Norah Jones Movie Hits a Sour Note

10/06/2003 10:00AM

Ravi Shankar and Norah Jones are expressing displeasure over a film script in which a world-renowned sitar composer and his long-estranged daughter, an American jazz singer, are happily reunited after she sweeps the Grammys, the Associated Press reports.

Sound familiar? It should. The script for "Song of Life" echoes the story of Shankar and the "Come Away with Me" Grammy-winning Jones. Filmmaker Dev Anand, 79, a veteran of Bombay-based "Bollywood" cinema, says he intends to play the now-83-year-old Shankar in the film, according to AP.

Not everyone thinks it's such a great idea. Shankar's wife, Sukanya, said the entire family -- including another daughter, Anoushka, herself a sitarist -- is opposed to the movie. (Norah Jones's mother is Sue Jones.)

"Nobody knows the inside story about our family except for us, really," an upset Sukanya Shankar told AP by phone from London, where she was accompanying her husband and Anoushka on a European tour. "It's nobody's business and intrudes on our privacy."

The Times of India recently published an interview with Jones, 24, who called Anand's movie "very exploitative," and another with Anoushka, who called Anand "a jerk."

Still, Dev appears undeterred. He reportedly flew to New York recently to cast American and Indian actors in what one Indian newspaper called "a talent-hunting spree" for the film.

"This is a great international subject -- a great Indian musician with a daughter who is American, totally American," Anand tells AP, insisting he needs no permission to make the film.

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