I don’t know what I am feeling: Mukesh Chhabra
“The last month since actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s sudden demise has been difficult and shocking for many in the industry and perhaps a bit more for the popular casting director Mukesh Chhabra. He was a close friend and “like a brother” to Rajput. More so, as Chhabra turned director with a film starring Rajput and has been working on “finishing the film since the last few weeks”. He says, “It’s been tough. I was in the middle of finishing the film for release, working on the trailer etc., and looking at Sushant every day- it was so difficult to work on the film. Right now, I don’t know what I am feeling- if I should be happy or sad. There are a lot of mixed emotions and I don’t know how to react to situations now. It is bittersweet, perhaps. For me, the meaning of the film has changed, as he is gone.” Chhabra’s debut directorial stars Rajput and newbie Sanjana Sanghi, is a remake of the Hollywood film The Fault In Our Stars (2014).
The last time they spoke was on Chhabra’s birthday in May. “We had a normal conversation. Everything was fine. I didn’t know that he had any issues (regarding mental health),” says the director. Ask him about the number of theories regarding Rajput’s death and even demands for a CBI inquiry and the director is brief and states, “I haven’t been much on social media. The investigation is on which will take its course. My focus is to do justice to Sushant’s last film.”
Talking about Rajput’s last film, his fans and supporters have been asking for a theatrical release and not a digital one. But Chhabra doesn’t reckon. He feels releasing on an OTT platform is the best decision as “everyone can watch the film”. “Look at the condition of our country (due to Covid-19). The times are such that every other film is releasing on OTT and I feel, it’s a good time to release as most people will watch it. At the end of the day, why do we make films? So that maximum number of people watch it. Ab wohi hoga. For another one year, there’s no chance of going to the theatres, I feel,” asserts the director.
With just one focus, he admits that he is “going with the flow”. “I am not thinking about anything else. I want the audiences to see the film and appreciate it as Sushant, I and everyone else in the film made it with a lot of love.” Chhabra reveals that Rajput was the first choice for the film, and he had promised him to star in his debut directorial. “It was a promise that he kept it and when finally things fell into place, he agreed to do it without reading the script.”