First-time director Pravesh Bhardwaj is entering the world of Hindi films with Mr. Singh Mrs. Mehta, a new story on marital infidelity. Releasing Friday, the movie will show how circumstances force married people into relationships outside wedlock.
Based in London, the film stars Prashant Narayanan and British-Indian actress Aruna Shields in lead roles along with Lucy Hassan and Naved Aslam. Grammy-nominated sitarist Ustad Shujaat Hussain Khan has composed music for this extramarital saga by UTV Motion Pictures.
The story revolves around two people - Ashwin (Prashant) and Neera (Aruna) who come to know that their respective spouses are cheating on them. Drawn together by shame and anger, they find comfort in their friendship. Though they try not to have any relationship with each other, they end up becoming lovers.
As the movie is about cheating spouses, it has a lot of bold scenes including 34 kissing scenes. Thanks to the many smooches, the film has created a lot of buzz. The censor board raised eyebrows over a scene where Aruna sheds her clothes for a painting. However, the movie was later cleared but with an A-certificate.
Bhardwaj's wife Shruti Nagar, who works with Rajshri Productions, is not happy with the overdose of nudity in the film. She has objected to the way the intimate scenes have been picturised.
But Bhardwaj insists the low budget film has a lot more to offer than bold scenes.
"The film is not only about kissing and nude scenes as thought of by many. It has got a lot more to offer like a different story, an unique treatment of the script, performances by the stars and music by Shujaat Husain Khan," Bhardwaj told IANS.
He is confident the audiences will accept his movie.
"I have tried to portray on reel what happens in real life. I think audiences are mature enough to understand it. This is not the first time when an actress has bared all for a movie. People have accepted it earlier and I am hopeful they will accept it in my film too," Bhardwaj said.
Mr. Singh Mrs. Mehta is not the first film of lead actors Prashant and Aruna.
Prashant, seen on the small screen, was critically acclaimed for his performance in Waisa Bhi hota Hai Part 2 and also did a role in Ketan Mehta's controversial period drama "Rang Rasiya". He says working in Mr. Singh Mrs. Mehta was challenging.
"I wanted to do the film as I found the script challenging. Filming for the movie was difficult because it had different requirements. It was not easy to stand in front of a nude woman who I barely knew. It was even uncomfortable for her (Aruna) but at the end we managed to give our best shots," Narayanan told IANS.
Aruna made her Bollywood debut with Vivek Oberoi-starrer Princein April this year.