Kaushik Ghatak on his directorial debut Ek Vivah Aisa Bhi in a candid conversation with Rachana Dubey.
Wasn’t Soorja Barjatya supposed to direct this Vivah sequel?
Ek Vivah.. is not a Vivah sequel, it’s very different. In fact, it was earlier titled Poetic Romance but this one is more apt. It’s a mix of an Ashapurna Devi story and fragments from my own life.
|Video: Ek Vivaah Aisa Bhi trailer|
I too waited seven years to marry the girl I loved and I have been brought up in a middle-class family in a small town in Madhya Pradesh.
But hey, isn’t the film is a remake of Tapasya?
In Tapasya, Rakheeji (Gulzar) played a mature role, beginning to end. In my film Eesha Koppikar is a chirpy, small town girl. The long wait to get married is the only common link.
But Eesha Koppikar is still known as the Khallas item girl. Darling with her in a deglam role didn’t work.
Well, for me she works. I saw her teary eyes during the story sittings and knew instantly that she was my Chandni. We have a habit of typecasting actors but there’s more to Esha than item numbers.
But how are you going to bring in the crowds without any big names?
Ek Vivah.. doesn’t need big names, it needed good actors and we found them in Sonu Sood and Eesha. Sooraj could have got me anyone I wanted.
But in today’s world when marriages are no longer sacrosanct will a concept like this have any appeal?
In my film the couple wait 12 years to get married. When one finds the perfect match one will do anything to be with that person. Waiting is the easiest.
What has been Sooraj Barjatya’s contribution?
He contributed immensely during the scripting stage. My writer, he and I sat on the script for a year. After we shot for 106 days, he visited the set for a few hours on four days. As a producer, he didn’t interfere in my work.
Were you paid what you were promised?
I was paid more than what I was promised because the shooting went on for longer than we had thought.
Why hasn’t the film been promoted well? The music too hasn’t caught on?
The strategy of the Barjatyas is to increase the promotion after the release.
As for the music, we don’t have any dhoom dhadaka tracks which catch on instantly. But the score will grow on you post release. It was the same with Vivah. In fact, we are releasing the film with fewer prints. But I know my film will be a slow success.
Has your experiences in the ad world come in handy?
Yes, I know how to say more in less time. That’s why the film is only two hours and 10 minutes.
You directed Sanjeevani? Have you seen the new series?
I saw a couple of episodes. The producers even called me to direct some episodes but I was too busy with Ek Vivah.. The new series looks and feels young which is nice.
You also directed 100 episodes of Kyuni Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi.. after that it went steadily downhill and is today embroiled in a court case because Star TV wants to cut short its run. Comment?
I haven’t been able to follow the show after I left it. I have been reading about the court case and other criticism but well, I haven’t seen the show in a long time.
What was the highpoint of the show?
I think when I executed the original Mihir Virani’s death, the show registered the highest TRPs.