While the makers had originally zeroed in on Rekha to essay the role of Begum, a reclusive woman who leads an enigmatic life, but is still spoken about for her relationships — it is inspired by Miss Havisham, the famous troublemaker from Dickens' 1861 novel. However, after shooting for the film, including an outdoor stint in Kashmir, the actress decided to leave the project in May last year. Tabu was then roped in as a replacement and several scenes had to be reshot.

Says a source, "The character of Begum is akin to what Rekha is in real life. When she realised that, she found it difficult and uncomfortable to play herself and opted out of the film."

Adds the source, "The similarities between Begum's character and Rekha will be quite evident in the film's first look (see cover). Begum has been depicted as a heartbreaker and a seductress, which are synonymous with Rekha who remains an enigma."

When she decided to quit the project, there was speculation that Rekha and the makers of the film had creative differences. She and the director were apparently not on the same page on how the character should be etched, the reason why she preferred to walk out rather than have the audience find her story being played by herself on the big screen.

 

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