'Band Baaja Baaraat' director Maneesh Sharma, who is turning producer with '90s love story 'Dum Laga Ke Haisha', says the Ayushmann Khurrana-Bhumi Pednekar starrer has its heart and soul in the right place.
'Dum Laga Ke Haisha'
"The biggest strength of 'Dum Laga Ke Haisha' is that it has been made with a lot of honesty. It is a charming love story of this mismatched couple -- a loser and his over-sized wife. The story has its heart and soul in the right place," Maneesh told PTI in an interview.
The Yash Raj Films' project has been written and directed by Sharat Kataria and hits theatres on February 27.
The 'Shuddh Desi Romance' director says Sharat's story has a very strong nostalgia attached to it.
"There was a reason to set the story in Haridwar and in the '90s when Kumar Sanu was one of the biggest musical stars. There is no one who is not familiar with that world. It has a great nostalgia attached to it and this is why people have responded so warmly to the trailers. It is a special film for all of us," he says.
Maneesh found actress Parineeti Chopra from YRF's marketing division and this time he found his leading lady from the casting department of the studio.
"Bhumi is the assistant of our casting director Shanoo Sharma. Bhumi has met every actor at the studio. When her name came up for Sandhya's role, Shanoo was very excited. She broke the news to her. But yes, it is quite a turnaround. She was looking to cast in the film and now she is playing the lead," he says.
The producer feels it is Ayushmann's best work so far.
"The actors today are very experimental. They don't want to stick to a particular image that has worked for them in the past. I think it is Ayushmann's finest performance."
It is Maneesh's first independent production venture under YRF and the director says it was the quickest film to get a go ahead from the banner.
"Sharat gave me the script and wanted my feedback. I read the story and told Adi (Aditya Chopra) that there is this exciting story. He heard it and said, 'If you like the story why don't you produce it.' I was taken aback briefly but then he told me that he was thinking about making more creative producers in YRF," he says.
Maneesh, who is currently busy directing his ambitious Shah Rukh Khan-starrer 'Fan' besides working on the upcoming film, says he enjoyed the collaborative process.
"It is no burden to me. It can't be because then I should not be here. This is what I ever wanted to do. It is Sharat's vision, I am just there to back it up and this is what Adi has been doing with me on 'Fan'.
"The thing that I like most about movies is not the success or how they work but the collaborative process. Of course, success and acceptance are important but when you are making a movie many creative people come together to make something exciting. For me, that's the best thing about cinema," he says.