In Bhushan’s world
Bheja Fry returns to the screens, bigger in many ways than its shoestring-budget original. Veenu Sandhu digs out the behind-the-camera nuggets
Why would somebody pay 70 times more for a shirt that costs a mere Rs 100? Because the shirt is meant for “the jewel of India” – “the original idiot” who charmed his way into millions of hearts when he first made an appearance in 2007 in Bheja Fry. And now, when he makes a comeback in the film’s sequel, Bheja Fry 2, there can be no compromises with his look.
Tax inspector and wannabe singer Bharat Bhushan (played by Vinay Pathak) epitomises the stereotypical middle-class image. Naturally, the shirts he wears are meant to reinforce that look. “We bought those typical 100-rupee shirts for him from Dadar and Parel, from those typical shops where the majority of Mumbai’s middle-class goes,” says the film’s director, Sagar Ballary.
Pathak was meant to wear one of those shirts while shooting on a cruise ship near Singapore – a trip that comes as a gift from the game show he’s won. “We were in the middle of the sea when we realised that the shirt he was to shoot in was left behind in Mumbai,” recalls Ballary. The hunt for something similar in Singapore proved futile. “The materials, the textures, the patterns there, nothing was remotely close to the character.” Ballary had no choice but to get the 100-rupee shirt shipped to Singapore for about Rs 7,000.