Going straight

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Gul Panag and Vinay Pathak make merry on the sets of Parvati Balagopalan’s film Straight

It’s a bright and sunny day at the Kamaal Amrohi studio at Andheri where the shoot for Parvati Balagopalan’s film Straight is on full swing. It being the last day of action, there is a flurry of activity as Parvati is giving last minute instructions. Gul Panag and Vinay Pathak who play the lead in this rom-com are rehearsing, chatting and even seen flirting with each other! Screen drops in to check-out what’s going on!

Director Parvati Balagopalan instructs the lead pair – Gul and Vinay about the scene to be shot. London has been recreated inside the stuffy studio hall. It’s the fa├žade of a restaurant, The Anchor and Hope, and the film’s lead pair have to walk past it for the scene. Gul seems annoyed with Vinay and reprimands him, walking away in a huff with her roll of canvas tucked under her arm, leaving him look on bleary-eyed. The two are extremely comfortable with each other while rehearsing and shooting. “She plays a vivacious and magnetic girl, while I am a businessman who is insecure and under-confident, and who struggles with himself as he cannot figure out whether he’s gay or straight!” informs Vinay. “Parvati is a friend and when she gave me the script I said ‘wow!’! To play a role which is not run-of-the-mill in an experimental film is always challenging for an actor!” he added.

Before they proceed into the studio doors Gul and Vinay who are attired in casual wear soak in the sun. Gul chirps that both are not only good friends, but that she loves Vinay! “Go on it will make an interesting story”, she laughingly dares us to write about it while planting a kiss on the chubby actor’s cheek, leaving everyone giggling! She plays, Renu an art student who makes money on the side by painting caricatures in Straight, while Vinay plays Pinu a London-based Gujarati restaurateur.

To bring in an authentic look the foreign extras have brought in. Here they are instructed to walk past the restaurant as a backdrop. While 90 per cent of the film was shot in London , this scene is a patchwork according to Parvati. The director who directed Rules- Pyaar Ka Superhit Formula and Phir Zindagi, which is yet to be released, makes films that she believes in. Straight it seems is inspired from the Hollywood blockbuster The 40-year-old Virgin.

An animal lover, Gul makes it a point to pat and hug all the stray doggies loitering around the studio. One became so enamored with her that he refused to let her go of sight, even following her inside the studio. Here he seems to be listening intently as she delivers her dialogues to Vinay.

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