38th Toronto International Film Festival Coverage: Day Seven

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013 by Ian Evans

Maneesh Sharma’s A Random Desi Romance had its gala screening at Roy Thomson Hall tonight. It stars Parineeti Chopra as Gayatri, whose views of love and marriage are influenced by her job as a paid wedding guest, used by families to boost the numbers, and thus the importance, of the weddings they hold. At one such event, she finds herself meeting the groom, Raghu (Sushant Singh Rajput) who falls for her and abandons his bride. Along the way, the pair fall in and out of love and challenge the societal expectations of their friends and family.

The film’s screenwriter, Jaideep Sahni, has had an interesting career. Starting off as a computer engineer, he wasn’t even an avid watcher of movies before he discovered a copy of the screenplay for Gandhi and became hooked. For this film, he was not only the writer but also the lyricist. Chopra was amazed at the great response from the Toronto fans and said that it encouraged her to work hard because her movies have fans all over the world. Producer Avtar Panesar said he enjoys bringing films to Toronto because it’s a public festival and gives a chance to the filmmakers to interact with the people they’re making the films for.

Also at Roy Thomson Hall tonight was The Art of the Steal. Written and directed by Jonathan Sobol (formerly at TIFF with A Beginner’s Guide to Endings), and featuring performances by Kurt Russell, Matt Dillon, Terence Stamp and Jay Baruchel, the film follows the story of Crunch Calhoun (Russell) a middling motorcycle daredevil and former art thief who plans to do one more heist with his brother (Dillon). Russell said he was very happy with the finished film because it turned out like what the script promised to be.