After exploring the hinterlands of Uttar Pradesh (UP) and Mumbai in a seamless manner, Vishal Bhardwaj is moving into a completely new territory – Haryana. The filmmaker’s upcoming venture, titled Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola (MKBKM) — a rustic comedy drama — will be set in the north Indian state.
For the film, Vishal has joined hands with Fox Star Studios, Ajay Devgn Films and Kumar Mangat. The makers have termed the film a ‘hilarious comedy with a heart.’ Devgn and Band Baaja Baraat (BBB, 2010) girl Anushka Sharma will star in the film, while Bhardwaj, who has written the script, will also direct it and compose the music.
According to Vishal, he’s been toying with the idea for eight years. Anushka plays Ajay’s love interest, and both hail from Haryana. Apparently, Vishal roped in Anushka since he was very impressed with her striking portrayal of a headstrong, no-nonsense Delhi girl in last year’s hit, BBB.
The makers, of course, are very excited. “It’s a very special film for us. I’m sure that the nationwide appeal of a rustic comedy and the coming together of great talents with a title which raises eyebrows will make this an eventful film for audiences in 2012,” says Vijay Singh, CEO of Fox Star Studios.
Interestingly, MKBKM marks a shift from Vishal’s expert domains in terms of film setting and genre. Ishqiya (2010) was set in Gorakhpur, and had a typical rustic feel laced with saucy lingo, while Omkara (2006) became a cult of sorts with an authentic portrayal of the hinterlands of UP. On the other hand, Kaminey (2009) and Maqbool (2004) deftly meandered through the underbelly of Mumbai.
The director is also moving away from dark and intense subjects with MKBKM. Despite having directed children’s films like Makdee (2002) and The Blue Umbrella (2007), he is better known for his other films, such as this year’s Saat Khoon Maaf.
Vishal too agrees. “It’s a totally new genre and completely different from what I have attempted in my previous seven films,” says the filmmaker, adding that he missed working with his Omkara actor, Ajay. “Anushka is a ball of energy, the harder you throw her, the higher she will go,” he says.
MKBKM is likely to go on the floors early next year, tentatively in mid-January. The makers are planning to shoot a major portion of the film on real locations in Haryana, but a recce is yet to be done. Singh concludes, “It’s too premature to discuss where we will shoot.”