Ayushmann Khurrana's forthcoming film Hawaizaada is hitting all the right notes just days before its January 30 release, with a well-choreographed pre-release promotion strategy driven largely by a brilliant trailer and songs. No wonder, director Vibhu Puri is making no attempts to hide his excitement. "I have always liked colours. In fact, I am fascinated with them. I strongly believe in the visual literature. We are a part of the industry where story is very important, but we somehow don’t invest enough in the look and feel of the film," he says when asked about his filmmaking style.
"I have also fought a small battle to make my film look correct. It requires the investment of time and energy. There were instances when I discussed my ideas with people and they asked me to go and become an art director rather than a director. I have watched the works of Sergei Eisenstein, Andre Bazin and Guru Dutt, but I am also a great admirer of Picasso, Monet and Mane. I love paintings and want that to seep into my work," he adds.
Hawaizaada claims to be based on true events. Puri sheds more light on the film's plot: "I think myself as a student of history. In my opinion, non-fiction paves way for great fictionalised stories. I got some material on Shivkar Talpade, but the information available was very minuscule. That gave me an idea about Hawaizaada and then I decided to give it a touch of magical realism. But, yes, Shivkar Talpade was not aptly reported."
"The journey of this man," he adds further, "was not properly documented and thus I have taken some cinematic liberties."
Hawaizaada also marks a first for Khurrana: He's never worked in a period film before. "Because the audience hasn’t seen him in such a role before, Hawaizaada comes with an immense novelty value. Ayushmann is a hidden volcano of talent and he is going to surprise everyone in this film."
Puri learnt the nuances of filmmaking under the tutelage of Sanjay Leela Bhansali and it is more than obvious in his work. "Sanjay Leela Bhansali is my guru and we both went to the same school, FTII. I have learnt a lot from him, but there are some differences as well. His love for music can be attributed to his need to create drama. But my narrative is centred more around the notion of self realisation."
That he didn't mind experimenting in his debut venture is also a measure of his confidence. "You see, new Hindi film director are expected to make a typical gangster film in a small budget as they are not supposed to handle an ambitious project skillfully. This was the reason the idea of Hawaizaada was in the making for four years. But I hope it’s worth the wait."
Hawaizaada is set to be released on January 30, 2015.