Dinesh Vijan continues to be prolific with his films as a producer. Just a few months back he released Happy Ending and now he is ready with Badlapur. This time around, he is pairing up with Sriram Raghavan with whom he has earlier made Agent Vinod. Now for Badlapur, he has Varun Dhawan leading the show with Nawazuddin Siddiqui as the lead antagonist. Just like has been the case with majority of his earlier films, he has produced Badlapur too along with Sunil Lulla of Eros.
A revenge drama – How different can Badlapur be?
When Sriram (Raghavan) narrated the subject to me, I wanted to make a pure unadulterated Sriram Raghavan thriller. I termed the genre of Badlapur as a twisted entertainer. You laugh and you wonder why you are laughing (laughs).
From Agent Vinod to Badlapur, how has the progress been for you and Sriram?
Sriram has managed to complete Badlapur in record time. He has enjoyed this process and just had a blast making it. To cast the right actors was an enjoyable journey too. I remember when Varun (Dhawan) came by, I said to him that I knew it would be difficult for him to say yes but then also difficult to say no. It is a very mature performance by Varun. He and Nawaz are two parallels in the film. Nawaz is a fantastic performer. He would be glad himself with the work he has done. We have managed to put together a remarkable cast and crew.
As for the ladies, you have four distinct females in the form of Huma Qureshi, Yami Gautam, Divya Dutta and Radhika Apte. How did you arrive at these names?
In a story which revolves around Varun and Nawaz, everyone else is a part in the ensemble affair. It is not the length of the role but the relevance in the story what works. All four of them have really played their part to the T. We wanted to cast actors for the film and it is like a dream to have them around. Even Vinay Pathak and Kumud Mishra for that matter – every part has been played exactly as per Sriram Raghavan’s expectations. When you get performances that you want, when you have a different story to tell, then everything contributes like different colors in the painting. We have them all.
With Varun being the brightest of them all…
Well, to begin with we wanted an actor who could have been much older. Then we met Varun and his eyes did it for us. He has certain vulnerability and he mixes it up well with the angst. He is very young so kudos to him for choosing a character like this so early. The kind of performance that Varun has come up with belongs to never seen before. Good support from Sriram has done the trick too. He as a crazy mind. Though he looks like nice and sweet, when you watch the film you would realize that he has a lot going on in his mind. He is truly a ringmaster.
Considering the fact that each of Varun’s three successes has been a chocolate boy affair, it seems like a brave decision to have him in this role?
He is David Dhawan’s son but he watches everything. He has lived a happy life but he has managed to bring on a lot of sadness to the part. He managed to become Raghu and took it to his head, heart and soul. He has come up with a clutter breaking performance by coming out of his comfort zone. He has pushed the envelope and done everything that Sriram wanted him to do. He harrowed his family by going home as Raghu. His mother said to me that she was worried about him. He has this ridiculous amount of energy and makes everyone working with him feel so good. That’s a quality he takes from his dad.
Yet again, a film of yours has boasted of good music. It must have been quite some effort for you to put it together.
I am lucky. For films with Sriram and Homi (Adajania), the responsibility of music is completely with me. For me, music is the purest part of any role that I play. For that I have to really invest in a story. I am really satisfied with the soundtrack of Badlapur. Whether it is ‘Jee Karda’, ‘Jeena’ or ‘Judaai’ – each of the songs is an episode in itself by Sachin-Jigar.
Time and again one does hear about a clutter breaking performance and an envelope pushing affair. How much does Badlapur really manage that?
Today’s audience is a newer generation and we have to appeal to them differently. They need different stuff. When you walk out of theaters after watching Badlapur, you would feel something. It doesn’t spoon feed you. Also, you cannot miss the beginning. The film leaves a lot for you to apply imagination, which is a forward thinking way. It is a pure film; it is not being corrupted by trying to become more accessible. In fact by going this way, it has become more accessible. It is not a project being put together. We hope the film does well so that we can make more films like Badlapur.