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It’s all about love

Director Robby Grewal is ready with “Mera Pehla Pehla Pyar –MP3” releasing this summer. He tells RANA SIDDIQUI what makes it different

First love Robby Grewal says the film is about real romance in school.

Three years ago he gave us a beautiful thriller called Samay starring Sushmita Sen and Sushant Singh. A mature treatment of the film defied his debut status then. Now he is back with an innocent, romantic love story of two teenager s during their last days in school.

This is Robby Grewal. A young dynamic adman and director, now ready with Mera Pehla Pehla Pyar (MP3). The film is likely to release during the summer holidays.

Why a love story on school kids?

“I was writing certain ‘thriller’ scripts all these years. But in the middle of the writing, I felt lost. I thought to myself, which was the time I enjoyed most. And instantly my school time came to mind. I had a ball then. All those pranks, immaturity, foolish things that we used to do which I now laugh at. It triggered in me the idea of translating it onto the screen. I chose the 16-18 age group when students are in the last school session. Moreover, there are hardly any films on school teenagers other than Bobby or Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar. Most of them are college films. While in Hollywood every second week there is one or the other serial or film on romance and pranks in schools,” he r easons.

So, for the film, he auditioned 8000 boys and girls in different parts of India. He zeroed in on Ruslan Mumtaz and Hazel. While Ruslan is former actor Mumtaz’s son, making his debut with this film, Hazel is a London-based Indian girl who has appeared in some ads in India.

It’s not a usual love story where the boy finds a girl, falls in love and marries. It’s about that immature age, when friends mean a lot. It’s about pranks and how teenagers react to their first brush with love.


The film’s lead pair Ruslan Mumtaz and Hazel

Says Robby, “It’s a moment-driven story, as simple as a boy meets girl, girl goes and he follows. It’s a real romance and the innocence of first love in school. It is not conveyed through dark or grim situations.” Robby has incorporated certain autobiographical elements that he remembers from his school days.

On the choice of actors he says, “I didn’t want a biceps-showing, bike riding mature man pushed to act like a schoolboy. I wanted a boy who looked his age. Ruslan fit this image. After three auditions, I selected him. Then I didn’t know that he was Mumtaz’s son. He looks innocent but is quite a ‘chalu’ type in the film. He is a pain for his parents, a real naughty guy and an irresistible prankster. Hazel is from London. She made a perfect pair with him. I took her also because she has that English touch. And the girl (Ayesha) in the film is based in Paris. She is like girls her age: responsible, innocent and sweet.”

The film, he adds, is no claim to perfection, for he himself wanted that “rawness” and “a tinge of imperfection” in his characters to suit that age.

Let’s see if MP3 is as captivating as Samay.

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