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By: Joginder Tuteja, IndiaFM
Saturday, February 03, 2007
Madhur Bhandarkar's Traffic Signal was premiered in Mumbai yesterday and as expected garnered some glowing reviews from those present for an exclusive dekko.
Though there was positive feedback galore from people both within and outside the industry, the ones that Madhur is most kicked about are those that came from none other than Kapil Dev and Nagesh Kukunoor.
This is what Kapil Dev had to say about the film post its screening - "I could never have imagined that a film like this would be made that would revolve around a Traffic Signal. It is an unbelievable experience to witness such a film where Madhur has first dared to pick up a subject like this and then went ahead to shoot an entire film on it! Well done!"
If this was not enough, Nagesh Kukunoor, an acclaimed director himself who believes in bringing about a change in the way films are made, was also in the appreciation galore for Madhur's art.
For an effort like this, Nagesh kept it short and simple by stating, "This is Madhur's best work till date. Period!" Now that's quite a compliment for a film maker who is a National Award winner and has films like Chandni Bar, Satta, Page 3 and Corporate behind him!
While script and screenplay were of absolute importance to the film, the young ones also were in for some wholesome appreciation as both Kunal Khemu and Neetu Chandra were singled out for their performances.
Juhi Chawla, who had worked with Kunal years back in 'Hum Hai Raahi Pyaar Ke' was full of praise for the man who is now barely in his 20s. She couldn't believe that the little kid had come such a long way and given a mature performance as Silsila, a Manager of beggars at the Traffic Signal.
With such a heartening response, what does the man at the hot seat have to say? Sounding highly excited, Madhur says, "The film has been appreciated tremendously and I am of course gladdened by an all around response. Though I was quite sure that the film would get positive vibes when seen, one always keeps his fingers crossed till the time people 'not' associated with the film have watched it. And now with the premier fetching good reports and some very good hype built over the past fortnight, I am looking forward to the way audience reacts this fortnight!"
On being told that in spite of no-star look of the film, the characters have made the film a good cinematic experience, Madhur said, "Again, this was what I had anyways set out for. I had always maintained since the time film was incepted that it didn't have a storyline. It was always meant to be a slice of life and for that we didn't want any stars in the film since they would have carried a certain image with them. In that sense, casting Kunal and Neetu has worked for the film and being noticed. Also, Konkana's act has been termed simply brilliant while Sudhir Mishra has always been the surprise package in the film (laughs)!"
Apart from the comments that celebrities had about his film, what is it that he believes works most for the film? "Last 45 minutes", he is quick to say, "The way the film progresses towards the climax is what I wanted to be the best part about Traffic Signal and now I am told that it has actually been the case too. In fact if someone would have told me that the film had a good first half but an average second half, I would have been scared since that was not the intent. The idea was to establish the characters in the early reels and then bring on the momentum. Good that it actually turned out to be the case too!"
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