Varun Grover, the acclaimed writer of Sacred Games and Masaan, is all set to make his first foray into direction with All India Rank, a comedy-drama film that revolves around the lives of students preparing for competitive exams in the 90s. The film, which is presented by filmmaker Sriram Raghavan, is slated to release in theatres on February 23, 2024.
What is All India Rank about and who are the cast members?
All India Rank is a coming-of-age story that explores the themes of friendship, love, and ambition, set against the backdrop of the 90s, a decade that witnessed significant changes in India’s socio-economic and cultural landscape. The film follows the journey of a group of students who are preparing for various entrance exams, such as IIT-JEE, CAT, and UPSC, and the challenges they face along the way.
The film features a talented ensemble cast of newcomers and seasoned actors, such as Bodhisattva Sharma, Samta Sudiksha, Sheeba Chaddha, Arshad Sayed, Neeraj Singh, Ayush Pandey, Saadat Hasan, and Prachi Deshpande. The film also marks the debut of Varun Grover as a director, who has previously written critically acclaimed films and shows, such as Masaan, Newton, Sacred Games, and Paatal Lok.
How did Varun Grover conceive the idea of All India Rank and what inspired him?
Varun Grover, who is also the writer of All India Rank, revealed that the idea of the film came to him when he was working on Sacred Games, and he wanted to explore a different genre and tone. He said, “I wanted to do something light-hearted, something that is closer to my own experiences and memories. I have always been fascinated by the 90s, the decade that shaped my personality and worldview. I wanted to capture the essence of that era, the music, the fashion, the politics, the pop culture, and the aspirations of the young generation.”
Grover also said that he was inspired by the films of Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Rajkumar Hirani, and Nagesh Kukunoor, who have made memorable films in the comedy-drama genre. He said, “I have grown up watching and admiring the films of these directors, who have a knack for blending humour and emotion, and creating relatable and engaging characters. I have tried to imbibe some of their sensibilities and craft in my film, while also adding my own voice and perspective.”
What are the challenges and opportunities of making a film set in the 90s?
Making a film set in the 90s poses several challenges and opportunities for the filmmakers, especially in terms of recreating the period and capturing the nostalgia. Grover said that he had to do a lot of research and reference work to ensure the authenticity and accuracy of the film. He said, “We had to be very careful and meticulous about the details, such as the costumes, the props, the locations, the dialogues, and the music. We had to avoid any anachronisms or inconsistencies that could break the illusion of the 90s. We also had to strike a balance between being realistic and being stylized, and avoid being too clichéd or caricaturish.”
However, Grover also said that making a film set in the 90s also offered him a lot of creative freedom and scope to experiment with the narrative and the aesthetics. He said, “The 90s was a very vibrant and diverse decade, with a lot of cultural and social changes happening in India. It was also a very transitional and transformative phase, with the advent of liberalization, globalization, and technology. It gave us a lot of opportunities to explore different themes and subplots, and to play with different genres and formats. We also had a lot of fun with the music and the references, and tried to create a nostalgic and immersive experience for the audience.”
What are the expectations and hopes of Varun Grover and his team from All India Rank?
Varun Grover and his team are very excited and hopeful about All India Rank, and are looking forward to its theatrical release on February 23, 2024. Grover said that he is very happy and proud of the film, and hopes that it will connect with the audience and resonate with their emotions and memories. He said, “All India Rank is a very personal and special film for me, and I have poured my heart and soul into it. It is a film that celebrates the spirit of the 90s, and the dreams and struggles of the students who are preparing for competitive exams. It is a film that is full of humour, heart, and hope, and I hope that the audience will enjoy it and relate to it.”
Grover also expressed his gratitude and appreciation for his team, especially his producer Sanjay Routray and his presenter Sriram Raghavan, who have supported him and trusted him throughout the journey. He said, “I am very thankful and fortunate to have such amazing collaborators and mentors, who have guided me and helped me in making my directorial debut. They have given me a lot of creative freedom and confidence, and have been very supportive and encouraging. I am also very grateful to my cast and crew, who have worked very hard and passionately, and have given their best to the film.”
All India Rank is a film that promises to be a refreshing and entertaining watch, with a mix of comedy, drama, and nostalgia. The film, which is written and directed by Varun Grover, and presented by Sriram Raghavan, is all set to hit the theatres on February 23, 2024. The trailer of the film will be out on February 5, 2024.