When the film was announced, you had promised that it would depict real scenarios about the happenings within and outside Indian jails. Have you been able to achieve that so far?
Very much! So many Hindi films showcase a jail in a pretty glorified manner but I didn't want that to be the case with my Jail. I have kept it entirely realistic while keeping the entertainment quotient in mind. The jail set that we have at ND Studios, Karjat is so real that once you are in, you feel that you have actually landed in a jail.
With more than 60% of your film already been shot, are you looking at September/October timeframe for the release of Jail? After all these have been lucky months for you. Your critically acclaimed Chandni Bar had arrived in September'01 while your biggest money spinner till date, Fashion, was released in October'08.
Personally I don't plan things this way. In fact I never thought like this when I began shooting for the film. Now Page 3 [Jan 2005] and Corporate [July 2006] had released in different months but they were still successful, right? I don't believe in such things. Yes, the kind of hype that Jail has managed to create, September/October would be a good time to release the film but there are other factors to be kept in mind as well.
What kind of other factors?
The biggest of them is this entire stand off between producers and multiplexes. There is bound to be a pile up of pending releases once the strike is called off. I would wait for these films to arrive first and only then will I look forward to bringing my Jail.
Chandi Bar (dance bars), Satta (politics), Page 3 (high society), Corporate (business), Traffic Signal (streets) and Fashion (ramp) - most of your films have looked at a world that has seldom been brought alive on the silver screen. So are you going to expose the underbelly of prison world which is unknown to viewers?
Arrey, aap log toh har film mein 'expose' word laga dete ho (laughs)! Let the movie's shooting get over and promotion begin. Once it will arrive in theaters, you will know for yourself. But yes, I can promise that it will be a madhur bhandarkar brand of film for sure.
Jail was announced in July last year with much fanfare. Even the release was all set for 1st May. What went wrong there?
Nothing went wrong actually. We could have started earlier but then the terror attack in Mumbai made me wait for some more time before I began shooting. Seriously, along with the entire nation, my entire team of writers and other crew members were so depressed because of the incident.
Entire nation was going through turmoil. As a Mumbaite who saw it all in front of his own eyes, it was a very difficult stage in my life. In fact at that time I went into a thinking mode and was even wondering if I wanted to make Jail at that point of time or not. It belonged to a different genre and after an unforgettable terror attack, I wasn't sure if Jail would indeed be my next. I contemplated shelving the subject for the time being and do some other film.
You did go ahead with the film though...
True, but only after I and my entire crew was back to being charged about making Jail. We wanted to start afresh due to which shooting began in March. It's not a delay in any case; it's just about 3-4 months of push.