By Subhash K Jha
MUMBAI: Bejoy Nambiar’s David didn’t get the box-office success it deserved. But its youngest leading man Vinay Virmani made an ample impact and is currently sought-after by major corporate production houses in Mumbai.
Vinay, however, is nowhere to be seen. The talented young enthusiastic actor – whose father is a Toronto-based businessman Ajay Virmani (aka Akshay Kumar’s best friend) – has sneaked off to Canada to shoot a quirky comedy entitled Dr Cabbie.
Produced by Salman Khan’s production company – Salman Khan Being Human [SKBH] Productions, Dr Cabbie narrates the journey of a young Indian doctor who lands in Toronto to find himself unemployed. When the young doctor takes up cab driving, he discovers his true purpose in life. He converts his taxi into a mobile clinic to serve others.
The best-kept secret about this project is out. Adrianne Palicki, the sexy female lead in G.I. Joe Retaliation, is Vinay’s co-star.
Apparently, the hottie and Vinay have many sizzling sequences together in the film, though Vinay is not telling.
“You’ll have to wait to see what kind of a chemistry I share with Adrianne in Dr Cabbie. She is one helluva beautiful girl, and I can’t wait to begin my first schedule with her in Toronto later this month.”
Vinay and his Dr Cabbie director Jean-Francois Pouliot were in Delhi last week to shoot Vinay’s character’s introductory scenes.
Surprisingly, the 50-member unit of Dr Cabbie shot in Old Delhi’s crowded Chandni Chowk, an area known to be acutely hostile to film’s shooting, so much so that Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra had to recreate Chandni Chowk in Rajasthan to shoot for Delhi 6.
“Really?!” Vinay is wonder-struck from his home in Toronto. “We had absolutely no problem shooting in Chandni Chowk. My director Jean-Francois Pouliot, Lilette Dubey(who plays my mother) and I shot with a huge team from Canada in the thick of Chandni Chowk.And we had no problems whatsoever.”
Vinay says the film which he has co-written raises vital issues regarding Indians who work abroad.
“Countless Indians who leave their country find it hard to get jobs when their academic qualifications are disregarded abroad. I play one such character who is a qualified medical doctor from Delhi. But when he arrives in Toronto he discovers his medical degrees are invalid. So he becomes a taxi driver and starts a mobile doctor’s clinic in his cab.”
Vinay co-wrote the film based on his own experiences.
When one asks where the lovely Ms Palicki fits in Vinay replies, “That’s where the plot gets provocative. All I can say is, Adrianne has a very important role to perform.”
Vinay looks back on his role in Bejoy Nambiar’s David with much fondness. “I wish the film had worked better. I am very proud of David. I couldn’t have hoped for a better launch. Anytime Bejoy asks me to do another film I will run and do it.”
TORONTO: Photography of Dr. Cabbie began on April 10, according to producing partners FirstTake Entertainment and Caramel Films.
Apart from Vinay Virmani and Adrianne Palicki, the cast also includes Kunal Nayyar (Big Bang Theory), Lillete Dubey (Monsoon Wedding), Mircea Monroe (Change Up), Rizwan Manji (Outsourced), Chris Diamantopoulos (The Three Stooges) and newcomer Isabelle.
“Dr. Cabbie is the story of an Indian immigrant and it has an inherent universal appeal,’’ according to Salman Khan.
Says film director Jean-Francois Pouliot, “Dr. Cabbie is a timeless story that audiences will identify with, blending social issues and the journey to find one’s place in the world. We are thrilled to have such a talented cast who will tell this humorous and heart warming story.”
To be released later this year, the film will be distributed in Canada by Entertainment One. EROS International will distribute it in the Indian sub-continent.