Tips Films’ just-released “Jayantabhai Ki Love Story,” is a romantic film with a comic touch. A small-town girl with big dreams comes to Mumbai and makes it big in the corporate world – with a fat paycheck, apartment, car – and the works among the perks.
Suddenly in a retrenchment exercise she loses it all, and has to make do with staying in a small hired room as a standby - her neighbor a gangster, a toughie who gets tongue-tied before her! And their relationship moves from acquaintance to friendship and finally romance.
Neha Sharma (“Crook,” “Kyaa SuperKool Hain Hum”) and Vivek Oberoi play the roles – and the latter is Jayantabhai. We catch up at the Tips office with the actor who is just three films old and the hero who started out a dozen years ago with “Company.”
Vivek Oberoi: “True Happiness Lies in Non-Material Things!”
Says Oberoi, “I have done gangster films and roles in ‘Shootout At Lokhandwala’ and ‘Company,’ but this one is about the man behind the gangster. You could say that I am the right guy in the wrong profession, or the wrong guy in the right profession – whatever. It’s a fascinating character to play. I am not good enough for her, there cannot be too dissimilar friends or sweethearts, and this is what the film is about. About this girl who feels safest with a gangster, even after she comes to know that he is one, rather than in her own world where people want to manipulate or victimize her – or sleep with her.”
Oberoi has two more films on hand – “Grand Masti,” a sequel to his 2004 “Masti,” and “Krrish 3.” He is excited that a delayed film, “Zilla Ghaziabad,” in which he plays an idealistic teacher who realizes that the pen cannot change the world, and so takes up a gun, has also released.
“In ‘Grand Masti,’ our three characters are the same, but the heroines and story are different,” he says.
Oberoi is still blown by his role in “Krrish 3” and the canvas of the Rakesh Roshan film.
“I am not a villain – I am a super-villain! Some scripts are such that you fall in love with them! Hrithik Roshan has gone on record to say that he wanted my role rather than his!” The film has the kind of action never seen before on the Indian screen, says Oberoi. “The scale is huge. Rakesh-ji recreated Mumbai with its high-rises in Hyderabad!”
At the time of the interview, Oberoi was expecting his first child any moment, and intended to be with wife Priyanka all through. They later were blessed with a boy.
“After the baby arrives, I will be off work completely for a while!” he had said then. “I am fulfilling all my commitments before that!”
Happy as can be, the actor says that it is important to lay no conditions on happiness. “You cannot be ever happy that way, and true happiness always lies in non-material things like family and friends and has nothing to do with success,” he declares intensely. “I am asked whether I am happy to have reached where I am as an actor and a star. My answer is that I am happy working! Real happiness is in one’s attitude. Two years back, I helped a girl who had lost both legs in a railway accident with prosthetic limbs. She called up a fortnight ago to tell me she was leading a normal life and thanked me. That kind of happiness cannot be described!”
A closet social worker, Oberoi rues that “we do not forget to charge our mobiles and laptops but overlooking recharging our souls.”
Neha Sharma: “Only The Fittest Survive!”
Says the petite actor: “Every modern girl will relate to my character in ‘Jayantabhai Ki Luv Story.’ Even in real life, I have found that opposites attract, so that friends or sweethearts become complementary to each other. And yet, no one could be as different as the two of us in the story!”
Neha is all praise for first-time director Vinnil Markan. “He did not come across as new when he narrated the story and made the film. The best thing about him is that he believes in a simple narration. I got to display so many emotions, so it was easily my most challenging role to date.”
Neha herself is struggling in her chosen profession. “People’s memory is short about us as well as films,” she states. “Especially if the actor is not from a film family, one has to make a noise with such events and promotions.”
In an era wherein 25 new girls arrive in a single year, Neha admits it is self-belief that keeps her going.
“Only the fittest survive! We just have to learn the game and play it better than the others! I have been lucky, though. My first film ‘Crook,’ was as much about me as about the hero, while the heroines had a lot to do in ‘Kyaa SuperKool Hain Hum.’”
Neha admits that she chooses roles only from what she is offered. “At the beginning of my career, I cannot expect great choices.” But she is thrilled with her next film, “Yamla Pagla Deewana 2” as well.
“I play a Salman Khan fan who falls in love with another Salman Khan fan! But I cannot reveal more. All I will say is that all the three Deols are incredible! They are such huge stars, yet completely down to earth. And they treat you as family!” she says.