Acid Factory, a Sanjay Gupta production, which is directed by Suparn Verma (Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena) is all set to arrive this Friday. After it's much hyped unveiling that took place in IIFA last year, the film has been pretty much in the news for it's all macho star cast, comprising of Fardeen Khan, Irrfan Khan, Manoj Bajpai, Dino Morea, Aftab Shivdasani and Danny Denzongpa along with femme fatale Diya Mirza.
Talking to this correspondent, Suparn promises that the film will bring in a different dimension to the way thrillers are perceived. Describing it as a 'serious hardcore entertainer thriller', Suparn also insists that the film is every bit the tagline it reads - 'Some thrillers go too far; this one starts from there'!
Acid Factory - Now that's quite an intriguing name. So did the title come first or the story?
The central element of the film was meant to be a factory. After doing a bit of research, I set the film in an acid factory. As we started thinking of the title, some people even suggested that we keep it short and just name the film 'Acid'. There were others who felt that Acid Factory would be apt. Meanwhile, I had made a pre-production promo for the actors to get the sense of the mood, action etc. of the movie. I showed it to Sanjay Gupta and then and there, his reaction was to go ahead with the title Acid Factory.
Time and again, one comes across the cliche that a location is almost like a character in the film. It seems quite genuine here considering the fact that it forms a part of the film's title itself, isn't it?
Exactly! In fact I spent 3 months with Nitish Roy (the Art Director) to work on the entire factory concept and design. See, whenever we talk about a factory, all we see in movies is Mukesh Mills. We see those chains and drums in factories and warehouses. It was a conscious call on our part to break away from the cliche. In fact Nitish and I custom designed the factory even from the shooting point of view. I covered all my angles on a 3D model and further spent one and a half month to actually construct the factory at Ramoji Rao Studios, Hyderabad. I remember when people arrived there for the first time, they felt that they had entered a real factory.
Coming to the cast of the film, it must have been quite a challenge to get the right actors in place for a film that boasts of a complex hard hitting drama?
Fardeen (Khan) and Manoj (Bajpai) were the first ones to be approached. Then we went to Irrfan (Khan) and he asked me if I would actually be able to shoot it the way I had narrated it. I showed him the factory design and he started getting more and more interested. Then he had a few queries on the last scene of the film and once I answered them all, he told me that Acid Factory is gonna be one kick a$ film. He was on.
Please carry on...
Then I gave the same narration to Danny and his first reaction was that to him it seemed like quite a twisted plot. At that time, I didn't quite know whether he said this in a positive or negative sense (smiles). I just told him that I had written it for him mid-way during the scripting. Three hours passed by after the narration and we chatted about everything from Mere Apne to some of his recent films. He hadn't said 'yes' or 'no' even then. I just quietly got up and asked him what he felt about Acid Factory. That was when he laughed and told me that he wouldn't have chatted with me for so long if he wasn't interested. Believe me; I had the longest party of my life that night!
You have repeated Fardeen after Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena...
And trust me, he has outdone himself. However, it is going to be Diya who will shock a lot of people. You will see a new her. See, most mainstream heroines who play negative roles ultimately end up having some sort of justification to their character. In case of Diya's character, there is no justification. She is shown to be born that way. Since the film is not about good or bad. Everybody in the film has a shade of grey and each of them is there on the edge.
Just a few more hours to go before the baby would be delivered. Anxious?
More than anxious, I am plain and simple happy. In Sanjay and Mumbai Mantra folks, I have some happy producers out there. In my cast and crew, I have quite a few happy people who have turned out and said that they had the best shoot of their lives in Acid Factory. As for me, I am satisfied because after Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena, I wanted my next film to work and I worked extra hard to achieve that. I am lucky that I have moved on from a Rs.3 crore film to a Rs.21 crore film.