Jayantabhai is different from other bhais I’ve played: Vivek
Actor Vivek Oberoi, who plays JayantaBhai, says, “This bhai is different from the other bhais I’ve played. He’s lovable, jovial and entertaining. His love story is interesting since he and the girl come from two different worlds.” The lead actress, Neha Sharma, enthuses, “I’m very anxious, but also can’t control my excitement. I couldn’t have asked for a better team — an extremely supportive producer, a talented director and an amazing co-star.”
Mumbai plays a role too
Mumbai plays an important part in the film, which has been shot across the city, from Colaba in the south to Madh Island and even Dahisar in the north. Says director Vinnil Markan, who has grown up in Delhi, “I love the town side of Mumbai, especially its architecture. It has an old world charm, which I’m mixing with the new-world buzz. We’ve shot in places like Kotachi Wadi in Girgaum, Worli Fort, Matunga King Circle and Five Gardens in Dadar, locations not usually seen in films.” Monsoon also marks its presence in the characters’ lives. Vinnil explains, “Most of the film was shot before and during the initial phase of the monsoon season, the remaining was completed by early July. Rain is used as leitmotif in the film. When it’s all bright between the characters, the backdrop is sunny. But during some significant romantic moments, there is rain. Even in the climax, it starts to rain at the right time”
JBKLS is the first film to be shot outside the five-star hotel — near the Gateway of India — which was one of the targets in the 26/11 terror attack over four years ago. Though it was a bit tough to film at the location, Vinnil says, “We were supported by the Mumbai Traffic Police.” Didn’t they have trouble obtaining the permission to shoot? “The legal procedure takes some days. So, we fixed our schedules accordingly and shot with minimal hassles. A fixed amount was paid for the shoot and we were even given receipts,” he recalls.
Dream song in Dubai
Vinnil says, “The song Aa Bhi Jaa Meherbaan shows Vivek dreaming about Neha. The producer, Kumar Taurani, suggested shooting it in Dubai. To convey the couple’s passion, we decided to shoot in the desert when the temperature was about 51 degrees, but it felt like 55. Vivek was wearing chappals, but developed bruises and blisters on the soles of his feet. Neha was in a worse state as she was barefoot. I also shot with Aatif (singer). The video shows Aatif in the city and Vivek and Neha in the desert. A royal family, which had an outhouse in the desert, lent it to Vivek and Neha during the shoot.”
When the lead actor is playing a bhai, action is a must. There are a few fight sequences of which only one was shot with the help of cable and wirework. “The action is real, hard-core street-style. We did not want cars blowing up and things like that. One sequence was shot in Worli, with the Sea Link and fishing boats in the backdrop. Another was filmed at an orchestra dance bar in Dahisar. The climax action sequence was shot at Nana Haji Ali,” sums up Vinnil.
“Having started in theatre, I wanted to make a film on interpersonal relationships — a story of two strong characters discovering love together. So, I took a gangster — he is basically a nice guy, but is in the wrong place at the wrong time — and a girl, who is a telecom engineer. They both aspire to make it big in Mumbai. At the same time, I wanted to make a hard-core Mumbai film, because while I’m born here, I grew up in Delhi and see my birth city differently. Bhai’s character is the USP of the film and Vivek suits the part perfectly. Neha was Kumarji’s choice, but even I felt that she was right for the part of Simran.”
“When we approach a film as producers, we look for what will click with the audiences. With JBKLS, it’s a complete package. A lot of hard work has gone into making this movie, including scouting for the right locations. We wanted everything to look as authentic as possible. Tips shares a warm equation with Vivek Oberoi and our last film together, Prince (2010), did extremely well at the box office. Vivek is open to taking directions and moulding himself into the character. And when it comes to playing a gangster, no one can do it better than him. Neha, though relatively new to the industry, is extremely talented and versatile.”
JayantaBhai Ki Luv Story, produced by Kumar Taurani, releases February 15.
Tagged Vivek Oberio