'Honeymoon Travels...' is not 'Just Married': Reema Kagti
Debutante director Reema Kagti, whose 'Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd' looks like the wackiest comedy of the season, doesn't deny the much talked about similarities with Meghna Gulzar's 'Just Married' but says her execution and treatment are different.
The film about six couples on a pleasure trip in Goa is releasing Friday.
'Her film does have six couples on a honeymoon, so does mine. But I don't know her script beyond that. But, then, there're couples and couples. And there're directors and directors.
'Even 'Salaam-e-Ishq'... I went and watched it. There's an ensemble cast and there're six couples in both and we both are dealing with love and marriage. I get asked about these films all the time. But my story treatment and presentation will be very different from 'Just Married' and 'Salaam-e-Ishq'. My sensibilities are very different,' Kagti told IANS.
Episodic films like Naseeruddin Shah's 'Yun Hota Toh Kya Hota' and Nikhil Advani's 'Salaam-e-Ishq' are not seen to work.
'I don't think the audience had a format issue with these films. It was a screenplay issue. People found the film too long and didn't find anything new happening in the second half of 'Salaam-e-Ishq'. Likewise, 'Yun Hota Toh Kya Hota'.'
She admits she was initially petrified of the cast, which has talented actors like Shabana Azmi, Boman Irani, Kay Kay Menon, Raima Sen, Abhay Deol, Minissha Lamba, Karan Khanna, Amisha Patel and Ranvir Shorey.
'My first day's shoot was with Boman and Shabana.... they were very experienced. I was a bit nervous. But that was okay. There were so many actors, and each one took me a while to get used to. I needed 12 people in the same range of vision.
'Fortunately, I did all my casting with Zoya Akhtar, who's the executive producer. I wanted to cast actors who represent real people. I even got Shabana to do a bit of wild dancing. At the end of it, this has been the most fulfilling experience of my life.'
Kagti is an Assamese, who moved to Mumbai to study with the express purpose of being a filmmaker. She has assisted Honey Irani, Farhan Akhtar, Rajat Kapoor and Ashutosh Gowariker.
'I also did a stint with Mira Nair when she came to India for 'Vanity Fair'. After writing my script for 'Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd', I went to another producer. That fell through. Actually, I went to a lot of producers before Farhan liked the script. Farhan never advised me beyond a point and let me do what I liked.'
Speaking of being a woman director, Kagti said: 'Well... yes it's a problem the world over. Before Farah Khan, women directors in this country were considered jinxed. Farah changed all that. But, if you ask me my favourites, they're all male directors.
"Mine is a funny film about a four-day honeymoon package. But it's not just humorous. I'd call it a quirky comedy. But, to tell you the truth, I can't draw parallels between my film and any other film."
Kagti has a special word for Shabana.
'We had a difficult schedule in Goa. And she was so cooperative. For her to play someone who's so simple in dress and attitude isn't easy. We've given her a middleclass salwar-kameez-socks-sandals look. Each character is dressed according to the place they originate from.'
Her next will be a thriller co-scripted with Zoya.
'I think I'll do that next. It's a kind of thriller. But my kind of thriller. I'm pretty much ready to move on.'