Throwback Thursday: Milap Zaveri reveals many shocking facts about ‘Marjaavaan’

In an exclusive interview with Mid-Day Online, director Milap Zaveri walks the memory lane and shares with us many interesting and unknown facts about his hit film Marjaavaan, which starred Sidharth Malhotra,  Riteish Deshmukh, Tara Sutaria and Rakul Preet Singh in the lead roles. 

“I almost did not to direct ‘Marjaavaan’, but destiny has its own ways”
The journey of ‘Marjaavaan’ is quite unique in itself. I wrote the film after the failure of ‘Mastizaade’. Honestly speaking, I had very less work at that time. I had gone to Nikhil Advani’s office and had met his sister Monisha. When she heard the story, she said that she was ready to offer me a signing amount for the film, wherein I was to write ONLY the script. But, when I said that I also wanted to direct the film as well, she said, “Milap, I am sorry. We are not going to make this film with you because your film has not worked at the box office. Also, it will be difficult for us to get actors for your film. We cannot produce the film”.

“Half heartedly though, I agreed to write the script”
Since I was in a bad state at that time, I agreed to write the script. We then started meeting various well-known directors to direct the film, but, things were just not falling into place. Around that time, I managed to get ‘Satyamev Jayate’ running with John Abraham and Manoj Bajpayee sir. And this led to what I call as ‘the circle of life’. One fine day, Monisha called me out of the blue and asked me to direct ‘Marjaavaan’! This is what one would call as ‘manifestation’.

“I had always flopped with Riteish Deshmukh as a director”
I have been friends with Riteish Deshmukh since many years and have done so many films as a writer-actor jodi. He had even starred as a leading man in my first film ‘Jaane Kahaan Se Aayi Hai’ and had made a guest appearance in ‘Mastizaade’. The sad part about it is that, I had always flopped with him as a director. But, just like Murphy’s Law, I became ‘lucky the third time’. I directed Riteish the third time in ‘Marjaavaan’ and managed to deliver a hit. For me, that was a personal milestone.

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I made Sidharth Malhotra stand on top 60 feet Ravan’s effigy!
In the climax of the film, Sidharth was standing on top of the effigy of Ravan, which was not less than around 60 feet! The actual idea was to make him stand on top of a giant wheel. But, when the vendor came with the giant wheel, it turned out to be a children’s giant wheel, wherein Sidharth looked taller than the giant wheel itself! (laughs). That’s when I struck upon an idea of making a Ravan effigy, which measured around 60 feet in height! Poor Sidharth was put up with the cables on the top for more than two hours! When I was shooting this scene with drones, I literally had my heart in my mouth seeing Sidharth standing there totally alert. There was absolutely no room for carelessness or even an iota of mistake. And when Sidharth and I went to theaters to check the public reaction, the whole theatre exploded with seetis and claps during that climax scene! And as far as Sidharth is concerned, he was my ‘Amitabh Bachchan’ in the film, the true blue angry young man.

“I was so happy when Tara ‘died’ that I started clapping”
I still remember the scene when we were shooting Tara Sutaria’s death scene in the film. The moment she performed her death scene, I was so very overwhelmed with joy that I started clapping and smiling! Seeing me clapping and smiling, Tara (jokingly) told me, “Milap, you are the first person who is so happy with someone’s death scene”. (laughs)

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A post shared by TARA (@tarasutaria)

“We used to consider ourselves blessed and lucky to have got Rakul’s dates”
As for Rakul, I remember that I shot her climax scene over a period of over one month because of her packed schedules, since she was so busy doing so many things. The moment we used to get Rakul’s dates, we used to consider ourselves blessed and lucky! (laughs). All said and done, I need to tell you that Rakul is an extremely professional actress.

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A post shared by Rakul Singh (@rakulpreet)

“Riteish was on his knees for almost eighty percent of the film”
Since Riteish was playing a dwarf, he was on his knees for almost eighty percent of the film!

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A post shared by Riteish Deshmukh (@riteishd)


“I felt gratified to direct my best friend Shaad Randhawa in the film”
The film also gave me an opportunity to direct my best friend Shaad Randhawa, who played the role of Mazhar in the film. And when we went to Gaiety-Galaxy to check public reactions, Shaad was mobbed by people who shouted ‘Mazhar-Mazhar’. It really felt so good to have directed my friend in the film and to see him get such immense appreciation for his role.

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A post shared by Shaad Randhawa (@shaadrandhawa)

“Sidharth used to joke that I have converted England into Bihar”
‘Marjaavaan’ turned out to be a huge hit all over, especially in UP, Bihar and also in UK. To which, Sidharth used to joke that I have converted England into Bihar! All said and done, I really want to say that I am extremely grateful to Bhushan Kumar ji and Emmay for believing in me and the film.

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