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Between you and me

RANA SIDDIQUI gets upcoming director Kunal Kohli speaking about "Hum Tum", released at cinema halls across Delhi this past week.


IF YOU think that Rani Mukerji and Saif Ali Khan have donned a new look, if they please you with their one-liners, if they make you feel sensitive towards general human feelings without shouting from the rooftops, when you go to watch Hum Tum, remember that its maker Kunal Kohli has been through a lot, making them, specially Saif, come out of their "comfort zone".

Many know that Saif and Kunal regularly had arguments over a number of scenes that Saif had reservations about. Kunal counters, "It is media hype only. We had differences over certain scenes. For instance, Saif had some hesitation about going a little further than what he was already doing. And it is quite natural. My job was just to make him come out of his comfort zone. He is a very intelligent actor and I quite liked it when he had his own view about a situation rather than blindly following everything."

The debutant director of Mujhse Dosti Karoge has taken all care in his second film. "I gave a new, trendy, realistic, contemporary look to my actors with a fresh view of a human relationship. Nothing in this film is in film style," assures Kunal, while also believing that the Yash Raj banner which assures quality films, his one-liners and his cartoon strip would count for the Unique Selling Point of the film.

Kunal has been to Amsterdam, Paris, New York, Mumbai and Delhi for the shooting of the film. "But it is not only for the sake of showcasing locations. I have pictured not-yet-explored spots in these places. Usually people shoot in front of a tulip garden or some green belt abroad. I haven't done that. Similarly Mumbai's Powai, Lokhanwala are not the only places where most people shoot. I have shot old classical Mumbai. And there is quite a bit of Delhi in my film," says Kunal.

For this film critic and TV host-turned director, this transition "was very difficult and full of challenges," and he admits he could not prove successful initially because he was "not true" to himself and was "aping others". That he has found his groove is obvious when he says, "But this time right from dialogues to costumes to marketing strategy, I did what my heart dictated and the positive results have started showing."

He has learnt his lessons from the disappointing results of Mujhse Dosti Karoge. "By the time that film was released, it was already three-and-a-half years old, the script aged too. There was a heavy background that guided the film, but I have rectified that with Hum Tum. This film moves with the dialogues. There is a lot of conversation in the film," Kunal assures.

Dig a little more into the life of this admirer of Guru Dutt, Vijay Anand and Manoj Kumar and you find that "a costume drama with contemporary sensibility" is the dream he is nurturing.

Sweet dreams!

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