6 perfect strangers. 1 perfect crime. Now, all they have to fear is each other... Three sentences summarise Sanjay Gupta's latest film -- KAANTE.
Unruffled by the non-success of his last few films and the controversy his last film (JUNG) generated, Gupta has decided to start afresh. In association with friend Sanjay Dutt, Gupta has started a production house -- White Feather Films -- and the duo have announced their first venture, titled KAANTE.
The stars? Surely the most impressive names in showbiz today -- Amitabh Bachchan, Sanjay Dutt, Sunil Shetty, Kumar Gaurav, Lucky Ali and Mahesh Manjrekar.
The story of six crooked thugs who come together to pull off a crime, KAANTE will be shot in a start-to-finish spell in New York from August 20 this year. But what sets KAANTE apart from other Hindi films is that the entire crew of this film will be from Hollywood, right from the cinematographer to the sound recordist to the stunt co-ordinators to the editors.
"KAANTE is the first Indian project that is aimed at the international market in the true sense," Gupta tells us excitedly. To start with, the young director has already made two posters of the film, signifying the look of the film. That's not all, for Gupta has also made a 2-minute showreel (that cost him a cool Rs. 3 lacs!), with breath-taking visuals and sound effects, even before the film has actually gone on the floors.
"This has been done as part of a strategy to give an idea to the Hollywood studios about the kind of project we are making," Gupta reveals. Yes, talks are already on with a leading studio (name withheld by the writer!) to give it an international release. So, KAANTE will be made in two versions -- one, for the regular Hindi market (the usual length of two-and-a-half hours!) and the second, for the international market (duration 110 minutes) with sub-titles. Both the versions will be released simultaneously across the globe.
"We were planning to dub the film in English initially, but have been told by the Hollywood studios that films with sub-titles have eight times more scope than dubbed ventures," Gupta divulges. But what exactly prompted Gupta to explore new horizons? "When Hong Kong can make a breakthrough in Hollywood with John Woos flicks, why not Indian cinema, which is much more popular?" Gupta retorts.
Breaking the norm of music in Indian films, KAANTE will have not one but two music albums. One being the original soundtrack and the other, songs inspired by the motion picture. Defying convention, KAANTE will have as many as seven composers scoring the music. Again, the most impressive names -- Viju Shah, Lucky Ali, Shiamak Davar, Adnan Sami, Sulaiman and Salim Merchant and A.R. Rahman. The music of KAANTE has already been sold to Zee Records.
Colour schemes are being worked out to give the film a unique and startling visual style. The principal characters' wardrobe, the sets, the locations will have shades of black, white and grey, to give the film a stark style. To further highlight this look, an innovative film development process called 'skip-bleaching' is being used for the first time in an Indian film. The post-production and processing of the negative will be done in laboratories in Los Angeles, not in Mumbai or Chennai.
"KAANTE is almost a celebration of violence in which the heroes write themselves the license to drink, smoke and beat one another up. It's a film about these guys who see the world one way. Their way," Gupta says.
The plot In a world where loyalties are easily abandoned and allegiances bought, six perfect strangers come together to pull off the perfect crime. To get the job done, they must all do what they have never done before -- trust each other. But when their simple robbery explodes into a bloody ambush, the ruthless killers realise that one of them is a cop. But which one?
Says Amitabh Bachchan, who plays Yashvardhan Rampal aka Major "The script is great, I love it, but it's tricky and difficult." Sanjay Dutt, who plays Jay Rehan aka Ajju, is more forthcoming "It gives you an excuse to live with your dark side. The side you never express. The side that puts you in jail. The side that wakes you in a cold sweat and with a pounding heart. The side that's a part of me. And a part of you."
Sunil Shetty plays Marc Issak aka the bouncer, Kumar Gaurav is Anand Mathur aka Andy, Mahesh Manjrekar enacts the role of Raj Yadav aka Baali and Lucky Ali is Maqbool Haider aka Mak.
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