New Delhi, March 14 (IANS) The release of “Happi”, the story of survival of a social misfit, has been delayed for two years, but this hasn’t deterred the spirits of critically-acclaimed director Bhavna Talwar. She feels the content of the movie is so strong that the script will never be outdated.
“There have been various reasons for its delay. The movie was ready, but then we got stuck in post-production work and various other things,” Talwar told IANS in an interview from Mumbai.
“But that won’t affect the movie as fortunately its content is such that it will never get outdated. So, I don’t think I have any reason to be disheartened. Yes, two years is a long time and a lot many things change in the industry, but we are just fortunate to have the right script with the right leading actor,” added the director who is now releasing it April 15.
“Happi” is Bhavna’s second movie with Pankaj Kapur – the two had teamed up for the National Award winning “Dharm”, a touching tale of religious harmony.
But, unlike “Dharm”, “Happi” is a comedy drama with a message and Bhavna finds it easy to dabble with different genres of cinema.
Set in Mumbai, the movie is about a man, played by Pankaj, whose needs are few and he is comfortable being a misfit. He earns a living by singing and making people laugh at Cafe Bombay, but his world is turned upside down when the place is revamped into ‘Club Mumbai’ – a hip, upmarket lounge.
Happi, however, refuses to be beaten down by the circumstances and his belief in the brighter side of things is reaffirmed when he finds an unlikely companion in a puppy who starts following him everywhere.
“No cinema is common, there are so many things; then why should I limit myself to just one genre. So it depends on different kinds of stories and the way one gets to narrate the tale to audience. So it was not a difficult subject to deal with,” she said.
It’s being said Pankaj’s character has been inspired by Charlie Chaplin, but Bhavna clarifies the only common thing between the two is the style of story telling.
“There is no comparison to Charlie Chaplin. The only thing common here is that his(Chaplin’s) style of story telling has been incorporated into various parts of the movie. So it’s only a thought that has been the inspiration,” she said.
Pankaj had written the script of “Happi” long time back and when one day he showed it to Bhavna, she decided to craft it into a movie.
Though Pankaj plays a pivotal role and is equally supported by his actress wife Supriya Pathak and Hrishitaa Bhatt, the dog too has a small, yet important role in the film and shows the bonding between man and animal.
Despite the fact that Pankaj is petrified of dogs, he worked well with the animal, Bhavna says.
“The most amazing part was that during rehearsals, the dog never behaved or acted the way we wanted him to; so finally we gave up on him. But the moment camera rolled, the dog responded well and we have captured amazing wide shots of the two (Pankaj and dog) together. It was pure magic,” Bhavna said.
“I kind of believe children and animals respond to situations. And when you have an actor who is petrified of dogs, and a moody dog, you get the best of shots, you can’t ask for more,” she added.
Currently, Bhavna is busy penning down script for her upcoming project which will be a biopic. She refused to give details about the project.