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Updated: July 21, 2012 10:40 IST

Breaking stereotypes on women chauffeurs

Madhur Tankha
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ROLE REVERSAL: Film-maker and actor Vickrant Mahajan with co-actor Kainaz Motiwala during the promotion of their film “Chalo Driver” in New Delhi on Friday. Photo: Rajeev Bhatt
The Hindu ROLE REVERSAL: Film-maker and actor Vickrant Mahajan with co-actor Kainaz Motiwala during the promotion of their film “Chalo Driver” in New Delhi on Friday. Photo: Rajeev Bhatt

Writer Vickrant Mahajan has tried to break the stereotype that women cannot become chauffeurs in his directorial debut, “Chalo Driver”, released at theatres across the country on Friday.

It took Vickrant more than two years to write, direct, act and produce this unconventional film which has Mumbai girl Kainaz Motivala playing a Delhiite who is working for a difficult-to-please boss (Vickrant) who has a penchant for chucking out chauffeurs on some pretext or the other.

Delhi’s milieu

Having lived in the city for eight years, Jammu-grown Vickrant decided to portray the vastness and development of Delhi in terms of infrastructure and arterial roads on the big screen.

“As a writer, I can only share my experiences. I saw a lot of the city during my stay here and wanted to portray Delhi’s milieu. Usually, film-makers explore historical monuments of the Walled City but I have shown posh locations like Chhattarpur, swanky malls and sprawling farm houses.”

Intriguing concept

Noting that he found the concept of a woman driver intriguing, Vickrant, who has authored a book on modelling apart from books on other subjects, says once while driving on the streets of Vasant Vihar, he observed a woman on the wheels whose driver was at the backseat. “In a role reversal, I decided to make woman a cab driver and her boss as a man. When I saw Kainaz’s portfolio I was amazed by her looks and felt she looked ideal to play a Punjabi girl.”

Playing a happy-go-lucky sort of girl, Kainaz, who came into prominence in Ekta Kapoor’s “Ragini MMS”, took the film as a challenge.

“As a Mumbaiikar, it was a challenge for me to play a Delhi girl. Having never lived in this city, I was completely clueless as to what are the aspirations of an average girl. So I spoke to a couple of friends who live here. For the next one month I drove all over the city and fell in love with this place.”

Kainaz is playing a girl who has takes up job of a chauffeur as a bet. “She is not working due to any compulsions.”

Barring veteran actor Prem Chopra and Kainaz, all the actors are newcomers. Undoubtedly, the film has a cost-effective budget.

Unusual subjects

“It is a cost-effective movie. People normally talk about films which have done business of Rs.100 crore and beyond. I do not believe in numbers. As a writer I like to highlight unusual subjects. I could not have chosen London as a backdrop for this film because women cab drivers are common there. But in Delhi people have different mentality. So this film breaks this stereotype.”

Vickrant is playing an insensitive soul, who uses people around him to his advantage. But he does not care about them. “In the film, he seems annoyed with his female chauffeur most of the time. But when he tries to do her job he realises what it takes to be a driver.”

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