'Nobody wants to make good films'

Director's cut

'Nobody wants to make good films'
An author, musician and filmmaker — Aditya Kripalani is all three wrapped into one. Having authored two successful novels, ‘Back Seat’ and ‘Front Seat’, he is now making his directorial debut with a movie based on his third book ‘Tikli and Laxmi Bomb’.

The film is a strong story about women’s liberation and sends out a powerful message of women empowerment. In a chat with Anushree Agarwal, Aditya talks about the film, his inspiration and the challenges faced as a director.


Tell us about ‘Tikli and Laxmi Bomb’...

It’s based on my novel, which is about two sex workers who decide to kick men out of the system and form a cooperative on their own; to run a part of the sex industry on their own, by women and for women. Somewhere you get to see that if women ran the world, how would they do things differently.


The story behind the journey...

I wanted to write an anti-patriarchy story that was ascerbic and wild and then I made it into a film. It’s a story about women who are untameable.


The best compliment you have received...

My director of photography wrote to me that she loved the book and also spoke about all the biases she has faced as a woman cinematographer. After reading the book, she wanted to burn the world down, due to her anger against patriarchy. She said that if I don’t let her do the cinematography for this film, she’ll kill me!


How was it to work with Suchitra Pillai?

She’s great fun and an extreme professional. She submits herself completely to the process and the director. Even after finishing 96 hours of work straight, she can still come to a set and be a totally no-nonsense person.


Challenges faced while making the film...

The main challenge was to get things done on time. There was police patrolling on the roads and sometimes when senior officials came, we just had to pack up and run. Also the whole film is shot at night and we had to wait for the traffic and noise to clear since there’s no dubbing.


Have you also worked on its music?

There are four of my own tracks in the film that I’ve composed and written lyrics for. Incidentally, there’s also a Mumbai-based band called ‘Laxmi Bomb’, which has done the music, as well as Kolkata-based ‘Ganesh Talkies’.


As a director, do you think there is a lack of ideas in Bollywood?

I think nobody wants to make good films. They are very happy churning out the usual fare. It’s only when particular actors and directors decide to come together that a good story gets made.
There are numerous screenplays made by film students every year that are simply lying around.


A social issue you’d like to work on...

I really want to talk about the women cops in Mumbai, especially the women ‘hawaldars’, because they are powerless and in a male-dominated profession.


What’s in the pipeline?

I am doing this short film with Angad Bedi and Vibhavari called ‘Teddy Singh The Asli Mard’. It’s about a man, a very macho action hero, coming to terms with his feminine and softer side.


Your philosophy in life...
Enjoy the ride!

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