Interview By: TEAM SUPER CINEMA

‘Chhello Divas’ set the benchmark high, box-office wise, as far as Gujarati cinema is concerned. Little wonder then that it’s now remade into Hindi in the form of ‘Days Of Tafree’ which just released. The cast of the film, joined us for a chat and well, we must admit, their bonding totally reflected the vibe of the film which takes you back to your college days. Impromptu comments, pulling each other’s leg, laughter amidst some serious business – all this and much more in this fun chat. Excerpts:

How the vibe was on set and for a film like this, do you think a bit of spontaenity and bonding was important?

Sanchay Goswami – I think we had rehearsals for a month and along with it we had workshops so during that time we all created a good sense of bonding. The scenes are very much connected to us in real as we have been to college and so we can relate to them. (Everyone starts laughing and pulling his leg)

Kinjal Rajpriya – You were talking about spontaneity and we just gave you example (Everyone giggling). We bonded well during workshops and then gradually it grew stronger. Offscreen and on-screen it was not different for us because they have done lot of improvisations in the script as well but everything happened very spontaneously so I think there was tremendous team effort in this.

Kinjal and Yash have worked already in ‘Chhello Divas’, so how was it recreating the character, this time around ?

Yash Soni – Actually many different things happened in this new one because the base of the character has totally changed as the last one was from Gujarat and now this one is from Delhi. Not only the character but also lots of things have changed in movie too. ‘Chello Divas’ is not totally copied in ‘Days Of Tafree’. The base has changed as that was regional cinema so it was given a Gujarati touch and punches which had to be changed in this. So the replaced dialogues are done with so much detailing and efforts that you would enjoy this too. The director has worked very hard this time he started my workshops much earlier to give a proper Delhi touch for my role. He used to sit with me and there were few people who were from Delhi he used to make me sit with them to learn. Also Ansh and Sanchay are from Delhi so when they joined workshops, even that helped me. For me, the character of Nikhil in ‘Chello Divas’ and Nikhil in ‘Days Of Tafree’are totally different. Only the name is same and essence is same otherwise everything was new.

So was it more challenging because you have to unlearn the old traits and pick up the new ones?

Kinjal Rajpriya – See when a script comes to an actor you should just forget what you know, you have to be blank and start afresh. I think doing Nisha again after ‘Chello Divas’ was challenging because it was not really me as it was a different character. But again, since this is a Bollywood film, it had to be done differently. In Gujarati, the dialect was only different. So it was not that I am playing the same character because the script in Gujarati and script in Hindi have their own raw touch so this script has the touch of Delhi. There are some punches that are in the Gujarati film and they are such that they are meant to be repeated the way they are because everyone can relate and relive such incidences.

How was it for the others to join in for this film?

Nimisha Mehta- There was no such pressure from the director or the producer because he has done the film so he has expectations. He had zero expectation, and he wasn’t like the last Pooja was like this so you need to be like that only. He had the basic idea of how Pooja is like and then he left it on us to find the character that we feel in the script. It wasn’t that difficult as these guys were helpful too, they were just one of us and it wasn’t like oh we are the old cast (laughing). It was completely neutral.

Ansh Bagri- ‘Chello Divas’ was a super duper hit. But Nikhil, Nisha and all other characters are being so much loved in Gujarat whether it is Dhulla or Vandana. So in the beginning, frankly it wasn’t difficult for us as our director and producers were very supporting along with Yash and Kinjal. They never made us realise that they are superstars of Gujarat, they were very normal with us. But when the trailer was out people started comparing it with the last one and comparing every character with last one. What I really feel is Gujarat has the speciality of Dhoklas but Delhi  has special Chole Bhature so both are different. So the character of Vicky in last one did excellent but this new one is different also, Suresh also has a different lingo. As it is rightly said, laughing doesn’t have a language it’s the same way here.

Did you all meet the old cast? Have you seen the movie?

Everyone- No we didn’t met the old cast but we watched the movie ‘Chello Divas’. But all the credit goes to K.D sir as he got us all together.

