Looks like love

Written by EXPRESS FEATURES SERVICE | Updated: Sep 1 2013, 16:11pm hrs
Attraction may lead to sex but the couple need not be dating, dating doesnt imply commitment and two people committed to one another may not ever want to marry. Jaideep Sahni cited this simple example to make a point about how Indian youth is viewing relationships today. There is no fixed formula to relationships anymore and that is what Shuddh Desi Romance attempts to capture, explained the films screenwriter-lyricist.

Sahni, along with Shuddh Desi Romances director Maneesh Sharma and actresses Parineeti Chopra and Vaani Kapoor, was at Express Towers in Mumbai on Wednesday afternoon as part of Screen Preview to talk about the film, which releases on September 6.

The film, set in Jaipur, revolves around Raghu (Sushant Singh Rajput), as he attempts to understand what he really feels about the two women he likes, Gayatri and Tara, essayed by Chopra and Kapoor respectively.

Although the film follows the confusion that Rajputs character is undergoing, Sharma asserted that the ladies have meatier, more interesting roles. There is a stereotype or formula to the on-screen heroines in Hindi cinema. But Gayatri and Tara are very different and both Parineeti and Vaani have played their parts perfectly even though they had absolutely no reference points, said Sharma, who has directed Band Baaja Baaraat and Ladies vs Ricky Bahl in the past.

Speaking about their roles, Sahni said that Chopra, who made her debut as a leading lady in Habib Faisals Ishaqzaade, as Gayatri is the wiser one with experience of several relationships behind her. Debutante Kapoor as Tara, on the other hand, has great clarity about what she wants from life and her actions are all based on that.

The unusual title and kitschy poster with the hand-painted look, have resonated with their target audience. The team pointed out that they arrived at the title after much debate, well after Sharma finished shooting. We registered 35 titles but didnt use even one of them, said Chopra. Sahni added that it took time because they couldnt come up with anything apt. Shuddh Desi Romance worked because it is a unique Indian love story and the word shuddh stands not for pure but for unadulterated.

The film has been shot in Jaipur at real locations, including the iconic Ram Mandir cinema hall. However, the team said the film is oddly being perceived as one that is set in a small town. Sahni clarified that its a middle-class love story in Jaipura city that has 22 universities and sees one-fourth of Indias tourist population every year. It may not be a megapolis, but Jaipur is an urban centre with a large youth population.

This very youth, added Kapoor, is changing India, from its eating habits to the way people dress, how they entertain themselves, etc. The film tells their stories. So they are also the people who will relate to the characters in this film, and if they dont relate to them, they will definitely enjoy them, he said.

Sharma added that it is bound to surprise the viewers. It is a love story, written by Jaideep, who has earlier penned films such as Khosla Ka Ghosla and Rocket Singh-Salesman of the Year. Given that romance hasnt been his forte, what he eventually came up with is quirky in every sense of the word.