Bollywood Hungama is my favourite website. I get all the info from there but today I am happy to know that the film is doing remarkably well at the box Office. It gives any producer a sigh of relief," Dinesh Vijan, the producer of Cocktail tells me. As excited as he sounds on the phone, I can understand he's still in the hangover mood and continues, "Cocktail has managed to get straight to the youth. Once the songs and promos released online and went viral, I knew that soon it wouldn't be our film anymore and would belong to them. Our exclusive online strategy was a calculated risk that has paid off. The internet is democratic, uncensored and brutally honest medium and all our online viewers gave Cocktail a life of its own and are responsible for its massive opening, I am very grateful for this." The power of the audiences comes from the power of films. Cocktail has proved that even though its screenplay lacked a proper story, it still managed to give us enough romance to savour this monsoon. This is what Dinesh Vijan had to say about Cocktail...
"Cocktail was never a film you hadn't seen before but the friendship was its USP"
Cocktail was never a film you hadn't seen before. It's a basic love triangle. It's happened before in Bollywood and Hollywood. Three elements make a good film - story and script first. Imtiaz gave us a good story which I connected with. Then we attached Homi as the director and most people thought was an unconventional choice but I think it was the best choice as the concoction works. The last element that makes a good film out here is music. We roped in Pritam and we wanted to create magic in music. Today, 'Daaru Desi' and 'Tumhi Ho Bandhu' tell you the true story. It's the theme of friendship that's the USP of Cocktail.
"Diana Penty was cast in less than twenty four hours"
We had cast Deepika as Veronica but were in look out for a fresh face for Meera's role. It was simple as that. When we auditioned Diana Penty, I found out that she is very much like Meera - in her sensibilities. My director and me met her and cast her in less than twenty four hours. We've not looked at any other model except Diana.
"I love DDLJ, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and Harry Met Sally"
I basically right love stories as a genre. From DDLJ to Kuch Kuch Hota Hai to Harry Met Sally, etc I love them all. Audiences hadn't seen anything fresh when it came to love stories since a while. I think this one is fresh, it's young, it's cool and it's real. Cocktail's language, the way the characters are talking does the trick in the film and audience has appreciated that.
"You will always see our friendship and madness in the characters Saif portrays"
We really have a lot of fun making movies together, Saif and me. It's our fourth film together and third film under our home production. Cocktail is a special one. We made Cocktail with the right intent. I hope the box office continues to put a smile on our face. You will always see our friendship and madness in the characters Saif portrays.
"Deepika still hasn't paid me by bet money"
Saif dropping his pants in the 'Daaru Desi' song was impromptu. There are several moments in the film when the camera rolled and he came up with something bizarre. But that's Saif Ali Khan. Saif doesn't play Gautam. Gautam is Saif. Having said that, Homi, Anaita and I believed in the song and Deepika still hasn't paid me by bet money (laughs). Now even the film is a hit so please inform her that she owes me.
"Writer's are content creators worth crores and nobody else"
Cocktail is the most economical film that we've made. We've sold our satellite rights too before the release. There are very few films that have worked at the box office and have not recovered their money. There are few films that were budgeted wrongly too. I think the story should decide the budget more than the star cast and not the other way around. For the success of any film, writing has to be given a lot of time. In Hollywood, their credit comes before the director's credit. I don't think we are giving writer's due credit in our industry. They are the content creators worth crores and nobody else.