Atul Agnihotri is ready to say Hello | india | Hindustan Times
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Atul Agnihotri is ready to say Hello

Atul Agnihotri's Hello based on Chetan Bhagat's novel, One Night at a Call Centre, is almost complete. Roshmila Bhattacharya speaks to the director.

india Updated: Dec 12, 2007 19:11 IST
Roshmila Bhattacharya

Atul Agnihotri's Hello based on Chetan Bhagat's best-selling novel, One Night at a Call Centre, is almost complete.

"There's only one sequence with Salman (Khan) left to be shot. Salman plays himself in the film. He meets a mystery girl (Katrina Kaif) who tells him a story if he will pass it forward," narrates the actor-turned-producer-director.

Though the film has not been shot at a real call center because "it's difficult to shut down any business for 40 days", Agnihotri insists that he's remained true to the novel which enticed considerable interest in chat rooms and on Orkut. Bhagat has written the dialogue.

US calling
"The story unfolds over 12 hours, from 7 am to 7 pm. But since Hello is not a crossover or medium-sized film, we have taken certain creative liberties like shooting in Mauritius to depict happier times in the past. Also, since the call centre services clients in the US with an American boss, we flew down to the US to shoot with an American cast and crew to give it a real feel," Agnihotri rationalises.

Oh God!
The film's climax was shot between November 27 and December 4, on a set in Film City of an under-construction flyover. It's the most important scene in the book with the six characters confronting their fears.

"We call it the God scene because God tells them to fix today, he'll fix tomorrow," explains Agnihotri.

"It's a major action sequence with Sohail's character (Khan) losing control of the Tavera he's driving and the car crashing into the construction site to hang precariously from a height of 75 feet."

Stormy twist
The shooting began with duplicates but after a couple of days, it was felt that the scene would take life only if the actors were in the car. Sohail, Amrita (Arora), Gul (Panag), Sharman (Joshi), Isha (Koppikar) and Sharat (Saxena) were rounded up. While Gul who loves cars and fast driving, was excited at the idea of doing the stunts herself, Amrita was petrified. The sequence was wrapped in four days.