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Amour sans frontiers.

Summary: Romance is in the air (quite literally) as Ali Zafar and Aditi Rao Hydari tell us about their latest film, which sees the couple fall in love in three separate cities

Romance is in the air (quite literally) as Ali Zafar and Aditi Rao Hydari tell us about their latest film, which sees the couple fall in love in three separate cities

Their movie may take them to three of the world's most historically resonant cities, but it was in Dubai that the cast and crew of Bollywood rom-com London Paris New York (LPNY) received one of the warmest welcomes.

In town to promote writer and director Anu Menon's filmmaking debut, opening across the UAE today, the ensemble made their way to the Khaleej Times office yesterday to discuss the film's ins and outs with the City Times team.

Starring Pakistan's foremost musician and actor Ali Zafar (Tere Bin Laden, Mere Brother Ki Dulhan) and the gorgeous Aditi Rao Hydari (Yeh Sali Zindagi, Rockstar), LPNY follows the evolving relationship between Nikhil (Zafar) and Lalitha (Rao Hydari) whose paths unexpectedly cross over a number of years in each of the three cities.

"This is a friendly, sweet and funny team," Ali began, referring to his co-star, the director and the principal producer Goldie Behl, "and we have made a friendly, sweet and funny film. For the 100 minutes the movie takes, we want to put a big smile on everyone's face."

Being musically inclined it should come as no surprise that Ali sings in the film, but perhaps, more impressively, the actor also composed every song. The performer even persuaded Aditi to put her own vocal talents to the picture apparently after hearing her hum during their first meeting.

"I'm a very reluctant singer," Aditi said. "But it is in my genes and I have always sang my whole life. I think that is why Ali and I clicked from the first minute, we both share a love of music and his enthusiasm for it is infectious.

"When he overheard me humming to myself when I was twirling my hair one time he asked me to sing and then said we had to sing together in the movie."

Ali went on to explain that he was not first choice to put together LPNY's soundtrack.

"I was just signed on as an actor, but I couldn't take a backseat when it came to the tunes. I asked Anu how they were going and she replied asking if I could possibly try my hand at one song. She emailed me the scene and I wrote something quickly, recorded it and sent it back. From then on I did more and more. They were all accepted with love."

Ali also revealed that he and Aditi would rehearse their duets over Skype, being in different parts of India a lot of the time prior to shooting.

A decent indicator of when an on-screen love story will succeed is how the couple interact with each other when the cameras stop rolling. When in front of the stars, the pair's chemistry is palpable and a reason why the duo were chosen for the roles director Anu told us.

"Thank god for instinct,' the London-based artist stated. "We needed a girl who is sweet but who can stand up for herself and a guy who is charming but very naughty. Both Ali and Aditi are more or less like that in real life and when they got together it just worked."

LPNY will hinge on the two breakthrough actors' performances and little else. With next to no background characters the strength of their dramatics and the intricacy of the plot are going to determine whether the audience buys into the story.

"I'm very confident," intoned Ali. "The film is something different from your stereotypical romantic comedy. To see these characters interact and grow is something that is universal and everyone involved is very happy with the final result."

These sentiments were echoed by Anu and Goldie.

"It's an urban and youthful film. I wrote it with a youthful spirit in mind. Over the course of the film, because we were a small unit, we became very close and fed off each other's ideas to the benefit of the final product. Everybody has had a say and as you see the characters change in the different cities and different seasons, you evolve with them," said Anu.

"How we have turned this genre around is what is most interesting," added Goldie. "It's a recognisable format, but will take you on a more fulfilling journey."

"I call it a Hitchcock love story," concluded Aditi, "because you never know what twist is coming next. That makes it very exciting as well as being heart-warming."

What's it all about?

LPNY is a film that captures the angst of one's twenties, the most dramatic period of one's life - when you have to find a career; you have your first significant relationship and most importantly form your identity in this world.

Lalitha, a middle class south Indian girl from Chembur (an eastern suburb in Mumbai), is on her way to New York to study politics on a full scholarship. Nikhil, a Punjabi kid from Bandra (an affluent western suburb of Mumbai), is going to study filmmaking in London on his father's dime. They decide to hangout together one evening in London and find that they are completely drawn to each other even as their future lies on separate continents.

