If not for Madhuri Dixit and Anubhav Sinha, Gulaab Gang may have never been made. In an industry which has traditionally challenged a film which is purely female centric and expects a bare minimum of one major male character in a pivotal role, at least as an antagonist, if not a protagonist, it was almost impossible for first time director Soumik Sen to pitch it before investors.
“It wasn’t as easy to get started since Gulaab Gang is not conventional film,” says Soumik in a surprisingly candid tone, “I used to meet people and just about everyone asked me even before the narration that ‘achcha ye bata, hero kaun hai’. Now it took me pain to explain that this is one film which doesn’t have a romantic angle to it. Also, it isn’t one of those man versus woman film either. Instead, it is about a woman versus woman, what with the villain (Juhi Chawla) being a woman. I don’t know how much did they understand since I was still asked various questions over a period of time.”
Fortunately for him, Anubhav Sinha, who had just made his male centric Ra.One, understood where was Soumik coming from. Also, Sahara Movie Studios and Bharat Shah were happy to present the film.
“Anubhav was the one who came to me as a strong pillar of support. He gave me certain strength. Otherwise I was being so much dissuaded from the very beginning to make this film. Koi kehta tha ki hero leke aayo, doosra kehta tha ki picture ki commercial viability nahi hai. However I have always firmly believed that people come in cinema to get entertained and not really worry about who is entertaining. I had a job in hand to make sure that there is ample entertainment on the platter, be it through sheer performances, dialoguebaazi or the action,” says Soumik.
Further confidence booster was Madhuri’s undying support to the film right from its inception.
“That’s why I always maintain that Gulaab Gang wouldn’t have happened if Madhuri would have said no. However she heard the script and said ‘achcha hai, karte hain’. For a man like me who is a nobody and hasn’t done any terrific work in the past, it was a confidence booster in itself for someone of Madhuri’s stature to show interest in my film. With Anubhav and Juhi Chawla joining as well, I knew we were on the right track,” concludes Soumik.