Subodh Bhave is one of those versatile actors who has worked in theatre, soap operas and films. Bhave, who is also known for experimenting with his characters, speaks to Sayali Parab on his upcoming film Fugay, in which he has not only acted but also co-written with Swwapnil Joshi
Swwapnil and you are good friends. Why did you decide to make a film together, and how did the idea of Fugay come about?
Fugay came to mind because Swwapnil and I wanted to work together. We had never worked together before, in either films or theatre. We are close friends and love each other’s work. We happen to work out in the same gym and it was during this time that we discussed the idea of making a movie together and started developing the story of Fugay. Swwapnil and I wrote it and then we brought Swapna Waghmare Joshi on board.
What was your experience like, writing the film?
It was fantastic! An artiste usually has many ideas but it’s not often that his thoughts translate into reality. Thankfully, the film turned out exactly as we had planned. We wanted to make a film that was saaf and apt for the family audience. Anyone, from age group and any gender can watch this film.
This film is complete madness. Its genre is similar to that of Andaz Aapna Aapna and Padosan. The comedy is very pure and it’s a situational film of two friends and their families. It showcases how the friendship changes when one of the friends gets engaged and what happens next in their friendship and also in their families. It’s a complete entertainment package with a lot of humour. Fugay is not just a timepass film; it’s a situational film on friendship. You could say it’s a bromantic film.
Is this film close to you?
Yes, it’s very close to me. It’s been a long time since I played a character relating to today’s college youth. When we got into theatre soon after college, it changed our perception of life and, all of a sudden, we became very serious about everything. We left the fun behind in school and college, and this film has helped us relive our college days. For Swwapnil and me, it was less about shooting and more about having fun.
As you said, it was more a trip than shooting. What was it like to be with Swwapnil shooting in Goa for the bachelors trip part?
We enjoyed ourselves a lot and our chemistry improved. The shooting proceeded very smoothly and we had a lot of fun. It was awesome. I have been to Goa many times but the way I saw Goa through Fugay or, rather, the way I enjoyed Goa because of Fugay, was very different.
I have never enjoyed Goa or shot like this before. When two friends are together, they don’t need anything else. They just want to spend their lives happily and that’s what the film is all about. I am playing the role of Rishikesh and he is playing Aditya. They have been friends since childhood and the chemistry they share is stronger than with their own parents. We played these characters so well in Goa that, after a point, we had to tell the director to please cut because we couldn’t do any more. We had that much of fun shooting.
The posters suggest that you and Swwapnil have swapped surnames. Why did you do that and how is it connected to the film?
Yes, it is very unique. The producers and the marketing department came up with this idea and it turned out to be awesome. Initially, many people thought it was a mistake but it gave the film a big boost.
As a writer, how tough was it to sketch the characters?
Credit goes to Swapna and Hemant Dhome. Swwapnil and I simply gave them the kernel of an idea, so credit for portraying our characters in such a different way goes to Swapna and Hemant.
We have seen you playing the role of a woman in the biographical film Balgandharva and now, in Fugay, you play a youthful character. You always seem to experiment with roles.
Yes, the thing is, I have never got a character to play that is close to my age. When I was 26, I played the role of a 60-year-old man but never someone close to my age. So we decided that since we were making this film, we should play the characters we want. And, yes, it will be shocking for many people as they have never seen me play such a character. I hope they enjoy it as much as we enjoyed shooting it.
After Fugay, which films are you looking forward to doing?
The film due to release is Govind Nihalani’s first Marathi film as a director, titled Ti Ani Itar. Again, it is a typical Nihalani film, a serious kind of film. I am also shooting for Vikram Phadnis first Marathi film, Hrudayantar. In April, I will be shooting for a Marathi film produced by John Abraham.