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    Feb 2010


    Default KLPD to prove image changer for Vivek Obeoi and Mallika Sherawat: Director Sanjay Khanduri

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    Back to the spotlight after a gap of five years, Sanjay Khanduri, who last directed Ek Chaalis Ki Last Local (ECKLL) in 2007, is back with his latest film Kismet Love Paisa Dilli (KLPD) that stars Vivek Oberoi and Mallika Sherawat.

    MovieChakkar catches up with the director on the sidelines of the last minute rush up work that he is supervising.

    Why did it take 5 years for you to be back in the limelight? “After Ek Chaalis Ki Last Local, I gave myself a one year break as I had struggled for five years for the film. Firstly I got married. Along with a lot producers approached me to make films with them. Talking to them, I got inkling that they wanted me to make their kind of a film and not my kind. I flatly went on refusing them.

    “In between, I went over to a pristine place Khirsu, situated atop a hill as high as Mount Everest in Uttarakhand to write the script of KLPD. After I finished writing the script, I discussed KLPD with a lot of people but nothing materialized. I knew then that I would need the backing of the right producer. In this connection, I approached my producer Amit Chandra and read the script out to him which he liked. Now was the turn of the casting process.”

    Ok, but why Vivek Oberoi? “While casting, I remembered that soon after ECKLL, Vivek had called me and told me that he was indeed sorry for not having done the film but at the same time asked me to tap him whenever I decide to make my second film. So when I called him for KLPD, he readily agreed. Moreover, the male protagonist of my film Yogesh Duggal fitted Vivek to the ‘T’. Vivek has been seen earlier in tough roles, but never has he done a lover boy role. With this role of a lover boy in KLPD, Vivek has got a change in his image. I am sure that this changeover would work out well for him.”

    And Mallika? “I had approached her too for ECKLL, but due to time constraints, she couldn’t do my film. But, she too had then pledged to do any film that I would make next. So, I tapped her. Mallika too suits the character of Loveena from Delhi University (DU). She, being from the North and knowing the Delhi lingo very well, adapted to the role very well. She plays a girl-next-door in KLPD. In all her earlier films, she was seen chasing men, but in this film, it is just the opposite; Vivek chases her. I would proudly say that KLPD would also be remembered as being the image changer for both Vivek and Mallika besides being a racy romantic film,” Khanduri avers.

    Could you tell us a little about the story? “(smiles) Well, the story starts in Delhi on the Gandhi Jayanti day. In the chilly evening, there is a programme of the DU being hosted by Loveena. So smitten is Yogesh by her that he wants to score over her in order to woo her. In the process, he goes through uncanny events and comes across Delhi’s quirky nocturnal people such that it changes the lives of both Loveena and him. And how it changes their lives forms the crux of the film,” relates the director.

    Describing the film, Khanduri observes, “We wanted this film to be really edgy and commercial. The endeavour was to set an example where we could make an edgy film which will also do well commercially. KLPD was designed that way. The final product is a revelation for me because it was always a challenge to set a film in one night, create a new genre and then make something commercially viable.”

    In ECKLL, you were a little restrained? “True, In ECKLL, my budget was restricted. Also, I had to keep the narrative pretty much real-time. This time around, I had a good budget (five times more than that of ECKLL) and also a little more powerful star cast. That allowed me to go all out and shoot the film in a place where I was born and brought up, Delhi. I could afford to get the perfect ambience on screen.”

    Talking about the cast, Khanduri says, “There is an ensemble cast playing interesting characters as well other than the lead pair of Vivek and Mallika. While Ashutosh Rana plays a Jat baddie with a humorous streak to him, there are others like Anshuman Jha, Navin Kaushik and Bobby Vats playing important roles as well with Neha Dhupia in a cameo.”

    Any incident from the film that you would not forget in your life? (pauses) “Yes, all of a sudden in the middle of a shoot in Mumbai, one of my actors decided to drop out giving all sorts of vague excuses. Since this happened on a on a shoot day, it alarmed us. It was not easy to find a replacement at short notice. We made some frantic calls to a few of our actor friends. After a lot of discussions, I decided to do the role. To our surprise, as I was getting ready to face the camera, an actor friend dropped in and said he was ready to essay the role,” he relates.

    How would you describe KLPD in short? “The film will draw a parallel to Kundan Shah’s Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron.”

    Finally, why this title? “A title of a film is closest interpretation of the story as per the director. If Steven Soderbergh can keep abstract name like Sex Lies And Video Tapes, Dibanker Banerji as Love Sex Aur Dhoka or actor-director Manoj Kumar as Roti Kapda Aur Makaan, why not Kismet Love Paisa Dilli,” Khanduri asks.

    We wish the film all the luck and success.



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