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You would be shocked how Imtiaz Ali conceived of Jab Harry Met Sejal

A casual comment by the filmmaker's mum asking him to make a romantic film shot in various locales so that she too could travel with him inspired him to make the film.

Mayur Lookhar

Every film usually has a story to tell, but sometimes there is a story behind a film as well. The one about how Jab Harry Met Sejal came about will leave you amused.

The seed for the film was sowed in director Imtiaz Ali's mind by his mother. “I remember my mother once telling me the idea of a perfect romantic film," the director said at the launch in Mumbai on Friday of the trailer of Jab Harry Met Sejal. "According to her, the best romantic film is one where people shoot across different [picturesque] locations. And, of course, my mother would ask me to take her along throughout the shoot."

Thinking about the concept, it struck Imtiaz Ali that a tour guide is one person who perhaps travels day in day out, "so why not make a film on his life? So, that’s how the idea of this film was born. I narrated the script to Shah Rukh Khan and told him this has my maa ka ashirwad [mother’s blessing]."

Jab Harry met Sejal sees Khan playing a tour guide and the film has been shot across various locales in Europe. The film has also attracted attention for its title, some liking it and others finding it weird. It has already been reported how Ranbir Kapoor suggested the title to Imtiaz Ali and the director went for it. In fact, addressing those who didn't like the title, Imtiaz Ali joked, "Please blame Ranbir Kapoor.”

This is the first film with Imtiaz Ali for both Shah Rukh Khan and Anushka Sharma. Sharma explained why she took up the film.

“More than the romance," she said, "I think the story has to connect with you. I had this connection when I watched Jab We Met (2007). I really enjoyed watching Geet [Kareena Kapoor] in the film. What makes Imtiaz special is the way some moments pan out. I think he has great understanding of the relationship between a man and a woman. This understanding is unparalleled."

Jab Harry Met Sejal is scheduled to be released on 4 August. You can predict the film's box-office performance here.