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Madhushree Dutta on Seven Islands and a Metro

Courtesy: IndiaFM
Monday, October 09, 2006
Madhushree Dutta, the visionary
Seven Islands and a Metro. A different name one wonders. The name does create some kind of curiosity towards it. What is Seven Islands and A Metro. A fine work by Madhushree Dutta whose vision may just make people think about Mumbai. We speak to the director herself and she replies, "Seven Islands and a Metro is a non fictional film. You can call it a documentary. It speaks about the city Mumbai. Let's not call Mumbai just one city, its many cities in one big metro. Since Bombay compromises of Seven islands originally and has now become a metro, we call it Seven Islands and a Metro. The film is about the undying spirit of Mumbai that makes it special from any other place in Mumbai"

I am like a Poet
Madhushree Dutta, the two time National Award Winner and one time Filmfare Award winner strongly supports her idea on making only documentaries. When we asked her why so, she replied, "I am very happy to be a documentary film maker. The reason I make documentaries is because I enjoy exploring a particular subject. I am like a poet who can only write poetries. Similarly I can only make documentaries. It is a very exciting idea to make such documentaries. I have my niche in them."

Hopefully I will find a producer for my next film.
As of today, a big movie gets delayed because of lack producer or distributor. How did Madhushree find a producer for the same? Well, she said, "Majlis Productions has produced the film. I am a part of this production house. After the theatrical release of this film we sincerely hope we get a producer for our next film. We are trying to create an audience of this genre by releasing the film theatrically."

Bombay is the USP of the film.
Bombay is the USP of my film. I sincerely believe that people will watch my film because it caters to the few who enjoy such movies. I have had a theatrical release for my documentary because I believe there is an audience for all types of movies. There are watchers of Discovery Channel and National Geographic Channel. So I believe there is an audience for everything. I have made a film on Mumbai and people of Mumbai will definitely relate to it. Bombay is my USP. The film is for everyone in Mumbai. This feeling will definitely get them to the theater and watch the film.

Ismat Chugtai and Saa'adat Hasan Manto are the narrators of my film
The legendary writers Ismat Chugtai and Saa'adat Hasan Monto have a conversation in my film. They are the narrators. They have an imaginary conversation in my film. But in my film they are very contemporary. With so many stories in my film, they are the ones who argue as to what is happening. They have been created in a very contemporary manner so that relating to them will be very easy.

The name Seven Islands and a Metro has a lot of meaning to it.
We asked Madhushree as to why such a name. She politely answered," the name has a lot of meaning if you go to see. Look at the literal meaning first. It is so true. Seven islands and a Metro. Mumbai compromises of seven islands and has become a metro. But there is a deep rooted meaning. Let me give you an example. Trains, the lifeline of Mumbai. It also is an important character in my film. When you enter a local train in peak hours, you stand outside but you get in automatically. When you have to get down, you get down also similarly, i.e. you are pushed out. This is exactly how the name of Mumbai is. You are welcome to the metro of Mumbai. You are in fact pushed in to enter the metro. But at the same the people do not really want you. So you are pushed out. At that time you are lonely like an island. So Mumbai has a lot of inspiration on the name of the film. My film has a lot of characters. I have even taken scenes of Hema Malini's body double because she too is a part of Mumbai. Even the coffee and cigarette sellers who stay up all night selling their products on the streets of Mumbai are a part of my film. Mumbai is a vast subject. I just cant get enough of it. I love the city and want to explore so many more aspects of the city."

Seven Islands and a Metro is part of my trilogy
I may make a fictional movie. You never know. But as of now, I feel I will make a trilogy on Mumbai. First of the three were I Live in Behraampada. Second is Seven Islands and a Metro. Hopefully I will make the third one too. A commercial film may also be in the offing but let's see.

Well, the trends are definitely changing and different movie makers are here to make Indian Cinema proud. Documentaries may just change the whole attitude of people towards cinema. Let's hope this is a welcome change. Film makers like these definitely need a platform and with theatrical release they can present the films to people and bring out the reality.

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