The film follows their personal journey and their love story as they meet in London in the blaze of summer, get flirty in Paris during the transitional period of autumn and mature in the New York winter. The film is in three chapters and each chapter is shot in a manner that mirrors the mental state of Nikhil and Lalitha.. The three bridges on the three rivers - Thames, Seine and Hudson witness the three states of love.

david@khaleejtimes.com

Their movie may take them to three of the world's most historically resonant cities, but it was in Dubai that the cast and crew of Bollywood rom-com London Paris New York (LPNY) received one of the warmest welcomes.

In town to promote writer and director Anu Menon's filmmaking debut, opening across the UAE today, the ensemble made their way to the Khaleej Times office yesterday to discuss the film's ins and outs with the City Times team.

Starring Pakistan's foremost musician and actor Ali Zafar (Tere Bin Laden, Mere Brother Ki Dulhan) and the gorgeous Aditi Rao Hydari (Yeh Sali Zindagi, Rockstar), LPNY follows the evolving relationship between Nikhil (Zafar) and Lalitha (Rao Hydari) whose paths unexpectedly cross over a number of years in each of the three cities.

"This is a friendly, sweet and funny team," Ali began, referring to his co-star, the director and the principal producer Goldie Behl, "and we have made a friendly, sweet and funny film. For the 100 minutes the movie takes, we want to put a big smile on everyone's face."

Being musically inclined it should come as no surprise that Ali sings in the film, but perhaps, more impressively, the actor also composed every song. The performer even persuaded Aditi to put her own vocal talents to the picture apparently after hearing her hum during their first meeting.

"I'm a very reluctant singer," Aditi said. "But it is in my genes and I have always sang my whole life. I think that is why Ali and I clicked from the first minute, we both share a love of music and his enthusiasm for it is infectious.

"When he overheard me humming to myself when I was twirling my hair one time he asked me to sing and then said we had to sing together in the movie."

Ali went on to explain that he was not first choice to put together LPNY's soundtrack.

"I was just signed on as an actor, but I couldn't take a backseat when it came to the tunes. I asked Anu how they were going and she replied asking if I could possibly try my hand at one song. She emailed me the scene and I wrote something quickly, recorded it and sent it back. From then on I did more and more. They were all accepted with love."

Ali also revealed that he and Aditi would rehearse their duets over Skype, being in different parts of India a lot of the time prior to shooting.

A decent indicator of when an on-screen love story will succeed is how the couple interact with each other when the cameras stop rolling. When in front of the stars, the pair's chemistry is palpable and a reason why the duo were chosen for the roles director Anu told us.

"Thank god for instinct,' the London-based artist stated. "We needed a girl who is sweet but who can stand up for herself and a guy who is charming but very naughty. Both Ali and Aditi are more or less like that in real life and when they got together it just worked."

LPNY will hinge on the two breakthrough actors' performances and little else. With next to no background characters the strength of their dramatics and the intricacy of the plot are going to determine whether the audience buys into the story.

"I'm very confident," intoned Ali. "The film is something different from your stereotypical romantic comedy. To see these characters interact and grow is something that is universal and everyone involved is very happy with the final result."

These sentiments were echoed by Anu and Goldie.

"It's an urban and youthful film. I wrote it with a youthful spirit in mind. Over the course of the film, because we were a small unit, we became very close and fed off each other's ideas to the benefit of the final product. Everybody has had a say and as you see the characters change in the different cities and different seasons, you evolve with them," said Anu.

"How we have turned this genre around is what is most interesting," added Goldie. "It's a recognisable format, but will take you on a more fulfilling journey."

"I call it a Hitchcock love story," concluded Aditi, "because you never know what twist is coming next. That makes it very exciting as well as being heart-warming."

What's it all about?

LPNY is a film that captures the angst of one's twenties, the most dramatic period of one's life - when you have to find a career; you have your first significant relationship and most importantly form your identity in this world.

Lalitha, a middle class south Indian girl from Chembur (an eastern suburb in Mumbai), is on her way to New York to study politics on a full scholarship. Nikhil, a Punjabi kid from Bandra (an affluent western suburb of Mumbai), is going to study filmmaking in London on his father's dime. They decide to hangout together one evening in London and find that they are completely drawn to each other even as their future lies on separate continents.

The film follows their personal journey and their love story as they meet in London in the blaze of summer, get flirty in Paris during the transitional period of autumn and mature in the New York winter. The film is in three chapters and each chapter is shot in a manner that mirrors the mental state of Nikhil and Lalitha.. The three bridges on the three rivers - Thames, Seine and Hudson witness the three states of love.

david@khaleejtimes.com

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Publication:Khaleej Times (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:1U2NY
Date:Mar 1, 2012
Words:1942
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