Madhur Bhandarkar's much anticipated film Heroine - headlining Aishwarya Rai, Arjun Rampal and Arunodya Singh - begins production today, June 7, in Mumbai.
Aishwarya, 37, is back on a film set after nine months, having last faced the camera for Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Guzaarish, with co-star Hrithik Roshan, in September 2010; but during the period she has filmed promos for products that she endorses.
Heroine, a UTV production, was announced at Cannes Film Festival on May 13, and is being filmed in a start-to-finish 45 day schedule.
In the film, Aishwarya reportedly plays a superstar actress whose career is on the decline, and she is terrified of fading into obscurity.
The film pairs Aishwarya with two male leads, Arjun Rampal and Arunoday Singh, both playing characters inspired from contemporary Bollywood, scriptwriter Anuraadha Tiwari tells Sawfnews.com exclusively.
Ms. Tiwari custom tailored the script for Bhandarkar, and tweaked it when Aishwarya replaced Kareena Kapoor as the lead star.
"Yes we did alter with the change of lead, quite a bit." said Anuraadha.
Manish Malhotra will style Aishwarya in the film.
Bhandarkar has made the entire Heroine cast and crew sign a non disclosure agreement and banned media and visitors from the film's set, to preclude a plot leak.
Here is the synopsis released along with the press note at Cannes:
"The film is based on the life and times of a superstar heroine from Bollywood. It is said to be an entertaining, daring, emotional, shocking, glamorous, scandalous behind the scenes account of the reality behind the world of glitz and glamor that the film stars inhabit. For a country obsessed with films and film stars, Heroine will take audiences on a voyeuristic journey to see what really goes on behind the closed doors of make up rooms and vanity vans. It will give them a chance to go beyond the gorgeous smiles and politically correct quotes, to see what really happens in the lives of India's sweethearts - The sniping & the politics, the secrets & the lies, the incredible highs of fame & the lonely depths of failure."
Bhandarkar considers this film to be his magnum opus.