Noted actor Atul Kulkarni, who is making his film writing debut with “Laal Singh Chaddha”, says he penned the script of the upcoming movie with Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan in mind. Kulkarni said the journey of the film, an official Hindi adaptation of the 1994 Hollywood feature “Forrest Gump” starring Tom Hanks, goes back to 14 years.
“I wrote the script for Aamir. It all began about 13-14 years ago. I’m happy and fortunate enough that it turned out well. Aamir liked it and decided to do it,” the actor-writer, who shared screen space with Khan in 2006’s blockbuster “Rang De Basanti”, told PTI.
It was at the after-party of Khan’s production “Jaane Tu… Ya Jaane Na”, that Kulkarni and the actor started discussing their favourite films. “We were talking about the films we like, that’s when ‘Forrest Gump’ came up. The next day I was supposed to travel somewhere for my shoot but it got cancelled. So, I had 10-15 days on my hands and ‘Forrest Gump’ was on my mind. I had not seen this film in a long time, so I thought I should watch it again,” he added.
After another watch, Kulkarni recalled there were certain moments from the popular Robert Zemeckis directorial which he thought could be translated to suit the Indian context. “So, I started taking notes and after an hour or two I thought why not attempt the script? I finished writing the script in 10 days and within two-three days I was done with the second draft. In 14-15 days, the script was ready,” he said.
According to the trailer of “Laal Singh Chaddha”, one of the most famous dialogues from the Oscar-winning film — “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get” — has been Indianised. Khan’s Laal says “Meri mummy kehti thi ki zindagi golgappe jaisi hoti hai. Pet bhale hi bhar jaave, mann nahin bharta (My mother used to say life is like a golgappa, your tummy might feel full, but your heart always craves for more).” While Forrest called life “a box of chocolates”, Laal likened it to “golgappas”.
Kulkarni said adapting “Forrest Gump”, itself based on the 1986 novel by Winston Groom, was a tall order. “A film like ‘Forrest Gump’ can’t just be translated, it has to be adapted.
Every word was a challenge because it’s such a beautiful screenplay. So, everything is Indianised in ‘Laal Singh Chaddha’. It’s a very desi film, made for Indian audiences. It’s an important and lovely film. I think everyone should watch it,” he said.
The trailer of the film garnered a mixed response on social media when it was launched in June and Kulkarni said he doesn’t give importance to trolls. “I don’t react to trolls. In today’s times, you need to develop what you want to and don’t want to consume. I don’t get into all this,” he added.
Directed by Advait Chandan of “Secret Superstar” fame, “Laal Singh Chaddha” follows the extraordinary journey of a simpleton named ‘Laal’ (Khan) as he chases his dreams and love. It also features Kareena Kapoor Khan, Mona Singh and Naga Chaitanya. Backed by Viacom18 Motion Pictures and Aamir Khan Productions, the film is scheduled to be released worldwide on August 11.