Yamla Pagla Deewana 2 has a brand new story and setting: Sangeeth Sivan
Comedy is his forte that he has proved already with his directorial ventures like Kya kool Hai Hum and Apna Sapna Money Money. After his last film with Bobby Deol in 2009, Director Sangeeth Sivan once again teams up with the Deol family for the sequel of their blockbuster hit Yamla Pagla Deewana. In a candid chat with Pandolin, talented filmmaker Sangeeth Sivan talks about what went into the making of this laughter riot Yamla Pagla Deewana 2.
How did your association with Yamla Pagla Deewana 2 happen?
Whilst working on a script tentatively titled “Cheers”, with Dharamji and Bobby I was asked whether I would be interested in doing YPD2. I was very much apprehensive then because I had already said no to two of my sequels Kya Kool Hai Hum and Apna Sapna Money Money. I chose not to do these two films of mine since I was unable to find a story that was as exciting as the first part. And here I was being asked to do a sequel of a successful brand that was not mine. But then, Jassi, the original writer of YPD and me spent over 2 months to come up with a story that was at par with the first film.
Does the film start from where its prequel ended or is it a different story altogether?
We just retained the characters of the Deols but everything else is new. YPD2 has a brand new story, setting, people and places.
You started your Hindi film career with Sunny Deol but this time it was all the three Deols, so how was it working with them?
I was fortunate to have worked with Sunny in Zor and then Bobby in Ek- The power of one, so there was obviously a comfort level with them and then with Dharamji, I spent a good amount of time with him on Cheers script. Hence, a certain level of comfort was established with all of them before the actual film started.
Have you kept the feel and look of the film similar to the first one?
Since the story, characters and places are different, we have tried to give the film a newer look that is more glamorous and urban.
Which camera format did you employ? Why?
This time we went fully digital. The film is shot on Arri Alexa. I think, its better to adapt to newer technologies since the era of films is almost at its end.
How was it working with the cinematographer Neha Parti? What was your brief to him/her?
This is the first time I have worked with a lady cinematographer and I must say that she is an extremely hard working and talented technician. She made sure the film has all the required gloss, which was what I was looking for.
Where all the shooting happened? How many days it took to complete the entire shoot?
95 % of the shoot was done in UK and the rest in India at places like Maheshwar and Kohlapur. We must have completed the entire film in about 90 – 100 days including all the 5 songs and 5 fights.
How many action sequences are there in the film? Was it difficult to execute action on foreign locations?
There are about 5 main action sequences and they are very different from the ones we usually see in Hindi cinema. And perhaps for the first time, you will see Sunny doing such fights. We had fighters flown in from all over the world for the fights including 5 Sumo wrestlers and hundreds of Ninja fighters.
How is the music of the film and how important role it plays in carrying the narrative of the film forward?
We have four great tracks in the film and they form a very important part of the narrative. They take the story forward and are very melodious and peppy too. Sharib and Toshi composed the music of the film and Kumaar has penned the lyrics. Choreography for all the songs has been done by Caesar of Bosco and Caesar. In fact no one expects great music from this franchise but I am sure people will be surprised with our music this time.
Is there any particular scene in the film, you enjoyed directing the most?
I enjoyed almost all the scenes but the scenes featuring Dharamji would be most looked forward to because of the improvisations he would bring into the scene. He used to have us in splits with his impromptu one-liners.
What’s your favorite genre? Between Comedy & Action, what do you prefer more?
I like to believe that I am comfortable in all the genres but since my comedies have been more successful people do presume that it is my forte.
How would you define yourself- a spontaneous or a methodical director?
I am a director who needs time to do his pre production properly before commencing a shoot. It is important that my team and I are absolutely ready with our homework before we start any project.
Being in the South-Indian film industry for more than 20 decades, what are the basic differences between the filmmaking approach of Hindi films and its south counterparts?
It is the same except that in the south we have more discipline since we deal with a much smaller market down there. The other difference I see is that here in Bollywood, everything is hero centric whereas in south even though there are super stars, the technicians get far more credit and value.
Tell us something about your upcoming Film projects, be it Hindi or in south down there?
In all possibility I might start “Cheers” as soon as YPD2 gets released. After that I have not planned yet. Let us see how the film is appreciated before further calls are taken.