The subject picked him

Director's cut

The subject picked him

Director Abhishek Kapoor has been impressing his audience with his panache and creative energy for sometime now. The filmmaker is excited about how his latest movie ‘Fitoor’ has turned out and says that it is a notch above the likes of ‘Kai Po Che’ and ‘Rock On!’. Different controversies have popped up about the movie, however, the director clears the air in a chat with Tini Sara Anien.

How did the script happen?

When one is making a film, the mind is so consumed with that project that there is no time to think about what’s next. This script happened just after ‘Kai Po Che’. It was a new space and a new arena. I have never worked on a love story before. Charles Dickens’ ‘Great Expectations’ had stayed with me for so many years and the complexity of the characters which are 150 years old and yet relevant to today’s times fascinated me. More than me picking the subject, I feel the subject picked me.

Any challenges you faced while adapting the English classic to an Indian context?

The book is larger than life. What the book says about the character of Miss Havisham is in the face. In our own ways, we toned it down and I’ve tried to make it more believable. Heartbreak, repercussions of love... this is what the book is about. We have adapted it and made it applicable for today’s Indian audience.

Why this specific tale?

I read the book many years ago and it stayed with me. I knew I had to work with it. The complicated characters, the psychological dilemmas and what happens to people when they go through heartbreaks — these elements, I thought, could be presented
in a new way.

About Katrina’s performance...

I’m very happy with her work. I took her for the role because she is really beautiful and aspirational. It’s not about casting just one person in this movie. The chemistry had to be between the three main characters in the movie. The film was about class and divide. There is something about Katrina — you don’t know what she is thinking and the character she portrays is also quite mysterious. I thought I could pull that out of Katrina.

What about Aditya’s (Roy Kapoor) portrayal?

Half the battle is won when an actor can look the part. He looks Kashmiri and is meant for a story like this. Aditya comes with a lot of innocence. I believe that innocence and sincerity are important ingredients for an actor.

What can the audience expect from ‘Fitoor’?

It’s a new world that we have tried to create and it’s a completely new experience. ‘Fitoor’ is a big story. It’s my interpretation of what love is and can be and I hope people can see that.

Rumours about the mind-boggling amount invested in Katrina’s hair colour...

A lot of money is spent on different things in a movie. An amount like Rs 55 lakh spent on just hair colour is such a silly thing to even discuss. What is important is that the hair looks beautiful! We did have hair experts from London come in, but it cost nothing close to that amount.

Veteran actor Rekha left the project and Tabu entered. How did the change of actors affect the movie?

Rekha ‘ji’ and I started working on the project and we were very excited. She liked her part and we prepared for it in our own ways. But once we got on the sets and to the actual shoot, we realised that we were looking at the project differently.

And before we shot any further, we decided to step back. I’m fortunate that Tabu was available then. Tabu was my first choice when I started delving into the subject and it worked out well.

It’s been three years since ‘Kai Po Che’ happened and now ‘Fitoor’ is almost here. Does time equate to quality films?

It differs from person to person. I would like to make films faster, but I just can’t prepare a project to my satisfaction in a limited time. To me, preparation means everything.

Is there something else already in the line?

I would like to be a bit faster this time. I have a couple of ideas in my mind and they would be different from what I have done before.

You have been an actor, a writer and a director. How different are these roles?

Each of them is in a different league. They all move in the same direction though.

What will Abhishek be doing once ‘Fitoor’ is out?

I am going to take a long holiday. I need it so badly. But the moment a movie is released, my brain feels the vacuum and starts looking for the next script. So one never knows...

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