His 1999 debut Vaastav depicted the dark underbelly of Mumbai and brought him acclaim as filmmaker but Mahesh Manjrekar believes that his latest film City of Gold, about the condition of city's mill workers in 80s, deals with a much larger issue.
"This film is 100ft ahead of Vaastav. I feel blessed to be a filmmaker now. I have no qualms or fears about how the audience is going to react to it. I have done my job," said Manjrekar, who was in the city to promote City Of Gold.
Vaastav starring Sanjay Dutt highlighted the harsh realities of the life in the Mumbai underworld. The film released in 1999, not only marked Dutt's successful comeback in Bollywood but also helped Manjrekar become one of the most sought after directors in the industry.
Manjrekar's latest film, releasing this Friday, is the untold story of Mumbai's mill workers. Set against the background of the changing socio-political atmosphere, the film examines the birth of organised crime in the Maximum City.
"It is the most important film of my life. For 28 years these people have been on strike and no one has shed a tear for them. I spoke to many producers but everyone turned me down as they wanted song, dance sequences and stars. After watching the movie, I feel the effort was worth it," said the 56-year-old filmmaker.
Manjrekar, who has also made a mark as an actor in films like Kaante, Zinda and Slumdog Millionaire, said he deliberately stayed away from acting in his ambitious project.
"The subject was difficult and when I watched the movie. I think I made a wise decision by not acting as it would have exposed my short-comings," he said.
The multi-talented artiste has donned the hat of a rapper to promote the movie.
"I love to experiment, I don't have a fear of failure. There is always that extra bit of thrill when you try something new, you get into it thinking you have nothing to lose, at the most you will fail. Singing was not new to me. I started my career on stage and this was rap, anyone who can hum a tune can do it," Manjrekar said.
City of Gold is being produced by Dar Capital Group which has produced the film under its movie production banner Dar Motion Pictures and stars Satish Kaushik, Seema Biswas, Sachin Khedekar and a host of Marathi film and stage actors.