Gul Panag opens Bollywood innings with 'Dhoop'

MUMBAI: Gul Panag, the former Femina Miss India Universe recently seen in Star Plus' Kashmeer, has commenced her Bollywood innings with an Om Puri starrer called Dhoop. Dhoop is supposed to be a post-Kargil drama - the true-life story of the parents of a young captain who lays down his life for his country.

Panag's co-stars include bigwigs Om Puri, south-based star Revathy and the handsome Sanjay Suri of Filhaal fame. To be released in July 2003,Dhoop is being directed by Ashwini Chaudhary who has worked with Prakash Jha.

When queried about her TV stint, Panag informs "Kashmeer cannot be branded as a TV serial. It is a 26-episode series with the look and scale of a feature film. The overall treatment and impact is unlike anything else seen on TV. However, I must say that the phenomenal response which I got from acting in Kashmeer must be four times that of what I got after bagging the Femina title."

Panag bagged the film Dhoop when art director Chokas Bharadwaj (who is also doing Kashmeer) and producer Saket Bahal referred her name to director Chaudhary.

It is suprising to note that Panag is not making her debut in an out-and-out commercial film with lots of romance. 'Well, I have had my share of glamour due to the Femina title and my modelling stint. I wish to concentrate on quality performances. Working with seasoned actors such as Farooque Shaikh and Suresh Oberoi in Kashmeer has given me a different perspective. There is always this urge to try one's best in their presence," says Panag.

The shooting for Dhoop commences on 19 February 2003. Well, Panag had better remember the above-mentioned words as she will be rubbing shoulders with two accomplished players - Om Puri and Revathy - who have won National awards.

Dhoop is inspired by a real life story of professor of Economics from Delhi University. It is not a typical war-film but narrates the story of the trials of a martyr's father who fights the system. Along with his grieving wife, the main protagonist wages a battle against callous bureaucrats and government officials. Om Puri, Revathy play the main characters with Panag and Suri as the young couple.

Revathy, the south Indian star, has chosen a Hindi film after a long time. Currently, she has another Tamil film on the floors and is pretty selective about scripts.

The name of the film, Dhoop, signifies the aftermath of war once the guns have been silenced. It studies the impact of war on human beings who live and constantly struggle against the inflexible system.

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