'I can make either thrillers or comedies, I can never make anything romantic,' says Bahut Hua Samman director Ashish Shukla
The film Bahut Hua Samman, currently streaming on Disney+Hotstar is quietly making an impact in the digital world. A story about two young unemployed men who plan a bank heist, it is a sharp commentary on the current status of the nation. The film features Raghav Juyal and Abhishek Chauhan as jobless engineering graduates. Seasoned actors Sanjay Mishra and Ram Kapoor play key roles, while actress Nidhi Singh who has impressed audiences with her series Permanent Roommates, WFH and Pari-War, plays a cop.
Bahut Hua Samman, a satire, is directed by Ashish Shukla who is best known for his film Prague and web series Undekhi. The film set in Varanasi and follows Bony and Fundoo who plan to rob a bank that’s located in their college campus. What follows is a rollercoaster ride of comical situations that expose the corruption in the country. Ashish shares that he wanted to make a heist film, but didn’t want it to be about a typical bank robbery.
“Two years ago, when we started brainstorming, we thought of writing an action comedy. Both the writers of the film, Avinash Singh and Vijay Narayan Varma, who are from Benaras Hindu University, came up with the idea of a story about looting a bank. But I wanted it to be different from other movies in the genre, so we added an interesting twist,” he explains.
The movie has several subtle references to the current affairs of the country. Although the story begins
after the heist, it takes the viewers back to where it all started. “The robbery opens a Pandora’s box. There are also two characters in the film inspired by the witches of Macbeth. These two characters act as catalysts who propel things forward. There’s a political angle because we created this film like a parody of our times,” says Ashish.
The other important element of Bahut Hua Samman is its background music and the 33 songs used for different situations. “As it is a Saregama film I had access to over 10, 000 songs, and the numbers I chose, except for Boom Boom and Jaane Jaan, are all experimental tunes from forgotten films. The uniqueness of
these tracks from the ’80s is that the prelude itself is enough to induce nostalgia,” explains Ashish. Next, the director is working on season two of Undekhi, a thriller series called Bichchu Ka Khel for Zee5, and an
unnamed series for Voot. “All my shows and films are either thrillers or comedies, because these are the only two genres that I am comfortable working with. I can never make anything romantic,” he signs off.