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Adding local flavour: Film-maker Savita Raj Hiremath.
Known for her work in ‘Khosla Ka Ghosla’, film-maker Savita Raj Hiremath believes in bringing out the colours of Delhi in her films. She talks to Madhur Tankha about her latest venture and how she is infusing the city’s culture into her cast.
Unlike her contemporaries in Bollywood, film-maker Savita Raj Hiremath of the Khosla Ka Ghosla fame prefers to shoot in her hometown. And she familiarises her actors with the culture of Delhi through theatre workshops.
Savita says she tries to be as honest with the script. “I try to understand the story from the audiences’ perspective and how they would react to a certain situation. However, if I feel that a certain change is necessary I discuss it with my colleagues in the project. Film-making is all about team work and I don’t want to impose my view. So in a democratic way I articulate my views with the scriptwriter, the director and the assistant director and incorporate the changes if there is consensus.”
Savita’s upcoming venture is titled Sharafat Gayi Tel Lene, which translates into “To Hell With Honesty”. “The title is in sync with today’s times and has been made on the premise that just about everyone indulges in a little bit of cheating. Though it is illegal to speak on the mobile phone while driving, a number of people still do it. I bought the story from Rajesh Chawla and altered the script. Gurmeet Singh, who has been working in Bollywood for the past ten years, is making his debut as a director. He is just a 27-year-old but has worked in important movies like Jodhaa Akbar,” she says.
As the script required young actors, Savita roped in Zayed Khan and Ranvijay of MTV Roadies fame. As the debonair Zayed looks like an urban rich guy and the script required him to play a typical middle class boy from a small town, the film-maker familiarised the actor with the mannerisms of a middle class lad at her theatre workshop. “It was important to make Zayed get a feel of the character. In the film, he draws a salary of Rs.20,000 and drives a non-air-conditioned Maruti 800. He shares an apartment with Ranvijay. In a nutshell, Zayed represents a small town boy who struggles to make a mark in the cosmopolitan city like Delhi.”
In the film, Ranvijay is playing a small town braggart who has a different take on life in contrast to his roommate. He believes in making easy money even if that means breaking the law. “Ranvijay works at a call centre and the film also focuses on the call centre life in Delhi. I have only repeated Anupam Kher from Khosla Ka Ghosla as Boman Irani was busy and we didn’t have a meaty role for him,” says Savita.
Her upcoming flick has been shot in Mehrauli, Shipra Sun City in Ghaziabad and Noida.
Attributing the success of Khosla Ka Ghosla to a number of factors, Savita says: “I told script writer Jaideep Sahni that I was interested in reviving Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s type of cinema. Eventually the film touched different age group viewers. From an eight-year-old boy to an octogenarian, the film was enjoyed by everyone and was screened the maximum number of times on television.”
As most actors aren’t familiar with the culture of Delhi, Savita acquaints them with the city’s way of life and the sensibilities of its burgeoning middle class population. “It is important that boys from the film industry pick up the nuances of Delhi. Even veteran actor Boman Irani went to a theatre workshop for Khosla Ka Ghosla and the end result was that he behaved exactly like a property dealer.”
Savita, who has been involved in print and film advertising, decided to follow on the footsteps of her erstwhile advertising colleagues like Rakesh Mehra, Shantanu Moitra and Jaideep Sahni who made their new identity in Bollywood.
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