Ask debutant director Atul Taishete the most challenging part of shooting Vartak Nagar – The Story Of Four Crows, and he promptly retorts, “The action sequences.” The film, based in the 80s, has three layers – friendship between four lower-class boys who go to an English medium school in Mumbai’s mill area, the turf struggle between gangster Jimmy Sheirgill and a mill worker’s union leader Raghu Ram, and the mill strike of 1983.
“Vartak Nagar is a commercial, violent but fun film. It is shot in real locations in Mumbai and several action scenes with five-six major ones, have been picturised for the film. The one which stands out is the big fight during the Ganapati festival, between two gangs led by Jimmy and Raghu Ram. The fight had scale, and we shot in a South Mumbai colony with 200 junior artistes and about 30 fighters. To retain the 80s look and feel, the action sequences had hand-to-hand fights using knives, fists and choppers. No cables, flying men or modern equipment was used by fight director Salam Ansari. But they were well choreographed and directed and despite the large scale of the action went off pretty well,” said the writer and short film-maker-turned-director.
The film is about friendship of four teenagers played by Mohak Meet, Shantanu Rangnekar, Jayesh Kardak and Ashitosh Gaikwad, and they will also be involved in some heavy duty action scenes. “Filming action scenes with children is always risky. An ambulance and a doctor were always present on the set in case anyone was injured,” he said.
Vartak Nagar is presented by Kunal Kohli Productions and produced by Adarsh Telly Media and Dione Entertainment. It is slated to release later this year.