EXCLUSIVE: How Shah Rukh Khan's inputs impacted Alia Bhatt-Vijay Varma's Darlings, Jasmeet K Reen reveals
Pinkvilla got into a conversation with directors like Anees Bazmee, Abhishek Pathak, Jasmeet K Reen, Raj Mehta, Anvita Dutt and Amar Kaushik who rocked 2022.
Alia Bhatt, Vijay Varma and Shefali Shah starrer Darlings was released in August 2022. The dark comedy marked the directorial debut of Jasmeet K Reen. Even new mommy Alia made her debut as a producer with Darlings. The film was released on an OTT platform and it ended up receiving an overwhelming response from the audience. Solid performances by Alia, Vijay, Shefali and Roshan Mathew grabbed everyone's attention. Recently, Pinkvilla got into an exclusive conversation with the most celebrated directors like Anees Bazmee, Abhishek Pathak, Jasmeet K Reen, Raj Mehta, Anvita Dutt and Amar Kaushik who rocked 2022 with their hit films. During the conversation, the director of Darlings spilled the beans on how Shah Rukh Khan, who was also the producer of the film, gave his input while they shot the film.
What inputs did Shah Rukh Khan give in Darlings?
Darlings hugely worked and it was loved by the audience because of the performances and the script. Vijay Varma played the negative role and he did complete justice to his character. People were stunned after seeing him play Hamza. During the exclusive conversation, Jasmeet was asked if King Khan gave his input and what was the impact on the script. She revealed that the Pathaan actor gave an 'interesting input' for Vijay Varma's character Hamza. She said, "I narrated the script to Shah Rukh Khan sir first and he's very funny. He heard the script and he had a very interesting input when he said, "Hamza jo hai second half me, usko chhodna mat". We didn't leave him but because the humour was coming out of him just being there tied up or cracking lines and the tables have turned obviously. Shah Rukh sir asked us to cast someone who can do this. So I think that was an important input because obviously then we added a lot more of Hamza after that, so on a macro level that worked."
Jasmeet further added, "Alia was an actor on set. It was her first time as a producer. I prepped with all the actors separately but the spontaneity they brought together on set was a lot of fun. That is magic and that is what you wait for especially mother-daughter chemistry. They both are very spontaneous and they all are very different process-driven actors. They were all very nice. Vijay is very different, his method. I think for 3-4 months we were just discussing the character. Shefali is very unpredictable. She does a different thing in every take which is so much fun. Alia surrenders completely, she's very professional. She catches the arc really well. So once she's got it, she's with it. Roshan was delight, he was new to us. It was fun and he's very talented. It was learning for me because everybody was different. The challenge was they are all so good normally so how to make them do better or at least they should feel that they are doing justice to the character also. I was very happy."
Did Varun Dhawan and Anil Kapoor too share their inputs for JugJugg Jeeyo?
Director Raj Mehta, who was also on the panel, shared how Varun Dhawan and Anil Kapoor also used to share inputs but he would just take suggestions that were necessary and filter out the rest. JugJugg Jeeyo also starred Kiara Advani, Neetu Kapoor and Maniesh Paul in important roles. Adding to the conversation, Raj said, "I had Varun and Anil sir (laughs). But in all fairness, they were just thinking about the film. All the discussion, every suggestion they had wasn't in favour of the film. Sometimes you have to be a little smart and filter out some suggestions because like Anees Bazmee sir said that no one can understand a film better than a writer and director. I think thankfully all the actors understood that and kind of trusted me with that. But of course, there were discussions about scenes and how we can make it better."
WATCH the full interview here:
During the interview, Jasmeet also spoke about the ongoing debate between OTT and theatres. Darlings was released on OTT and it performed wonderfully. Interestingly, there are other films like Drishyam 2, Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 and Bhediya that were theatrical releases and they did wonders at the box office. Commenting on the debate, Jasmeet shared, "The content has been engaging and entertaining. We made Darlings without thinking it is going to be on OTT or theatre. We then made the film. Afterward, we decided that the film should be released on Netflix because of the pandemic. While making the film, we were not thinking about theatre or OTT or whether songs were driving the story. The film was made by staying true to the story. And that’s what we did. A lot of people said that the film should have been released in the theatres after watching the film on Netflix."
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