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J.D.Chekravarthy on <i>Darwaza Bandh Rakho</i>

 
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Courtesy: IndiaFM

Monday, July 17, 2006

Actor-turned-director J.D.Chekravarthy, mesmerized us with hard hitting performances in films like Shiva and Satya. Following these, he wasn't really seen in Bollywood. Now he is back with a bang as a director. The film in question is Darwaza Bandh Rakho. But what we think really deserves a mention is his wicked sense of humor!

You are gearing up for your next directorial venture, Darwaza Bandh Rakho. Few people know that you had even directed a film named Durga.
No, actually I had produced that too.

So how did the transition happen from such a serious film to comedy? 

The transition happening to comedy has nothing to do with Durga which is a tragedy film. Because I lost lots of money in that! It's difficult for me if you ask me about the genres. I don't think there are different genres as such. But if you want me to classify the film, I would say that DBR is an out-and-out comedy. There is no particular reason for why I did this.

Tell us briefly what Darwaza Bandh Rakho is about. 

People say we have very less stories in our films. If I reveal that to you, what will be left to say? It's about four guys who kidnap a girl and barge into a house, randomly. It happens to be a Gujrati's house. Everything goes for a toss, once the guys enter the house. At the end of the film, there are 35 people taken as hostages. How and why these 35 people come into the house is what the film is about.

Sketching 40 characters must have been quite a task. How did you manage to do that? More so, how did you manage so many actors on sets?
It was definitely not like a picnic. If my actors and technicians had co-operated better, I would have finished the film in lesser time. We had our share of fights and ego hassles. But now when I sit back and think of it, it does not really matter. With 40 actors, imagine the number of people on the sets. They had their assistants, make-up people, etc! In one shot, there would be more than 200 people, looking. And in most of the film, you will see at least 35 actors in one shot. So it was definitely a very difficult task.

Who is the main protagonist in the film?
This is a character driven film. Every character is the protagonist. It depends on how scene to scene progresses. On technical terms, I would say Aftab is the protagonist. But every character in the film is equally important. It is a story and character driven film.

Coming to Aftab, don't you think, having so many characters, would dilute his character and impact?
Aftab is already a hero and familiar face. Everyone knows that he is in the film. When you look at him in the entire scene, he comes across as a hero. But I haven't treated the story keeping Aftab in mind. He won't lose out on being a hero in the film.

What made you cast Isha Sharvani? Were you impressed by her performance in Kisna?
Frankly, when I wrote the film, no one was in my mind. I saw Isha outside first. Then I saw her in Kisna. When I saw her, I obviously thought that she is very beautiful. I thought that she fit the bill.

Manisha Koirala is going through a lean phase. This film is being touted as her 'comeback vehicle'. Tell us something about her character.
I don't believe this is her comeback. She was always there. But I guess she just didn't have good films in between. I would not say that I have actually given her a great film. All my actors were professional. But she was extremely professional. I don't know if the film will benefit her. But I do know that the film will definitely get benefit by her presence.

Are you acting in the film?
No, I am not. I am smart enough, not to!

Ram Gopal Varma is known to be very involved with all his projects. What inputs did he give you for this film?
I would love if Ramuji would give his inputs and contributions for all the films. He is a master. If he really did that, all the films would be better. For this film, he just had an idea about the story. He had no clue what we were shooting. I showed him the film only after I completed it. I have been his assistant and worked with him for a very long time. I understand that his inputs matter a lot.

Most of the films from the RGV camp also don't have songs. So does this film have songs?
That happened for few films like Bhoot and the Darna series. Certain films don't require songs. So to answer your question, you will have to decide for yourself after you watch the film. It's not like there is a particular 'no songs' format. Certain films require songs are certain don't.

What was your reaction to the box office results of Darna Zaroori Hai?
I wish and wanted the film to be a hit. It didn't do well and obviously I am disappointed. If a student fails an examination, obviously they won't be happy.

Your performance was greatly appreciated in Satya. However, after that, we didn't really see you in too many Hindi films. Where were you all this while?
I was busy doing films down south. There, Ramu produced almost 21 films with me as the hero. And as a director, he did about 10-12 films with me.

There were rumors that after Satya, you had a fallout with RGV. You tell us the truth behind all these stories.
If you really think that these stories were true, you should have asked me at that point of time. I would have told you then! It does not matter if there was any truth to those stories or not. It is too late in the day now. It's like asking how today would be, if Gandhiji was alive!

What is the USP of the film?
I'll ask you a counter question! What do you think was the USP of Satya?

Your performance!
If that was the case, I would have been a superstar and not Hrithik. What I think is the USP does not matter. Because it might not vibe with the audience. So the audience should watch the film and decide! I think answering this question is the most difficult.

On a parting note, what are your future plans?
I don't waste my time thinking about the past and future. I just plan the present. I have too many plans. But they all can't be executed. I can say that I want to direct a film with Tom Hanks! They are my future plans! If you want to hear the naked truth, I'll tell you that my future plans are waiting for the outcome of my film. I'm just waiting for the film to release. Then I'll decide what to do and what not to do.

Topics: comedy, aftab, kisna, manisha koirala

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