We caught up with them to talk about the film, what makes it worth a watch, Abhishek's equation with his father, 40 years of Sholay and more!
Tell us about your film. What's the idea behind it?
Umesh Shukla (director): All is Well charts the internal journey of every character from the bad to the good. It explores various facets of human relationships while raising a lot of questions along the way - Am I a good father? Am I a good son? - and answers them in an entertaining way. It isn’t literally a road trip film. That’s only a medium of narration.
Rishi Kapoor: The story is about generation gap and how it plays into our relationships. I’m a parent myself and we have issues and disagreements in the family. In the film, we're a mad, dysfunctional family. Each one has issues with the other. Me with my son, he with his girlfriend. Supriya (Pathak) and I are a divorced couple in the film. Abhishek parts ways with us. He has different ideas about life and rightly so. His father has been a failure and he doesn’t want to take the road his father had taken. How we iron out these differences and more importantly, Abhishek’s journey back into the family, is what the film is all about.
How does the film address these issues? Does it give a solution?
Abhishek Bachchan: Biggest problems start with a miscommunication, which is one of the issues in the film. More than giving a solution, it’s about the realization on my character’s part. No two human beings think alike. It isn't necessary that if you’re part of the family, you’re going to agree to what your elders say and vice versa. It’s important to have a dialogue.
I can only speak from personal experience. Growing up, my parents always encouraged us to chat things out. If a big family decision was to be taken, we were always consulted, even as kids. That’s a very healthy thing to do. In India, we don’t tend to talk things out to our elders any more. Kids should be able to indulge their parents and explain their point in a healthy way and vice versa. This is what his character (Rishi Kapoor) too realizes in the film.
Do you have disagreements or issues like you do in the film, with your father?
Abhishek Bachchan: If there is a difference of opinion, we reason it out. We’ve thankfully never had an issue where we’ve been at disagreement about something. But if I do, he gives me the opportunity to explain my point of view.
What's the one piece of advice from him that has stayed with you?
Abhishek Bachchan: Both my parents brought me and my sister up with a certain sense of values and principles which they were taught by their parents. One thing my mom always tells me is that success and failure come and go, but what's most important is to be a good human being, far more than any success or any failure.
Sholay completes 40 years this month. What memories do you have of your father's films growing up?
Abhishek Bachchan: I went to the premiere of Sholay in my mom's stomach (laughs). Sholay is ageless, contemporary. It's as close as we can get to a perfect masala potboiler. My dad and I were discussing about his film Kaala Patthar last night - which completes 39 years this month and is one of my favorite films of his - and our discussion veered towards Sholay. My entire childhood has been full of hearing memories from Salim uncle, Javed uncle, Ramesh (Sippy) uncle and my parents. I believe they shot it over 3 years. There are some wonderful anecdotes and nostalgia attached to that film. Rohan (Ramesh Sippy’s son) and I were in school together and we've made films together too.
Sholay is one of the greatest films ever made. 40 years after, the youth can still connect to it. That would be something all of us would aspire to do at some point of time in our lives. He’s done several such films. Even if we could be part of such a film that 40 years from now, a journalist would be asking the same question about, would be something.
One reason we should watch All is Well..
Rishi Kapoor: You may feel you’ve seen a similar film before or heard the story before. But it’s the director’s fresh treatment to the story and the chemistry between the characters that is to watch out for.
The film doesn't sermonize or preach. It drives home the point in a very entertaining way. He (director) did that in Oh My God three years back and he has done it again.