UrbanAsian caught up with the National Award-winning film director, writer and producer Madhur Bhandarkar who has given us hits like ‘Chandni Bar’, ‘Page 3’ and ‘Fashion’.
He talks about his eagerly anticipated, forthcoming film ‘Heroine’ starring Kareena Kapoor, which recently commenced shoot.
So shoot has finally started for Heroine. How are you feeling at this point?
It feels greats. As much as I love the scripting and brainstorming process of the movie, I love the shooting process as well. So I am excited and already neck deep in work.
The film was already receiving so much press coverage before shoot even commenced, why do you think this is?
In all honestly, I guess this question should be asked to the media. Although I would admit that this will be the biggest movie that I have made so far. It is bigger in scale and characters. Media has always been very kind to me and I guess this is why they are curious to know what I am making next.
Can you tell us a bit more about the film? Is it based on a true story?
Heroine is a very contemporary subject of today’s time. It has different premises and different strata that I am going to deal with here. This movie, like all my other movies, is a mix of facts and fiction. What I could say is different about Heroine as compared to all my other movies is that it is a bigger movie. It has a larger span, more characters, more costumes… a journey that revolves around an actress’ life and showbiz.
How hard was it to decide which actress will play the important role?
I guess when the film was in the scripting stage, I had already thought of Kareena Kapoor. She is a very versatile actress. Her grasping power of a character is amazing.
What traits does Kareena bring to the role?
Her ability to be like water and take the shape of the character. Both of us have wanted to work with each other for a while and I am glad that we finally are.
We always see you making films that focus on female protagonists. Why is this?
I guess because some of the strongest stories have been sketched around women. I don’t do it on purpose, but these are the stories that appeal me the most to make in the movie form.
As a director what challenges do you believe the heroines of today face and how do they differ from the female actresses who were around say 15-20 years ago?
Actresses today are a part of the best phase of Indian cinema. They are respected, they are not just a pretty picture in the frame anymore and they are given their dues. I think the situation for actresses in our country has improved a lot from the yesteryears.
Who is your ultimate, all-time-favourite heroine and why?
I like Penelope Cruz. She is a brilliant actress, what more can I say.
What is it like working with Kareena Kapoor and Arjun Rampal?
Like I told you earlier Kareena is a very versatile actress. It is great working with her. Arjun has been a long standing friend and I am glad we have got a chance to work together. Arjun as an actor is very comfortable to work with. He is a director’s delight.
Can you tell us about any of the other cast members that will be joining them on the big screen?
Randeep Hooda and Shahana Goswami are also a part of this movie. Both are good actors and I am looking forward to working with them.
What has been your biggest struggle as a film director?
I think as a filmmaker I have a constant struggle with myself to better myself. I know that I have to keep evolving myself for my audience.
Would you say a film like Fashion was a turning point in your career?
I guess my turning point was Chandni Bar. That’s the movie that let me create a niche for myself in this industry. A genre that I could cater to everyone and still believe in it with all my heart.
We saw you venture out and try and do something different with Dil Toh Bachcha Hai Ji. Do you see yourself making more light hearted films in the future?
I am the last person to say NEVER. Yes I will make more light-hearted movies. In fact, I want to experiment with more genres in film making.
Which actor from the Indian film industry have you not yet worked, but would love to work with and why?
I haven’t worked with a lot of actors and I have a long list. This interview wouldn’t be enough to put the entire name list together.
When do you expect Heroine to release?
UTV Motion Pictures and Bhandarkar Entertainment plan to release it hopefully by July next year.
Finally do you have a message for all of your fans across the globe?
I just want to thank all my fans for being so supportive. This year I completed a decade of being a part of this industry. The journey from Chandni Bar to Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji was so beautiful. This year began for me with the release of my successful slice of life movie Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji and is ending with my next movie, Heroine going on floors, what more can I say. And in all this, you all have been a very essential part of my life. Thanks for all your support and blessings. I couldn’t have come so far without you all.