In the midst of headline-hogging celebrities, Bollywood also has members—like producer-director Vikas Bahl—who rarely come into the spotlight. Bahl, who debuted with Chillar Party (which won the National Award for Best Children’s Film in 2011), has produced interesting films like 7 Khoon Maaf, No One Killed Jessica, Udaan, Hasee Toh Phasee and the upcoming Bombay Velvet. This month, however, is his time to shine as director. Bahl’s movie, Queen—starring Kangana Ranaut, Rajkummar Rao and Lisa Hayden—will release on February 28 and Karan Johar has already gone to town about how he “loves the energy” of its song, London Thumkda—a selling point if there’s any.
More from the director:
Queen is about this shy Punjabi girl, Rani. She goes on her honeymoon alone and, during that journey, learns a lot about herself and the world. Why the bridegroom cancels the wedding and why she takes off alone is part of the story. The script was ready over two years ago, but I was busy with other projects. The movie was shot on a low budget and was completed in 45 days.
Kangna Ranaut worked very hard for this movie and she was perfect for the role. She is familiar with roles where the character goes through a lot of stress in life. Moreover, several of the small situations and gestures in the film suited her perfectly. She is a girl who is ready to take on anything.
It is very easy to play a hero who gets noticed, who fights villains and triumphs ultimately. Such roles are simple. But to do an ordinary man and to step out of your comfort zone is difficult. The role that Ranaut plays is not caricaturish.
This year I am working on movies like Bombay Velvet, NH10, Bhavesh Joshi and Hasee Toh Phasee. I generally work closely with my directors so we don’t have a difference of opinion later. A lot of directors like Vikramaditya Motwane and Vinil Mathew are good friends. Many a time, I am part of the project from day one, so creative differences are reduced.
Independent films are fantastic. Sometimes the studios do not understand the director’s vision. I think one should make more of such films and make the studios produce them. Some of the independent movies are path breaking and not all need two hours. Some can be shorter.
The movie is scheduled to release on February 28.
— Mrinalini Sundar