On the transition from TV to Silver Screen – Sachin Khot
The film Ugli Aur Pagli, touted as 99 Slaps and 1 Kiss stars Mallika Sherawat and Ranvir Shorie. This film has been directed by Sachin Khot, who earned name and fame as the creator of the most popular TV serial Shanti and many others.
On the theme of Ugly Aur Pagli
The concept is an age old syndrome of opposites attracting each other; we just took a realistic take on the same. Today’s 21st century girl is more aggressive and dominating in a relationship. In most of the love stories, we see males leading the relationship with lots of mushiness, but in this, I have tried some thing that’s really different and interesting. In this story, the girl dominates the relationship and we have removed the mushiness out of the love story.
On the transition from TV to Silver Screen
Yes, I have directed few TV serials in the past and it is a huge transition for me from TV to films. I directed TV serial called ‘Shanti’ starring Mandira Bedi in its third year in 1997. Besides that, I have also shot several other serials. During the nascent stage, when I was working on serials, it was more about story telling but now it has become more gimmicky. So this transition was great and important for me at the same time.
On the stars of the film
Ranvir and Mallika are simply mind blowing. They are very professional and natural actors. As this is a female dominated love story with a dash of aggressiveness to it, Ranvir was supposed to get slapped by Mallika almost 99 times through the film. I think no actor in this film industry would have done this role, which Ranvir did. On the sets, Ranvir and Mallika used to sit down and device different techniques of slapping. I was stunned to see Ranvir sitting with Mallika and teaching her how to slap. It was really funny to hear their conversation when Ranvir told her methods in which a slap would look real etc. They both helped each other really well and their improvisations only helped the scenes get even better. Apart from them we have some interesting cameos done by interesting characters.
I don’t know why people have tagged Mallika as a very reserved person. I think she was pretty good on the sets, she gelled very well with everyone on the sets and above all, she is a thorough professional.
I think they shared a brilliant rapport, they were too natural and trust me, the rapport and the chemistry which you see between both of them on screen is exactly how they were on the sets also! I remember while we were shooting, there was this scene where Ranvir was suppose to carry Mallika and walk across the road, while shooting for this scene, Mallika purposely used to distract him and do something or the other so that we would re-shoot and so that Ranvir had to carry her all the way again. It was really funny; we all pulled his leg and backed Mallika on this one. According to me, the chemistry between any two actors look good only when they understand each other and help each other in the scenes… and that was exactly the case here.
On the cameo stars
Well, Zeenat Amanji does the biggest cameo in the film, and I am really excited about that. I won’t divulge much detail on this one but apart from her, there is a small but interesting cameo done by VJ Gaurav, VJ Vishal Malhotra and Manish Anand who play Ranvir’s friends in the film. They all have small but very well etched roles introduced at crucial times.
On Pyaar Ke Side Effects & Ugly Aur Pagli
Well, if you really see, then even Rahul Bose and Mallika Sherawat was an unusual pairing. It was Mr. Nandy’s idea to get Ranvir; he was quite keen on casting him and moreover he just suited the bill. I think I couldn’t have thought of any actor playing a lovable loser. And of course, this opposite pole chemistry always works.
No, there is no similarity between PKSE and Ugly Aur Pagli, there were no conscious efforts that were taken while penning down the story. The only similarity one will find between the two stories is of course Mallika and the fact that two drastically different people fall in love. In fact, in Pyaar Ke Side Effects, Rahul Bose was a kind of achiever, he had his own job, led his own life, but in Ugly Aur Pagli, Ranvir is a complete loser.