A hair-raising tale
Ujda Chaman’s director Abhishek Pathak and actor Sunny Singh talk to Bhavi Gathani about premature balding, making of the film, challanges faced and much more
The trailer of Ujda Chaman has comedy blended with a slice of life element. How do you see the audience connecting with the core subject of the film?
Sunny: As an audience, if I go to a movie theatre, having popcorn with some cold drink, I will love and enjoy watching a film only if it is entertaining. You go to a theatre to watch a film to laugh and to be happy. There are different genres and there are some movies that pass on some message. This is a film which shows the journey of a bald guy. There are moments which are different, there are emotions which are different, and obviously we have a humorous side to it so people will definitely like it. The movies that we have given earlier also had a humorous blend. Through that, we have observed that people easily connect with a film. Apart from that, when you talk about something, you should also get into the details. If you are showing the relationship of a couple, you have to show the details by presenting it with appropriate dialogue and scenes that relate to the audience easily. When there is more of realism in the film, it connects with the audience and that is the reason people like a film.
Abhishek: The same thing was there in Pyaar Ka Punchnama and Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety. The humour quotient that we normally get in a film is very real; something how people talk in real life. The dialogues, the situations are not filmy as such. They are more real.
Sunny: More than a scene, the person's character and the dialogue connect the audience with the film. As far as Ujda Chaman is concerned, the issue that we are discussing in the film, I think everybody has to go through this at some or the other age. It's a human thing. Some have a genetic problem so they go through this at a very young age. I also have friends who are bald and somebody is a little unconfident and they face issues like… yaar mein kisi se baat nahi kar pata, for them there is a problem of dating, on the other hand, someone is happy, he has a girlfriend; it is all about the confidence and the journey of every individual.
Abhishek, Ujda Chaman is the remake of a Kannada film. What was the reason behind selecting this particular film to make your directorial debut with?
Abhishek: When I watched the Kannada film Ondu Motteya Kathe, I felt that this is a very tough character to get on screen and convince people to watch. It's not an attractive character. Even in the film, the character is not attractive to a lot of people and that's what the comment is all about. Somewhere, making people fall in love with him is a challenge in itself. I wanted to take up that challenge and I feel I have achieved it somewhere. The actor of the Kannada film is actually bald in real life too. Making him (Sunny) reach that level, that benchmark, it was challenging for us somewhere. We did a lot of look tests for that. When we achieved it, we were very firm that we want to take up this challenge and prove ourselves.
On the other hand, talking about making a remake or not making a remake, it is a different call altogether. Every film has its own voice and I wanted to put my kind of treatment to it, my voice to it.
Sunny, besides makeup what was the most challenging part for you to play this character?
Sunny: Initially I was thinking that it's a different role and I was a little nervous as to how will I take this character forward in terms of the process but I gained confidence during the making of the film. We used to sit a lot and discuss about this character. If you do the hard work and give 100 per cent in terms of direction, acting and everything, the outcome will surely be worth praising. Apart from the prosthetics, I worked on the body language of the character; how will he walk, how will he talk with the people around, how will he talk with the girl, everything. We used to see all the shots as soon as we filmed them and people used to laugh on set too. That was a great response.
What was it about the story that triggered a yes from you?
Sunny: When Abhishek called me and said that he had a good script, I watched the Kannada film and I simply said yes for the film. I was very excited to work on the character. I remember doing the scenes and walking and talking as Chaman, wearing those clothes and the whole make over. I was very confident and happy doing it as this time the audience will see something different.
What's next for both of you?
Abhishek: Holiday. (Laughs). We need to take a break right now. We had a really hectic schedule for this.
Sunny: We need a little break and then maybe we'll figure out something.