The real approach

The real approach

Director's take

The real approach

Madhur Bhandarkar’s recently-released film, Calendar Girls, takes a look at the world of models who are featured on calendars. With a slew of critically-acclaimed films including Chandni Bar, Page 3 and Fashion, the filmmaker, who hasn’t had a great run of late talks about his recent venture, life and more. Here is an excerpt:

Your last film Heroine didn’t do well at the box-office. Did that increase the pressure on you while making Calendar Girls?

All the films that I have made so far are close to my heart. Heroine is no different, but somehow the film didn’t do well. It did good business in some pockets but everything is not in my control. But that doesn’t mean I am tense or there is more pressure for Calendar Girls. It’s a new film with a new story and the audience will have different views about this film.

Unlike your previous films, this time you have not cast a big star...

It all depends on the script. Be it Heroine, Fashion, Chandni Bar or Page 3, they had just one or two protagonists. But here there are five girls and we didn’t really want a big name. The film is about girls who are featured on calendars. Even in real life, the girls who pose for calendars are fresh faces or debutants. So I wanted fresh faces for this film and I am happy with the way all these five girls have performed.

How different is Calendar Girls from Fashion?

I understand why this question is being asked. From what I have researched, I can conclude that girls who are featured on calendars are valued more than the models, at least when it comes to the payment part. These girls are auditioned and selected from a list of 70 to 80 people and then they are photographed and featured on calendars. So, naturally, they are valued more. It’s not an easy process. But what happens to them after one year? Do they get their due?

Why did you decide to make a film on this subject?

I was looking for a story and I was sitting in my office. I asked the office boy to clean the office. So, after he was done, he came to me with some calendars and asked me what to do with them. I keep receiving good calendars every year. In fact, Vijay Mallya sends me a Kingfisher Calendar every year. It is one of the best calendars that come out in this country. So, I thought what happens to all these girls who work for calendars? Where do they go after one year? And that’s how the story happened. This film tells us not only about the making of a calendar, but also about the lives of these girls and their fate after one year. I focus on the career of these five girls who beat everyone to get a chance to get featured on a calendar and then what the future holds for them.

Why do your films revolve around real-life issues?

There are different kinds of films being made in this country... romantic, horror, thriller, action, comedy etc. In fact, I like all these kinds of films and I too want to make a romantic film or a comedy. However, I mostly make films which are close to reality because I like these subjects and I am comfortable making such films.

So, what are your expectations from Calendar Girls?

I am really hopeful about the film. It’s again a world that people don’t know much about and I am sure the audience is curious.

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