Director Rajkumar Hirani is an expert when it comes to creating and switching roles. And if his blockbuster character Munnabhai could become a professor in his film, Lage Raho Munnabhai, it’s not hard to believe why the filmmaker himself can’t play a similar role in real life.
Hirani was recently requested to offer a summer class on cinema at his son’s school, Singapore International and he readily agreed. But being the stickler for perfection, instead of one class, Hirani decided to offer a weeklong crash course.
Having recently returned from a special screening for the United Nations, he was planning to spend time with his family. But he didn’t want to disappoint his son, Veer, and his friends either.
Twelve-year-old Veer was part of the class attended by over a 100 students from class six to 10. Hirani says, “They wouldn’t have learnt anything in one or two classes. It always takes time to see theory translate into practical work.”
The first two days were devoted to the understanding of cinema. After that he led the class to a brain storming session to write a plotline, followed by tips on how to create a full-fledged screenplay, shooting the film and finally, editing it.
Hirani admits it was fun, “It was like any other summer class. I’d made groups that would handle specific duties and job profiles and they did a brilliant job at it.” The students are now ready to screen their film on their annual day next week.
The director, however, will not impose filmmaking as a potential career option for his son: “He is very young now. And I strongly believe that a kid should be allowed to decide what he or she wants to do.”
Ask him if his teaching experience was any different from being a director, and he replies in the affirmative, “Very. These two professions are a world apart from each other. The director’s word is final, where as the teacher has to keep explaining every word he or she says,” he smiles.