It seems all is not well among the Monsoon Shootout team. Apparently, the makers are unhappy with Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Anurag Kashyap for not taking any efforts to promote the film. “You will need to ask Nawaz why he is not promoting the film. We believe in our film and will do our best to promote it, whatever way we can,” recants producer Guneet Monga. There are also rumours that Nawaz is avoiding media after he had to recall his much-anticipated memoir post a tiff with former co-star Niharika Singh.
Monsoon Shootout had been stuck for almost four years and the sudden announcement of the release date on December 15, has both Nawaz and Anurag stumped at the short notice.
“This film has always been Guneet Monga’s pet project. Nawaz and I are shooting and this announcement came at the last moment. We have no time for it. Moreover, this film was made four years back and now we both have moved on in our careers. There is no point looking back,” says Anurag. The duo is currently shooting for their web series Sacred Games which also stars Saif Ali Khan and Radhika Apte.
The waiting has only burnished the sheen of the neo-noir film as the fortunes of its cast have risen in the interim. Nawazuddin is now one of Hindi cinema’s alt-stars; Vijay Varma, who was supposed to make his debut with the movie, is familiar to audiences from the 2016 legal drama Pink; Geetanjali Thapa, for whom Monsoon Shootout was an early film, has had three releases since; theatre actor Neeraj Kabi is also wider known than before.
Dismissing the statements of the sudden release date Guneet says, “No, the date of the release has always been December 15, it was not a sudden decision.”
The film has had a history of delays. It was initially shot by Rajeev Ravi (who has since gone on to make his own films) in 2011 and edited in 2012. It might have been screened that year at the Toronto International Film Festival if Amit Kumar (who is the current director) had been satisfied with the edit and the background music. Even Nawazuddin continues to have a choc-o-bloc schedule and a line-up of exciting projects ahead. The star is currently shooting for Ritesh Batra’s Photographer other than Netflix’s Sacred Games.
His spokesperson says, “Nawazuddin had shot for Guneet Monga’s Monsoon Shootout quite a while ago and there were also rumours of the film being shelved. His packed schedule does not permit to promote this film as his dates were not blocked in advance. He is working around-the-clock as he is balancing two commitments, several shoots of which are also outdoor. Nawazuddin has always been a thorough professional and cannot jeopardise his other ongoing work commitments because of a call taken by the producers at the very last minute.”