Kinjal Rajpriya- He never made us feel or them feel that you are at this level and they are at this. It was just like this is your character, understand your character and give your best.

Sanchay Goswami- In fact he have discovered the characters within us.

Ansh Bagri- I remember once he complimented that all the character in ‘Chello Divas’ are good and performed good but in ‘Days of Tafree’ you all have nailed it. So it was a big compliment for us. He said that we are actors but he has himself directed both the movies so for him ‘Chello Divas’ and ‘Days of Tafree’ are totally different. He has disconnected them.

“All of us enjoyed working on ‘Chhello Divas’ so much that we didn’t think about how it’ll be accepted. We didn’t know it would work like this at the box-office”
- Yash Soni

So for him it must be so difficult to bring something new and yet keep that essence.

Nimisha Mehta- Yes, definitely he have kept the basic nature of the roles same but rest was our choice.

Ansh Bagri- The best part of our movie is that that everyone can relate it to our characters. Whether it is Punjab or Delhi or Gujarat or Bengal or Maharashtra everyone has one of the characters like Nikhil, Pooja, Suresh, Nisha, Vicky in their group. So there is just a different of language but characters are same.

Sanchay Goswami- Before behaving like a movie star you all would find us like your Friends.

We all went for ‘Chhello Divas’ and had the best time laughing. So for a film like that to reinvent the Gujarati cinema and do well overall – how do you guys look at it?

Kinjal Rajpriya- About the language I think, even after ‘Chello Divas’ we faced this question a lot many times as audience was not readily acceptable to the way of language and in few places the double meaning that has happened in the script. But I feel that the soul of movie is college and if we are in college even we talk the same way. So more than the language, it was the feel and it was not made up because story or script was totally made up then you guys wouldn’t have enjoyed. It had a “feel good” factor because it was very raw.

Anuradha Mukherjee- I am not from the Gujarati industry but I think this is the first Gujarati movie which is also made in Hindi. So that says a lot.

“When a script comes to an actor you should just forget what you know, you have to be blank and start afresh”
- Kinjal Rajpriya

Do you think this film might be a shift for all of you and give you a large platform. And what has been your personal growth from this as an actor?

Mamta Chaudhary: In real life, I do not speak that much, I am more on the quieter side, but my character Vandana speaks a lot. So initially when I saw the script, I realised how will I say so much, because it is difficult to play a character which is so different from you. So, personally, for me, that was a big growth.

Kinjal Rajpriya: There is a bit of pressure but it’s good because it gives you that bit of challenge. With ‘Chhello Divas’ we raised a bar, we knew we need to go higher.With the help of the director, we carried the essence of the character. But I think this is a big shift because firstly it’s a regional remake and secondly, we’ve got our recognition in the industry where everyone dreams of being. At some point or the other, as an actor, everyone wants to work in Hindi films. So I think, this is going to be a big shift.

Anuradha Mukherjee – In our characters, the timing is very important. We all know that it is easy to make people cry, difficult to make people laugh. I think that personal growth has happened where we’ve taken acting very seriously.

Yash Soni – All of us enjoyed working on ‘Chello Divas’ so much that we didn’t think about how it’ll be accepted. We didn’t know it would work like this at the box-office. So I am not thinking of that even right now.

Nimisha Mehta : For me, a character is a character. Be it a TV commercial, theatre or a film. My job is to portray the character. But growth, yes, because this is a bigger platform. More people will see it, more people will hear about it, and more people will be affected by my work, so hopefully I can continue to work in more films, rather than small commercials, which is still fine, which I hope to do always, because work is work, and I’m here to do my job.

Ansh Bagri: More than growth, there’s an achievement because I have been waiting for this, for years. In TV commercials, the time limit is less and you have to do what you are asked to. In those 30 seconds you hardly get a chance to showcase your skills, so in that sense, a film is a big growth. There is an expectation one has from yourself. So, I realised that I can do this also.

Sanchay Goswami: I have learnt to flirt a lot in this film, and I haven’t been able to come out of it (laughs). I did theatre and kept doing different characters but to stay in one character for a long time and discover new things about it all the time. That’s what I learnt this time around.

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