Friday, July 07, 2006
This man definitely needs no introduction. Two national award winning films later, he is all gung ho about his latest film Corporate starring a hoard of actors just like his last affair. A conspiracy to kill him didn't stop him from putting his latest on celluloid.
Here's a one on one IndiaFM exclusive talk with Madhur Bhandarkar.
You are gearing for your next release, Corporate, which has Bipasha Basu playing a pivotal role. Even your past movies like Page 3, Chandani Bar and Satta have all had strong female characters. Why so?
I have not made a deliberate attempt to have strong female characters. It all depends on the subject. I have always tried to have different kinds of protagonists in the film. They have all happened to be female protagonists. The same is the case with Corporate. I thought that the narration of the story would be better from a woman's point of view.
What inspired you to make a film based on the corporate world?
A lot of people have asked me why I have tried to experiment with different kinds of genres. I always say that if nobody else tries, I should try! The success ratio of the kinds of subjects that I take is very less. It is not a packaged kind of a cinema where I have big stars, beautiful outdoor locations, comedy punches and song and dance routines. People here want to see different kinds of cinema. I have always been making different kinds of cinema. I always say that I am not a commercial film maker. I try to experiment with different kind of cinema. The films that I make give me satisfaction. I feel the film should have honesty and integrity.
People in the film industry are often categorized as either 'commercial' or 'realistic' film makers. You too are known as a realistic film maker. Do you believe in such tags?
People do look at me as a realistic film maker. I am known as someone who brings out the underbelly in a situation. Even in the so-called commercial films, you get to see different aspects of society. My movies may not have regular filmy dialogues. The way I shoot is very candid. Maybe I am termed as realistic because my films are not larger than life. I have liked many so-called realistic films which have been commercial films. For instance, I thought that Roti, Kapda Aur Makaan (starring Amitabh Bachchan and Manoj Kumar) was a very realistic film.
Prior to this film, Bipasha Basu had a very glamorous image. So how did you visualize her playing a corporate girl?
My character required a certain kind of a body language which Bipasha Basu had. She also had the glamour and the attitude I needed. People were surprised when I cast her because of her image and I am known for my serious kind of films. But I have tried to project her in a different way in terms of her looks and styling. Even her dialogue delivery in this film is very subtle and under-played. And I speak for the entire cast, when I say that, in the film you will only see the characters. They all look like characters from the corporate world.
You had earlier approached Aishwarya Rai for the role
Yes, I had definitely approached her. She had liked the subject a lot. But we could not work because of her date problems, as she was busy with her foreign films at that time.
While Aishwarya was your first choice for Corporate, Kareena was your first choice for your last film, Page 3. So do you think this affects your vision?
Not really, because I know how to present the person. The scene moulding would be different with different actors. But in Corporate, I have not even changed an iota of the script. It's just intact. The glamour elements, emotional outburst are all very much there.
You have a fixed set of writers like Manoj Tyagi and Sanjay Puri who you work with. What is it that makes you click?
This movie is contributing to my trilogy. Page 3 is based on the cocktail circuit, Corporate, of course is based on the corporate world. Then there is Traffic Signal based on the signals on the street of Mumbai. I work with different kinds of writers. I have worked with Manoj Tyagi on Satta, Page 3 and now Corporate. I like to generate the idea myself. But the entire movie is a result of the team work of everyone involved. Everyone contributes with their hard work.
Since you have already won two National Awards for your work, there are a lot of expectations from you. Is there a lot of pressure?
I come from a very middle class family. I never thought that I would even make it so far. In five years, I won two National Awards, which is a great achievement. In the future also if I get, it will be most welcome. Everyone loves awards. In the meantime, I just want to concentrate on the kind of cinema that I make. Awards and box office success do matter and encourage you.
You started off your career with assisting Ram Gopal Varma. What is it that you have learnt from him?
Every assistant director makes his own kind of films. Everyone has their own vision. It is not necessary that my assistant will make my kind of films. What you learn from a director is the technical skill. The elementary knowledge of how to shoot a scene is learnt while assisting someone. But everyone's way of presentation on celluloid is different. So of course, I learnt the technical aspects of film making from Ram Gopal Varma. He makes a particular kind of cinema whereas I make another kind. And I'm sure that my assistant will make a different kind of cinema.
On a parting note, what are your expectations from Corporate?
I have made a good film and now it is all up to the audience. As a film maker, I want every film of mine to work. What I may like, they might not like and vice versa. From all my films, Satta is my favorite. It gave me critical acclaim but didn't work at the box office. Ultimately, the audience is the judge.
Aslam Khan in Nayee Padosan
Personal with Mahima Chaudhary