Navdeep Singh, the director of highly appreciated Manorama Six Feet Under, is back with NH10, a film which deals with the dark underbelly of Haryana.
Singh spills the beans around it, “NH10 is not much like Manorama Six Feet Under. The layering is different, but yes, the hearts of both the films are in the same dark zone.”
He adds, “Basically, the idea was to show the stark contrast between two Indias, something that has been creating a lot of economic and social problems. The story is set in a frontier town where you can see a lot of conflicts happening in daily lives.”
NH10 falls into the genre of adventurous road trips. “It’s more like a road trip gone wrong but that’s just the basic premise as it has much more than that. It’s a hugely popular genre in the West, but we don’t have many such films here, and that’s precisely why we are so excited about NH10.”
Singh says that there is a love story "but it’s about other things as well." And then adds, rather mysteriously, "if you recall the mythical story of Savitri-Satyavan, then you’ll find some similarities in both the stories. (Smiles) For more, you have to watch the film.”
Anushka Sharma is playing the double role of actor-producer in NH10. Singh thinks it as a smart move on the actor’s part."Anushka Sharma was a good choice for a film like NH10 as she can switch on and off between different moods swiftly. Also, she displays a unique sense of vulnerability. She is playing a normal, mid-level corporate, the kind we meet daily. She was also fantastic as a producer. And, it helped in a different way as well because it always helps if your producer is on the sets."
Watch: NH10 trailer
The real NH10 (National Highway Number 10) connects Delhi with the border areas of Punjab, and thus Haryana was a natural choice for shooting. Singh says, “We shot in and around Gurgaon which is an economically deprived area, known as the Mewat region. It was very difficult to shoot there as we were getting mobbed all the time. There were some safety concerns as well, but somehow we managed.”
So, what prompted Navdeep to go for such a dark thriller?
“Have you seen Balban’s tomb in Mehrauli, Delhi? When he was ruling Delhi, his subjects always complained about the notorious neighbourhood. Finally, Balban ordered his troops to destroy 30-40 such villages. If you’ll take a closer look, you’ll realise that the current situation is more or less similar. That paved the way for the characters in NH10.”
NH10 is releasing on March 13, 2015.
(Interact with Rohit Vats at Twitter/@nawabjha)