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Director Shirsha Guha Thakurta on Do Aur Do Pyaar, “For a long-lasting marriage, it’s important to be friends”

en Bollywood News Director Shirsha Guha Thakurta on Do Aur Do Pyaar, “For a long-lasting marriage, it’s important to be friends”

In Do Aur Do Pyaar, Shirsha Guha Thakurta takes on an urban marriage and breaks into two extra-marital affairs. She said, “I feel every marriage or relationship will have their own keys. But for me personally I feel - for a long-lasting marriage – it’s important to be friends, it’s important to talk, it’s important to fight, it’s important to be comfortable with each other. It’s a very underrated romantic word. Comfort. You need to be each other's comfort food. Find your own Chicken 65.”

Director Shirsha Guha Thakurta on Do Aur Do Pyaar, “For a long-lasting marriage, it’s important to be friends”

Director Shirsha Guha Thakurta on Do Aur Do Pyaar, “For a long-lasting marriage, it’s important to be friends”

She revealed her sources of inspiration saying, “It will sound cliched because I am Bengali, but Satyajit Ray, of course. The simplicity and beauty and humanity in his storytelling, agnostic of whatever the genre, will always be my biggest inspiration. Then of course Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Wong Kar Wai, Sam Mendes and Alexander Payne.”

That entire chunk of the film where Kavya (Vidya Balan) and Ani (Pratik Gandhi) visit her home in Ooty is not in the original film Azazel Jacobs’ The Lovers. Said Shishra, “Honestly, that's my favourite part of the film. That was the only part we could really open it up, have lots of other characters, more fun, more music, before things became really messy back in the smaller, more real world. The surroundings were beautiful, the actors and characters and faces were lovely, it had so much flavour. Given a choice, I would stay in that world for ever, but then real-life crept in. Exactly like it did for Ani and Kavya. In our heads there was a separate movie in Ooty with Kavya and Ani's college romance and running away and the scandal in the Ganeshan household. We just didn’t show that to you.”

The spoken lines by all the four protagonists are the best we have heard in years. Where did these wonderful words come from? “All that is Suprotim, Eisha and Amrita Bagchi. The writers. Given that we wanted to make a very lived-in, real love story, they had the difficult job of writing dialogues that sounded real and every day and yet keep it engaging. Sometimes the simplest things can sound so beautiful or funny. Like my favourite line is, ‘Kabhi Kabhi shayad pyaar kaafi nahin hota’. It’s such a simple thought but it's so layered, and it is the heart of our film. It goes against everything our films generally tell us: that it’s all about falling in love and once you are in love, its absolute and forever. It is not.”

Shirsha confessed that she has always been interested in what happens to all those perfectly in love couples that we show in our films. “What happened to Raj and Simran after running away on the train at the end of DDLJ twenty years later? Where are they now? Have they become flatmates instead of lovers? What happens when the initial chemistry has worn off and love becomes a habit. This has always fascinated me. I see people around me struggling with this in our modern lives - To hold on to this Hallmark version of love, with so many distractions, with social media. Real Love is not a straight line - its cyclical. It comes and goes. The songs and books all lied. So, when my producers Swati Iyer and Tanuj Garg brought this story to me, an adaptation of an independent American film called The Lovers by Azazel Jacobs, I jumped at the opportunity of telling a story of love which was lived in and more real.

She added, “This was in 2020 just before COVID hit – it’s taken four years to finally bring this story to you. I liked the one liner of the original film. But the movie itself was offbeat and culturally very different. The writers, Suprotim Sengupta and Eisha Chopra did a fantastic job of making the structural changes. I loved their idea of taking my protagonists Ani and Kavya back to her hometown to rekindle their chemistry. I specially loved the idea of them disrupting a funeral and not say a wedding which is the traditional Bollywood choice it seemed more fun and fresh. They made the characters much more nuanced and fun and relatable for our audiences than the original.”

The casting, agreed Shirsha, was magical. “I got lucky,” she said. “Vidya was absolutely the first choice. She brings a vulnerability and beauty and warmth to the role that no one else could have. You can't take your eyes off her. There is no lie in her fire. I don't think this film would happen without her. Pratik Gandhi is an absolute surprise and delight. He plays the Bengali nerd with such affection. Tell me about his casting? We knew we had to cast someone who could hold his own against the acting powerhouse that Vidya is. Also, Ani’s character would do things, which audiences might construe as wrong. Ani shouldn't come across as someone smug and revelling in the cheating and adultery but actually be confused and messed up. And Pratik nails that.”

Their dance together…. ‘Bin tere sanam mar mitenge hum’ will never be the same again “It’s such a fun catchy song. It was Suprotim’s idea to use that song. He made us watch the original video in which the hero heroine do strange dance moves in front of some thin malnourished cows. The producers and I knew straightaway we wanted those dance moves in our film. And Vidya and Pratik killed it!” she said.

Shirsha felt Sendhil Ramamurthy and Ileana D’Cruz also fitted the bill perfectly. “We knew we couldn't give them too much screen time. So, they had to really stand out. Ani and Kavya were looking for things in Sendhil and Ileana that they couldn't find in each other anymore. We always thought of the four characters together as an ensemble. They complemented each other. Kavya was vivacious and larger than life. Ani was sincere and laidback. Nora was neurotic and needy. Vikram was independent and very hot. And most importantly - they had the same quality that Vidya and Pratik have - they look and feel relatable and likeable. And we feel for their story arcs as well, which was very important for the movie to work. They should seem credible threats to the marriage.”

Also Read: “Vidya Balan is such a generous actor,” Sendhil Ramamurthy on his Do Aur Do Pyaar co-star

More Pages: Do Aur Do Pyaar Box Office Collection , Do Aur Do Pyaar Movie Review


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