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Vijay and I consciously wanted to do something different from Gully Boy,” says Jasmeet K. Reen

Vijay and Jasmeet K. Reen

Vijay Verma character Moeen Bhai from Gully Boy is one of his most remembered characters till date. For his recently released film Darlings, opposite Alia Bhatt, he is seen playing a role that could have been touted as similar as the backgrounds may seem identical- that of a man living in a chawl. To break that image and to not make it look repetitive, Director Jasmeet K. Reen and Vijay worked very consciously on developing his character of Hamza Shaikh in the film.

Director Jasmeet K. Reen shares, “Vijay and I consciously wanted to do something different than Gully Boy. It can seem similar as most of the Bambaiya chawl crowd speaks in a similar tonality. When we went for recces to chawls across Byculla, I had met a few local boys staying there for research purpose and when Vijay took interest in it, we sent him there with my associate director. He made friends with a few local boys to imbibe their body language and pick up the local Bambaiya style of talking and walking. They had a lot of fun and even went to eat Sanju baba chicken, chatted about life, work, women, love, marriage & the dying bhai culture.”

Similarly, Shefali Shah who plays the role of Alia Bhatt’s mother in the film wanted to understand her character better and see something for real. Jasmeet says, “Shefali spoke with a woman from the chawl in her 50s to pick the grammar, the diction better. It’s a mix of Urdu-Hindi-Marathi – ENGLISH- Cosmo lingo that is used and quite difficult to acquire. But Shefali has managed to do a fab job and you won’t even second guess when you watch the film.”

Vijay Verma plays the role of a Ticket Collector who also does odd jobs to manage a living. He plays the character of Hamza Shaikh, the charming villain and tyrant lover while Shefali Shah plays the role of a protective mother who is obsessed with bringing her daughter’s life on track.

Darlings stars Alia Bhatt, Shefali Shah, Vijay Varma and Roshan Mathew in pivotal roles. The film is streaming live on Netflix.