Although he started his career with ad films and television commercials, it was only in 2006 that Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra was recognised for his work, thanks to the cult film, Rang De Basanti. The film-maker’s latest release, Mirzya, doesn’t have much to boast about, though — it was a visual treat, but it failed to set cash registers jingling. Mehra, however, maintains that he has emerged “stronger” from the movie’s storytelling process.
Watch: Trailer of Mirzya
“This film’s subject wasn’t an easy one to tackle. It was a new narrative altogether. But now that we are past the release, I feel more empowered. When I speak of the nature of this film, it has made me a stronger person. I chose to follow the path my instinct told me to,” he says.
Rakeysh says making movies is all about expression for him. “I make films to express myself and I make them the way I know them. Yes, you win some, you lose some. But the key is to keep working hard. With the kind of beats that I take up with my films, you can call me ‘Un-Bollywood’ (smiles),” he says.
Ask Mehra if people in the industry distance themselves from a peer who has hit a low, and he is quick to say, “If there’s someone who can’t appreciate your work, then that’s a good thing. Because then you know that the person is dangerous and you shouldn’t be friends with them (laughs).” He says it is important for people to take the onus when “things go wrong”. “That’s what I did. When Mirzya didn’t work, I spoke with every member of the unit. I told them that I funded the film and the onus was on me. I thanked them for all the support and the effort,” the film-maker says.
Shot by the amazing @toranjkayvon styled by @tanster24 with my one and only most gorgeous @saiyami , this is an exclusive photoshoot I will be breaking to you on my INSTA over the next few days , experimented with my hair and styling ... Always artistically push the boundaries .. Live and die by the sword
Mehra also says the ‘Un-Bollywood’ tag was given to him by a publication. “I don’t mind being called that. My main motive is to bridge the gap between Indian and world cinema. I want to keep trying new forms of expression, but, at the same time, I don’t want to compromise on my ideas,” he says.