The sizeable stage number one at Mumbai’s Mehboob Studio is buzzing with activity. That’s where the shooting of Yash Raj Films’ Bank Chor kicked off last week, at a specially-constructed set of a bank called Bank Of Indians.
As you enter the set, you notice that the interiors are an interesting mix of the old and the new. While the wooden paneling and furniture lend an old world charm, the laptops on the tables suggest that the film is set in contemporary times. Director Bumpy takes us on a tour of the set, pointing out to the different departments. To the right of the set are some plush cabins for the senior staff, while on the left, there are some beautifully sculpted busts, and nestled between them there is a board with the name of the bank on it. According to Bumpy, the woodwork of the windows and the interiors have been designed keeping in mind the exterior of the building where some outdoor scenes will be shot later. Right in the centre is the working area with desks and chairs and that’s where the action was taking place.
“Set designer Aparna Raina has created this striking interior keeping in mind that the bank was set up in the early 1900s. It’s a mix of two worlds – while the amenities match today’s banking system, the look is period. Aparna, the director of photography Adil, and I designed the interiors in a way it doesn’t look like a set. So the challenge was huge! Also I like shooting in 360 degrees to capture every corner while shooting. If I swing the camera, there should be depth to the shot. I have also kept the lighting very real, stronger on one side of the set and weaker on the other, so when a character walks in, the light on his face changes. I have made sure no shot will have a flat background. This way, every frame will present a different hue and aspect and the audience will feel fatigued watching the same interiors as almost 70 per cent of the film will be shot here over the next 20 days or so,” explains the director who has earlier helmed YRF’s Luv Ka The End.
Just then Riteish Deshmukh dressed in simple jeans and a shirt walks in. The actor, we learn, plays Champak Chandrakant, a middle-class God-fearing, Maharashtrian guy, who, for some reason, is unable to repay the loan he has taken from Bank Of Indians. Hence he plans to rob the bank with two other guys in the film!
“We are very stupid chors, so it was natural that our plans go haywire and we land up being holed inside the bank. That’s what todays scene is about, with the police and the media outside while we panic inside. And that’s the time the film picks up and the fun starts,” says Deshmukh who has been shooting since morning.
Enter the cops
Vivek Oberoi, who faces the camera after almost a year, joined the shoot. He looks every inch the CBI officer he is playing – large moustache, hair flicked back, attired in a neat shirt and trousers. Since it is the first time that he is playing a cop, he is kicked about it. “Amjad Khan is a super cop who has won many medals for his gallantry and believes in quick justice. My presence confuses these bank robbers who wonder why such a senior cop has been called in for this job. You will see several funny scenes in the film,” smiles Oberoi.
The actors, who have worked in two films before, share a camaraderie which is visible as they smile at each other and get ready to face the camera again!