Art & Entertainment

Director Shirsha Guha Thakurta On ‘Do Aur Do Pyaar’ Ft. Vidya Balan-Pratik Gandhi: It’s A Take On The Cyclical Nature Of Modern Love

Shirsha Guha Thakurta has made her directorial debut with ‘Do Aur Do Pyaar’, which released on April 19.

Shirsha Guha Thakurta; ‘Do Aur Do Pyaar’ Cast

Shirsha Guha Thakurta’s debut directorial ‘Do Aur Do Pyaar’ has been grabbing headlines ever since its release on April 19. The film, which boasts of an unusual and fresh pairing of Vidya Balan and Pratik Gandhi, offers a rollercoaster of emotions, funny dialogues, and a web of relationships. ‘Do Aur Do Pyaar’ also features Ileana D'Cruz, and Sendhil Ramamurthy, and revolves around a "cheating" married couple falling in love with each other once again after indulging in an extramarital affair. 

As the film is delightfully getting rave reviews from the audience and the critics, Shirsha Guha Thakurta, in an exclusive interview with Outlook India, opened up about her directorial debut, casting the four actors, and what made her shift to film direction. Excerpts from the interview: 

What was the vision behind the confusing love story ‘Do Aur Do Pyaar’ with Vidya Balan and Pratik Gandhi?

It’s a take on the cyclical nature of modern love. I was always interested in the story of what happens to all those perfectly in love couples that we show in our films. Imagine Raj and Simran after running away on the train at the end of DDLJ, what happens to them after twenty years? Where are they now? Have they become flatmates instead of lovers? What happens when the initial chemistry has worn off and love becomes a habit. When love becomes old, is it not love? If the love didn't last forever, was it never love? In our movies - We always show love as a zero or one equation, as black or white - its there or it's not - I feel love is cyclical - it comes and goes. And that's what makes love confusing - Me and my writers wanted to tell a story of this kind of modern real life in love. Sometimes love is just comfort food - like Chicken 65.

You have managed to get Vidya Balan, Pratik Gandhi, Ileana D'Cruz, Sendhil Ramamurthy for the film. Tell us about the casting process..

We were clear from the outset that we wanted the audiences to like and feel for all four characters in the story. Much like in real life, like most of us - all of them are flawed. We wanted actors who were inherently likeable and relatable so that even when they do wrong things, make mistakes, the audiences still like them. Still feel for them, still care about their stories. All four of our actors bring that to the table. Vidya, Pratik, Ileana Sendhil, they are very different from each other, but they all bring this quality to their characters. They are so likeable and relatable.

The film marks your directorial debut. What are you expecting with the film?

I just wanted to make a film that I could relate to, people that I could understand, a world that I see around me. It's complicated and messy but there is hope and joy and emotion. I like these kinds of films. I hope people like it and relate to it and find little joys in it. Too much to expect? 

The romance genre is highly exploited in Bollywood. Were there any apprehensions that you had? 

Not really. Because like I said - most of Bollywood love stories are about the young passionate all or nothing kind of beautiful love with music and violins and mountains. Our love story is about a much more lived in, confusing, messy kind of love that happens when that initial high has worn off. The mood, the songs, the settings, the feel is very different. It's about the small gestures, little habits, strange comforts, precious moments within the mundaneness of ordinary lives. Sometimes even that is love. So yes its romance, but it's a different kind of romance.

You were an ad filmmaker, and this is your directorial debut. How has the shift been?

Both ad films and feature films have their own challenges. The thing I enjoyed most about feature films is that you don’t have to worry about duration while shooting. If the actor does the scene amazingly in one take you can keep all of it in just that take. You don’t have to cut it to make it faster. These kinds of luxuries you don’t get in ads. But I equally enjoy advertising and continue to do so. We land up making 2 films in a month and that kind of practice no other form can give you.

The film is produced by Sameer Nair, Deepak Segal, Tanuj Garg, Atul Kasbekar and Swati Iyer Chawla under the banners Applause Entertainment and Ellipsis Entertainment Production.