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'Empty entertainment is not for me'

Satya cinematographer Mazhar Kamran is all set to make his directorial debut with Mohandas. Parmita Uniyal speaks to the first-time director on his film and Indian cinema.

india Updated: Jul 17, 2008 17:53 IST
Parmita Uniyal

The cinematographer of cult films like Satya, Ab Tak Chappan and comedy films like Masti, Mazhar Kamran, who is all set to make his directorial debut with Mohandas, says he always wanted to become a director. "I was a cinematographer in waiting to become a director."

Mazhar, however, does not believe in run-of-the-mill movies and is here to make substantial cinema. "Empty entertainment is not for me", declares the debutant director.

"In spite of having good songs and all the masalas, Tashan didn't work. People just want a good story. There is either a good film or a bad film. If people like it, it's a good cinema."

So how does the filmmaker define cinema? "Cinema is a story telling medium. A story has to convey a certain meaning. If the story is told in an appropriate way, it makes good cinema."

The title of his film gives us an impression that it's based on Mahatma Gandhi's life. The film, however, is based on the life of a common man 'who loses his identity'. "It's not a historical film. It's a take on contemporary situation in India. According to Mahatma Gandhi, India exists in its villages. His whole concern was for the weaker man. Such a man has been banished from our film and television screens in the era of globalisation. I want to revive the concept of common man through this film," says the director.

Nakul Vaid plays the title role of Mohandas and Sharbani Mukherjee plays his wife Kasturi in the movie. Sonali Kulkarni will be seen in the role of a journalist.

Mohandas will do rounds of few film festivals across the world before getting commercially released in India. The film is being screened at Osian's film festival on July 17. Mazhar Kamran feels his film would be unique, since festival movies rarely have songs in it.

"The film festival audiences are open-minded. It is a good platform to showcase the kind of films I make. My film pays a tribute to Indian cinema at Osian's, as it will have songs just like a typical Bollywood movie."

The cinematographer-turned-director has high regards for filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma with whom he worked in films like Satya, Kaun and Ab Tak Chappan. "I had an interesting time working with Ramu. I was touched by his humility. I am really impressed with the way he made Satya."

The yet-to-be-one-film-old filmmaker is ready with 3-4 plots and is working on them already. "I want to make films in all genres. While on one hand, I have worked in films like Satya, Kaun and Ab Tak Chappan, I have explored comedy with Masti on the other hand."