Resonating with poetry

New Release

When you meet Vishal Bharadwaj it’s hard to believe that this soft-spoken man, who still maintains his chaste Urdu amid the crowd of Amchi Mumbai, is the same one who makes hard-hitting films like Maqbool and Omkara... the latest from his stable-Kaminey

Excerpts from an interview with him:


Why did you zero in on a title like ‘Kaminey’ (scoundrel) for your new film?

I knew you would ask this question. Actually, the story of my film is about how petty desires can turn a good man to a scoundrel. I was pretty apprehensive about using it for the title of the film; and then I consulted Gulzarsaab. He, at once said, ‘I like this title and think you should go ahead with it.’  

Be it ‘Maqbool’ or ‘Omkara’ or ‘Kaminey’... why is it that all your films are so dark?    

Maqbool and Omkara are dark films, I agree. But Kaminey is not entirely a dark film, it’s black humour. The film is about two different-minded brothers (both played by Shahid Kapoor) — one has a lisp, the other stammers. They can’t stand each other until one night something happens and they realise that the only way to survive is to support each other.

Was Shahid a first choice for the film?

I did think of other actors while scripting the film, but finally it was Shahid whom I signed on.

Did he do justice to the character?


Yes, to both the characters. He has good genes (his father being Pankaj Kapur) and is also a natural actor. He will go a long way.

What goes behind selecting Priyanka (Chopra) to play Sweety in the film?

I selected Priyanka because of her looks that suit the role of Maharashtrian mulgi Sweety and also because of her spontaneity. But it was only while working with her for months that I realised how dedicated and intelligent she is! She even hired a Marathi teacher who accompanied her to the sets so that she can learn not only the language, but also the accent properly.

All your films have too much violence. But at the same time, there is an undercurrent of poetry running through the storyline. How do you explain this?


My roots are in Meerut. Even though I come from a Brahmin family, I have grown up amid Muslim culture — sufi poetry, quawwali, tehzeeb. Besides, like my father, I too am a poet, and there are both romance and social issues in my poetry. My films are my mirrors... when a filmmaker makes a film, his entire self becomes exposed on celluloid, and I am no exception. Perhaps that is why even when my film has rough scenes, I show violence poetically.

Gulzar has always been your source of inspiration...

 I am here because of him and I owe all my success to him. He is my mentor, my father, my best friend. Even today I can’t think of doing anything without his suggestions.
It’s said there’s a woman behind every successful man...

Words fall short if I am to thank Rekha (Bharadwaj) for her contributions in my life. She was and is always there for me. When I was struggling to make a name in Bollywood, she supported me like no one else could ever do. We have known each other since our college days, it was our love for music that drew us closer to each other.

Is it true that you are casting Hrithik Roshan for your next film?

You people really go very fast. Let Kaminey release, let me take a short break first. By the way, Hrithik and I are discussing a script, but I have not signed him for my film yet.

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