Masti, Makers and a Franchise – Great Grand Masti
Great Grand Masti, the third installment in the Masti franchise, adds a twist to the sex comedy format by introducing a ghostly element. As the laugh riot readies for release, we chatted up with Director Indra Kumar and cast members Vivek Oberoi, Riteish Deshmukh and Urvashi Rautela. While Kumar explains the intricacies of taking a successful franchise forward, the actors talk about their comic timing, their association with the Masti series and what sets this film apart from its previous parts.
How does Great Grand Masti take the franchise forward?
The canvas of the film and the storyline has changed. The actors have also performed better than the previous films.
Was there any inspiration behind this story?
No, there was no such inspiration. This idea came to Tushar (Hiranandani, writer) and he narrated the story to us. We instantly liked it and I decided to make a film on it. So, the entire credit goes to Tushar.
With a successful franchise like this, how difficult does it get to take the story ahead?
It wasn’t difficult at all. In fact, it was so much of fun. When we made Masti, people told me, “Kumar, you have made films like Beta and Dil and now you’re making films like this!” But man has to progress with time. When I made Grand Masti, the same thing happened again. But I have evolved as a filmmaker.
Vivek Oberoi, Actor
How was returning to the Masti franchise like?
It’s like coming back home to a family. It’s exactly like going to a family wedding, where people meet, remember old memories, have fun, crack jokes, play pranks etc. We can’t wait to see and meet each other because we have so much of fun.
All the three parts have the same actors but the plot changes. What makes each part unique?
The story itself has changed in every part; only the name remains the same. In Great Grand Masti, the angle of the ghost is completely new. Also though the actors are the same, our characters are different. In the first part, I played a jeweler while in the second part I worked at an office. In the third part, all of us wear suits and are the owners of a hotel.
Director Indra Kumar and you have a long association. What differentiates him as a director?
Out of the 14 years that I’ve been acting, I’ve known Indra Kumar for almost 13 years. What makes him different is that he is truly a democratic man. He has made films like Dil, Beta, Raja, Ishq, Dhamaal, Masti, name any genre. He’s got a massive library. But he patiently listens to everyone’s inputs He never says no. He has the ability to be like a sponge, to receive and accept inputs from anybody and everybody. This sense of teamwork is something that people can learn from him. His open-mindedness makes him one amongst us.
Which other projects are you working on?
At the beginning of the next year, I will be working on a fabulous project with Yash Raj productions called Bank Chor. I’m also producing my first film soon.
How would you say is Great Grand Masti different from the previous parts?
We started with Masti, and then went on to do Grand Masti, which was a huge leap. Grand Masti had more of a naughtiness quotient as compared to the first part. It drew huge audience to the theatres that made it a huge success. That’s when we thought that we should now have a third part. But there’s always a point where a certain type of humor can become exhaustive. There’s nothing more to squeeze out of it. So, we started thinking about what could be new. The format of Masti is all the same, three married men having their own frustrations within their married life. So they go out to get a certain kind of excitement and enjoyment. And they meet a girl. But in this film, there comes a point when they realize that she is not a normal girl but a ghost. This is the hook point where I thought, “Yes, this is different.”
Are sex comedies an easy genre to be part of?
It is not an easy genre to do. And many people stay away from it because of their own reasons. And I respect everyone’s opinion to do or not do a certain kind of film. Most of all, it’s more difficult for women and especially Urvashi (Rautela)’s role, since she plays a ghost. She’s supposed to be innocent and yet scary, strong but equally vulnerable and also physically appealing to these guys in the film. It’s extremely bold of her to accept this role. You’re the element that the three guys are fighting for; you are the story of the film. So, I think hats off to her for taking up such a bold step.
How do you prepare yourself for a comic role?
There was a time when I got to read a lot of scripts. I tried to figure out what to do and then how to do it. But during the shoot of Kya Kool Hai Hum. I realized that I was doing the same thing and there was nothing new in it. I realized that I’m the most spontaneous in interviews. So I thought that I would take two narrations and read the script thrice before I went on shoot. When the shoot is on, I’m told that this is the scene and these are the lines, and I take the shot there and then. That is my way to be slightly spontaneous, because then I know how to react to whom.
I also always see look around me and observe how people talk, how they react and so on. Various reactions can be learnt from various actors.
How do you respond to the Censor objecting to the release of the film?
When you have a film like Masti and after knowing the issues we faced during Grand Masti. We consciously tried to take a step back and think about what and how differently can we approach the film. And not face the same hurdles that we faced last time. I think we had probably corrected the steps before approaching the Censor. A few changes were made and we we were fine with them. So, we’re happy with the end product that we are eventually going to release.
The role you play in Great Grand Masti seems to be a bold one. Were there any apprehensions before saying yes to it?
Every single actor or artist has a definition of bold. But I have no kissing scenes or love making scenes in this film. Once you watch the film, you’ll get to know that it’s not a conventional ‘bold’ role but more of a ‘ghostly bold’ one.
How would you describe your association with Indra Kumar?
I’ve always been a fan of his works. I’ve loved all his films from Dil, Beta, Mann to Masti etc. So he was one of my dream directors and I loved every single moment of working with him. I think it’s a dream team when you have such fabulous actors and such an amazing director.
Do you have a particular dream role that you’d like to do?
With regards to this film, there were other lead actresses who wanted to play this character because it is one of the most challenging characters. However I can truly answer this question only when I’ve done at least 10 more films. But yes, I’d like to do a role as challenging as Mother India.
What next do you have on your plate?
There are two more projects that I’ve signed.
-Transcribed by Anindita Roy