There may be a record in sight for debutant Kartik Tiwari who has rendered a four minute long comic monologue for his debut outing Pyaar Ka Punchnama. This is perhaps the lengthiest single-shot scene that any debutant has ever done for a Hindi film. The makers are now having a serious thought to dig down the archives before reaching out for that coveted record.
“There is this funny sequence in the second half of the film where Kartik gets into a women-bashing mode after being thoroughly frustrated with his live-in girlfriend”, informs director Luv Ranjan, “It was quite crucial to the film as it brings in a twist to the narrative. This monologue was spread over five sheets and was required to be delivered in a single take to get the best results. We didn’t want to cut it as that would have broken the momentum.”
To everyone’s surprise, Kartik got it right in his very first take itself though he did improvise on it a couple of times more before the third take was retained for the final cut of the film. Prior to that he had done quite a few rehearsals on his own before landing on the sets. This was after he had already gone past the pre-requisite of getting this scene right during the auditions.
Says Kartik, “When I read this scene, I just fell off my chair. I wondered whether I would actually manage to have a straight face while delivering these dialogues. They are so funny as I let lose my frustration about the ways of the women, right from the time they expect their guys to call them every second minute, compliment on their dressing all the time, appreciate their culinary skills, respond to queries like ‘Am I looking fat?’ etc. etc. Every man would relate to these situations and so did I. The challenge was to not laugh myself while looking at the camera.”
On the day of the shoot there was more fun in store as the young team further improvised on the dialogues. From the original scene that was supposed to end in around three minutes, there were more dialogues added due to which it became four minutes long.
“We were not aiming for the records”, says Abhishek Pathak, the film’s producer, “We didn’t even know whether a lengthy monologue like this was ever done in the history of Bollywood or not. All we knew was that this was the highlight sequence of the film. This is the reason why we were sure even during the auditions that whoever would play Rajat (the character played by Kartik) would have to get this one bang on?
“Kartik did it brilliantly during the auditions and passed the test with flying colours. Later during the film’s shoot too he managed to portray the angst, though in a funny way, with an effortless ease. In fact we used to joke around him that perhaps he himself was a ‘dukhiari aatma’ tormented by his real life girlfriend”, he laughs, “Mark my words, you would have the maximum laughs in the theatre when this scene comes.”
When asked whether a record is in the sight, he said, “I am sure though that we are the first ones to have accomplished this. Still, we are doing our own research before inviting the records keeper.”