It was while working as an assistant director with Sanjay Leela Bhansali on the sets of Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam that 21-year-old Sandeep Mohan realised that he was not meant for such mammoth-sized cinematic projects. I learnt discipline and paper work during that project. That was the greatest lesson, he says.
Soon,Mohan realised that he wanted to make tighter,smaller human stories and till he had anything concrete in hand,he dabbled in advertising.
Almost 13 years later,Mohan the filmmaker,is marking his debut with a witty,lighthearted film that has a serious theme. Called Love,Wrinkle Free,the film is due for release in India on May 25 and is set in Goa. The film is about Monteiros,a middle-aged couple that is fighting age issues,and dealing with the wifes old-age pregnancy at the same time. We live in a world that is obsessed with looks and youth. This film is about how a middle-class family deals with such obsessions, says Mohan.
Annie,in her forties,(played by Shernaz Patel) has only one dreamto be a part of the church choir that only wants youngsters to sing. Stand-up comedian Ash Chandler plays Savio,Annies 37-year-old husband,who wants to start his own business of edible lingerie and the two live with their adopted teenage daughter,Ruth,whose main concern is her Tibetan looks. Annie is coming to terms with growing olderholding on to a younger husband and fighting wrinkles,literally. And when she figures out that she is pregnant,she feels that she is young,and young enough to be part of the choir too, says Patel.
The trailers are a treat. The film has been shot in picturesque and cliché-free locales of Goa such as Arambol and Ashwem beach,and the films music is refreshingly contemporary and very Goan. I know Goa well and I wanted to show it in the most authentic way possible,away from its typical representation, says Mohan,who shot the film in just 22 days on a budget of Rs 85 lakh.
Love,Wrinkle Free has been taken to various film festivals across the world Cine Quest Film Festival,San Jose; MAMI,Mumbai; IIFF Tampa Bay,Florida and Marche Du Film,Canneswhere it has generated positive reviews. People have come out smiling and we have had the house full at a number of fests, adds Mohan.
However,its Chandler who seems most excited. In New York,after the films screening,a gentleman asked me how I was related to the project. I was amazed that people did not associate with me the persona of Savio,since I am mostly looked at as a stand-up artiste. This is my first lead role in a film and it was challenging because I have to be consistently good; you cant have just one moment of glory, he says.