative film project "Love in Tokyo," a cross-culture romance, themed on relationship transcending linguistic barrier, will have an Indian male protagonist and a Japanese heroine.

The movie, to be shot almost entirely in Japan, will be co-produced by filmmaker Imtiaz Ali's Window Seat Films and Japan's entertainment conglomerate Shochiku with the director's brother Arif Ali at the helm.

"It is not a remake of the old film. It is a completely fresh take and we have just borrowed the title. The hero in the story is an Indian and the heroine is Japanese. The story is rooted in their respective cultures and the film would be shot mostly in Hindi with a bit of Japanese thrown in," Imtiaz said.

The 1966 Bollywood hit of the same name starring Asha Parekh and Joy Mukherjee is still fondly recalled by film lovers especially for its popular song "Sayonara".

The partnership was officially announced recently at a function held by the Japanese Embassy on 2017 being declared as the year of Japan-India Friendly Exchanges, where the Japan-India Collaboration Film Project was launched. Imtiaz and Arif were present at the launch.

"India and Japan have so much in common, same kind of society with traditional values, which is now embracing modernity. Even lot of our food is common, but what is not common is the language.

"This film is about these two people, who have a wonderful communication, which is not bound by any language. The core of story is about relationship transcending the barrier imposed by language," Imtiaz said.

Arif, who has also written the story, says the "film would marry the discipline and depth of Japanese filmmaking and storytelling with the colours and fun of Indian cinema. The film would also be an endless discovery of Japan, as a country."

"We have already visited several places in Japan, where we wish to shoot, besides Tokyo. Our Shochiku partners have taken us to Kyoto, Hiroshima, Osaka, Wakayama. And, we truly wish to showcase endless Japan in the movie," he told PTI.

A senior official of Shochiku said, "The casting for the film would begin anytime soon. I have shown Imtiaz portfolio of a few leading Japanese actresses as well."

Imtiaz, who featured the country briefly in his last release "Tamasha," says he is looking forward to explore "fascinating" Japan and its culture through this movie.

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