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Chit-chat with Raj Pendurkar

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Debutante director Raj Pendurkar is very hopeful about his forthcoming flick Bombay to Goa. Denying any similarity to the good ol' Amitabh Bachchan -Aruna Irani starrer, Pendurkar promises oodles of fun and laughter in his three-hour bus ride. Sure - with an interesting starcast that includes names like Vijay Raaz, Jagdeep, Asrani and the Great Indian Laughter Champions!

How much is your Bombay To Goa inspired from the Amitabh Bachchan starrer Bombay to Goa?
The only thing common is the name, and the journey. Nothing else!

Are there any shades of the Marathi film Navra Mazha Navsacha?
No. I have seen that film, and I think it is very nice. But my film has nothing to do with this one. The script is very different - in terms of the way we were looking at it and the way we wanted the characters to come out.

So makes your Bombay to Goa different?
There is nothing different. It is very basic. It is about regular people, normal people. And we are trying to get humour out of them. The story is about two lives - Lal and Das. Lal is played by Sunil Pal and Das is Vijay Raaz. Lal is a very ambitious guy, a dreamer, who wants to become big in life and start his own business. There are people, you give them 5000 rupees and ask them to start a business like a vada pav centre. And they start having dreams of having a chain of restaurants. So Lal is just like that - he is a dreamer and always thinking about doing something big in life. Das is a loud-mouth, a very arrogant kind of a person. He is a driver who used to work in BEST. His boss irritates him, and eventually he leaves the job. Lal gets Rs. 2 lakhs by winning some contest. The duo plans to put up a business. Das comes up with an idea to start a travel agency. But they don't have enough money. They just have 2 lakh rupees and these days you don't even get a Maruti car in 2 lakh rupees so how will they get a bus? So they plan things out and go to Chor Bazaar. Using spare parts of old cars and imported cars, they create a bus. Lal has no idea about what the bus is going to look like. He just gives the money to Das and says I trust you, go ahead with it. Das asks Lal to get the passengers for the bus on a particular day. Lal tells everybody that we have this palace-on-wheels coming up. He gets 15-16 passengers. He gives them a discount claiming that you'll get the best bus service in the world. But when the bus comes in, it is a madhouse, and people demand their money back. So Das comes up with an idea, saying that this is a pick-up bus and we can get passengers on the highway. Finally, they try to persuade passengers on the way and carry on with their journey.

Is it an out-and-out comedy then?

Considering there are so many characters, is the story fully character-driven?
Yes the film is completely character driven. All the actors are great performers. It is more of a performance-oriented film. You won't see the director or anybody else. You will only see the actors and their performance which is great.

Does the bus journey have characters from all over India?
Yes, in the film - the characters are from all over India. But they are settled in Bombay, and heading to Goa.


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