With no blockbuster releases on the Bollywood docket for February 3rd, Hindi film fans were treated to a comedy in Love You To Death and a production many believed to be an homage to Anna Hazare in Rumy Jaffery’s Gali Gali Chor Hai. Featuring a few recognizable names in Akshaye Khanna, Mugda Godse, and even Kailesh Kher in a cameo, one of Gali Gali Chor Hai’s freshest cast members in Shriya Saran told Bollywood’s adoring fan base, via the press, that the film is more about delivering a message, not shamelessly capitalizing on a hot political issue.
In speaking to the media, Ms. Saran – who made her Bollywood debut in Tujhe Meri Kasam, but made a name for herself in Tollywood (Telugu) and Kollywood (Tamil) – shared unique insight of Gali Gali Chor Hai, which also stars Annu Kapoor, Satish Kaushik, and Akhilendra Mishra.
Simran Mody: What do you say to the critics who say Gali Gali Chor Hai is merely taking advantage of a current political hot topic?
Shriya Saran: We are not cashing in on the movement. Everyone is appreciating what Anna Hazare is doing. Even I respect him for what he has done and how he is not sitting and blaming anyone, but changing the system. We are not targeting anything. Our movie has a strong message.
SM: On that note, the film was actually in the works before Anna Hazare snatched international headlines, right?
SS: The fact is that Rumy Jafry was working on this movie for quite some time. It’s just that Anna’s movement started around the same time. It is not that we made the film because of the movement. We made the film, as we loved the film and believed in it.
SM: What attracted you to the film?
SS: When I first heard the story, I enjoyed listening to it because of the incidents and how the story is told. It made me think that, if the story leaves me with something to dwell on, then audiences will also have something to think upon. I went with my gut feeling for the film.
SM: Tell us a little bit about your character...
SS: We just felt that a film like this will be appreciated in today’s scenario. She teaches kids from the slums. She does not expect big things from life, just some happiness. She stands up for her husband and understands what he is going through.
SM: You mentioned how the film has a message. What is that message? How will people react to the film?
SS: The film talks about the current relevant topic: corruption. And while you come out laughing and smiling seeing the movie ... it leaves you with a thought about corruption, and that is the USP (unique selling point) of the film. The serious topic of corruption is dealt with in a humorous way. While having fun, the audience will get a thought-provoking message.
SM: Can you give us a little more insight of the story?
SS: It is the story of a middle-class family living in Bhopal and how a small incident changes their lives. How their lives get entangled in a series of incidents and, without realizing, they become victims of corruption. I think it is something we all need to come together and change the system and ensure it is a corrupt-free nation. Everyone has to come forward. It is not about one person changing it. Everyone has to come forward and change. It is not about blaming each other … but trying to change the system.
One Up Entertainment's ‘Gali Gali Chor Hai’ opened in theaters on February 3, 2012 and is now playing.