The national award winning director Dibakar Banerjee next film is Bombay talkies which is a amalgamation of short story by 4 directors of Bollywood includes Karan Johar, Anurag Kashyap and Zoya Akhtar. This film is the celebration of 100 years of Indian cinema. IndiaGlitz got candid with this ace filmmaker and learnt his journey.
How the whole process of Bombay Talkies started?
I didn't start the thing at all. It started from Ashi Dua from 2 years ago. She walked into our office. She said I want to do this film and i want you to direct. She has not produced any film before. I was impressed by clarity of her ambition. I said her it sounds very interesting I will think about it and go ahead I would love to be part of it.
When the film was offered to you did that time you had story in hand?
No the story wasn't prepared. I thought I will do something then the story bind by this when I started thinking about it. At that point it was very nice niche of invitation because whatever I do I do it my own way. I am not a part of any camp, any club or anything sort of like that.
Could you please shed some light on your story in the film?
My story is basically based on short story by Satyajit Ray's popular short film 'Patol Babu Film Star'. In the film an ordinary man is given a chance to be a star for one day. It is about who is the true hero. What is failure? What is success?
How you cast Nawaz in the film?
Because is a good actor. I wanted to work with him since black Friday. When the opportunity came I told him listen that there is a short film it will take 6-7 days to make. This film i wanted to make both in Marathi and Hindi. For that he has to speak in Marathi and nobody has seen this like before.
This film is the completion of 100 year of Indian cinema celebration. So you think this is the best film from you on this occasion?
Any director's latest film is his best film. I am really not worried about whether my film is best or the worst. What I really happy about is that I am part of the process. I am part of the history. 100 years of now my name will be there. So I am feeling very lucky and very privileged.
All you film have being satire. So this film is also a satire?
Not at all. This film is a very emotional story actually.
Your favourite Indian films till date which influenced you?
Pather Panchali, Bandit Queen, Maqbool, Mirch Masala, Shayam Benegal's Junoon, Holi, Manthan. In recent time Anurag Kashyap's Black Friday. These are the film which really influenced me.
In the press conference Karan said he is very conscious of what other directors' films. So are you somewhere conscious as well?
No not really. In fact I was very happy to work with them. Karan was conscious because Karan has completely broken out of his comfort zone. For me I have totally survived in the world which is totally alien to me. When Khosla Ka Ghosla came out, Oye Lucky Lucky Oye, Love Sex Aur Dhoka And Shanghai came out, there had been no films like that before. Nobody was interested to make such films. Nobody knows the fate of it. Somehow I managed and fit it and somehow I survived and for my surprise I have respect from my peers. In this film I was very relaxed. I am very happy you know. For me it is a big promotion actually. I really liked it.
In this film you have done and experiment with the music?
Not experiment. I have composed the music that's all. It has the melodies attached to the song which was composed by Rabindranath Tagore. I have taken a tune and adapted it.
Your story is based on Mumbai so what kind of research and preparation you did?
I did research. I stay in Lalbaug area of Mumbai. The character is from this area. He lives in a chawl in Lalbaug. Nawaz, I and the team did the workshop for a week or 2. Nawaz lived in the chawl to get the shadow of the character and in the whole process we were shooting the documentary of how Nawaz transformed into this Marathi manoos from a challenged actor.
There is a rumour that Ranbir is also playing a vital role in the film?
Ranbir is like shadow in the film. He is a super hero which affects this man's life. Yes Nawaz has in fact Big B in the promo. There is competition between him and Ranbir Kapoor.
How do you see the journey of Indian cinema?
Journey of Indian cinema is the journey of India. Cinema reflects what we are at that given point of time in history. If you see the film of 1923 you will get the glimpse of what India was in 1923. Cinema is who we are and who we want to be. That's why cinema is important.
Generally when a film is success audience remember the stars but not directors.
I think that time has gone. This is the very lucky time. I don't think in any of my films people have gone to see stars. People have associated me with certain kind of film and they have chosen to see it. Anurag's films are Anurag's film, Karan's films are Karan's film. Karan's and Zoya's films are populated by stars still that are known by their films. If you see the last 10years of Hindi cinema they are truly became the cinemas of the directors. That's a good thing.
Does somewhere don't you think you have to fulfil expectation of audience?
Audience expect and I think it is the duty of every director to break expectations and bring new thing because if you just fulfil the expectation of the audience then you became just a shadow of your film. If you break the expectation in positive way and surprise the audience with every film is the best way.
But sometimes you may shock them?
Well it is a part of the surprise. If you see my all 4 films they are totally different. I think you have to go forward so that audience go forward with you. Or else on your 24th film you will be making 24th sequel of your first film then you are caught in it and I don't want to be caught in that.
So you will not make sequel?
I am not saying that. I may make a sequel if it is completely different from the first one yet has some common element. I won't repeat myself.
How you choose different film?
Because I get bored of the previous subject and own self so I have to search further new things.
What is next after Bombay talkies?
I am producing Titli. It is a huge responsibility and I am enjoying being a producer. YRF and my production company have signed a deal of 3 films.