Bollywood producer Pooja Bhatt is auctioning off a role in one of her next Hindi-language films to help raise money to reduce rising cases of violence against women in India, the charity Oxfam said. Full Article
Short story writer Lydia Davis wins Man Booker International fiction prize. Full Article
Netflix brings back the Bluths in new 'Arrested Development' season. Full Article
Just A Minute With: Vishal Bhardwaj on ‘Kaminey’
MUMBAI (Reuters) - Director Vishal Bhardwaj, known for his radically different approach to film making in Bollywood, is wooing audiences with the caper film “Kaminey”.
The film, starring Shahid Kapur and Priyanka Chopra, is about twin brothers who are sucked into a world of drugs, guns and money.
Bhardwaj, 49, spoke to Reuters about “Kaminey”, why he hates doing interviews and how Hollywood doesn’t hold any lure for him.
Q: You are really hard to catch hold of. Are you a recluse or just media shy?
A: (Laughs) “Actually, this time I wasn’t well. I was on sedatives and had to have an endoscopy done. But even otherwise, I feel that doing these interviews and being in the press is a waste of time. I don’t need the publicity and most of the tabloids write such rotten stuff that it irritates me a lot. That is why I stay away from all this.”
Q: You have said about ‘Kaminey’ that it was the most humiliating shoot of your life. Why?
A: “It was very tough and I never thought it would be when I started out. My idea was to make a caper film in 50 days. With ‘Omkara’, I started working in January and we released in July, so when I wrote ‘Kaminey’ I thought it would work the same way. But when we started to shoot, I realised the magnitude of the film. I had written rain into the backdrop of the film, so even if it wasn’t raining, we had to create it.”
“There were 20 rain tankers on set every day. There are chases, action and it is a double role. Also, we don’t shoot in sequence, and the film is set in the space of 24 hours, so continuity was a big issue. Perhaps it was my foolishness and inexperience that I couldn’t gauge the magnitude of the film.”
“The shoot went on for 85 days. In fact we shot on 26/11, very close to the Taj Mahal hotel. It was a chase sequence, and right before we could start, we heard shots. It was a war-like situation. It looks very nice on screen in an AC theatre, but it was the toughest shoot of my life.”
Q: We see a very different city of Mumbai in ‘Kaminey’. How important is Mumbai to the film?
A: “Mumbai has been shot many times, especially in gangster flicks like ‘Satya’ and to a certain extent in ‘Company’. ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ also showed the city in a different light. Our challenge was that we wanted to show Mumbai in a wholly different light than all these films.
“One of the characters in the film lives in an abandoned train bogey, so we built a set in a railway yard. I think that was a haunted location because we just couldn’t complete the shoot. We had to keep going there many times and we could never finish. An assistant was bitten by a snake. It is difficult to shoot in real locations in Mumbai.
“Danny Boyle did it, but he did it on digital camera and he had great support; money was flowing. We had a restricted budget and a huge camera, so it was a huge challenge.”
Q: In Bollywood you are perceived as a director who thinks out of the box, almost a rebel. Is that how you see yourself?
A: “To be honest, I don’t perceive myself in any way. I just do what I like. And nevertheless, I don’t like doing regular stuff. It is done so much in our industry, but when you see films like ‘Babel’, you realise how technically weak we are.
“The cinematic language that these people speak is so different. We don’t pay that much attention to cinematic language.”
Q: What is it about Bollywood that you don’t like?
A: “These days there are all these films where the girl and the boy don’t realise they like each other, and by the time they realise it is too late, but even then they get together in the end. I can think of ten films that are made on the same formula.
“Like ‘Dev D’ is such a romantic film and yet the characters are so real, so edgy. It bothers me when talented film makers adopt the regular tone, especially when they know they can do better.
“We see world cinema but we make no attempt to imbibe it in our own way of film making. Even if I do make a romantic film, it will be an edgy one.”
Q: Does it bother you though that a regular love story would do better at the box-office here than a movie like ‘Dev D’?
A: “Not really, because you see the market is like that. A filmmaker can’t change his audience. Moreover, a rebel is someone who changes himself first. So I don’t feel bothered about audience tastes. Isn’t it a great thing that at least we can make films like ‘Dev D’ in today’s date. Some years ago you couldn’t go anywhere with that kind of thought.
“You have different kinds of audiences now, an educated audience, who is exposed to different kinds of cinema. However we should try and tread the middle path and make movies which cater to both masses and classes, and that is what I have tried to do with ‘Kaminey’.
Q: You’ve made your films with some of Bollywood’s most commercially successful actors in an industry where actors are known to play safe. How do you manage?
A: “The intelligent audience that I am talking about has grown, their reach is much more and these stars are surrounded by more of those people. They want to do regular commercial films, but they also want this association as well.
“When Saif played Langda Tyagi in ‘Omkara’, I think he discovered himself as an actor. And he should do more such roles, because he is such a brilliant actor. There is nothing for him to discover about himself in the regular films that he might be doing. Even in ‘Love Aaj Kal’, there were shades of ‘Dil Chahta Hai’.
Q: Two of your movies have been inspired by Shakespeare. What is it about the Bard that inspires you?
A: “There is such drama in his work. And relationships between men and women haven’t changed in the last 400 years. He was a great psychiatrist in a way, not just writer. His understanding of the human psyche is so relevant even today.”
Q: Mira Nair says you are the only Indian director who is capable of crossing over to Hollywood.
A: “Mira may think that way but I haven’t really thought about this. I don’t think I want to go to Hollywood. I am not very kicked about it. It isn’t the house of God you know. I can stay in my country and make my kind of films, they can still cross over. I don’t need to go to Hollywood for that.”
- Tweet this
- Share this
- Digg this