It’s a perfectly happy relationship between a 20-something boy and a girl living together. But nothing is at it seems. The girl takes off on a trip suddenly, and the boy, in a moment of weakness, calls for an escort. She turns out to be his girlfriend. This is indeed fiction — the plot of ‘Best Girlfriend’, a short fiction film that went viral. But it isn’t far from the truth. In fact, it is a real-life experience the film’s writer-director Navjot Gulati had heard from a friend.
A few months after ‘Best Girlfriend’, Gulati is back with a spin off series called ‘Local Girlfriend’. And like its predecessor, ‘Local Girlfriend’, too, explores such realities of modern-day urban relationships. “Yes, there is a thematic similarity. But while ‘Best Girlfriend’ was dramatic and serious, this one’s more fun,” he says.
‘Local Girlfriend’ sees Rachit Ahuja, a web developer, aspiring to be a singer although he can’t sing to save his life. He is in a relationship with a girl who stays abroad. Enter, girl number 2, presumably the ‘local girlfriend’ — the ‘timepass’ girl in Rachit’s life. However, its Rachit’s flatmate Dhaval, who has a moral problem with Rachit’s conduct, decides to teach him a lesson. What happens next is what follows in the three part-web series. ‘Local Girlfriend’, that features Vikrant Massey, Akshay Oberoi, Swati Semwal and Jenny Ghotra, is also the latest addition to the new breed of web series that are rocking the internet. It is produced by Dice Creator Network and is out on September 22.
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Gulati says he decided to make the web-series after he saw the far-reaching effects of the internet with the response to his last film. “I got responses from places as diverse as Ahmedabad and Romania. Short format films on web are definitely coming up as an alternative source of entertainment,” says the 28-year Gulati who written the Amit Sadh-Tapsee Pannu starrer ‘Running Shaadi.com’. Produced by Shoojit Sircar, it is expected to release early, 2016.
Does the title of ‘Local Girlfriend’, just like ‘Best Girlfriend’, allude to Chetan Bhagat’s bestselling novel Half Girlfriend? Gulati says it rather mocks the “cliche-ridden nonsensical world of Chetan Bhagat universe that doesn’t exist anywhere else apart from his head”. “I intend to make stories that I can identify with. They are not cliches, but things that everyone goes through but no one talks about,” he says.