It’s official! Director
is set to shoot his next film titled Pyaas in and around Lucknow from September 1."Yes, now I can say on records as the film is going on floors. Our production design team is on the job giving final touches to the Ayodhya palace where the film will be widely shot. In Lucknow, we will shoot at KGMU, some bungalow in Cantt, Jahangirabad palace, Shivgarh and many locations in and around the city," tells the director during tête-à-tête with HT City.
The ensemble cast includes Rahul Bhatt, Richa Chaddha, Kajal Aggarwal, Saurabh Shukla, Vipin Sharma, Vineet Singh and Anurag Kashyap among others.
What’s the film about?
Call it a political thriller with a very strong romantic angle in it. It’s a love story and how the nasha of power comes in between. It’s about addiction of power and how it destroys love and how they overcome that.
Is it not another Devdas as rumoured?
No certainly not. It’s my tribute to Devdas and influence of William Shakespeare on me in the Indian political drama. I owe a lot to him and will admit it in my credits. Rest will be my creative. It’s certainly not a remake of Devdas.
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How did you chance upon Rahul Bhatt as your lead?
I saw his film Ugly directed by Anurag (Kashyap). He has done a wonderful job in the film so I decided to work with him. I am known to use fresh talent and have introduced many to the industry — Chitrangada (Singh), Shiney Ahuja, Ram Kapoor, Smriti Mishra, Shantanu Moitra and Swanand Kirkire to name a few.
And Anurag Kashyap as an actor?
Anurag is a very talented actor and more than that, a great friend. Initially, he was writing a script for me but that project did not take off. I was also about to produce his first film but he probably found a proper one (smiles). He is playing a very important cameo which is the central plot of the film that will open and end with him.
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So, you working with your old team?
Sandesh Shandilya, who worked with me in Chameli, is giving the music. Tariq Siddiqui (Lucknowi) has written the dialogues and the story has been written by myself and Jaideep Sarkar. It’s a Saptarishi Productions film.
You chose Richa over Chitrangada this time?
Had I taken her, question would have come in a different way (smiles). Having said that, Richa is a wonderful actor and has done good work in Gangs of Wasseypur, Oye Lucky…and Fukrey. She is a prefect choice and also I wanted a young actor in it.
It has been after 27 years that you are making a film in your hometown!
After Yeh Wohh Manzil To Nahi this will be my second film here. It’s because the story is of this place and it’s my way to spend time in my hometown and reconnect with people. I may have not shot my other projects here but talent from Lucknow has always been with me and whenever I got a chance I have worked with them. This time also a lot of people will work in this project.
And, what about Pehle Aaap Janaab (Mehrunnisa)?
The script has been reworked. It was given to Mr (Amitabh) Bachchan and he has approved it. Now the dates are been worked out and it will happen for sure. But not before next summers as I plan to release Pyaas in April 2015.