The growing box-office collections of Madras Cafe and the critical acclaim the film received has overwhelmed director Shoojit Sircar, who says that he intended to offer a good movie instead of a Rs100 crore potboiler.
“Yes, Rs100 crore is the benchmark set by blockbusters but my film is not a potboiler. If potboilers make big money, this kind of a film also leaves a mark with the audience,” says Sircar. The director also explains his approach while making the film. He says, “The casting, cinematography and background score by Shantanu Moitra are key elements. I needed credible faces and looked for an out-of-Mumbai cast, preferably never seen before in cinema. So for example, when you fit some of them in a cabinet meeting, they look like people who can take policy decisions.”
But would it have reached as many audiences had John not played the lead? The director says that he never thought of it. “From the beginning, I was talking to John and never approached anyone else. When he came on board he knew the subject. It helps the director when his actor understands the subject and is aware about the civil war and the politics around it. Then, the depth of the performance naturally comes in,” says Sircar.
Moreover, the director is sure that John’s performance in the film will be counted amongst his best. He says, “Obviously, this is one of his best performances by far. I won’t say it’s his greatest, but it’s surely one of the top ones till date.”