Ayan Mukerji’s film has been flashed in the first blurbs as the story of a younger handsome man and an older not-so-good-looking woman. Ayan is appalled. And not only because his leading lady Konkona has not taken kindly to this description at all.
“I don’t know where that came from. All I can tell you is that this marketing pitch didn’t come from me or Karan. You think I’d dare to call my heroine who I think is awesome, not good-looking?,” Ayan asks angrily. And then without waiting for a reply continues, “It came from a Facebook Wake Up Sid fan club started on the website. Someone just saw Ranbir and Konkona together and decided to draw their own conclusions on their physicality. To me, Konkona is at the moment the most gorgeous woman I’ve met. In fact my last shot was with her, and I just couldn’t stop gawking.”
So is Wake Up Sid about an older woman in love with a younger man? Ayan hems and haws and then relents. “Yes, Konkona’s character Aisha is a few years older than the guy. But it’s not Summer Of 42, please! Nor is the age-difference concealed here as it was between Ranbir and Bipasha in Bachna Ae Haseeno. What happened was we wrote in the age difference because I wanted only these two to be in my film. When I saw Ranbir in Saawariya, I knew this was my Sid. He was young energetic and hungry to seize life. He was like me. You’ve to admit Ranbir and Konkona together are a pair that no one would imagine. I liked that challenge. And I also saw Konkona was around in the industry longer than Ranbir. So, I conveniently turned the character into a slightly older woman.”
Clever, you tell Ayan. So doesn’t he plan to work with his fabulous cousin Kajol? Sighs Ayan, “The thought didn’t strike me for my first film. I wrote Wake Up, Sid as this young new-age Dil Chahta Hai. It’s about today’s youngsters. Kajol? Yeah. Maybe in my next filmâ€¦if I’m allowed to make another film.”
At the moment Ayan is worried about how the audience would take up to the title. “But it had to be Wake Up, Sid. It’s a wakeup call for this rather laidback hero who meets an unusual woman. It’s a real film with no lip-sync songs. You think audiences in Patna would like it?”
On the night of completion Ayan got dead drunk. “I was very sad that it had ended. Now everyone will move away. It’s a heartbreaking process. I don’t know how Karan goes through it over and over again.”