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Dinesh Vijan: Saif Ali Khan was not supposed to star in COCKTAIL

July 11, 2012 04:41:35 PM IST
By Rachana Sheth, Glamsham Editorial
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It's been just a quarter since Illuminati Films, owned by actor producer Saif Ali Khan and Dinesh Vijan, last released AGENT VINOD and now the production house is up with yet another film COCKTAIL starring Saif Ali Khan, Deepika Padukone and Diana Penty.

Though this may appear a tad hurried thing, COCKTAIL was in the making for last one and a half year. And it's a mere happenstance for Illuminati Films that the two biggies came back-to-back. But wasn't it hectic to have COCKTAIL release immediately after AGENT VINOD? Ask Dinesh about it and he says, ''No not at all as COCKTAIL was in the making for last one and a half year. The script idea of COCKTAIL came to us while we were working on LOVE AAJ KAL. We really liked the idea of Sajid Ali, the co-writer of COCKTAIL, and went ahead working on the script of the film. So it was very well planned that way and everything is as per the time.''

Seemingly, COCKTAIL has the traces of LOVE AAJ KAL, the first production of Illuminati Films. However, Dinesh begs to differ and says the two films are as different as chalk and cheese.


Dino, as fondly referred, says, ''Since the team is almost same one might feel it is LOVE AAJ KAL 2 or its sequel but the story of the two films is entirely different,'' But ask him if the idea of making a sequel ever crossed their mind and he says, ''Though sequels are creating business, we didn't want to carry the baggage of our own film. If we would have done that it would be misleading audience because COCKTAIL has its own identity, it has its own language. Films like JAB WE MET, LOVE AAJ KAL have similar kind of language, they are in the same league but COCKTAIL is more to do with friendship and sacrifice.''

Quite surprisingly, director Homi Adajania was unsure of taking up COCKTAIL, which is also written by Imtiaz Ali. Dino reveals, ''When Homi read the story his reaction was why should I do this film,'' so why did he go for Homi? ''Basically, Homi is a chilled out scuba diving guy. Since he has not ventured into this zone so I thought he would have a very fresh take on the story. It was a productive collaboration where I took the music responsibility and put the onus of direction on Homi. The intention was to make a fun film and I believe we have quite achieved that.''

Since the film is a triangular love story, the overdone formula in Bollywood films, COCKTAIL to one comes across as an old wine in a new bottle. But Dinesh maintains that the film has a very unique theme and nothing is predictable here. ''The script, the visuals are looking fresh. It's a happy-go-lucky, fun film filled with different moods and presented in the most interesting manner.''


Dinesh further talks about the interesting casting of COCKTAIL. He says, ''Veronica, which is played by Deepika, is simple in her ways yet very unpredictable. Deepika is just fantastic. She is the stud in the film. While Gautam, played by Saif, is sweet guy, who is popular with women. Diana's character Meera is sweet angel. It's a beautiful journey of these three friends.''

However, not many know it was Deepika who got casted first and Saif came in much later. In fact, Saif was not supposed to star in this film. But when he read the story, he at once decided to do the film. ''Initially COCKTAIL was being planned with some other actor. But when Saif happened to read the script, he insisted that he would do the film,'' Dinesh discloses.

As for newcomer Diana Penty, Dinesh says that they wanted a fresh face for the character of 'Meera'. Dinesh says, ''We wanted a new face for Meera's part. Diana has a very innocent face. When she came to the office Homi and I decided she would be the perfect choice to play the de-glam role.''


Vijan is quite happy with the response that he's getting for the film. Trade is also upbeat about COCKTAIL. ''Everybody is positive and has loved the promo. Trade is quite keen for the film,'' he says.

COCKTAIL has very urbane feel and approach, which is less preferred in B and C centers, and Dinesh doesn't deny this fact. In fact he states that the film is for specific audience.

''It's for specific audience; for a particular market but it has universal appeal too. We have made it in right budgets and hope it satisfies people,'' says the COCKTAIL producer.

COCKTAIL is all set to hit the screens worldwide on 13th July 2012.


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