John turns compulsive gambler in 'Aashayein' (Preview)

New Delhi, Aug 24 (IANS) Missed John Abraham on big screen? The Bollywood hunk returns as a compulsive gambler-turned-good Samaritan with Nagesh Kukunoor's long-awaited project "Aashayein", releasing Friday.

"'Aashayein' is the story of a gambler, who wins a lot of money and is ready to live his life, pursue his dreams and do all the good stuff until he finds out the same day that he has only 90 days to live," Kukunoor told IANS.

"It is then the journey that he undertakes begins and the characters that he meets and how he learns to live life all over again," added the director, who is also making a comeback to acting with a cameo in the movie.

Produced by Percept Pictures Company and distributed by Big Pictures, the movie is an emotional uplifting drama. It also stars Sonal Sehgal, Prateeksha Lonkar, Girish Karnad, Farida Jalal, Ashwin Chitale and Anaitha Nair.

At a party to celebrate his big win at gambling, Rahul (John) proposes his girlfriend Nafisa (Sonal). Within minutes of announcing his engagement to her, he collapses on the floor.

After a medical diagnosis, Rahul discovers that he has only a few months left to live. How he makes the most of this time and how it changes him is what "Aashayein" is all about.

The movie is the tale of an individual's journey from darkness to light and "the way people perceive their phase with the imminent end of life," says Nagesh. The medium-budget movie has been shot entirely in Puducherry.

Noteworthy is that both Kukunoor and John didn’t charge a penny for "Aashayein".

"In order to show accountability for the project, we make all sorts of concessions and that is what we did in this case," said Kukunoor.

The movie has also been waiting in the cans for close to two years for differences between the producer and the distributor.

"It took them about a year to resolve their differences. Around January this year, when everything was clean and settled, we decided that August 27 will be the date of release," Kukunoor said.

"This was a technical glitch which was extremely frustrating but it was not something one could control, so we sort of waited on the sidelines for it to resolve," added Kukunoor.

But that was not it for him.

"The film has taken a while. I had written the script long ago and it took almost four years to find Percept as producers to come on board and then finally I got John."

"The amount of effort I’ve put in to get 'Aashayein' released, it seems like I’ve made a fresh feature film altogether. It has been an extremely long run process but at the end of it, it is all behind us and now fingers are crossed," he added.

John, known for macho image, also shed 16 Kg for his character in the movie and Kukunoor claims "Aashayein" will boost the actor's credentials.

If patience pays, no big deal if this project makes it big at the box office with its content.

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