Love Express might make an obscure record for the maximum number of debuts made in a Bollywood film. Subhash Ghai’s production under his banner Mukta Arts will mark the entry of 11 newcomers, all graduates of Ghai’s Whistling Woods International Media Institute at Goregaon’s Film City.
Actors Sahil Mehta and Mannat Ravi play the lead pair. Apart from them, three other actors and seven technicians in the fields of direction, production, sound design and editing will also make their first appearances in Bollywood today. “Most of us are from the 2008 batch,” says Ravi, who struggled for two years before Ghai discovered her. “I spent years auditioning and I got rejected many times, but the day I got the call for a lead role in this film made it all worth it.”
But the one who has made the most of this opportunity is Sahil. Talking about his performance, Ghai says, “He’s a promising star. We will launch a big budget film with him soon, along with some A-list actors. He has the qualities of both, a star and a good actor.” Recent reports suggested that Ghai would soon be working with Salman Khan in a film, but the producer-director refused to say whether it was the same project.
Trained in the acting course from the institute, Ravi has also bagged a three-film deal with Mukta Arts, but insists that the contract does not confine her to working exclusively with the banner. Director Sunny Bhambhani approached Ghai with the idea of the film last year and soon after, various students, who passed out of the institute, were roped in to work on it.
About 95 per cent of the love story has been shot in a train, a set of which was recreated in a studio. “In the film, my arranged marriage has been fixed with Sahil, who also doesn’t want to tie the knot. So they both deal with their predicaments on the 36 hour train journey from Amritsar to Mumbai.”