Between love and magic

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LITTLE MAKES IT BIG Kunal Kohli says he has a way with kids.
LITTLE MAKES IT BIG Kunal Kohli says he has a way with kids.


Kunal Kohli’s “Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic” releases this Friday.

I like to make films on different people in different environments

“It’s not after Yashraj’s ‘Jhoom Barabar Jhoom’ and ‘Tashan’ but my film after ‘Hum Tum’ and ‘Fanaa’…” That is Kunal Kohli’s first reaction about “Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic”, his fourth film releasing this Friday – with which he has also turned a co-producer.

This time “the double responsibility” of being a producer and director besides handling four kids “had been quite a task”,” he admits. The film that talks of love, affection and relationships “among people with different outlook and attitude in life” has Saif Ali Khan and Rani Mukerji in the lead.

Hot song

Saif plays Ranbeer Talwar, a man who becomes a tyrant because he always loses in love, while Rani is an angel sent to earth by God to help four orphaned kids (played by Akshat Chopra, Shriya Sharma, Rachit Sidana and Ayushi Berman). Amisha Patel as Saif’s love interest has a cameo “with a hot song underwater despite which we got a ‘U’ certificate,” laughs Kunal, adding quickly, “It’s sensuous, not vulgar, as the film would be seen by families with kids. I have taken care…”

The audiences know Kunal as a filmmaker whose films have a ‘feel good’ factor as they try to unravel the intricacies of relationships. “That’s right. I never feel like making a film in which a machine talks, limbs break and calamity occurs. There is so much of this in our daily news. I like to make films on different people in different environments,” shares Kunal.

And he assures us that “Thoda Pyaar …” has more magic than his earlier films because of the four child actors whom he finalised after auditioning 3000 kids in various cities. One of them, Shriya, is seen in several ads and “Paanchvi Pass”, the quiz programme on television.

On working with children, he says “Kids amaze you with their reactions. They think very differently from adults, and react differently to a scene. They are not method actors. They modulate their voices, add some ‘tashan’ and use the frame fully to their advantage. They are very smart and competitive in nature. I wanted kids with a Delhi accent in this film so I finalised three kids from Delhi.”

One wonders if the film has some story connection with the old Shammi Kapoor-starrer “Brahamchari” or “Mr. India” which also featured orphans.

“No, it hasn’t,” asserts Kunal, adding. “This film is actually an outcome of some desperate moments I had undergone in the early parts of my life. How much did I wish then that an angel would come and solve all my problems. The idea germinated from there.”

And as for handling kids, he knows it too well. “I never push kids too hard. They have a nice time on my sets. They had milkshakes, chocolates, and meals on time. Even the five-year-old in ‘Fanaa’ was happy with me. I become their friend and don’t try to unnecessarily discipline them.”

This former film critic is now just on the opposite side of the fence, where he is being written on and off by film writers. He had also directed music videos in 1990s as Bally Sagoo’s “Mera Laung Gawacha”, Bali Brahmabhatt’s “Tere Bin Jeena Nahin”, Shiamak Davar’s “Jaane Kisne’”, and Rajshri Music’s “Yeh Hai Prem”, a song for Alisha Chinoy with Milind Soman, and so on.

He recalls, “I have often been a target for many film writers. They had been unfair to me. I wouldn’t like to fathom the reason but it really hurt me those days. I don’t belong to a film family. My learning of the filmmaking has been through repeated watching of Raj Kapoor, Yash Chopra, Manoj Kumar and Raj Khosla’s films. I started the trend of story telling Indian music videos which were a hit. So, film producers kept observing my work and it was Karan Johar who introduced me to Yash Chopra.”

Back to “Thoda Pyaar…” , shot mostly in Delhi’s farm houses for 75 days, the film, says Kunal, is being released in June for it’s holiday time for children.



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