When Gautam Mehra and Mehul Suri premiered their play Mad, Madder, Maddest in 2003, little did they know that the comic caper about three brothers who can’t see eye-to-eye would make it to the big screen several years later. An unexpected compliment is what inspired the writers to expand their story into a cinematic script, which has been adapted for the recently released, Teen Thay Bhai.
Says Gautam, “I met a girl at a studio in New Delhi, who identified me from the play, and started laughing. I was quite surprised, because this happened a year after we had performed. She told me that she still cracked jokes from the play, and then started reiterating them.” The incident got Gautam thinking, and he convinced Mehul that if the play had made such an impact, a cinematic adaptation should definitely be in the offing. The duo took their extended script to Mumbai, where after a series of meetings, they came across Mrigdeep Singh Lamba, who later became their film director. Together, they pitched the idea to Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, who readily agreed to produce it.
While the emotions and chemistry between the brothers have been retained from the play, the film version has given them the liberty to take the story to more locations. “On stage, we are mainly confined to one location, so in that respect, it is more cinematic now,” says Gautam, adding,
“Rakeysh also suggested some changes, which we were happy to incorporate. We worked on it together for over a year, but as a result, we’ve taken the script to another level and added more value to it.”
Post Teen Thay Bhai, Gautam plans to write more film scripts. “I’ve written one romantic comedy, and there’s an action comedy that I’m currently working on. The focus has shifted more towards films, but I’m not going to stop doing theatre,” he adds.