After a critically acclaimed Dasvidaniya and a commercial success Chalo Dilli,Shashant Shah has now taken a riotous route with this Friday release Bajatey Raho. From the maker of The Great Indian Comedy Show,it was pretty much impending to witness an out and out comedy. This is what he promises to deliver with the Dolly Ahluwalia,Tusshar Kapoor,Vinay Pathak,Ranvir Shorey,Ravi Kishan and Vishakha Singh affair.
How did you get the idea of Bajatey Raho?
One fine morning since I was getting late for a meeting,I decided to make it quick by eating an apple. This is when my assistant told me that I should not have it along with the peel. When I asked him ‘why not’,he said that it would have a wax on it in order to give it a shiny red colour. I didn’t believe it first but when I started peeling it off slowly,I ended up gathering a few grams of wax. In researching further,I realised that this wax could even cause cancer. I was really angry because I realised that corruption has entered the core DNA of roti,kapda aur makaan as well. The seed of Bajatey Raho was sown there!
Compared to a rather sober Dasvidaniya and then Chalo Dilli,you seem to have taken a riotous route.
There was no conscious effort behind that though. When you try too hard then somewhere you are dishonest to a story. It is not about sticking to a trend. Recently four rom-coms have worked in a row. Then actions films are doing well too. Now is the time for a comedy to work.
Not many would have dared so but you have put Dolly Ahluwalia (of Vicky Donor fame) as the face of the film. How did that happen?
I found out about her by accident. My script was ready but then when I saw Vicky Donor,I re-did it. The film’s story is about her and the three guys. I wanted her to be a central character. She reminded me of my granny who is a powerful lady and is living life on her own terms. In real life,I have been thankfully surrounded by very strong women. These are my granny,my mom,my wife and then my producer Krishika Lulla and now Dollyji. I have five strong brilliant creative people surrounding me. When I said that I wanted the first poster of Bajatey Raho to feature Dollyji,Krishika went with my vision.
Meanwhile you are also scoring a hat-trick with Vinay Pathak after Dasvidaniya and Chalo Dilli.
(Laughs) Vinay was just happy that someone was offering him a different role. He instantly agreed to it. On the other hand,Ranvir has a lot of trust in me as a director and a friend. I had shot a tele-film Punha with him some time back where he was the lead. He has a lot of trust in me. In fact he was the one who told me during the shooting of The Great Indian Comedy Show that I should make a film.
You did head for a quintessential Bollywood cast in the form of Tusshar and Vishakha?
I remember Tusshar telling me after watching Chalo Dilli that he loved it and was looking forward to working with me. As for the female lead,I was clear that I wanted an actor and not someone who was worried all the time that whether her popularity would go up on Zoom TV after the film’s release. With all due respect,as an actor you need that as well but I couldn’t have promised my heroine that here.
The film has an out and out Delhi setting to you. You must have had fun shooting in the city,right?
The whole film has been shot in Delhi. I remember shooting in Chandni Chowk and there was some issue with the crowd. They somehow got to know that I was the one who had made Chalo Dilli. (Smiles) The city-connect worked and the place became a huge celebration crowd.
Still,you managed to shoot in a very quick time.
Yes,we finished the shoot in 38 days flat. In fact that’s the way I work. I had shot Chalo Dilli as well as Dasvidaniya in 33 days each. Bajatey Raho in particular had to be rightly budgeted. As a matter of fact,every movie should have the right budget and not low or big budget. I should be able to justify my producer’s faith in me and the subject; I have always been very clear about that.
Have you managed to do that with Krishika?
With her,the best part is that she is a very non-interfering producer. She is very involved though. She handles her hat as a producer very smartly,passionately and dedicatedly.
The film releases this Friday with 4-5 other films as well. Isn’t that too much of a rush?
I hope and wish that all ‘good’ films do well. I am stressing on the ‘good’ part since I can see that in the name of films,there is some sub-standard work also being done. On the other hand,I have seen this very interesting promo of Issaq which is coming alongside. I am looking forward to it. As for competition,even Chalo Dilli came with mighty competition of five other films. Still,it was the biggest grosser of them all. I am sure same would be the case with Bajatey Raho.