Sayonee is my attempt at bringing Hollywood action thriller sensibilities to Bollywood – Nitin Kumar Gupta

Director Nitin Kumar Gupta is eagerly waiting for people’s reaction to his new film Sayonee, which will release on the 18th of December, 2020. The action flick stars Rahul Roy in the lead role and has been shot in Russia. Talking about the project, Nitin says, “Sayonee is my attempt at bringing Hollywood action thriller sensibilities to Bollywood. I have a lot of Russian production experience by now. The premise was to have the protagonist trapped in an alien world and against massive odds that escape seemed impossible. This is why we had the hero trapped in an unforgiving Russia with only a corrupt Indo-Russian cop Arsan (Rahul Roy) to help him,” he says.

The film is very special to Nitin. “It’s a story of a timid village boy forced to go against insurmountable odds in a foreign location for his love. We have the Russian brathva, twin strippers, gypsies, assassins, corrupt cops, all going after one man. And then there comes a whopper twist in the interval which makes you see the film in a new light!” he says.

Talking about casting Rahul in the film, Nitin says, “When we conceptualized an Indo-Russian cop, Rahul Roy fit naturally in the role look-wise. Of course, to take his chocolate romance image and mold it into a deadly villain was tough. We decided to redo his hair, which was immensely copied in the 90s, and give the youth of today something new to copy with blond dreadlocks!”

The film has been shot in Russia, which was an amazing experience, says the director. “I opened up animation studios in Russia and worked extensively on post-production and VFX there. Filming in Russia came as an extension of my working there. Russia is a two-sided country. Superficially, it is beautiful both location-wise and with the most beautiful women and men on the streets. On the other hand, lies an underbelly that can get you killed if you do not know how to behave in any scenario. It was a thrill ride filming there!” he says.

He adds, “Everywhere we filmed, people would come to us and mention Raj Kapur and Bollywood. The radio channels still play Jimmy Jimmy every day. While filming a funeral scene, the band played several Hindi song melodies to us. People there love Bollywood and Indians. There was a strong spiritual connection during the whole filming which always made us proud and kept our spirits high.”

Meanwhile, Nitin’s journey to direction has also not been an ordinary one. Not many know, but the director was actually a doctor before he entered showbiz. “I was always into art, music, and photography from childhood. MBBS came by chance as I scored under 100 all India entrance exam rank and got admission into the elite KEM hospital Mumbai. However, I was disillusioned with the commercialization of doctors and distanced myself from the field after post-graduation. Medical knowledge and my medical friends always come in use. Recently, when Rahul suffered a stroke, they really helped out,” he says.

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