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Making people laugh test for me: Hansal Mehta on ‘Chhalaang’

Mumbai, Oct 18 : Filmmaker Hansal Mehta’s upcoming “Chhalaang” is a departure from the socio-political films he is known for and the director says he took on the comedy-drama as a challenge to push himself.

Featuring Rajkummar Rao, Nushrratt Bharuccha and Mohd. Zeeshan Ayyub, “Chhalaang” chronicles the journey of a PT teacher from a semi-government funded school.

Mehta, whose last feature was the 2018 thriller-drama “Omerta”, said the joy of making films is to “constantly keep evolving.”

“There would have been no challenge for me without ‘Chhalaang’. That’s the joy of making films. It’s tough to make people laugh and that was a test for me. How do I pull off a comedy? I have made many cry, now was the time to make them laugh,” Mehta told reporters.

He was speaking at the virtual trailer launch of the film on Saturday.

Mehta said as a filmmaker, one can’t afford to be “stagnant.”

Crediting his first collaboration with Rao, the 2013 National Award winning drama “Shahid” as the start of his “2.0” version, Mehta said his recent work with the actor is a step ahead.

“‘Chhalaang’ gave me an opportunity to make a film that’s accessible to a larger audience. You have to tell different stories, have to challenge yourself each time when you make a film… ‘Chhalaang’ is my version 3.0 if you may call it that.”

The film is produced by actor Ajay Devgn, filmmaker Luv Ranjan and Ankur Garg. It is presented by Bhushan Kumar’s T-Series.

“Chhalaang” marks the sixth collaboration between Mehta and Rao, after acclaimed projects like “Shahid”, “Citylights” and “Aligarh”.

The director said Rao walked into his life and provided his career with the “oxygen.”

“He gave my career a lease of life. He is perhaps the moat special talent of the country. This is our sixth collaboration together, which is completely new. It’s a step forward in our journey.

“It’s a film where Rajkummar doesn’t die, doesn’t go to prison. It’s a film where you’ll have tears of joy.”

Written by Ranjan, “Chhalaang” is scheduled to release on Amazon Prime Video on November 13.



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