The writers at Bollyspice were invited to an exclusive press conference for the first ever Bollywood/British film Naachle London – effectively a British production, but heavily inspired from old school Bollywood with relevant doses of melodrama, music, dance and family values. The film is directed by Neville Raschid (Ealing Comedy, Lost Dogs) and stars Raj Ghatak, Jake Canuso, Fagun Thakrar, Alyssa Sharma and Sofia Hayat.
The film tells the clichéd yet ever appealing tale of a rich girl and a not so well-to-do boy falling in love against parental opposition. At the same time, it cleverly weaves current issues like the recession, interracial relationships, and the complexities behind broken homes in Asian communities with the obligatory stylised, catchy musical numbers which are a pre-requisite for any mainstream Bollywood film today.
Producer/Director Neville Raschid whose earlier credits include indie Brit flicks, Ealing Comedy and Lost Dogs, said, “Making a film is the closest thing a male filmmaker can come to creating a child. You ‘carry’ the film for many months; then comes the ‘labour’ period when you shoot and edit the film; and finally it is ready to leave home on the film’s release and you can’t do anything more about it anymore. Naachle London has been a marathon over an obstacle course with the finish line over a bed of hot coals. But it’s a film I am immensely proud of. During the shoot we had the August riots and the rain to contend with but all that slog will be worth it if the film is warmly received and does solid business at the box office. Aviary is set to shoot its second BollyBrit film in May 2012.”
Naachle London’s male lead, Raj Ghatak (‘Vijay’), said, “Where this film has its USP is in its Britishness. There have been British Asian movies before like Bend it like Beckham and Four Lions, but this film has been written, directed, produced, financed, acted, composed, and choreographed by British Asians, which makes it unique and why I wanted to come on board.”
British screen heartthrob, Jake Canuso (‘Alan’), said, “Neville gave me a call when he was doing Naachle London and he thought of me for the part of Alan. He told me I was going to do a wet shirt scene with Fagun, so I said yes straightaway! It reminded me very much of the sort of dreamy, happy, 1950s musicals which are basically made to take you away from realities. I had to learn Hindi as I played the “gora” in the film. I love the challenge of doing something that I haven’t done before.”
Model/ actress Fagun Thakrar (‘Pooja’), said, “This role was light and fun, but my character Pooja has tension with her family and her dad. Thanks to Neville for casting me opposite Jake, a very talented dancer. This wave of BollyBrit movies will be very appealing to those who are British and have Indian heritage.”
Screen debutante Alyssa Sharma (‘Krishna’), said, “This whole process, as a debut actor in the film, has been such a learning curve for me and working with experienced actors has taught me a lot about performing and how I should conduct myself. More than that I had a lot of fun working with them. It was an excellent opportunity and has changed me as a person. I am essentially a dancer and the whole role expects a lot of dancing from me.”
Don’t miss it when releases across the UK on 24 February 2012, and consecutively in India in the not too distant future.
Check out a few pics from the event: