After a surprise hit, Hate Story, Vivek Agnihotri has reason to be upbeat about his next film, Freedom. “It’s a Dil Chahta Hai gone wrong, it’ll roll on August 15,” says the director who’d planned it as his first film before realising that it was a difficult subject for a debutant and needed the support of the trade that could only come with success. Earlier, he’d planned to make it with stars and now is ready to gamble: “I’ll lock the cast in 15 days, for now it’s only Paoli (Dam) and she’ll surprise you again.”
The story inspired by his own life comes from the realisation that we spend all our growing up years with the fear of failure as we clear one exam after another. “By the time we’re ready with our academic qualifications, our minds have become so dull we’re only attracted to corruption,” reasons Vivek who’ll film it in Mumbai and Delhi since it is set in the underbelly of our capital.
Will it have the physical intimacy and expletives that made Hate Story a shocker? “I’m a red-blooded man and so are my characters. I toned down in Goal, which wasn’t my best film,” he argues, pointing out that women have no issues with Hate Story, going by the debates on Twitter. “Even men who come for the sex go away impressed with a differently treated drama. As far as lingo goes, the youth don’t speak like they did 10 years ago and Freedom is a contemporary film.”
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Hate Story’s bad man Gulshan Devaiya was surprised with a mail from Jasbir Sandhu of the Indian Stammering Association lauding him for his convincing portrayal of Suddharth Dhanrajgir who stammers in the presence of his tyrant father and when his behaviour is tinged with revenge.
“I was pleased to note that no one in the theatre laughed when he stammered. Indulgence in wrongful activities disturbs our breath, resulting in more stammering,” Sandhu wrote in a mail that has Twitter buzzing.
Vivek Agnihotri admits that filmmakers are often accused of ridiculing those grappling with a disability. “That’s always bothered my wife Pallavi (Joshi) and me. Gulsham’s character I modeled on my assistant Satyajit who stammers but only when unsure or insecure.”