The wait is over for Umesh Shukla. Three years after delivering a super hit OMG – Oh My God! (2012), the filmmaker now returns with All Is Well. Instead of getting trapped into the genre of religion and satire, he has moved on to make a light hearted family drama instead with Abhishek Bachchan and Rishi Kapoor. With a road trip forming a good part of his film’s narrative, there are many smiles promised too as well as the emotions. As they say, it is the journey that matters, and not really the destination. Same is the driving factor for All Is Well too which has Asin and Supriya Pathak as the women on the ride.
All Is Well is quite a shift from OMG – Oh My God, isn’t it?
Yes, it is a light hearted family drama on family values. I think today the generation gap is quite apparent. Earlier joint families comprised of chacha-chachi, cousins and all who stayed together. Today, even if parents and children stay together then it is termed as a joint family. Sometimes kids get a complex because of fight between the parents. Then this complex ends up hitting their love life. It is these and many more layers that are explored in All Is Well, though the treatment is in a lighter vein. We didn’t want the film to be preachy because then it would have looked odd and not reached a wider audience.
So what’s the core conflict in the film? The loan which Rishi Kapoor has taken?
The conflict is much more than that as the loan factor is just a vehicle. Like for example ‘suing God’ was just a vehicle in OMG. People talk about comparisons with Piku but then All Is Well is not about a journey. Instead, what happens in a journey is much more important. There is no comparison at all.
Was Abhishek the first choice for this journey?
Abhishek can carry a poised moment very well. Also, he is a very good comic actor, as we saw in Dostana and Bol Bachchan. When you write a script then you think about who all the actors who can fit in. When you look at Abhishek, you see an actor who is complete. In order to deliver an emotional scene, ek actor mein thoda thehrav chahiye hota hai. Your eyes need to say a lot, something that Abhishek does very well. He is superb. Right from the beginning of the film, he was in a mode.
How about Asin?
I had seen her films like Ghajini and Ready, and found that she performs really well. She has worked so hard to reach this point. She has broken the language barrier. She can do comedy as well as drama. The character that she plays in the film is also very interesting. Her character believes in the book The Secret. She believes that what you want happens indeed. Her romantic track with Abhishek is very unusual.
Since the film is about a father and his son, didn’t you think of bringing in Amitabh Bachchan for the part?
Bachchan saab has a larger than life image. When you see him, there is no issue around ability. However, for every film, a particular set up has to be made. For All Is Well, Chintuji (Rishi Kapoor) is 100% correct. Just like for 102 Not Out, there is no one else but Mr. Bachchan for the part.
That said, after OMG – Oh My God! , quite a few producers must have come to you to either make its sequel or pick on another film on religion, right?
Yes filmmakers came to me. However, I didn’t want to get into a slot. Even when I have done theater, I have explored all genres. I didn’t want to make another film on God. Even for Part 2, I would make it only if I get a good subject. It won’t be to make something quick and encash on it. Look at Munnabhai series. They took 3 years for the sequel and then came up with another better film. If I were to make a sequel to OMG, it would have to be good with a message in there that is also entertaining.