After films such as Prem Ratan Dhan Payo, Golmaal, Indu Sarkar and Saaho, Neil Nitin Mukesh is back with Bypass Road. The 37-year-old not only plays the lead but has also written and produced the film. Interestingly, his younger brother Naman Nitin Mukesh, marks his directorial debut with the film.
On working with his brother, Neil says he was initially nervous before they went on the sets. “I didn’t know the vision that Naman would bring to the table. I understand the medium and I have been here for the last 12 years. I have been an associate and assistant director, but my biggest fear was that Naman was tackling such a complex genre at such a young age. You don’t need to spend Rs 100 crore to make a good film. But you need to have a good film for it to make Rs 100 crore. When I debuted as an actor, it was much easier. The times were better. There was lesser competition and there were no OTT platforms. Earlier people would regularly go to theatres to watch movies. On the set, an actor is pampered but the director is flogged by everybody, especially a producer, to make things happen on the set.”
Neil, who started his career with a thriller such as Johnny Gaddaar, says he has always been inspired by thrillers. “I love films such as Hush, Don’t Breathe, Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window and Agatha Christie’s Murder On Orient Express. The genre is difficult and the plot of our film is a great amalgamation of thriller elements. This film is a murder mystery apart from being home invasion thriller. My story was complex in nature and had a non-linear format. The screenplay was complex. But the audience is very sharp and well-educated. OTT platforms have already helped them watch a lot of different content all over the globe. They are aware of what might happen. To keep them on the edge of their seats, the screenplay of Bypass Road had to be written in such a format that they can’t guess what will happen next.”
Now that he has turned a writer-producer, Nitin says he plans to take this new role seriously. “We are working on something exciting next. I have written it and it’s a thriller. Besides that I am doing a Telugu film from January. On the writing front, I have a bank of 12 stories. Two or three of them are love stories, one is on reincarnation but thrillers dominate my writing. I have been writing for the last seven-and-half years. Most of the stories are at different stages of development. I can’t write one and finish it because I lose perspective sometimes. I hope writing gives me an opportunity to explore creativeness further. I don’t think creatively anybody should be bound by anything,” says Neil.
But does the actor-turned-writer-producer want to direct a film like his brother? “I would love to direct but I am not sure of the genre. It might be a thriller or a horror film because I want to do something different compared to horror films that we have been doing lately in Bollywood,” he remarks.