Madhur Bhandarkar has made eight films so far, but Jail, he says, is his "quickest shoot ever". The movie, which stars Neil Nitin Mukesh, is 60 per cent complete and would be ready to hit screens by September-October.
"Not one of the quickest shoots but the quickest shoot ever," asserted Bhandarkar.
"Never before have I aimed at completing a film so fast. We had embarked on a start to finish schedule on March 12 and are already more than 60 perecnt through. By the end of May, we would have our entire shooting wrapped up," Bhandarkar told IANS in an interview.
Around three to four months of post-production is now being reserved for Jail, but the director said the actual release date would depend on when the row between producers and multiplex owners over revenue sharing ends.
"Even if it takes us three or four months to work on post-production, the film would be ready for release in September/October. I have to keep the ongoing strike in mind though, because that would result in quite a few other films in the pipeline to arrive first. Once the backlog is cleared, I will bring on Jail," Bhandarkar said.
Apart from Neil, Jail also stars Manoj Bajpai and Mugdha Godse in key roles. It is a co-production of Percept Picture Company and Bhandarkar Entertainment.
Bhandarkar's last film Fashion was a multi-crore extravaganza with a huge cast to boast, but Jail is more realistic and is expected to be a medium budget gritty affair.
"See, Fashion had its own grandeur and scale due to which it required a spread out shooting schedule. On the other hand Jail was always designed as a quickie. Also, it was good fun to move back from the world of glitz and glamour to far more realistic locales," said the filmmaker, who has earlier made critically acclaimed movies like Chandni Bar and Page-3.
Jail is a hard-hitting yet sensitive tale of an ordinary man, Parag Dixit (Neil), who finds himself inside prison due to a series of unfortunate events around him.
"The film is from Parag's point of view and also tells the stories of several other inmates. Some of them are undertrials, convicts and also the cops who are in charge of maintaining order in the prison," Bhandarkar explained.
The director said his jail set looked just like a real prison.
"We have designed a huge jail set at Karjat... Believe me, it's so real that you won't realise it's a set. The film was designed as the kind which would give a ringside view of what happens in Indian jails," he said.
So how much research went into making Jail?
"A lot of it in fact," the director said. "For a sensitive subject like this, there was a lot of emphasis on research and that too with the right stakeholders. Whether it is locations to mannerisms of inmates to happenings inside the walls to the costumes ... all has been worked upon with great precision to ensure that every frame boasts of perfection."
What kind of people is he referring to when he says stakeholders?
"Everyone from a jail inmate to lawyers to convicts to bureaucrats. We collected as much information as we could to lend authenticity to the film," he explained.
So will "Jail" expose the underbelly of the prison world unknown to viewers?
"The word 'expose' seems to be following me in every film," he laughed. "Yes, it will be a new side of the prison world that audiences would see in Jail. Now whether it's an expose per se is something that you'll have to wait and watch," Bhandarkar said.