Romance, love, action, drama — Ali Abbas Zafar helmed Gunday, stokes memories of an era gone by, when heroes wore their machismo on their sleeves. A story of two boys, who fight for survival, identity and love,
we bring you vignettes from an interesting session of Screen Preview, with the director and his actors — Priyanka Chopra, Ranveer Singh and Arjun Kapoor.
Let’s start with the predictable line, ‘Tell us something about Gunday’?
Ali Abbas Zafar: Whatever we had to say about the film is revealed in the trailer. I don’t know how to categorise the film in terms of the genre. All I can say is that it is a Hindi film.
Arjun Kapoor : Hindi film hai boss.
AAZ: The film has got everything—friendship, romance, drama and action. At heart, it’s a very emotional story with a context. The story is based at the time when Bangladesh was formed, when many Indians were suddenly rendered rootless and considered illegal immigrants. Gunday traces the journey of two young boys, their struggle to sustain themselves, and the twists and turns their life takes after they meet Nandita (Priyanka Chopra).
There is a purpose to set the story in the ’70s and the ’80s. It was a time when mainstream commercial cinema ruled the marquee — every film made during that time, be it a Deewar or a Sholay, had a reason as to why they were made.
Priyanka Chopra: This film is not made with the notion that let’s ‘item’ise everything, make the actors look good and package it with songs and action. Formula leke film nahin banayi hai. At the same time, we are not shying away from the fact that it is a quintessential Hindi film and has everything one would expect from a film of that genre —drama, conflict, action, betrayal, love. It is the story of two underdogs — boys who’ve had to fight, and even go against the system in order to survive. The beauty of the film is that the story will play on your emotions. Besides being entertained for two and a half hours, the audience will go back thinking about a number of issues.
AK: It is not a mindless commercial film that has been packaged together. There is a journey involved.
How would you describe Nandita, Bala and Bikram, the character’s that you play in Gunday?
PC: Let Arjun and Ranveer give relevance to their characters, then I will talk about mine.
AK: Bikram and Bala are two sides of the same coin. You can’t talk and think about Bikram without Bala. They are do dil ek jaan. Bala is younger to Bikram and naive. Woh doodh ki tarah ubhal jaata hai, and is more volatile. His responses are always in the extreme — whether it is love or hatred. There is no middle path for Bala. He can be destroyed without Bikram, whose presence is important for continued…