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Saturday, Oct 19, 2019

With hands full, Saurabh Shukla wants to go slow

The writer wants to take out time for his film that he wants to direct in Lucknow .

lucknow Updated: Jun 27, 2019 07:00 IST
Deep Saxena
Deep Saxena
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Saurabh Shukla
Saurabh Shukla

After actor Saurabh Shukla shot ‘Jolly LLB 2’ and ‘Raid’ in Lucknow, he wanted to go slow on acting and start focusing on a film that he wanted to direct here. Since then, he has shot two more films in the state capital itself and is now shooting his third film, ‘Bala’. His own film has been pushed to the backburner.

“It’s true that when I did ‘Raid’ I stopped taking new projects. So, it was just a matter of time that some wonderful projects came to me. In a way it’s good too as they are all good films. This year, I am very lucky that I am part of some wonderful scripts. But now, I want to slow down a bit and hope that next year I start my own film here in Lucknow,” he said.

“It started with Anubhav’s (Sinha) ‘Abhi To Party Shuru Hui Hai’ and then again ‘Family of Thakurganj’ happened in Lucknow. In between, I got Yash Raj films’ mega-project ‘Shamshera’, a small but wonderful script ‘Adhaar’, and then Kumar Mangat (‘Raid’ producer) offered me ‘Pagalpanti’ and adjusted dates for me too. I can’t say no to him,” said the actor who will be next shooting for Milan Luthria’s film produced by Sajid Nadiadwala.

Shukla is very happy that he was able to squeeze out time for ‘Bala’. “I did not have time at all but then ‘Bala’ fit perfectly between the small gap I had and I really wanted to do this film. ‘Stree’ director Amar Kaushik, who hails from Kanpur, is a young and vibrant film maker. Good director, wonderful script and co-actors such as Bhumi Padnekar, Yami Gautam, Ayushmann Khurrana that’s what one needs,” he said.

He is all praise for Khurrana and the film. “He is a wonderful actor and I like him a lot specially the kind of films he does. The kind of stories he has chosen, speaks volume about the understanding of an actor. The film talks about realistic human emotions and our inhibitions. And, it’s the kind of film I wanted to do,” he said, without divulging details.

Shulka is very excited about his OTT debut ‘Verdict’ which is based on the Nanavati case. “I am playing Russi Karanjia, the founder of the tabloid ‘Blitz’, who played an important role in the trial. It has been mentored by by ‘Jolly LLB’ director Subhash Kapoor, who writes great research-based stories with a lot of drama weaved into it. It has been shot by ‘Dasvidaiya’ director Shashant Shah,” he said.


Drawing parallels with the 90s cinema, he said, “The change that we see today is what we as newcomers wanted to do. Like, when we did ‘Satya’ it was not a formula film of that time. We wanted to break that and we kept trying. Some film makers attempted though it was difficult but then they got accepted. It opened the flood gate of new talent to come in which is unstoppable. Small and simple stories, new types of stories which people never used to even talk about, started coming up.”

He credits Western influence led by OTT platforms like Netflix that pushed the boundaries. “First, it had an impact in the West and then it came to India. Internet played an important role and that is why Hindi-dubbed Hollywood films started doing well. So, lots of factors have resulted in this change. If we have big chunk of people who like Salman (Khan) style of films then there is also a section — maybe not that big — which loves the Anurag Kashyap type of cinema which have darkness, gore, violence, completely unapologetic...those started working,” he said.

Interestingly, Shukla is doing both. “On one hand, I have films like ‘Bala’, ‘Aadhar’, ‘…Thakhurganj’ and then totally commercially films like ‘Samsheera’ starring Ranbir Kapoor, where I play a big role. ‘Pagalpanti’ directed by Anees Azmi stars John (Abraham), Arshad (Warsi), Anil Kapoor, Illena (D’Cruz) and more. So, I seem to be doing a good balancing act.”

Last, he was here, it was for his play ‘Jab Khuli Kitab’.

First Published: Jun 26, 2019 17:40 IST

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