Deep in thought

Crucial point

Deep in thought

Frank: Shekhar Kapur

Shekhar Kapur is a name that needs no introduction, within India as well as abroad. The director is well-known for making gritty cinema. Though he has made only few movies in his long career, all of them went on to become major hits. Shekhar, known for his attention to detail, is busy making the movie Paani. The film-maker was in the City recently and he spoke to Metrolife about his new venture, challenges facing India and on creativity in general. Shekhar, who was born in the pre-independence India, says Internet has made it difficult  for him to hide his age. “Earlier, I could easily call myself a young director but now thanks to Wikipedia and Google, I can’t,” he says laughing. Ask him the reason why he chose to become a Chartered Accountant and he explains, “I was a good middle-class boy who had to listen to his parents. At that time, I wanted to be in London which was the centre of my world and for my parents it was CA. So we reached a compromise,” he says.

He goes on to say that while many people categorise his films into parallel cinema, he doesn’t really believe in these categories. “In my life, I have never found anyone who says he or she belongs to the ‘masses’,” he says. “Categories like ‘class’ and ‘mass’ have been created by us,” he adds.

Looking at repertoire of his works, one can’t help but notice the seriousness of topics, he has taken up. What is it that triggers his interest in these issues? “I am very reactive to the ecosystem around me. I created an opportunity for myself in Elizabeth,” he says. “In the beginning, I asked myself how would a queen’s life interest me but soon I found myself interested in her life, which I also found to be similar to Indira Gandhi,” he says.

Talking about his other movies, he adds, “Paani and Masoom triggered from personal experiences. 15 years back when I thought that water is going to become a serious issue, nobody was willing to give me the money for it. And now everyone is giving me money and asking me to make it before someone else makes the movie,” he adds.
Sharing his ideas on creativity, he say, “We are trained not to live in uncertainty which is an essential block to being creative,” he says. “If I could, I would establish a school not for learning but for unlearning,” he adds.  He also says tackling massive young population is one of the biggest challenges facing the country. “The young population that we have are the game changers for us. They are very active. But if we don’t give them opportunity, they will turn destructive,” he says.

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