The actor-director duo have collaborated once again after Shahid and this time even Mahesh Bhatt has joined in
After bagging the National Award of best director for Shahid, Hansal Mehta is back with City Lights which he describes as “the love story of a common man.” “City Lights is the story of every common man who in search of his dream or rather a better livelihood. He is migrating from the rural parts of a country to a big city without knowing what hardships he has to go to,” Mehta told.
The film, an official adaptation of British film Metro Manila, sees Rajkummar Rao reunite with the director after Shahid. Patralekha debuts opposite Rao in the film, slated to release in India on May 30. Rao plays the role of a Rajasthani rural trader who migrates to Mumbai in search of a better life and then goes on to face the challenges of an urban culture.
Rao has also received the best actor National Award for his role in Shahid. He is looking forward to emulate the same success with this film too. “After getting an honour like a National Award obviously people’s expectations increase from you. People are expecting a lot and I have given my best, lets see what happens,” Rao said. “In this film I had to play role of a Rajasthani villager, which was quite different from other roles I did. A completely different accent, different way of life, clothing and habits, it was very challenging. So we went to Rajasthan for a couple of weeks and lived with the people over there to know and learn all this.”
Mukesh Bhatt and Mahesh Bhatt have produced the film. “We have made an array of films for the past several years, but City Lights is the most emotional film I have made in the last 15 years after Zakham” said Mahesh. “City Lights is a film that everyone must see, it is the story of what we are,” he said. He also compared the film with his critically acclaimed films Arth and Saransh and said, “It reminds me of my old days,” Mahesh quipped.
Newcomer Patralekha, who plays the wife of Rao, said the film has been a major break for her. “I am a small town girl who was searching for an opportunity in the city of Mumbai. A lot of auditions and a lot of despair but ultimately I got a call from Bhatt sir who gave me the chance for this film. This is quite similar to the character I play,” said the girl from Shillong.