Maverick filmmaker Vishal Bharadwaj shares pearls of wisdom on variegated aspects of filmmaking with Srishti Jha at the ongoing Osian's film festival..
You are said to be path-breaking in whatever you do. Be it your style of filmmaking or the kind of music you compose. How difficult is treading the unconventional path?
That's the way I am. The kind of movies and music I do, it’s not out of some conscious frame of mind. It comes naturally. It’s the way you are, the texture you are made of. I make normal and natural movies. It’s my audience who takes it differently. More than my intelligence it’s my naiveté. My innocence gets reflected in my films. I just want to share my emotions and my passion for cinema with my audience.
What do you have to say about the new cinema?
I would define new cinema as a combination of parallel and commercial cinema. Earlier there was a major division. I still remember, during the shoot of Makdee, the sound recorders used to struggle with the level to maintain. They used to say that if it's an art film, they would keep a low tone, but if it’s a commercial film, it can be a combination of both.
With Kaminey you have got critical acclaim as well as commercial success. Would you continue doing similar kind of work?
I have always tried to be commercial which is defined by certain economic parameters. The form of Kaminey was more commercial. It was made keeping the urban set-up in mind which comes very naturally in the film. My characters in the movie have been shown to be part of the pub culture and the money-making race, so I had to keep the commercial bit in my mind while making the film.
How is Ishqiya shaping up? How was it working with Vidya Balan?
Ishqiya is mounting up very well. As far as working with Vidya is concerned, I haven’t worked with her as yet because I am not directing Ishqiya. But we have been friends for quite a long time now. I have seen her work and she is outstanding and much focused. All I have to say is that I am jealous of the director.
You have signed Aishwarya Rai for a movie? Should we expect the actress in a new avatar?
I haven’t signed her for any movie. Can’t say about the future but nothing as of now.
Apart form Shakespeare, who else is your inspiration in cinema?
Shakespeare won’t be an inspiration. My whole idea is that if a literary work can be well expressed in a commercial and modern day pattern, then that would be experimental and different. When I was making Maqbool, I didn’t know much about Shakespeare. No one was making movies on Shakespearean genre so I thought of doing that. I didn’t expect it to come out in this manner. Films reflect their time. Every generation has its own voice, its own interpretations. Polish director Krzysztof Kieslowski is an inspiration for sure.
You have been working with Gulzar saab from your Maachis days. How has the working equation evolved over time?
The bond as well as the working equation has grown with time. I am here because of him...I owe all my success to him...he is my mentor, my father, my best friend. Even today I can't think of doing anything without his suggestions.
Is there any movie that you have regretted doing and now you want to improvise upon?
I have just made five movies and I am quite satisfied the way they worked. No regrets at all.
Which genre would you like to try as a filmmaker?
I would like to try each and every genre possible, be it comedy, horror, children's film, drama, etc. I love making movies for the kids. As a filmmaker you need to keep the kid alive inside you.
How do you define world cinema?
World cinema for me is ‘universal human emotion’. It’s the relation between the music, human emotions, and universal appeal all over the world. When you can relate to cinema on such terms, then that’s world cinema. We need to make movies with a universal appeal.