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Tuesday, August 16, 2022

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Nothing’s ever come easy to me and the pre-release buzz of Oye Lucky felt too good to be true. We premiered in Goa. It was during the screening that we got the news of the attacks.

Written by DIPTI NAGPAUL D’SOUZA |
June 18, 2009 3:24:35 am

From going unnoticed in the week of its release,the 26/11 weekend,to having travelled to New York’s MOMA festival,Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! proved to be a sleeper hit.
Nothing’s ever come easy to me and the pre-release buzz of Oye Lucky felt too good to be true. We premiered in Goa. It was during the screening that we got the news of the attacks. But the film stuck on after release and later climbed when Rab Ne Bana De Jodi released. It then went on to win awards. We thought it’s in our destiny to be ignored — so all this appreciation is a bonus.

Did you not know the film would stand out when you saw it before the release?
It started seeping in during the award functions here. All the invisible work that had gone into its making — cinematography that went with the mood of the film,dialogues that suited the character.

How did MOMA happen?
Films that have been made with a foreigner’s point of view are usually the kinds that make it to the festivals. Whereas films like Oye Lucky,which are rooted in the mishmash of urban Indian and Western sensibilities,rarely seep through. It was encouraging that MOMA wasn’t picking according to the template of what India should be projected like.

How much of the movie’s success can be attributed to how Abhay Deol embodied Lucky?
I can confidently say that without Abhay there is no Lucky. No one else could internalise the character and project it without playing to the gallery. In fact,I spent four months with him after he signed the film so the dialogues were written for Abhay and the character designed for him. If I had cast anyone else from the industry,my script would require amendments. I may have had to make Lucky win in the end. Abhay’s a great actor,I think of him in every film I do.

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So you intend to cast Abhay in every movie?
My next political thriller goes on floors by the year end and has Abhay in it. This movie projects politics at its basic level — at the roadside or at the local shop that has to pay hafta and then percolates to the top. It is a satire that projects anger and outrage without being didactic. My other film,which I begin shooting in a month,is a digital film with a new cast. It’s about love,betrayal,sex and is being made at a budget less than that of an extravagant song in a Hindi masala movie.

You and Abhay seem to share a camaraderie so strong that you let him represent you at MOMA.
That’s because he and I share the same goal of taking our Indian movies to an international audience. As for representing me at MOMA,what better than having the star represent the movie — he can connect better with the audience.

Your films till now have been based in Delhi. Is it the same again?
No,my next two movies can be based in any place in India. Having lived in Delhi,initially,my stories came from there. But now I’ve spent a couple of years in Mumbai. I live in Parel,listen in on chats at Udipi or Irani resturants,interact with the local paan-bidi shop owner,deal with brokers and police who barged into my house blaming me of playing music too loud though I wasn’t,witnessed fights at the street. I derive inspiration from these instances.

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First published on: 18-06-2009 at 03:24:35 am

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