In his career spanning exactly two decades (he made his debut in 1989 with as many as four films – Gola Barood, Taaqatwar, Jurrat and Aag Ka Gola – a record of sorts), David Dhawan has directed close to 40 films. Master of comedies, he ruled the roost for most of the 90s and also reinvented himself in the current decade with films like Partner, Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya and Mujhse Shaadi Karogi. While some of his biggest films have taken a couple of years to reach the finishing line, he has averaged a couple of films every year since the beginning of his career.
However, Hook Ya Crook can well be considered as a project that has taken the longest time ever for a David Dhawan film to reach the finishing mark. Announced way back in December 2006 (yes, the film was first supposed to begin 3 years back), Hook Ya Crook is David’s long pending dream that is waiting to be materialised. Change in cast, availability of the right actors, recession plaguing the industry and accidents during the shoot are just some of the many reasons that have continued to the delay this film from seeing the light of the day. The director, who just saw a release in the form of Do Knot Disturb, is gearing up to finish the film soon though and release it in 2010.
However, as it has turned out, Hook Ya Crook doesn’t quite have a regular excuse of date unavailability from the principal cast of the film. Even though the film stars the likes of John Abraham, Genelia Dsouza, Kay Kay Menon and Shreyas Talpade, it is the busy schedule of cricketers which has been keeping the film on bay.
Says David Dhawan, “Yes, the shooting of the film has been on hold for a while since it requires a schedule with some top Indian cricketers. It still hasn’t been decided who would these cricketers be. However, the demand of the script is that this man has to be a top player from the current generation. We can’t afford to have a lesser cricket star.”
Hook Ya Crook, though set in a jail, has cricket playing an important part in the narrative. Apparently, the jail inmates are supposed to be playing a match with the top Indian cricketers and hence it was imperative that some of the biggest names in the sports were roped in for the film. There were talks that the captain of the Indian cricket team, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, would be adding further value to the star studded affair
David Dhawan denies though that the film has been held back because of this very reason. “There is so much which is required in the making of a film. While we are waiting for this last schedule to get over, which would last for about 10 days in total, there is good progress being made on the post production activities. The film is certainly not on hold, as some rumour mongers are busy predicting. Come December and we should be definitely through with the principal shooting of the film.”
When the film had earlier gone on floors in early 2009, it had seemed that Hook Ya Crook was finally back on tracks and would eventually release in late 2009. However, to the misfortune of UTV and David Dhawan, a freak incident on the sets of the film resulted in John Abraham being out of action for a month. This happened at the worst possible time since the film was progressing well to be completed in the mid-2009.
“It was quite unfortunate that John fractured his foot during the shooting of a key cricket sequence in the film”, informs David Dhawan, “Lakshmipathy Balaji bowled a fast one to John which directly hit him on his right foot. Earlier it appeared to be a minor injury but as it turned out eventually, John’s foot had to be put on a cast. But obviously, it couldn’t have been possible to shoot further in these conditions, right?”
With John out of action, the film was put on hold once again, hence placing a question mark over its completion and subsequent release. David Dhawan got busy with completing Do Knot Disturb, John (after his recovery from the injury) went on to begin work on Abbas Tyrewala’s 1-800 Love while UTV too got busy with release of it’s multiple projects (Kaminey, Agyaat, Aage Se Right, What’s Your Raashee?, Wake Up Sid and Chance Pe Dance). Now with UTV, David as well as John more or less through with their projects in hand, focus is said to be shifting again towards Hook Ya Crook.
Attached to the project for 3 years now, David Dhawan is naturally excited about the prospects of the film’s release. “It is not just unlike any other project that I have done in the past but also nothing like what has been seen before in Indian cinema”, he proudly declares, “No, it is not a comedy that many perceive it be to be just because it has
my name attached to it. It has its fair dose of drama, action, thrills and emotions.”
“Of course, I can’t deprive my audience of a few laughs and hence there is touch of humour to some of the scenes as well”, he adds, “But essentially, it has been made as a complete entertainment with little bit of every genre. Once we wrap up the film in December, UTV should be coming up with its marketing, promotional and release plans. The design of Hook Ya Crook is such that it qualifies as a summer film. It will certainly arrive in the first half of 2010.”