‘I have no interest in simple films'

Imagine trying to have a serious interview in the middle of atleast twenty people, over the phone, with all of them talking at the same time! 

‘Am a story teller, I like telling stories’ says Bollywood director Kaizad Gustad as I struggled to hear his voice over the loud din of the restaurant I was sitting in, trying to drink and interview the man at the same time.

Back in business after a hiatus of sorts, Gustad is all set with his next release Jackpot that stars Sunny Leone, Naseeruddin Shah and Sachiin Joshi.

Remembered for his risqué venture Boom - ‘Really? People remember me for Boom?’ laughs Gustad,
comes to Bollywood from his stables almost after a decade. So what is Jackpot all about? ‘It is a fast paced comedy con film,’ explains Gustad. ‘It has the grey characters and everyone is out to con the other person,’ he adds. Intrinsically about a game of cards with a neat briefcase of greenbacks that everyone wants to get their hands on, Jackpot hits screens on 13 December.

‘I’ve always been a big Goa fan,’ admits Gustad and that explains why the movie is set entirely in Goa - half on the laid back houseboat and the other on a casino ship. The two places the movie is based shows two very different sides of Goa, one on the calm Chapora waters and the other high rolling Mandovi waters that house the fancy casinos. The movie also captures the stunning Goa monsoons and the two very contradictory paces of life in Goa.

It is not a simple story, says Gustad. And our dear friend Wikipedia states, and I quote, ‘The film goes back and forth in time, capturing one Goan monsoon of full jhol. It’s a card game between the players in the con. Who will come out aces and who will end up being the joker? An amateur gang of young Goans plan the perfect con - no nuksaan, no pareshan. doesn’t take long for them to discover that a reverse con has been played back on them - by the very people they were trying to con. In doing so, the five members of the gang split and start suspecting each other. After all, when there is cash in a briefcase, and a beautiful woman with a gun, things tend to go horribly wrong...’ - Remind me never to turn to Wikipedia for references again!

Gustad’s team for Jackpot - Leone, Shah and Joshi, came together one after the other and the movie was shot in 6 months flat. Joshi and the director met and the actor producer Joshi came on board because according to Gustad - he fit in perfectly for the role of Francis. Joshi made his Bollywood break with Azaan in 2011 where he brought in Playboy cover girl Candice Boucher.

Shah had worked with Gustad earlier in Bombay Boys and the two are great friends. So we suppose that when Gustad planned to make his Bollywood comeback (of sorts) it was but obvious that Shah would be a part of it too.

Porn star turned actor Sunny Leone has already made her mark in showbiz and as Gustad puts it, she was very interested in her role as soon as she heard of it. And as soon as the team came together - the shooting had begun almost instantly.

Gustad has his trademark dark humour that we are dying to see in Jackpot as well. Saying that he has no interest in ‘simple’ stories, Gustad adds that no matter what movie he makes in his career, all of them should have his style written all over. While his movies have had their share of criticism, they have also been celebrated and enjoyed immensely and not just be the niche, intellectual lot. Rahul Bose, Naseeruddin Shah, Tara Deshpande starrer Bombay Boys (1998) made Gustad a name to watch out for. And Boom (2003) with Amitabh Bachchan, Jackie Shroff, Gulshan Grover, Zeenat Aman, Padma Lakshmi, Madhu Sapre and Katrina Kaif put Gustad in the list of directors who were not a part of the Bollywood mainstream, yet quite a figure to reckon with. And as we can well recall, Boom was Kaif’s Bollywood debut.

While Bombay Boys was about three men in Mumbai who are struggling to find their footing in the city, it brought up the murky connect of the underworld and Bollywood.

Boom played up the underworld and the glamorous fashion industry connect bringing up the story of three models who get caught in a web of deceit and smuggling when they least expect it.

Gustad has been marked out in the industry for his dark, tongue-in-cheek treatment of   grey shades that control the shiny, hassle free worlds of showbiz and glamour. With Jackpot, Gustad takes on the gambling industry in Goa - something no other director has done so far in Bollywood and going by his record - this will clearly be quite a movie to watch out for.

So what next? Gustad mysteriously adds that he is all set to work for his next film. He also tells us that he is going to start shooting for it as soon as Jackpot releases on 13 December. So what’s that about? ‘That we shall talk about some other time, promise!’ he laughs. We shall just have to count on that!
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