Neil Nitin Mukesh Exclusive Interview: “Bypass Road Is A Very, Very Strong Film”

Mohnish Singh |Oct 27, 2019

Neil Nitin Mukesh, who was last seen in "Saaho" (2019), is now gearing up for his next "Bypass Road". It will be released on 8th November, 2019.

Neil Nitin Mukesh, who was last seen in Saaho (2019), is now gearing up for his next Bypass Road. It is a very special film for him. Apart from playing the male lead, Neil Nitin Mukesh has written and produced it under his home banner NNM Films. Not just that, Bypass Road also marks the directorial debut of his younger brother Naman Nitin Mukesh.

Ahead of the release of the film, STARBIZ caught up with charming Neil Nitin Mukesh and tried to gather more information about his film Bypass Road.

In this interview, the actor-producer talks about what led him to write the film, his brother Naman Nitin Mukesh and much more.

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Image source: Instagram

How special a film Bypass Road is for you, considering the fact that it also marks the directorial debut of your brother Naman?

For me, definitely, Naman’s directorial venture tops the chart on a very emotional level because he is also my baby brother, he is also the child of the house. For me, he is more my own child than my dad’s. The way he has been so close to me.

And for me, somewhere, I feel that his talent is extremely etched. So, you know, I wish that he gets the opportunity of exploring that and I am just wanting that he is appreciated for his efforts. This is a very difficult genre to debut with. It is very gutsy a move. He is very young to explore the genre of thriller. Definitely I feel the film is very, very strong.

Image source: Instagram

When did you decide to write the story?

I was shooting for Prem Ratan Dhan Paayo (2015). I had travelled abroad for one of my shows, to Dubai or some other place where I read that Netflix was coming to India and it was around the same time when we had travelled. I knew what Netflix was, I knew the platform.

When I came to India, a few of my friends were talking about it already and I was like, ‘Oh my God! The day Netflix comes to India, India is going to boom with content’. So, it all started with that. We don’t need to educate our audiences about genres that are not explored out here as much. For me, that was the biggest high point of my life when I said that some genres in the category of thriller that are not explored will suddenly get life.

So, I didn’t want to waste time because by the time I wrote it down or developed it, found the producer to back me up with my vision, along with my company, all of that would take a few years and by that time Netflix had already come in, then I would definitely not want to lose the momentum by the time it came and settled down.

So, in that whole process, it had already started as a germ before all this boom that was going to come with these platforms. It has started as a germ because everyone would constantly ask me, ‘What is the kind of film that you would like to do as an actor?’

So, I said instead of me trying to explain what kind of film I want to do, I rather write it down. So, I started writing it down. It was a completely different plot and the characters were completely different and as it evolved and as I kept writing it, it evolved into a completely different structure in which it started getting me sucked into the world of Bypass Road. The title was not Bypass Road at that time, it was something else.

It was based out of the family name and so Bypass Road came much later when the film shaped up. For me also, the genre is not really much explored in India. We know how murder mysteries mostly are done but a “whodunit” murder mystery amalgamated with home invasion is not really explored. So, home invasion is a territory that has not been explored. But why does home invasion need to have a plot for it to reach a home invasion? Like Bypass Road, in the West, you need a story, plot for a home invasion.

Like if you have seen a film like Hush (2016) or a film like Don’t Breathe (2016), these films don’t require a plot, they are so educated about the category, they have explored psychopath. A psychopath killer who has just come randomly wanting to kill somebody home invasion. So, we are not educated to that kind of cinema here.

So, keeping that in mind, I said that before getting into the home invasion space of the film there has to be a reason as to why there is a home invasion. And there has to be a reason as to why that man would have come into that house to kill this one paraplegic. So, the germ then took shape. And I said okay it is about a man who is a fashion prodigy. Vikram Kapoor meets with an accident, comes back home as a paraplegic victim of this accident. Now becomes the prime suspect of the murder of his own brand ambassador who died the same night as his accident.

So, what was his connection with the murder, who on what would it be that accident, is there somebody else also involved? Why is there somebody out there to kill him? Then home invasion becomes the sub-plot of the massive storytelling.

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Image source: Instagram

So, when you sit down to write a thriller you have a solution right under your nose. How did you think about it and developed it?

So, this whole idea behind Bypass Road was, though the whole rule of writing a thriller or any other film also would have that, it has to have a start, a mid and an end for sure. So, keeping the start and end on point, we see the mid is generated automatically. But there has to be an organic flow of characters leading you to that point. So, I let the flow go organically as supposed to trying to divert attention or mediated towards the end.

End, of course, was decided much before. For me, the only way I could explore it with my characters. That’s why if you see my film is not a very hero-heroine dominated film, it’s a plot and it’s a character dominated film. The way we have projected all our actors, from Rajit sir to Sudhanshu, Adah, Shama, all of them have done a fantastic job but they all drove the story in a certain way so for me and my audience to be hooked constantly.

They should all start relating to these characters, enjoying their space, their madness. So, it’s not always about Neil Nitin Mukesh. It could also be that Neil is in the middle of all of this. I think that’s the best way that I took a route out to explore reaching my endpoint rather than have one protagonist who could be the driver of the film, things are happening around him but there are many people who are involved to twist that whirlpool out there.

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Image source: Instagram

How did you go about it?

First of all, I wanted to understand the formatting of the film. Means would I want a non-linear format or would I want to do linear formatting of the film for storytelling? So, the moment I thought I wanted to do nonlinear formatting of storytelling, instantly at that point, I said that I need a two-plot structure because my audience today is too involved with one single plot, too advanced with their exposure to content already.

In the nonlinear formatting, the moment I broke the chapters down, I kept Vikram as the centre point and I kept one aspect of his turmoil with personal life. So, the drama of the film becomes his personal life. And the thrill aspect becomes the murder that has happened from his work point-of-view. But how the drama of his family and the thrill of this murder amalgamate each other and get him as the mid-point and suck him down to a midpoint where he now becomes trapped in this entire ruckus of everyone’s madness.

So, when that thought came then the drama, of course, in the family was maybe an interesting but a clichéd route out to take, that okay there could be a stepmom, she has a daughter but maybe she is also having an affair with somebody. Maybe she has agendas, I don’t know.

So, maybe from there, it streamed out to be that from a murder point-of-view, that was my big challenge because the murder will always dominate the drama. So, somewhere I needed that fusion between the drama and the murder and for them both to run parallel. So, how the involvement of now the drama in the home started getting affected by the murder that has happened and how the family problems have started increasing because of that one murder also.

>>> Check what his co-star shares about the movie as well! Adah Sharma Exclusive Interview: “2019 Has Been A Fabulous Year For Me”


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