Actor Kunal Kemmu announced last year on Ganesh Chaturthi that he’s turning director with the feature Madgaon Express, that will be bankrolled by Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani’s Excel Entertainment. However, Kunal recently confessed that he didn’t find Excel’s flagship movies relatable. (Also Read: Kunal Kemmu: You have to choose the right words to say a no, nobody likes hearing it)
Excel Entertainment, founded in 2001, is best known for its mega-budget, continent-hopping coming-of-age road movies. These include Farhan’s directorial debut Dil Chahta Hai (2001), Zoya Akhtar’s Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (2012) and the upcoming Jee Le Zaraa, directed by Farhan and starring Katrina Kaif, Priyanka Chopra and Alia Bhatt.
Kunal Kemmu on Excel’s coming-of-age films
“Dil Chahta Hai aur ZNMD aspirational thi. Bahut achhi lagi thi, lekin relate hi nahi kar paye. Hum toh kabhi Barcelona gaye nahi. Ye toh bade ameer bachche hain. Inki toh coming of age Melbourne mein ho raha hai. Humey kya pata hum toh Mira Road wale hain. Inka agenda hi kuch aur chal raha hai yar. Scuba diving karke inko realisation ho rahi hai, hum toh gaye hi nahi kabhi. Tomatino Festival mein mummy ko tamatar dikhaunga toh pagal ho jayegi ki ye tamatar itne waste kyun kar diye. (Dil Chahta Hai and ZNMD were aspirational. I really liked them, but couldn’t relate to them. I’d never been to Barcelona. The characters were rich brats. They come of age in places like Melbourne. How would we, who are from Mira Road, know anything about that? They have a completely different agenda. They find realisation about life while scuba diving. We’ve never done scuba diving. If I showed my mother the Tomatina Festival, she’d lose it and ask why so many tomatoes were wasted),” Kunal said recently in a pocast on the YouTube channel Chalchitra Talks.
Kunal’s quest to make relatable films
“Jokes apart. I mean you understood the thing. But you feel inke pas toh sab kuch hai yar. Tab samajh aaya paise se khushi nahi khareedi ja sakti hai. Lekin humko thoda apne wala bhi dekhna padega. Jissey thodi relatability ho. Ye thoda zyada hi aspirational ho gaya (You feel these characters have everything. Then it dawned on me that you can’t buy happiness. But I had to represent people like me on screen so that there’s relatability. This got too aspirational). So my pitch to the producers of those films for my film was ‘Mere jaise logon ka kya? Unke liye ye picture hai’ (What about people like me? This film is for them),” Kunal said in the same podcast.
About Madgaon Express
Kunal has wrapped up the shoot of his directorial debut. It stars Pratik Gandhi, Divyendu Sharma and Nora Fatehi among others. It is slated to release sometime this year.