Meet Ashwini Choudhary - a director who is only three films down, and is determined to make his mark in Bollywood. He started off his career as the assistant to Prakash Jha for Dil Kya Kare in 1999. And now, he is giving some final touches to his comic college drama Good Boy Bad Boy - produced by Subhash Ghai. Lined up next is another campus film - but this time not a candyfloss, rather a hard-hitting political drama in the heart of Bihar. We get in conversation with the filmmaker.
After serious films like Dhoop and Siskiyaan what prompted you to make a comic flick like Good Boy Bad Boy?
Good Boy Bad Boy is not an out-and-out comedy. It is a fun campus film. When Subhashji called me for the film, I just gave him a rough idea of it. And he liked it. So we went ahead with it.
So did you approach Subhash Ghai with your script?
No, Subhashji himself called me. He saw my film Dhoop on DVD one day. He liked the film, so he took my number from a source and called me up one evening and said I want to meet you. When I went to meet him, he said I have seen your film and I want you to do a film for Mukta Arts now. So then we discussed a few subjects which I had in mind. And Subhashiji liked this one so we decided to take it up.
What does the title Good Boy Bad Boy suggest?
Basically, Good Boy Bad Boy is about today's generation. The film deals with today's youth - their dreams, their aspirations and about their conviction. They are all trying to achieve something in life and the film is about how they achieve it. The two protagonists are Emraan Hashmi and Tusshar Kapoor. They play two completely different characters. Tusshar is the good boy and Emraan is the bad boy in the film, not in societal terms but just as campus kids. Of course Paresh Rawal is also playing a pivotal role.
Were Tusshar and Emraan your first choice for the good and bad boy roles?
Yes. When you're doing a film for a banner like Mukta Arts, and when Subhashji is in the picture, it is not difficult to get actors if you have a sensible script in hand. These two boys Emraan and Tusshar were apt for the kind of characters and the two perspectives I have in my film.
Emraan's only stint with comedy was with 'Jawani Diwani' which was quite devastating. Is he doing comedy or a serious role this time?
Emraan is very much doing comedy in this film. He is not doing what he has been doing in all other films, because he is not kissing in my film! He is playing a young campus boy, a spoilt brat. He is not a bad boy in terms of society, you know. When you go to school, as a kid, you get to hear from your teachers that either you are a good boy or a bad boy. Emraan is playing a very different character and I think this is for the first time he is trying his hand at comedy.
What about the girls in the film? Are they categorized as 'good girl' and 'bad girl' too?
Like I said it is a young campus film, so most of the film has been done in a college campus. Isha Sharvani is paired opposite Emraan and Tanushree is opposite Tusshar Kapoor. Tanu is playing a very tom-boyish type of character; she is a very outgoing modern girl, whereas Isha is playing a sober, good girl. So the good girl is with bad boy, and the bad girl is with the good boy. Isha was already a part of Mukta Arts as she had already done a film Kisna with Subhashji. For Tanu of course I had to conduct a small audition.
With a college setting, where did you shoot the film?
The film has entirely been shot in Bombay, as the story is set in Bombay. We have shot in the campus of Sophia College.
The film has been under making since more than a year now. Why did it take so long for the film to release?
We finished the film around four months back. The pre-production took a longer time. Himesh, who was doing the music for my film, was quite caught up in other projects as well. There were a lot of actors from television also. There is a huge star cast, so in terms of combination, there were three-four different schedules.
Secondly, I was supposed to shoot in campus. The problem with that was we got the campus only on holidays, that is, Saturdays and Sundays. Because most of the film was shot inside the Sophia campus, we had some struggle putting up the sets. We also had to create a different principal's office and classrooms as a part of the sets. That took a little while.
Finally the film has been ready for the last four months. But now the World Cup and annual exams have come up. Because the film is being targeted at the youth, Subhashji wanted to release it only after the World Cup and the exam period gets over. The release date is now fixed. The film will be out on the 4th of May.
Like you said Himesh was caught up with many projects including his own film. Do you think he has done justice to the music of your film?
I think Emraan and Himesh have a great working chemistry. So I hope that will work for our film. The music is really good, young and peppy. The promos will start by the end of this month, and the music will be released in the first week of April.
Does this film have the signature Himesh music?
It is Himesh, but it is a different Himesh because here, Subhashji was involved. Subhashji's input in the music has given it a different colour.
And are there any remixes, like in any other Himesh album?
When is your next film Gurudakshina starring Sunny Deol starting off?
I will start shooting for it in the first week of May, soon after Good Boy Bad Boy is released.
Can you give us a gist of the film Gurudakshina?
Gurudakshina is again a campus film, but set in UP. We will be shooting in Allahabad, Lucknow and Banaras. It is a campus film but entirely different from Good Boy Bad Boy. While Good Boy... is a fun film, Gurudakshina is set in a small town and it deals with the kind of violence and politics that exists in all these campuses. It is based on a real-life story. It is a hard-hitting, sensible film. The mounting is big, but it is not candy-floss.
Who has written the script of Gurudakshina? How did the idea come up?
The script has been written by Sanjay Chauhan. I saw this news of a professor who was killed by some college students some eight months back in Ujjain. I just put the idea across to Sanjay and he liked it. That's how it happened. The I approached K Sera Sera.
With Sunny being the male lead, could we expect the film be an out-an-out action entertainer?
It is not entirely an action film. Of course Sunny Deol is there so there is action in the film. But he is playing a professor in the film so it's not entirely an action film.