Setting love free: Team Ek Kadki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga talk about their film
The romantic drama film looks at love and acceptance in contemporary Indian society through the story of a closeted girl coming out to her conservative family
Father-daughter duo Anil Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor are sharing screen-space for the first time in Shelly Chopra Dhar’s directorial debut, Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga. Written by Gazal Dhaliwal and produced by Vidhu Vinod Chopra, the romantic drama film looks at love and acceptance in contemporary Indian society through the story of a closeted girl coming out to her conservative family.
“I am working with my daughter for the first time in this film. Sonam, in jest, had once said she doesn’t want to work with me. But the truth is, we had never come across a script or a story that could inspire us to work together. I play the character of Balbir Chaudhary in this film, who thinks he is the Mukesh Ambani of Moga (in Punjab). In fact, that in itself was the biggest draw for me to play this character (laughs),” Anil Kapoor said.
Sonam Kapoor spoke about her decision to play the central character in the film. “When I read the script, I genuinely felt it was one of the most important scripts that I have read, not because of what the film was about but because of the way it was portrayed. The atmosphere of this film is so relatable, yet the (central) idea is not something we have seen before. I loved the contrast between the two. I felt validated knowing that I was Shelly’s choice for the film,” she said.
Dwelling on the film’s tagline — ‘Set Love Free’ — Sonam added, “Freedom is something our forefathers have fought really hard for. No matter what problems we face today, we should take advantage of the freedom we have. We are free right now, so when we look at other people, let’s not put them in shackles of our judgement, because that is something that has happened to us and our forefathers before — whether it’s (related to) caste, sex, sexuality or anything at all. Let’s set people free from our own judgement.”
Director Shelly Chopra Dhar described Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga as an entertaining film with a progressive message. She said, “The golden rule of cinema is entertainment and we have ensured that audiences have an enjoyable time while watching our film. Secondly, if it also manages to make people think and reflect, then that would be the best thing. We are not trying to lecture or preach anything. We have written this film with a lot of heart and I hope people accept it with their hearts too.”
In ELKDTAL, Rajkummar Rao plays a young theatre director named Sahil Mirza who falls in love with Sonam’s character. The title track of the film — recreated from the hit song in Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s 1942: A Love Story — is picturized on Rajkummar and Sonam. Talking about his character, the actor said, “Sahil Mirza is a guy with a golden heart, who will always stand up for what is right. He is a great lover, a great friend; a selfless guy who is also a little rebellious in nature. He writes and directs plays in the theatres of Delhi and wants to make it on his own in life. ELKDTAL is an important story told in an entertaining manner with a lot of humour attached to it. I am happy to be a part of it.”
Juhi Chawla, who reunites with Anil Kapoor on the big screen after 13 years, shared her experience of working on the film. “Chatro, my character, is a Punjabi lady from a conventional background. At some point in her life, she has decided to set herself free and follow her dreams. I have a loveable role in the film, and it was wonderful to reunite with Anil ji after Salaam-e-Ishq (2006). I also enjoyed working with young actors like Rajkummar and Sonam and figure out how they think and approach their craft.”
Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga is produced by Vinod Chopra Films and distributed by Fox Star Studios. The supporting cast includes Akshay Oberoi, Regina Cassandra, Madhumalti Kapoor, Brijendra Kala and child artist Sara Arjun. The music is composed by Rochak Kohli and the lyrics are written by Gurpreet Saini. The film is slated for release on February 1, 2019.