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Looks Like love

Shuddh Desi Romance explores the new confused definitions that the Indian youth gives to relationships

Published: September 2, 2013 4:00:27 am

Attraction may lead to sex but the couple need not be dating; dating doesn’t imply commitment and two people who are committed to each other may not want to ever marry. Jaideep Sahni cited this simple example to make a point about how the Indian youth is viewing relationships today. “There is no fixed formula to relationships anymore,and that is what Shuddh Desi Romance attempts to capture,” said the film’s screenwriter-lyricist.

Sahni,along with Shuddh Desi Romance director Maneesh Sharma and actresses Parineeti Chopra and Vaani Kapoor,was at Express Towers,Mumbai,on Wednesday as part of Screen Preview to talk about the film,which releases on September 6. The film,set in Jaipur,revolves around Raghu (Sushant Singh Rajput),as he attempts to understand what he really feels about the two women he likes — Gayatri and Tara — essayed by Chopra and Kapoor respectively.

Although the film follows the confusion that Rajput’s character goes through,Sharma asserted that the ladies have meatier,more interesting roles. “There is a stereotype or formula to the on-screen heroines in Hindi cinema. But Gayatri and Tara are very different and both Parineeti and Vaani have played their parts perfectly even though they had absolutely no reference points,” said Sharma,who has previously directed Band Baaja Baarat and Ladies Vs Ricky Bahl.

Speaking about their roles,Sahni said that Chopra — who made her debut as a leading lady in Habib Faisal’s Ishaqzaade — is the wiser one,as Gayatri,with experience of several relationships behind her. Debutante Kapoor as Tara,on the other hand,has great clarity about what she wants from life and her actions are all based on that.

The unusual title and kitschy posters with hand-painted look have resonated with the film’s target audience. The team pointed out that they arrived at the title after much debate,well after Sharma had finished shooting for the film. “We registered 35 titles but didn’t use even one of them,” said Chopra. Sahni added that it took time because they couldn’t come up with anything apt. “Shuddh Desi Romance worked because it is a unique Indian love story and the word shuddh stands not for pure but for ‘unadulterated’.”

The film has been shot in Jaipur at real locations,including the iconic Ram Mandir cinema hall. However,the team said that the film is being oddly perceived as one that is set in a small town. Sahni clarified that it’s a middle-class love story in Jaipur — a city that has 22 universities and sees one-fourth of India’s tourist population every year. It may not be a megapolis,but Jaipur is an urban centre with a large youth population.

This very youth,added Kapoor,is changing India,from its eating habits to the way people dress,and how they entertain themselves. “The film tells their stories. So they are also the people who will relate to the characters in this film,and if they don’t relate to them,they will definitely enjoy them.” Sharma added that the film is bound to surprise the viewers. “It is a love story written by Jaideep who has earlier penned films such as Khosla Ka Ghosla and Rocket Singh – Salesman of the Year. Given that romance hasn’t been his forte,what he eventually came up with is quirky in every sense of the word,” says Sharma.

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