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Kunal Kemmu’s unplanned Goa trip inspired Madgaon Express | Here’s how

In a recent interview, Kunal Kemmu opened up about how a journey to Goa with friends led to his debut directorial Madgaon Express.

Kunal Kemmu’s unplanned Goa trip inspired Madgaon Express | Here’s how
Kunal Kemmu's unexpected Goa trip inspired Madgaon Express

Last Updated: 05.44 PM, Mar 18, 2024


Kunal Kemmu’s directorial debut film Madgaon Express has been inspired by his own unplanned trip to Goa with college friends. Kunal revealed this along with how he named the film and how the film got signed in an interview with ETimes. Madgaon Express, produced by Farhan Akhtar, is slated to open in theatres on March 22, 2024.  

Read on to know more about Kunal Kemmu’s passion for storytelling and his journey from an actor to director. 

‘My first trip to Goa happened unexpectedly’

Kunal Kemmu’s first Goa trip aboard the Madgaon Express was rather unexpected. One of Kunal’s friends made up an excuse to his college professor to visit Goa. The group rode a Kinetic, explored some beaches, went sightseeing and enjoyed Goan seafood. “Looking back, I appreciate experiencing the cultural sites, even though they didn't seem exciting at the time,” said Kunal. No wonder, this on-the-go trip made Kunal name the film Madgaon Express as it left a rather lasting impression on the Kalank actor and sounded befitting for a Goa-based story.  

Madgaon Express Poster
Madgaon Express Poster

Madgaon Express is Dil Chahta Hai gone wrong?  

What is interesting about Madgaon Express is that the Dil Chahta Hai writer-producer duo, Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani, are co-producing Kunal’s first film as director. Moreover, akin to Madgaon Express, Dil Chahta Hai’s storyline also included a famous Goa trip. Sharing more about Dil Chahta Hai’s influence on his film, Kunal quipped, “Dil Chahta Hai has been an inspiration for many, including me. While writing my film, I envisioned a trip where everything goes awry.” Kunal thanked Farhan and Ritesh for offering support, guidance and creative freedom for making Madgaon Express the way he wanted.  


Kunal Kemmu’s directorial dreams

From playing memorable roles in classic films like Raja Hindustani and Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke to becoming a director with Madgaon Express, Kunal has come a long way and seems like a natural progression. Sharing more on this, Kunal added, “When the opportunity arose, I embraced it wholeheartedly.”  

However, Kunal had not thought that he’d even direct the movie at all. Post narrating the script to Ritesh and Farhan, the duo showed confidence in him as a director and motivated him to don the director’s hat. Calling the transition from acting to directing ‘liberating’, Kunal mentioned that it has been a happy experience bringing his vision to life and he has cherished every bit of it thus far.   

“Directing allows me to fully immerse myself in storytelling,” he said. Feeling proud of what he’s created through Madgaon Express, Kunal termed it a collaborative effort. “While I take responsibility for the end product, it's been a team effort and I’m grateful for everyone’s contributions,” he remarked. 

Soha Ali Khan’s feedback for Madgaon Express

About his wife Soha Ali Khan’s reaction to directing Madgaon Express, Kunal said, “She was supportive and excited for me, even though I hadn't anticipated taking on the role of director.” He also said that even though Soha hadn’t seen the final product, she had time and again offered some valuable insights and feedback for the film. 

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