'In the process, Gulaab Gang became my dream'

Switching roles

Back in 2001, Tum Bin, his first directorial venture in Bollywood, garnered accolades even though he took the risk of featuring three fresh faces in the lead.

Cut to 2014, the tables seem to have turned. Under his production banner Benaras MediaWorks, Anubhav Sinha has pitted two arch rivals and renowned names of Indian cinema, Madhuri Dixit and Juhi Chawla in his upcoming film Gulaab Gang. Though the film has hit a roadblock owing to a stay on its release, Metrolife spoke to Anubhav about his journey in Bollywood, stepping into the producer’s role, and of course his new film, Gulaab Gang.

In the run-up to the release, “Haven’t slept in weeks, juggling work extensively (sic),” said the producer before his film ran into trouble with its alleged portrayal of Gulaabi Gang’s Sampat Pal.

With Gulaab Gang as its major debut release, the company will turn two films old. Envisioning the future for his production house, the nouveau producer says, “With new, exciting stories, preferably new people as well, I want to make their stories turn into reality in accordance with their vision.

There are so many talented writers wanting to turn into directors. I am happy that I could help in turning Soumik Sen’s (director of Gulaab Gang) dream into reality, and in the process, it became my dream.”

“If five years down the line, you see a film and point out that it is our production, I
will be disappointed,” says Anubhav, startling us with
his response.

Explaining his vision for the production house, he says that he doesn’t want it to be likened to one particular genre of cinema, “So, we are producing a psychological thriller Zid, and a comedy alongside a strong
women-centric film like Gulaab Gang.”

The idea of a commercial Bollywood success is usually thought to be inconceivable without a lead male protagonist. So, wasn’t it a risk to cast two leading ladies sans a male lead? Metrolife asked Anubhav. “Everybody warned against it. ‘Don’t spend too much’, they said,” he says, admitting, “It was very discouraging. But eventually, as
fears subsided, we stuck to a safe budget.”

About the idea of pitching two arch rivals, he says, “I was also apprehensive in the first two days of the shoot. With a new director by my side, I was more worried. But I think more is made out to be than what exists. Whatever be the truth behind their rivalry, on the sets, both of them were extremely wonderful and professional actresses.”

For now, this once-in-a-long-time-opportunity to watch two divas sizzle up the silver screen seems to have been stalled. It remains doubtful if the film will see the light of the day anytime soon.

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