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Comedy in the time of recession

A gangster in Uttar Pradesh abducts a man in the village but is taken aback when the family refuses to pay the ransom and instead ask him to lend them some money. Bizarre? Kanika Johri takes you on a crazy journey of the film Phas Gaye Re Obama with actor Rajat Kapoor and director Subhash Kapoor.

bollywood Updated: Oct 22, 2010 11:45 IST
Kanika Johri
Kanika Johri
Hindustan Times

What's cooking:

A delicious satirical comedy


One bankrupt NRI, four gangsters and complete dearth of money

The Plot

A crazy and never-done-before concept,

Phas Gaye Re Obama


With Love to Obama

in English) is a film based in the recession period of United States of America.

Actor Rajat Kapoor plays Om Shastri an NRI (Non Resident Indian) who has lost all his money due to the recession and has returned to India to recover some of the money. Sanjay Mishra is one of the gang leaders while Neha Dhupia, who refers to herself as the 'Female Gabbar Singh' plays a dacoit.

Phas Gaye Re Obama

"My character goes bankrupt and comes to India, only to realize that everyone from the richest right down to the poorest person in a remote village has been affected by the recession." And then he is kidnapped. However, when even the gangsters realize that the NRI has no money on him, a new plan is hatched to make ends meet.

The Title

According to director Subhash Kapoor, the film doesn't really have the USA President Barack Obama's character in it, but the backdrop of the recession and the problems faced due to it are common to him. In fact, the end the film even has a message for Obama.

Director's Take

Director Subhash Kapoor says that all the films based on recession have always been tragic and serious. "I had always wanted to make a film on recession which has been portrayed in a tragic manner. I wanted to show the recession in a fresh comic perspective with a comic satirical take on it."

"In fact, the film shows how even the local goons and the police resort to giving concessions in their


collection," he adds.

A reminder of Tere Bin Laden?

"People possibly relate it with Tere Bin Laden because of the comedy and the USA angle to it but the film is very different and in fact is a lot more satirical than Tere Bin," says Subhash Kapoor.

Funny Moments

Actor Rajat Kapoor says shooting the film was great fun and the cast was brilliant. "Sanjay Mishra's character is one of the most memorable ones and he keeps you in splits," says Rajat Kapoor.

Director Subhash Kapoor says during the shoot, actor Neha Dhupia was so scared of firing a gun at Sanjay Mishra (a rival gangster) that they had to shoot the same scene some 17 times before they finally got it right.

The Response

According to the director, the limited screenings of the film have had a great response. In fact, even the small towns and interiors seem to be excited about the film. Even the US audience seems to have taken it rather well. One of the critics from New York Times also loved the film, says Rajat Kapoor.

The film is a small budget comedy and its premiere screening will be on November 1 at the South Asia International Film Festival. It will hit the theatres on November 26. The movie will be released abroad as With Love to Obama.

First Published: Oct 21, 2010 18:26 IST