Are we looking at an out and out comedy in Life Partner? Considering the fact that there have been so many 'three men out' or 'four men out' flicks in the recent past, one tends to believe so.
I would rather put Life Partner into a family film genre than calling it a comedy film. It stays light hearted throughout though. Like so many family films, there are no separate comedy tracks in Life Partner. Humour comes intrinsically through the way characters behave. The film shows me in a different light when compared to some out and out comic characters that I have played during last few years.
True, this time around you are pretty much playing a married man.
[Laughs] Yeah, that's quite a transition actually. I play this Gujarati man in South Africa who is very traditional and is almost a 'bhakt' of his father [Darshan Zariwala]. As per him, his father is nothing short of God and is always right. He can never dream of going against him. With his wife (Prachi Desai), he lives in a joint family but soon there are some personal issues that creep in between them. There is this 'halki-phulki nok-jhonk' that can be witnessed but it is more of a cultural issue than anything else. For the first time I am playing a Gujju character and that too a man who starts off as a single, gets married and then also divorced!
Something like 'Priyatama' where your dad Jeetendra had marital discord with Neetu Singh?
In a way yes but not entirely similar. Here there is a statement being made on how two diverse people are brought up in life and how that leads to a clash. Still, things do not turn overtly serious here. There is a lot to do with my friendship with Fardeen Khan and the fun element that comes in due to Govinda stepping in. In addition there is some drama too.
A family drama? Seems like Ekta (Kapoor) would be keeping her fingers crossed?
[Laughs] True, Ekta is indeed looking forward to the film because of the genre, me as well as Prachi. She would be happy to see those 'saas-bahu' elements in the film because of families, lots of ladies etc. Then there is some 'rona dhona' also in the movie that should keep the family audiences engaged.
For a family movie with tears and drama, Fardeen seems like an unusual choice, isn't it?
Well, Fardeen's track is more overseas friendly. He lives with Genelia D'Souza and they have different dynamics associated with their track. On the other hand, Govinda is there for the masses. This is why I am confident that Life Partner will work in both India as well as overseas. The film is a good package which is only enhanced due to some really peppy, young and modern music by Pritam. His tracks are in perfect synch with the mood of the film.
Director Rumi Jaffery has written quite a few David Dhawan films in the past. Do you see a similar flair in him when it comes to direction as well?
Not really. There is a different kind of glamour in the film and same holds good for the music too which is different than his own God Tussi Great Ho. I am very confident that Life Partner will show him in a different light altogether.
Since you play an entirely different character in the film with a new look, what kind of transition did you have to go through for the role?
See, besides working on the look of the character, I didn't have to struggle much actually. I didn't have to learn the language or anything. Yes, I did have to put on a moustache though for a substantial portion in the film. Also, since I play a very strong character, I had to understand its different aspects. In India we hear about so many men who seem weak but in actual scenario, they are not. This mean is not weak; he is just outdated.
In comparison, the character played by Prachi is more bindaas, right?
Yes, she is someone who is more practical and is independent. She comes from Gujarat and is very Indian at heart. Yet she is forward thinking and very open minded.
Now that your film will not release this Friday in Mumbai and Pune what is your reaction to the decision?
Well its an inevitable situation which I think that the government has done in the best interest of the people and we are releasing the film in the rest of the country tomorrow so I guess we will have to just wait and hope for the best and see that everything settles down and all businesses and movies get their due credit and what they actually deserve.
Considering this fact of non release of films this Friday what's your take on the piracy angle that has plagued the film industry?
I actually don't know much about piracy and I don't know how bad it really is today but my opinion and my urge to people is to stop or refrain from watching films on pirated CD's or DVD's because then the industry suffers and besides they can wait for a few days, it wont actually harm them.