Hriday Shetty, director of the upcoming Chaalis Chaurasi tells us why he has named characters after his favourite films and how he admires half-brother Rohit, but doesn't want to emulate him
The film's poster features the title Chaalis Chaurasi on a number plate. Were you inspired by Taxi No 9211?
No. It was inspired by the demands of my own film.
The story of the film revolves around a police van, which is on night patrol. The police van and its number plate are not just props; they are the spinal cord of the film.
What is the plot?
It is the story about a night, where four cops on a mission have one hell of a ride. They make plans, but life takes a turn for them. And whatever they do misfires. We have treated the crime genre film humorously.
How did you blend humour with crime?
Humour gets an edge when crime is blended with it. I have made a complete commercial entertainer. Delhi Belly and Kaminey also belong to this genre.
Atul Kulkarni and Naseeruddin Shah are actors who excel at serious roles. Why did you consider them for a comic-crime genre?
Naseer sahab has done one of the biggest cult comedies Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron (1983). Besides, one would like to cast an actor in something different rather than make him do the same things. Chalis Chaurasi is like a makeover for Naseeruddin Shah, Atul Kulkarni, Kay Kay Menon and Ravi Kisan. They are the brat pack.
Was it easy to convince Naseer for the role?
He took just five minutes to say yes.
Your last release was Pyar Mein Twist in 2005. Why did you choose to take such a long gap?
I was not getting the right kind of scripts. People were making projects, not making films. I wanted to make a film to which I could devote my heart and soul.
Since there is no heroine in the film, who provides the glamour quotient?
I have four item boys and one of them, Naseeruddin Shah, is the number one item boy of the country today.
Apparently, you have based the names of characters in Chaalis Chaurasi on titles of films you enjoyed watching.
Yes. Atul Kulkarni and Ravi Kissen play Bobby and Shakti respectively in my film. Kay Kay Menon plays Pinto and Naseer is called Sir. These are my all-time favourite films.
How inspired are you by your father, Shetty, the famous villain of the 1970s?
Dad has been my inspiration and I am in the industry because of him. He has done great films like Trishul, Victoria No 203, Deewar etc. He has had such a long career. He was into action while I always wanted to direct.
What do you think of your half-brother Rohit Shetty's films?
I think he makes fantastic movies (Golmaal, Singham). He is probably the only director whose films gross millions. I am sure every director envies Rohit Shetty and wants to be in his shoes. I have always prayed for his success.
Do you take any advice for your films from Rohit?
He is younger than me so I would rather give him advice. We don't discuss movies. His vision of cinema is different from mine; we both follow our respective visions.
Bollywood News Service