Interview By: ANKITA R. KANABAR

While a hero-villain face-off between Sidharth Malhotra and Riteish Deshmukh completely takes you back to ‘Ek Villain’ – there’s not much similarity between that film and ‘Marjaavaan’ as far as their characters are concerned. The trailer itself had been interesting largely for Riteish Deshmukh’s bad boy act and aura despite being a 3-feet guy. Not to mention, it had ‘masala’ written all over it ever since the poster was unveiled. Adding all the freshness to this hero-villain Jodi is Tara Sutaria. We catch up with the ‘Marjaavaan’ trio for a chat all about their film and more. Amidst a long day of promotions, Riteish Deshmukh continues to remain at his funny, best even off-screen (apart from being intellectual) and seemingly, his humour has also rubbed on to Sidharth. Excerpts from the chat:

What did you think about ‘Marjaavaan’ at first?

Riteish: I loved the story. I’m a huge fan of the 80s, 90’s cinema and this film takes you to that world. That was the attraction for me. Also, to be able to play a negative character again post ‘Ek Villain’ which was interesting!

Tara: For me, this film was so different from my first – ‘Student Of The Year’. So, I loved it. To play someone like Mia in my first film and then Zoya – not many get this so early on in their career. The character and the world was so different. The look is so different and the girl’s character is mute. So, overall I loved it.

Sidharth: I was born in the 80s, grew up in the 90s and just like he said, even I was a fan. I used to watch 70s cinema of Bachchan Sahab on the caseettes later when I grew up. I am a big fan. The flavour is will take you back to that cinema. This is the first time I have been presented as this quintessential Hindi cinema hero, saying those dialogues. That for me was the biggest attraction.

It’s interesting that the villain is 3 feet tall and then he has these dialogues and aura!

Riteish: It’s after five years that I get to play another villain. Strangely it was Milap again who wrote exciting. In his perspective, he isn’t a 3 feet tall guy. His attitude is that. It’s all in the head. I tend to find an emotional chord, in a film. That’s what was exciting for me. It’s rare that one gets to play such characters.

How is it to do a film like this amidst a scenario where everyone is clinging towards real cinema? Is it a challenge to convince the audience?

Riteish: Not really. When the audience comes in to watch a slapstick comedy or a larger-than-life film like this, they are prepared for what they will be getting. They know that Hindi cinema is larger-than
life, sometimes a fantasy world and they’ve seen it over the years. So, they will come to the theatres prepared for it and hence it’s not a task to make it believable. Having said that, there’s a rhythm to a film and the dialogues. When there are largerthan-life lines, the attitude and rhythm have to be there. But the challenge is, when you’re doing a film, it’s important for you to be convinced about what you’re doing. The challenge is to convince yourself. Only if you are convinced about something, you will be able to portray it well making the audience believe it. Only then you will be able to feel and be like the character.

Sidharth: I agree. As long as you’re feeling it, you’re confident, the audience will feel the same.

Milap Zaveri loves playing to the gallery and his dialogues are his USP. How was it getting into his zone of cinema?

Sidharth: For me ‘Marjaavaan’ was very exciting because this is the first time, I get to play such a Hindi cinema hero and say these dialogues. When Milap also narrated it to me, I really wanted to play such a hero. Here I’m an aggressive guy, where he thinks he is doing the right thing. There’s more black and white in this film as opposed to ‘Ek Villain’.

Riteish: I’ve actually known Milap and worked with him, since years! He’s written for many of my films. But this is the first time I actually get to say the dialogues written by him. It was a completely new and great experience.

Tara you don’t speak in the film, so how was it for you?

Tara: It’s interesting because she doesn’t talk, yet she communicates so much through riddles and sign language. It’s beautiful. Sidharth: While we do all the dialoguebazi, and those big filmy dialogues, Tara’s lines are actually very soothing and poetic. I think that works as a great contrast in the film.

You’ve had such distinct hits this year – right from ‘Total Dhamaal’ to ‘Housefull 4’ and now ‘Marjaavaan’? How do you feel about this transition and variety?

Riteish: I feel very good. Bangdu from ‘Housefull’ of couse, also required certain nuances and I’m glad it’s accepted so well. To have this film post that, is really exciting. But, you can only choose from what you get. I’m so happy that people like Ekta and Mohit Suri; now Milap and all the producers thought I could pull off a negative character like this.

While Hindi cinema is being influenced by the west and reducing the number of songs, it’s great to see the songs of ‘Marjaavaan’ doing so well. Do you feel, having good music helps a film. For instance, ‘Galliyan’ played a big role in attracting people to the theatres for ‘Ek Villain’…

Riteish: So, you’re giving credit just to the music? People didn’t come to see us in the film? (Laughs)

Of course, they did and your performance was appreciated so much! But good music does play a part at the promotional level, don’t you think?

Sidharth: I absolutely agree even what you said about ‘Galliyaan’. We are so happy that the songs are doing well. It is adding that emotional touch to the story and sending that message across.

Riteish: Jokes apart, yes, I completely agree. Infact, in the second trailer of ‘Marjaavaan’, since we’ve added ‘Tum Hi Aana’ in the background, it’s having such an emotional chord and I believe is making people connect more to the trailer; depicting that it’s a love story in its core. All credit for that, of course, goes to T-series, Milap, Emmay, and the music team.

What do you want people to take back from ‘Marjaavaan’?

Tara: Milap’s idea is that people should be entertained. All the characters are just unique in their own way so I’m hoping people will connect with them.

Riteish: I just want the film to do what people expect from it when they come to the theatres. From the trailer itself, it’s clear that we are just wanting to entertain people by giving them a love story, good music, a villain, action, dialoguebaazi!

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