A satire that elucidates the struggles of today’s youth, and, in a subtle way, also focuses on the many scams that have affected society, Bahut Hua Sammaan is among this latest releases. The film has been directed by Ashish Shukla, and stars Sanjay Mishra, Raghav Juyal, Abhishek Chauhan, Ram Kapoor, Nidhi Singh and Namit Das.
A laughter riot that mirrors our present-day reality, the story revolves around two engineering students who fail in the final year and decide to rob a bank. Then there are assassins, seasoned robbers, top-rung politicians and, of course, some godmen who enter the fray! Streaming on Disney+Hotstar, the team claims the narrative challenges the society at many levels.
Comparing it with the cult classic Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro (1983), Raghav says, “It is cinema in its true sense. The focus is on characters and not looks or item numbers; it is a complete entertainer. It’s like Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro, which was a comedy on the surface, but exposed so many ills.” Raghav, who plays one of the two students, adds,“Dance was my passion and I pursued it for 25 years, but when it came to acting I lacked something.It was only after training for three years with Saurabh Sachdeva, who is not only an actor-director but also an acting coach,that I felt ready.”
On the other hand, Nidhi Singh claims to have found her love for acting during schooldays. “Shakespeare was introduced to us in school and I fell in love with him. All through my school life, I participated in plays and am a trained Kathak as well as Bharatanatyam dancer. I was sure of making a career in Mumbai.”
Raised in Allahabad, Nidhi may have studied advertising in college, but that was only to remain as close to the industry as she could. Then came offers for ads, chances of being associated with theatre- on stage and behind it- and within no time she got to work in the first Indian web series titled Permanent Roommates. “I didn’t even know what a web series was back then. It was just YouTube; there weren’t so many platforms.”
Nidhi adds that big players such as Hotstar provide great opportunities. “In Bahut Hua Sammaan, I play a cop.The boys meet me and freak out because I happen to be their senior from college. I find out that there is more to the case than the boys. Ashish had my role etched in his head very clearly. He knew exactly what he wanted out of Bobby, so I was happily a director’s actor.”
The movie has been shot in Varanasi and Sanjay Mishra, who plays the character of Baba, says that his role is quite intriguing.
“It is one of the most exceptional characters that I’ve played- the way he talks and his mannerisms are all too real. People are guaranteed a good laugh,” he says.
Remembering his time in Varanasi, he adds, “Those days are truly unforgettable, Raghav, Abhishek and I, all three of us stayed in an ashram for almost a month to enjoy the true vibe of the city.”