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Madhur on unexpected surprises in life

By: M R Jain, Glamsham
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
Even as he eagerly awaits the release of his forthcoming film, Traffic Signal, the last one in the trilogy, Madhur Bhandarkar has just finished with the script of his next film, based on the fashion industry. It will be a different film from all my earlier films. It will have more gloss, glamour and will explore the psyche of the top-notch people in the fashion industry, Madhur reveals. The common feature of this film like all his other films though will be an ensemble cast, which has become a characteristic feature of all his films. I like to work with a huge cast. In Traffic Signal, I worked with 60 artistes and in my next film, I may be working with an even bigger cast, he points out.

Talking of the cast of Traffic Signal, Madhur admits to being thoroughly satisfied with his decision to go for an unconventional cast. I always prefer to work with relatively new artistes and give them all the scope to prove their performances, he says. According to him, both Kunal Khemmu and Neetu Chandra have portrayed their characters to the hilt in the film. Kunal is a very good actor. The film will see him emerge as a very promising actor with a tremendous range, he says. The surprise element in the film however is director turned actor, Sudhir Mishra, who plays the role of a mafia kingpin. Sudhir was initially very reluctant to take up the role but for some reason I was convinced that he would be ideal for the role. I am sure hell be flooded with acting offers after this film, he says.

He points out that the unconventional casting has gone well with the realistic feel of the film. It is an honest, situational film with a dark undercurrent of humor. An established cast wouldnt have quite worked with the theme of the film. The film is very incisive and looks at the lives of people at traffic signals in a very different perspective, he says. He admits to having gone to great lengths to give the film a realistic film. I shot with real beggars on the streets and got them to participate in the whole shooting. Likewise, I also zeroed on real eunuchs for the film. It was a difficult task but the experience was an amazing one, he recalls, adding that he didnt want to make a caricature of a film. I have always stuck on to originality in all my films be it Chandni Bar, Page 3 or Corporate, he says.

Significantly, all his last three films raked up a social debate post their release, which hinted at the impact those films had on society. In the case of Chandni Bar, the post-release saw the closure of all dance bars in Maharashtra, Page 3, brought the spotlight on the double standards of people in the celebrity circuit and the post-release period of his last release, Corporate saw the pesticide issue coming to the fore. It is strange that each of my films has unintentionally opened a Pandoras box. On my part, I am glad that my films have at least elicited a debate on social issues, he says.

He remembers his earlier days as a video library owner, when he would ride a bicycle and deliver videocassettes down Pali hill in Bandra. The other day I drove my wife down in my Pajero at a place where I used to frequent as a video library guy. I showed her the place and there were tears in my eyes. Life is full of unexpected surprises. You never know what life has in store for you but I had been happy then and am also happy now with life, he smiles.

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