“CASH will be amongst the biggest openers of 2007,” Anubhav Sinha tells the South African media and handpicked Mumbai journalists at a press meet in Cape Town, South Africa. Big words indeed, but if you recall, Sinha’s DUS had also embarked on an earth-shattering opening when released in 2005. Will CASH repeat the feat?
WHY CAPE TOWN?
Cape Town is the destination for the shoot of Sohail Maklai’s CASH, being directed by Anubhav Sinha. “I fell in love with Cape Town when I visited the tourist-friendly city two years ago on a holiday. I had to return one day,” Sohail tells us. And return he did, not alone, but with a massive cast and crew to shoot an entire film here.
CASH is the first film to shot from start to end in a 60-day shoot in Cape Town. In the past, Cape Town had been used for a few scenes and songs in Hindi films. “But Cape Town is the backdrop in CASH, it’s almost like a character,” Sohail adds.
CASH is an out-and-out action film revolving around heist. And every character in the film is gray. Except one, who happens to be the negative guy. Every actor is sporting a new look for the film. Ajay, Ritesh and Zayed have highlighted their hair, while Esha and Shamita are looking ultra-glam too. DEATH-DEFYING STUNTS
The actors arrived in Cape Town a week before the actual shooting commenced to undergo a formal training in death-defying stunts. “It’s part of the film,” Ritesh divulges. “If DUS had some mind-blowing stunts to offer, wait for CASH,” Sohail adds.
We are at the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront in Cape Town where Anthony Stone, associated with several Hollywood films and now in charge of the stunts in CASH, is busy explaining a heavy-duty stunt to Shamita. “I can assure you one thing. You guys must’ve never seen such stunts in Bollywood before,” Anthony states, after the formal introductions.
Anubhav returns to the action genre with CASH. Starting his career with love stories [TUM BIN, AAPKO PEHLE BHI KAHIN DEKHA HAI], the talented director changed lanes and made an out-and-out action flick [DUS], followed by TATHASTU, an emotional tale of a helpless father desperately wanting to save his son’s life.
“I wish I could make a love story again and again… but I am working on one,” Anubhav smiles, “During the making of DUS, I had committed to Sohail that I’d start CASH. This action film was on the agenda next. It’s not as if I suddenly decided to make CASH one fine morning. When I heard the plot [writers: Yash-Vinay], I knew I had to make this film.” Anubhav adds that CASH isn’t inspired by any Hindi or Hollywood film. “It’s an original,” he asserts.
Contrary to what a lot of people may feel, assembling the massive cast of CASH was not difficult at all. “We signed the stars even before the script was ready. They had tremendous faith in us, so getting them on board wasn’t tough at all,” Sohail states. The young and dynamic producer has tied up with Adlabs to distribute the film.
HOW DOES SOUTH AFRICA BENEFIT?
South African Tourism and Cape Town Routes Unlimited together with the Cape Film Commission have facilitated the shooting of CASH in Cape Town. “There are three religions in India,” Lance Littlefield of South African Tourism’s Country Manager states, “The first is religion. The second is cricket. The third is Bollywood.”
“We are confident that the tourism industry will get a big boost once CASH releases globally. The city will benefit enormously from the use of its streets, its landmarks and its colorful locations. The producers have also agreed to shoot the entire title sequence as an aerial introduction to the city,” Littlefield adds.
Although a production crew of 65 people have flown in from India, a significant investment of over R6 million will be injected into the local film-making industry through the use of additional local crews, hiring of equipment, travel, accommodation and entertainment.
“Indian tourists are highly influenced by Indian films. KAHO NAA… PYAAR HAI led to Indian outbound tours streaming to New Zealand, increasing the travel visit by 500%,” states Linda Chonco of Cape Town Routes Unlimited.