MUMBAI: It was all about creating a Goan environment for the pre-release press conference of Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd, held at Mumbai’s Salt Water Grill on Wednesday afternoon. The film’s stars arrived at the venue in the distinctive pink Starbus, which features prominently on all the trailers and promotions.
Those who arrived on the bus included Shabana Azmi, Boman Irani, Raima Sen, Sandhya Mridul, Kay Kay Menon, Karan Khanna, Minnisha Lamba, producers Farhan and Zoya Akhtar, Ritesh Sidhwani, and director Reema Kagti.
In a tÃƒÆ’Ã‚Âªte-ÃƒÆ’ -tÃƒÆ’Ã‚Âªte with our correspondent; the stars, director and producers share their experiences.
How long did it take to make HTPL?
It took 52 days of shooting. A major part was shot primarily in
Was it a conscious effort to create different looks for all the characters?
Yes, absolutely. In terms of styling, it was a conscious effort. I really wanted to bring out a sense of reality through the wardrobe and looks of the characters. We went over a lot of different looks till we finalised one for each of the characters.
Tell us something about the film.
It is a lighthearted film, but is not a mindless comedy. I took a really long time to work on the script and have tried to bring out real people and real issues. I had earlier written Aspi and Zara’s (Abhay Deol and Minissha Lamba) story as a short film that I wanted to make. I decided to develop on it and make it a part of this film.
In this film, we do touch on dark subjects that Hindi commercial films don’t cover. Having said that, I do believe we have the capability to make all kinds of films.
Are there any product placements, other than Tata Busses and Radio Mirchi?
There are none, besides these two. We have used the pink bus from Tata and the arrangement with Radio Mirchi is that RJ Harsh is the sutradhar (narrator) of the film. There is a show that he hosts called “Pyar ke lamhe” and that is a part of the film.
Is there anything else you are currently working on?
Yes, there is a script that I am co-writing with Zoya Akhtar. It is a thriller and we do have a wish list of cast that we would like to work with, but as of now we have not finalised anyone. We are still at the script writing stage.
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One has seen you in films like Ankur, Shatranj Ke Khilari and recently, Morning Raga and Umrao Jaan. Why was it important to do HTPL?
I am doing it because it is being produced by my kids. I read the script and immediately liked it, thus the decision to do Honeymoon Travels…. I thought the film would turn out to be great and Reema has proved me right.
Reema talked about the film being different; do you share the opinion?
Yes, I think so too. It certainly has all the ingredients of a Hindi film, but offers something more. The way the story is told is different; it cannot be categorised into any period of filmmaking or genre. The script was sound and Reema knew exactly what she wanted.
What did you have to do to get into Nahid’s skin?
The difficulty was that I had to make her believable, like all the other characters I have played. The appearance had to be non discreet and that was a tough thing. As an actor, one learns to project and this one required having no projection at all. She had to be the one with the greatest wisdom and yet had to be a little dismissive; doing all this was a great experience.
Did you find yourself contributing to the script because it was your children’s film and because you could offer the wisdom of your experiences?
Yes, I did provide little inputs while shooting the scenes; more because Reema had asked all of us to give suggestions. So you see, it was not just me who contributed, everyone came in and added their bits to the scene and script. Ultimately, it was Reema who decided, she was clear on what she wanted and seeing the end product, I can say she managed to get it too.
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We all know about the heavy duty marketing being done for the film, what’s the next step?
As of now, we are planning road shows in cities like Kolkata,
It is obvious that movie pirates will try to get copies of the movie out. What precautions are being taken to curtail that?
What can anyone do? These people work promptly to get copies of the movie out within days of the film’s release. We have been placing watermarks in the films since Dil Chahta Hai, but these pirates are so smart that they go through the entire film to pinpoint exactly where the watermarks are and they delete that particular scene. So now we plan to place the watermarks at random, so that they wouldn’t know where it might be.
This will enable us to find out and track the culprits.
What’s next after HTPL?
There is one untitled project that Zoya is working on. I wouldn’t want to reveal anything on that since it is in its initial stages.
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“I am grateful that after shooting HTPL, we haven’t gone mad. The journey of this month and a half was special and I hope the film does well.” ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ Boman Irani
“I would just like to say, come and watch the movie.”- Reema Kagti
“It’s just a delicious film, Throughout I was busy asking for other people’s husbands for company.” ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ Sandhya Mridul
“I hope the film does well, just so that we can make HTPL part 2 with our babies in it.” – Raima Sen