You would think a film starring Rahul Bose and Ayesha Dharker is bound to be a crossover film. But you might just change your mind once you see them sweeping the roads of Mumbai clean in Sanjay Jha's third directorial undertaking, Mumbai Chaka Chak under Sunil Shetty's Popcorn Entertainment.
"You'd be surprised to see how well Rahul and Ayesha, both known for their cosmopolitan personalities, have adapted themselves to the earthy roles. They look like they were born with the broom," laughs director Sanjay Jha. "We did an intense workshop. Rahul and Ayesha look completely convincing as the Marathi 'manoos' and the Bihari girl, respectively. In fact, Rahul plays a Dalit, and carries off the role without looking like a crossover king."
Mumbai Chaka Chak is being made with the active support and participation of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation. "We auditioned around 250 workers from the BMC's cultural wing and chose quite a few. In the film, all the people that you see sweeping the roads with Rahul and Ayesha are Municipal workers. We've tried to make the film as authentic as possible. Also, with the theme of a relationship between a Marathi man and a Bihari girl, you can imagine how topical Mumbai Chaka Chak has become."
Jha has earlier directed two films. "Pran Jaye Par Shaan Na Jaye for producer Mahesh Manjrekar was a good experience. But Strings turned out to be a nightmare. It got embroiled in controversies over the 'sadhus' and 'sants'. It's still trapped in an IPL in Allahabad. This time for Mumbai Chaka Chak I'm so happy to get a producer like Sunil Shetty and Popcorn Entertainment. I know they'll make sure the film gets the release it deserves."
Sunil Shetty not only decided to make the film, he has also decided to prop it up with a music video featuring the who's who of Mumbai supporting the campaign for a squeaky-clean Mumbai.
“It's a dream project for my company Popcorn Entertainment, and one with which we hope to up the caliber of our company from entertainment to meaningful cinema”, signs off Sunil.