For the most part, Sundays are synonymous with languid nighttimes and laid-back mentality however movie producer Shoojit Sircar’s Juhu office is humming with vitality. The reason: the primary content perusing session of his next film featuring Varun Dhawan in the number one spot — meaning every one of the hypotheses versus the film would now be able to be let go.
Titled October, Shoojit says it’s “not a romantic tale but rather his thought on adoration”. He says, “It’s again an out-of-the-container sort of story. We began chipping away at this current film’s thought, which originated from a little news cut-out, just before Piku (2015),” says the movie producer including that it’s “an exceptionally strange, whimsical sort of a story” in the “cut of-life and sentiment space”
Varun, on his part, says that since his debut (with Student of The Year; 2012), Shoojit featured on his wish list of directors. “I am definitely happy and excited. What’s amazing about him (Shoojit) is that he is very sure about his vision. I have met him just now, so I am trying to get into that world, understand it, and the way the film is going to breathe and feel. It’s very different from anything I have done before,” says the actor.
Interestingly, Shoojit’s business partner and producer, Ronnie Lahiri admits that he also wanted Shoojit to work on a love story. “Somehow, we have constantly jumped genres, even if not consciously. Then, we thought, ‘so many love stories get made, so why not have our kind of a love story?’ Our film has an element of a love story but in a very unusual manner. And Varun is one of the finest young actors that we have right now and plus, this character will be a leap for him too from all the characters that he has done till now,” says Ronnie.
The film goes on the floors in October and will be shot in Delhi, which Shoojit calls his “favourite city”. “We plan to release it in the early part of next year, around March-April but we haven’t zeroed in on the exact release date,” says producer Ronnie Lahiri.
Like Yahaan (2005), Madras Café (2013) and Pink (2016) that took inspirations from newspaper articles or real-life instances, Shoojit’s October too has the ‘real’ connect. “Yes, it’s inspired by many real-life incidents but the basic idea came from a small newspaper clipping that I had read. If you see, all my films’ ideas are like that,” says the film-maker, who — quite interestingly — thought of the title while playing his favourite sport, football.
“We were actually thinking of a lot of titles. I regularly play football, so while playing a game recently; this one came to me on its own since I was thinking for many days about what it could be. When I told Juhi (Chaturvedi; writer) that the title can be October, she was also taken aback but then she said, ‘Yes, it has got the breath and smell of our film,’” says Shoojit. For October too, he will collaborate with Juhi, who wrote Piku, Vicky Donor (2012) and also co-wrote the dialogues with him for Madras Café (2013).
Varun, in fact, finds it “interesting” that the film, October will go on the floors in October itself. “It wasn’t planned but things fell into place,” says Varun, adding that the kind of preparations Shoojit wants for the film is “very different from the usual training processes, which has already begun in a way”.
Off social media
“It will be a kind of shutdown mode for me. It’s obviously his take on a love story but also a take on today’s youth in a way. One thing that Shoojit sir has asked me to and that I will do in October is that I will be going off social media completely. It’s not a big deal. But when we talk of the youth, social media is a big component,” says Varun.
Adding that his process is “different” since he fills the “hard disk of his actors’ mind completely,” Shoojit says the preparations have already started with briefing sessions and small reading sessions. “I’m sure it’s going to be a very pleasurable journey between Varun and me,” says Shoojit.Co-incidentally, the moment Shoojit met Varun for the first time in his office, he knew he was the perfect fit for the part.
“Even Juhi had it in her mind that Varun could play the part. But, she had no idea that I was meeting Varun. So, almost immediately [after our conversation], I called Varun and said, ‘Come to my office, I have to tell you something.’ When we met next, I gave a very basic idea of the film to him. It’s going to be a tough film, I hope he takes the film on his shoulders,” says Shoojit.