Though he is keen on not flaunting his wealth, fame or fortune, Sanjay’s first venture Udaan has brought him all that and more. It has raised expectations in the film industry and people at large.
Udaan is Sanjay’s sincere efforts at giving back to the society what he received from it. The film was officially selected to compete in the Un Certain Regard category at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival.
The film traces the story of a boy who breaks free from the shackles of an authoritarian father who forces his son to take over the reins of the family business. But this young man wants to chase his dream, that of becoming a writer. The story is the endless fight of a young man to conquer his dream. “It’s a film that captures the journey of a boy to a man. Parents must stop imposing their views and ideas on their children and it’s high time they give space to children to pursue their dream,” Sanjay says.
Sanjay and Anurag Kashyap, co-producer of the film, scouted a few cities and conducted a survey among children, aged 15 and above. They were taken aback by the results, “More than 60 per cent of the children, we spoke to said they didn’t look up to their parents as role models and neither did they approach them for guidance. They said they follow a popular TV icon or a sports star,” reveals Sanjay. He observes that parents focus on fattening their bank balances rather than spending quality time with their children. “There is a line in the movie where the son, tired of his father’s authoritarian streaks talks back saying, ‘I am not your bank balance that you can use me, I am your son.’ This leaves a scar on the father and that’s when things begin to change,” says Sanjay.
Sanjay’s next production, titled, Mountain Man, traces the life of a man named Dashrat who travels through the mountains for 22 years. “It’s his passage through the mountain. He does it for love, that’s the crux of the story,” says Sanjay.
Cinema, for Sanjay, is something meaningful that people can take back home. “Good cinema, to me, is nothing but serious story-telling. Indians have always liked to hear stories. I don’t want to stick to the usual formula of two songs, one tragedy... my movies are my way of expressing myself to society,” he sums up. Udaan will release on July 16.