Rohan Sippy’s directorial debut Kuch Naa Kaho didn’t quite set the Box Office on fire but his second film Bluffmaster surely did. Rohan is now back once again with his childhood buddy Abhishek Bachchan for his third directorial venture Dum Maaro Dum. In this exclusive interview with Bollywood Hungama‘s Nikhil Ramsubramaniam, Rohan talks about how the idea of the film first came up, the casting process, the zany music of the film and of course how he feels the film will in fact help Goan tourism industry even more. Read on…
Rohan, there was a gap of 3 years between your first film and second film and now a gap of 6 years between your second and third film. In a time and age where people seem to be working at break neck speed, you seem to be taking your own sweet time. Why so?
No particular reason yaar…I’ve been busy producing a couple of films in the interim period and since the last 2 years have been working on Dum Maaro Dum.
How did the idea of Dum Maaro Dum first originate?
It originated from Sridhar Raghavan (the writer of the film) and a bottle of Old Monk (his faithful writing companion). When he wrote the first draft, it was a 40-50 page novella and had me completely gripped from beginning to end. From there on we began working on subsequent drafts of the film and each time the characters got fleshed out more and more.
The idea of Dum Maaro Dum originated from Sridhar Raghavan (the writer of the film)
and a bottle of Old Monk (his faithful writing companion).
From the promos, the film seems to portray the drug nexus in Goa like never before…could you elaborate a bit more on that?
To put it in the simplest way, the film is about a cop who is given an assignment to clear the mess caused by the whole drug mafia in Goa and how he goes about doing his job in his own way forms the basic premise of the film. Along with this principal track, are inter-twined two parallel stories one of Prateik, who plays a teenager at a very gullible age, and who ends up making certain wrong decisions. The third story is the love story between Rana and Bipasha and how all these thee tracks get connected forms the crux of the film. It’s not a documentary or a docu-drama, it’s a good chor-police entertaining Hindi film with the right twists and turns and some superb music.
It’s not a documentary or a docu-drama, it’s a good chor-police entertaining Hindi film
with the right twists and turns and some superb music.
What kind of research did you do while working on the film? Did you actually sneak in and go for these rave parties in Goa to get a feel of things?
I am from an older generation so don’t really go to rave parties etc. (laughs). Besides from what I understand, I don’t think there is much of it going on anyway in the last 3 years. We spent a lot of time in recce as Goa has many sides to it. It has a rich culture, beautiful people, lovely food and soulful Konkani music.
Coming to casting, I assume Abhishek was always your first choice for ACP Vishnu Kamath?
I don’t write my films, Sridhar has written the film and based on the script we went about the casting. I of course do think about Abhishek but not simply because he is a good friend but because he has successfully done a variety of characters, be it the cool, urbane guy in Bluffmaster or the angry, violent guy in Yuva. For the character of ACP Vishnu Kamath, we thought Abhishek really fit the bill and when you see the film you will in all probability agree with me.
For the character of ACP Vishnu Kamath, we thought Abhishek really fit the bill and when you see the film you will in all probability agree with me.
What about Bipasha, I believe the character she plays of Zoe was offered to quite a few other actresses before her?
Now…thats news to me (laughs). Bipasha was the only one we approached for Zoe and I am glad she took it up. Her character forms an integral part of the film and the way she has performed is simply brilliant.
Rana Dagubatti, who is quite popular down South, makes his Hindi film debut with Dum Maaro Dum. How did you decide on him?
I had seen rushes of his film Leader, the film hadn’t released at that time though. After meeting Rana, I realised that he too has the sensibility required to understand the nature of this craft since he comes from a film family. He is a very sincere actor and a team player to the core.
The item song ‘Mit Jaaye Gham‘ featuring Deepika has become the hot topic of discussion, some are loving it while others feel that it’s no match on the original one. Were you guys ever worried about the repercussions of playing with a classic song?
There is always pressure to deliver a hit song especially when you are talking about an up-tempo, dance number. It’s a notional thing that there is more pressure when you are remixing an old song. Be it an original or a remix, you are always expected to come up with a hit song. Having said that, a lot of people have loved the song, the video and of course Deepika.
There is always pressure to deliver a hit song especially when you are talking about an
up-tempo, dance number. It’s a notional thing that there is more pressure when you are remixing an old song.
Abhishek’s number ‘Thayn Thayn‘ too seems to have caught on big time. Does the song feature in the film or is just a promotional music video?
It is very much part of the film and takes the story forward. You have the song playing when Kamath is on the job and is like a theme song
which takes his investigation forward in the film. It was much more difficult this time around because it’s not Bluffmaster who could
don any clothes and sing a song, the song had to be in sync with the character of Kamath. Pritam had supreme confidence that we could pull it
off; he loved the idea of working with Abhishek. When Jaideep narrated the ‘Thayn Thayn‘ phrase on the phone, I was happy that we’ve
got the catch line which best describes ACP Vishnu Kamath’s attitude.
The last line of the theatrical promo goes ‘Baaki Sab Ke Liye Google Hai‘…who came up with that?
That was Sridhar Raghavan… he has got an amazing sense of humour, we saw that in Bluffmaster as well and even in DMD he has come up with some wonderful lines especially for ACP Vishnu Kamath’s character. He loves cop films and even in Khakee he came up with
some wonderful lines. I think Kamath is the highlight of the film in terms of his dialogues.
There have been some objections with the way Goa has been portrayed in the film? Do you think it would hamper the flourishing tourism
business in the state of Goa?
Goa has always been a tourist’s paradise. I don’t think what we have shown in the film will cause any problem; in fact I am pretty confident that the film will only help Goan tourism in the end. Goa is one of the most beautiful places in the world and you can’t take that away.
I am pretty confident that the film will only help Goan tourism in the end. Goa is one of the most beautiful places in the world and you can’t take that away.
Moving away from Dum Maaro Dum, recently there has been news that Subhash Ghai and Ketan Mehta are planning to recreate the magic of Sholay in 3D. What do you have to say about that?
The devil is all in the details, I don’t know the details about the project but my personal take is that at the end of the day it has to be done well. There are 100 different ways to do 3D restoration but I hope they have got the right techniques in place. With a classic like Sholay you got to make sure that whatever is done is completely world class.