Vipul Shah: Akshay Kumar was the first choice for NAMASTE ENGLAND

Vipul Shah is an ace director and has entertained us with films his one of the most loved film by audience is NAMASTE LONDON. He also directed WAQT which has a stellar cast of Akshay Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan and his wife Shefali.

As Vipul is back with a bang after a sabbatical with Arjun Kapoor and Parineeti’s NAMASTE ENGLAND.
The trailer and film is getting a good response. In conversation with Vipul as he talks about what made him stay away from direction and why Arjun was the immediate choice after Akshay Kumar couldn’t do NAMASTE ENGLAND!

Excerpts from the interview!

The response of NAMASTE ENGLAND‘s trailer is good, did you expect it?

I have got mixed responses, few people said me that it’s a typical romantic film which we’ve seen tons of times in the past, few were positive as well. Talking about the expectations from the trailer, we didn’t have any expectations in our mind. We were planning to launch two trailers. Unfortunately we’re in a situation where if we don’t reveal the story we don’t get the audience in the screens. There are several twists and turns in the film which we were wishing to keep as a surprise element.

After NAMASTE LONDON you took sabbatical break and came with NAMASTE ENGLAND, what made you took long?

If you’ll notice my working graph, I keep on experimenting with various genres, I did action, I did fantasy which unfortunately didn’t work. LONDON DREAMS was the darkest film I directed. It’s the first time I’m repeating a genre because I feel that it was needed. This was the story which I felt is worth telling.
Earlier Akshay was supposed to star in the film and now its Arjun, How did he come on board?

I actually wrote this film keeping Akshay Kumar in my mind as a character, in fact we both announced it together but the dates were not matching. He had 8 films to do then, some of them are not happening now. So after a long wait, he told me that how much time shall I wait, instead I should search for someone else for the role. Later, I went to Arjun Kapoor and honestly said him the entire scenario, and he was ready for the narration. After the narration, he really liked the film and that’s how he came on board. I was supposed to cast Katrina opposite to Arjun, but then I realized that it’s a typical Punjabi girl’s role which won’t fit Katrina and later we signed Parineeti opposite to Arjun.

How is NAMASTE ENGLAND different other romantic films?
I’ve always said that if a romantic film doesn’t have a social issue involved in it, then it becomes a fantasy. It appears unreal to audience. There should be some social issue involved, maybe that could be the reason of their conflict. Here, if a boy decides to migrate to some other city or country, he assumes that his family will have no issue with his decision. But if on the same notes, a girl takes that decision than if becomes a topic of argument, which according to me is a major problem with the mentality of people.

Do you guide Shefali with the selection of scripts?
I never interfere in her work. Those are some of the principles which I like to follow. I never read the scripts offered to her, and never suggest her any such thing. If she asks for my guidance then surely I help her out there. You know how the film WAQT happened, Amitji recommended Shefali, and she literally jumped into it. I said that are you crazy, Akshay is elder to you and you’re planning to play the role of his mother on-screen. It sounds funny but eventually it happened.

You had a great Album with Himesh Reshamiya in the past, what made you work with new music directors?

I could have retained it but then there would be definitely a comparison between the same people. And for such an Album I wanted someone who can give me a year of his life. In the past few years, the record of Bollywood in terms of music is not that impressive, it’s declining and the reason behind it is we’re creating songs in a hurry.

What next after NAMASTE ENGLAND?

Well I’m a very lazy person. I don’t plan things in advance. As of now I’ll just wait for the film to get released and later I shall analyze the results and then go forward with it. But besides that I’m producing COMMANDO 3.

Do you plan to foray into digital medium?

The cinema is evolving; quality of cinema is getting better. And fortunately Digital platform is boosting that. Till date, we had that stereotype of thought that if he’s a hero, he has to be a good one. But today it’s no more a necessity. If you’ll watch shows like Game of Thrones, every primary character inherits some negative quality, still we like them. Or there are various shows where the death of a grey character disappoints the audience. Now there aren’t much of black characters, there are grey characters.