In an exclusive interview with IndiaChron, the team of “200 Halla Ho,” including the director of the film Sarthak Dasgupta and the managing directors of Film Jungle Entertainment Abhijeet Das and Soumyajit Roy, got candid about the making of this gut-wrenching movie. Sarthak Dasgupta also opened up about the journey and revealed what it was like working with amazing actors and veterans like Mr Amol Palekar.
Starting with the idea behind the making of the film, Soumyajit Roy (one of the managing directors of Film Jungle Entertainment) said that they started working on the film about two years ago. He further revealed, about their journey, and how they cracked the entire story.
“The whole incident happened in 2004 in Nagpur. We started working on this idea two years ago. Abhijeet (the other managing director of Film Jungle Entertainment) and I visited Nagpur to track down the entire story. We met all the main characters including Mrs Usha Narayana and also visited the Kasturba Nagar Basti where it all happened”, said Soumyajit.
“It was quite intriguing going to all those places and listening to real stories from all the real people involved. After this we returned to Bombay and worked on our first draft,” he further added.
When asked about the evildoer of the film, Balli Chaudhary, played by the talented Sahil Khattar and how it was to transform him into this dark and wicked role, Director Sarthak Dasgupta said, “We wanted to cast someone different and not someone who was used to doing negative roles. We wanted to stay away from that. Then, an idea came to cast Sahil Khattaar for the role, because we were looking to cast someone with some sought of visual similarity with the real character”.
He further added, “When Sahil came to meet me at the office, he was already extremely charged and wanted to play the character. The kind of energy that he showed made me realise that it was not important for me to know whether he was a good actor or not, the basic energy of that man was such, that with that energy anything can happen. That’s when I said YES”.
Sarthak also divulged how much effort and work Sahil Khattar had put in for the character. “He worked on his body, he worked on his Marathi. He researched a lot about the negative characters. I gave him ideas about certain characters from different movies. And we used to exchange a lot of notes about various lines and how he would deliver those lines. A lot of this and that decision was to be made between the two of us which we kept on taking and slowly it kind of took off and I didn’t have to tell him anything after a point”.
Speaking about working with Amol Palekar, Dasgupta said: “All these old school people are good to work with. They come with a lot of discipline and they don’t throw tantrums, they understand and hear. Amol Ji has made so many films. He has been a director, a producer, a writer, an actor and a painter. He is many things in that one person”.
“We have all grown up watching his films. Initially, when he was on board, it was exciting for me and also there was a bit of fear thinking about what would happen as this was a difficult film to shoot. When I met him for the first time in Pune, he had already read the script and seen my earlier work. So that helped. He had a lot of pertinent questions and suggestions about the film,” said the director.
Sarthak also revealed one thing that Amol Ji said to him. He said: “Sarthak, we have some time before the shoot, we will thrash out everything that needs to be thrashed out. During the shoot, I will surrender to you completely. If you ask me to sit, I will sit and if you ask me to stand I will stand. I will not question it. And that’s exactly what happened. When he came to the set, he was like a soft clay ready to be moulded”.
Sarthak further explained how he lucked out with an amazing cast. “All of these people that you see in the film, including Rinku Rajguru, were extremely intelligent and nice human beings. Some people have good, bad, small, medium and big roles. At times what happens is that actors throw a lot of tantrums regarding roles. These are certain issues that we directors face. But that didn’t happen here. All the actors were so charged up about the movie that no one complained even if it was a small part. They did their part without any questioning. It was like a dream, what happened on the set”.
Sarthak Dasgupta’s ‘ 200 Halla Ho’ is a gut-wrenching movie that narrates the plight of Dalit women. Loosely based on a real-life incident, Halla ho is the story of women who were terrorised by a gangster named Balli Yadav for 15 years. Until one day, when they decided to take the power into their own hands and lynched the mobster. Featuring actors like Amol Palekar, Barun Sobti, Sahil Khattar, Saloni Batra, Rinku Rajguru and many more, the movie was released on Zee 5 on August, 20.