Rajkummar Rao’s last movie Shahid bagged National Award for excellent direction but even got him the Best Actor award for brilliant portrayal of the assassinated activist Shahid Azmi. Now ‘Citylights’ is another project by Hansal Mehta which is an official adaptation of the Metro Manila which is the British entry for Best Foreign Language Film Awards. This is to ensure that every film lives to the expectation. Hansal Mehta has to cast his “muse” Rajkummar as lead protagonist & have left editing process which is believed to be quite significant in shaping the compelling narrative is in safe hands of yet National Award winner and frequent collaborator- Apurva Asrani.
RajKumar’s performance in all other movies has made him an actor to look for by all audiences. The movie “Citylights has taken me back to the time when cut Chhal for him. Hansal has well blended the grit in Mumbai having the stylized approach in edgy camerawork and songs. He gave additional footage having some great angles, allowing more options which help in constructing the scenes, says Apurva who actually worked in 4 films of Hansal Mehta having an association of 15years”.
Apurva informed that, Hansal has delivered the rushes in the studio and are now left alone for a month at least, which allow him to follow some instincts and in shaping the narrative. The brief was simple, “Just follow the heart”, recalled. One of the most difficult scenes for him was when Rajkummar’s character comes drunk for 1st time in life and is usually demure, played by debutante Patralekha as berated. “Rajkummar who is a teetotaler otherwise has almost finished bottle of Vodka and actually drunk to act like one. Rushes are excellent but not consistent. Some moments of fabulous acting were staged with not much real continuity. It helps in connecting at one sequence which turned to be one of the best moments of the film, said by Apurva with sense of satisfaction in voice.