By: Joginder Tuteja, IndiaFM
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Taxi is now ready to move to a new destination as Milan Luthria, director of successful Taxi No. 9211 gets ready to begin work on his next film Hat-trick. An unusual title? Yes! But then there is hardly anything usual that works today in Bollywood movie scene. As apparent in Taxi No. 9211, the man is now charged up to break all existing norms and he may just do the same in Hat-Trick as he brings together an assemble cast. Over to the man in this exclusive conversation about his new film that has got the curiosity factor raising within days of its announcement!
Barely a few days since Hat-Trick has been announced and everyone wants to know what the film is all about!
To begin with, Hat-Trick is a UTV film. It stars Nana Patekar, Nasser bhai, Hema Malini, Paresh Rawal, Kunal Kapoor and Rimmi Sen. The film will be entirely shot during September/October in Mumbai, London and USA while it would be ready for release in Feb'2007. How did the film materialize? Well, I narrated the idea to Ronnie [Ronnie Screwwala] and he immediately liked it. Basically Hat-Trick is a fun film with a great ensemble of artists. It is a performance based film and has a novel script. I can't talk much about the script though as we are all bound by contractual agreement to keep it under wraps.
It indeed seems to be an assemble starcast!
Yes and what is most striking about the entire setup is that each of the actors would be seen in a role that they have never enacted before. The entire approach towards acting and making the film would be changed for Hat-trick with a lot of humor in the narrative. This is the film about which I am most charged about currently. Regarding the film's crew, it is more or less the same as you saw in 'Taxi No. 9211' with the same writer, cameraman and action director, though there would be some additional crew for London and USA. There would also be two foreign actors, one male and another female who would play an integral part in the film. The film is very 'desi', very funny as my writer Rajat Arora has come up with an interesting script!
Was it easy to get Hema Malini on board who is so selective about her work and is rarely seen in movies?
Well, I thought of her and first told Naseer bhai about my interest in casting her. I believe she was phenomenal in Baghban. Also she had seen my Taxi No. 9211 and had liked it a lot. So when she heard the script of Hat-trick, she said that she had enjoyed my earlier work and was on for Hat-trick. See, the starcast that has been assembled is such that reacts to the director's sensibilities as they have their own sensibilities when it comes to films! Hema Malini is certainly one of them and I strongly feel that she is an ultimate woman. The way we will portray her will be completely different from what you would have seen of her before and though it will be a challenge for both of us, it will be worth it! You get such actors to come in your film once or twice in a lifetime and they deserve to get the best. That's because in film making, it's not just what a director gets from his actors but also what an actor gets out of his/her director. As a director one should respect this and work towards it!
Any apprehensions about having such a senior starcast around?
Well, they are all temperamental people and after working on different films, I believe my forte now is to handle temperamental people [laughs]! I have worked with actors like Nana Patekar and Manisha Koirala, both of who are known for their temperamental nature and in the end it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience.
Nana Patekar must have been easiest to get on board after Taxi No. 9211, isn't it?
Yes, true! We were in touch with each other all this while and when I told him about the film, he was charged to get on board. Even in case of Naseer bhai and Paresh Rawal, it wasn't too difficult as I have worked with them earlier as Mahesh Bhatt's assistant. I had spent a lot of time with them not just during the film's shoot but elsewhere too and they understand my style of film making. They are well aware that I just don't make movies for the heck of it but there is something definite to tell. If you ask me, Naseer bhai, Nana Patekar and Paresh Rawal are the Robert Di Niro, Al Pacino and Jack Nicholsan of India!
Is it a corresponding order with Naseer as Di Niro, Nana as Pacino and Paresh as Nicholsan?
[Laughs] Well, that's for you to decide as you may wish to correspond them in any way you like but for me I have got some of the best talent working with me!
Who is the composer of the film? Is it going to be Vishal-Shekhar again?
We still haven't finalized on that. It should be by end of month when we should be able to zero down on the composer!
Coming to the younger starcast of the film, are Kunal and Rimmi paired opposite each other?
No, they are not. In fact both are paired opposite a different girl and boy respectively. I should be able to talk about them by end of this week when the two are formally signed for the film.
With veteran actors on one side, how did you close on Kunal and Rimmi?
[Says firmly] Kunal is the most promising actor of this generation and I mean it when I say this. I said the same for Saif Ali Khan when he was signed for Kachche Dhaage, I had the same thought about Rani for Chori Chori and recently I felt the same about John for Taxi No. 9211! Kunal has a long way to go! One thing that we have found out is that he is very popular among women! He is quite attractive and what impresses me most about him is that he is not just an actor but a DEEP actor. He is intelligent as well. Moreover I have known him for last 6 years so it has been a long association!
Regarding Rimmi, she brings a lot of sex appeal with her. If you see her Dhoom, Hungama or Phir Hera Pheri, you will know why! She is unique in the sense that for a young girl, she has a certain sex appeal that is different from numerous other young girls you see today who just look like kids. Having said that, she is not a mere prop in the film as she has a meaty role to play!
You said that the film would be completed in September/October. So has the idea of making a film in 40-60 days caught on you after Taxi No. 9211?
Oh absolutely! The film will be shot in 45 days flat and I believe that's the best way to shoot a film. It also makes economical sense and moreover everyone from the cast and crew maintains a high energy throughout. I enjoyed this style of working in Taxi No. 9211 and I am sure I would enjoy it all over again in Hat-trick too!
Last but not the least, you had mentioned during Taxi No. 9211 that you want to make a film that spans only around 2 hours. Does the same hold true even for Hat-trick?
Absolutely yes! I can't even stand my own film if it goes on an on [laughs]. I don't want any bhaashanbaazi, anything unnecessary that hampers the pace of the narrative. In Hat-trick, you would see a fast moving story, lots of tension, lots of humor and lots of fun, all in the span of around 2 hours!