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Monday, Sep 16, 2019

Not every parent deserves a child, says Pihu director Vinod Kapri

Pihu director Vinod Kapri revealed in the interview that most of the dialogues said by Pihu in the film are her own and the screenplay was changed according to her behaviour patterns.

bollywood Updated: Nov 22, 2018 17:44 IST
Ruchi Kaushal
Ruchi Kaushal
Hindustan Times
Myra Vishwakarma plays the title role in the film, Pihu .
Myra Vishwakarma plays the title role in the film, Pihu .

Vinod Kapri, the National Award-winning director who raised eyebrows with his last film Miss Tanakpur Haazir Ho, just saw the release of his new film, Pihu. With the lead played by 2-year-old Myra Vishwakarma, Pihu is the story of a child who deals with dangerous situations at home with no one to keep an eye on her. The film is a gripping thriller, shot by barely noticeable black magic protection cameras. In an exclusive interview with Hindustan Times, Kapri revealed how Myra is clueless about the film but deserves an additional credit for the screenplay. Excerpts:

Are you happy with the response received by Pihu?

This was an overwhelming experience for me as a storyteller and as a filmmaker, for I didn’t have any big actor in the film but only a 2-year-old child. Even then, people are going to the theatres and spending Rs 300 to watch this kind of a film. For me, even one person in the theatre is important. This is definitely going to change the course of Indian cinema.

How difficult it is to shoot with a kid?

We were aware that this is going to be a tough shoot as our protagonist was a young child. The one thing we had to practice throughout the shoot was patience. There were many days when not even a single second of footage could be canned.

What was the process followed?

When I first met her, she was hardly a year and a few months old, so I spent two-three months with her. I observed her behaviour pattern, her likes and dislikes. I even changed my screenplay according to her behaviour pattern. There were many scenes in the film which were not written at all and were entirely her own. That is the reason we gave an additional screenplay to her in the film.

Give an example.

The scene with her father’s wet sleepers in the bathroom and when she applies cream on her face are all her own. Most of the dialogues are her own. We just put her in a situation and were capturing her. We have around 64 hours of footage, out of which we made this 100-minute film. It was like we were shooting a documentary for Discovery channel. It was like we were waiting for a tiger and had to trap him when he is around.

Did the kid have an idea about the film?

She was not aware that we are shooting a film. She didn’t even understand that there was something called a film. There were very small cameras called black magic protection cameras. It was all play for her. She wasn’t even aware that a crew was there; she thought they were just her friends and played with them. Last year, when the film opened and it was the first time that she had watched the film, she asked just one question, “Mumma, Pihu ko kya ho gya tha? Mujhe kya ho gya tha Mumma?” (Mumma, what happened to Pihu?)

Did you face any other challenges while making this film?

It was very tough initially. No producer, no studio was backing me. People called it an impossible film saying that how can you make a film with a child who is two. People also told me that it would be a very boring film. One of my friends who supported me initially believed in this film and rest is history.

The critics are calling Pihu a disturbing film.

It’s not disturbing but very thought-provoking. Many critics also said that it is a must watch for every parent. There is a very strong in-line message for the parents in the film. The bottomline of the film is -- every child deserves a parent but not every parent deserves a child.

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First Published: Nov 22, 2018 17:39 IST