Tu Hai Mera Sunday is very relatable as a film yet very different: Milind
After Prakata Het Yad,a wonderful short film that took everyone by surprise owing to its Gibberish language, ad filmmaker cum director Milind Dhaimade is back with his first full length feature. Titled Tu Hai Mera Sunday (You Are My Sunday), Milind’s film is a light-hearted story based in Mumbai.
Tell us about Tu Hai Mera Sunday. Where did the idea take birth?
Tu Hai Mera Sunday is a film about five friends who play football at Juhu Beach in Mumbai. They are not (professional) football players but a regular bunch of guys, who don’t have anything in common, but have met at different stages of life and become close friends. For them, their Sunday football game on the beach is the only thing that they look forward to. One day, a crazy old man joins the group and does something which leads to a ban on playing at Juhu beach. Now these five guys have to find a place to play in Mumbai and intermittently, you see their lives and how each one is dealing with their own space in Mumbai. Basically it’s about your own little space and finding happiness in that space – how all of us living in urban India try to find our little islands of happiness.
The idea actually came from a real group called ‘Juhu Beach United’ that plays there. It has a close friend of mine and I used to love the way he would look forward to every Sunday and include everybody – guys and girls – in it and spread the word for football. And I just thought, what would happen if one day this guy could not play football? It started from there. It’s a very light film about different characters, their lives and what they are dealing with.
The film has several TV actors. Was there a particular thought behind casting these people?
No, not at all. The reason we decided to do this film on our own is because we wanted to have control on casting. It’s a very strong character – driven film. Most of the stories that I’ve written are from my life, my friends and family. We decided to go for good actors who’d do justice to the role. Anmol and Abhishek who did the casting for us suggested these actors. And when I saw their auditions, they were superb.
From a film in gibberish to a film with dialogues… how has the transition in treatment been?
In Prakata Het Yad, I’d never planned dialogues. When I got to briefing actors, I realized that the actors needed something to say. So we thought gibberish was nice because the situations were so graphic that they didn’t need definition in words. So gibberish was fun. Tu Hai Mera Sunday is a character – driven film. And the characters are living in Mumbai. There is a guy called Dominic, one is Rashid and there’s Arjun, so there’s also the various fabrics of Mumbai that we have tried to bring in. And I needed to bring in the language of Mumbai also. Because one part of Mumbai is the language – how we talk, how our English and Hindi is and how we mix up our languages and make it one thing. So here dialogues and the kind of words and how they were used were very critical for me.
What were the challenges you are encountering on this project?
The film has around 40 locations all over Mumbai. The biggest challenge was coordination and obviously being self – funded, we had to be tight with our budgets. We could not afford to make mistakes and lose days. We had made a 35-38 day schedule and the biggest challenge was to stick to it. Between that there was an industry strike and we were also getting close to the monsoons. The whole challenge was capturing Mumbai, which no one has done for a long time, getting that essence of the city. Shooting all over the city was the most difficult thing. But no one has seen Juhu beach in the way that we’ve shot it.