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Released Films HULLA Directors Note
Jaideep Varma
Given the richness of diversity in Indian city life, it is preposterous that enough of our own stories are not being told honestly. This film is an attempt to do that, but with a conscious endeavour to keep it very accessible through recognizable but sharply drawn characters and the use of humour.

This film is a result of observing the impact unreasonable tolerance (there clearly is such a thing) can have on a society. The smallest thing, if not addressed or dealt with early can, on some people, snowball gradually and go wildly out-of-control. The Indian convention of nightwatchmen making a lot of noise in the night to scare potential miscreants away has somehow never been questioned. It is interesting to examine the impact it can have on someone who actually confronts the arguably archaic mindset.

The film will be treated very naturally. The performance levels will be muted and not overplayed. The humour will emerge from the situation, not from slapstick overplaying or snappy lines.

The use of real locations and hand-held camera (including Steadicam) will further add to the naturalism.

The music by Indian Ocean will provide a very distinct and contemporary feel to the film. There will be no lip synch songs, but one single track with two parts (for the two characters).

The film's uniqueness, I believe, is its accessibility despite its originality. It uses humour to draw people in (which almost never lets up) and fast-paced edginess to keep the plot progressing rapidly.

This would make the film viable in two markets. One, the Indian city audience thirsting for slice-of-life comedies in the mould of Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Basu Chatterjee and Sai Paranjpe (the recent success of films like Khosla Ka Ghosla and Mixed Doubles suggests that there is clearly such an audience). Two, an international audience, as the film's international sensibility (unsentimental realism) and concept will be relatable anywhere in the world where people live in apartment complexes.

There is no precedence perhaps to this kind of a film in the Indian market. Sai Paranjpe's Katha comes closest, to some extent, in tone. Internationally, for tone and story, Barry Levinson's Tin Men and to a smaller extent Sam Mendes American Beauty could be cited as references.