PeepingMoon Exclusive: 'Zara Hatke Zara Bachke isn't Luka Chuppi 2,' clarifies director Laxman Utekar

In just a couple of days, Sara Ali Khan and Vicky Kaushal's Zara Hatke Zara Bachke will debut in cinema halls. Directed by Laxman Utekar, the film is set in Indore and revolves around a middle-class couple. Ahead of its release, PeepingMoon spoke to the director about Zara Hatke Zara Bachke.

Talking to us, Laxman revealed the inspiration behind Zara Hatke Zara Bachke, offering the script to only Sara and Vicky and choosing June 2 as the release date after Shah Rukh Khan's Jawan got postponed.

Excerpts from the interview:

What was the inspiration behind Zara Hatke Zara Bachke?

My only inspiration was to make a fun and light-hearted film after Mimi

You are known to tell small-town stories with middle-class families in the centre. Why? What's your thought process?

My only thought process while making such films is to ensure the audience relates to your story. It is very important to justify your setting. We shot Zara Hatke Zara Bachke in Indore which isn't a very small town or a huge city; it is progressive just like our characters. Before shooting, we went to Indore to observe localites and their behaviour. When the subject is real, the audience connects to it. 

The casting is unique. Did you visualise Vicky Kaushal and Sara Ali Khan as Kapil and Somya from the beginning?

When we started writing the story, uss time se Vicky Kaushal hi mere dimag mein the. I believe if the film's casting goes wrong, it won't look believable. Vicky comes from a simple middle-class family and he has been through that life so his behaviour and lifestyle is quite similar to that of Kapil. I wanted my hero to look like a 'boy next door' which he is. Even Sara was the only actress who was approached with the script. She's quite like Somya in reality too. Also, Vicky and Sara never worked together and I wanted to give my audience a new and fresh pairing. If we repeat a pairing, people will get bored. 

There were rumours that Zara Hatke Zara Bachke is Luka Chuppi 2..

(Laughs) Galat hai. Since the time we started shooting, locals in Indore began sharing videos calling it Luka Chuppi 2. Zara Hatke Zara Bachke's flavour is different from that of Luka Chuppi. While it is in the same small-town space, yeh Luka Chuppi 2 toh bilkul nahi hai. Zara Hatke Zara Bachke hi hai

Will you consider making Luka Chuppi 2?

I am yet to think about it. Abhi toh koi aur film banegi. Luka Chuppi ka title aur subject aisa hai na ki sequels ban sakte hai. Abhi tak kaam shuru nahi kiya hai. 

Zara Hatke Zara Bachke is releasing on June 2. Was the date always in consideration or did the team take a call after Jawan got pushed?

We were sure that Zara Hatke Zara Bachke will be a theatrical release. The producer of the film, Dinesh Vijan, asked us to keep the film ready and said it will be released when we get the right window. We've made a good film and a correct release window is very important. When Jawan got pushed, we decided to take up that slot. 

You started as a cinematographer. What made you change your profession and choose direction?

I started as a spotboy. My motivation was to earn more money (laughs). I was fortunate enough to work on sensible films as a cinematographer which made me confident that I can tell my own stories. My first film as a director was Tapaal in Marathi. I was sure that the first film has to be embedded in the culture and setting I am familiar with. 

Do you wish to remake Tapaal?

It cannot be remade in Hindi. Marathi cinema ka ek alag structure hota hai joh thoda conservative hota hai. Emotionally strong bhi hota hai. Usmein investment bhi zyada nahi hota. When you put in crores on a film, you have to look into the entertainment factor too. It should invite the maximum number of people to cinema halls. Tapaal is a beautiful film but it shouldn't be remade in Hindi.