'Filmmaking is a task of intelligence'

Directors Cut

'Filmmaking is a task  of intelligence'

Starting his career as a music composer with Gulzar’s Maachis in 1996, today Vishal Bharadwaj is one of the most critically acclaimed directors in Bollywood.

His movies like  Maqbool, Omkara, Kaminey and 7 Khoon Maaf not only ruled box-office but also were appreciated critically. Vishal has this time served up Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola with stars like Pankaj Kapur, Imran Khan and Anushka Shrama.

The issue this time is Special Economic Zone and how its development fills only the coffers of a select few, while depriving farmers of their fertile lands. “Films are a reflection of real life. Though the movie is based on a land scam it has no links with the one exposed in Haryana. The plot revolves around it but it is not the crux of the story.”

From an unconventional filmmaker like Vishal, the title of the film also comes as a surprise. “The story behind the names is interesting. I was in Haryana when I saw the name Matru on a board whereas Bijlee is my personal favourite. A leading actress hardly gets such names. Finally, Mandola is the village. Since a lot of people write the name of their village after their surname, I did the same with Pankaj Kapur’s character.”

Vishal continues to follow the trend of using the local dialect in Matru... too, like he did in Ishiqya and Omkara. “One of the peculiar features of our country is that every village has its own dialect. There is so much to explore in India that one lifetime is not sufficient,” says the 47-year old.

What was the thought behind choosing Imran Khan – a conventional actor for a rustic character like Matru? “Films should change the image of an actor. For me, it is an interesting task to discover a person in my actor which fits into the character.” Was it difficult to direct Imran? “When I can direct films without having formal training then why can’t I make others work? It is a task of intelligence.”

Do films (objectifying women) play a role in changing the outlook of men towards women? “No, it is not like that. A society is not built by films. Instead films are made on society,” he says.

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