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Idyllic delight is what makes Anubhav’s heart beat

Director-producer Anubhav Sinha is in awe with rural India, the one that he is experiencing during the shooting of ‘Article 15’. The connection is so strong that he now wishes to live in it.

lucknow Updated: Mar 29, 2019 15:47 IST
Deep Saxena
Deep Saxena
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Entertainment,Director-producer Anubhav Sinha,Lucknow
The filmmaker has taken a big shift from foreign locales, action, slow-mo shots and romantic scores to realistic cinema. ‘Mulk’, upcoming political satire ‘Abhi To Party Shuru Hui Hai’ and now investigative drama ‘Article-15’! (Sourced)

Director-producer Anubhav Sinha is in awe with rural India, the one that he is experiencing during the shooting of ‘Article 15’. The connection is so strong that he now wishes to live in it.

“I don’t know if it is practically possible to be able to live outside Mumbai and yet make a film! Every time I visit a village, there is a feeling that I should buy a big farm, make a big house, farm and make films too. And this feeling is from heart,” said the director of films like ‘Mulk’, ‘Ra.One’, ‘Dus’ and ‘Tum Bin’.

“I have never seen a village before. Whatever I have seen, it was from the window of a train. Gaon ki sahajta, saralta aur purity jo hai woh adbhut hai (The ease and purity of village life is remarkable). But it’s a tough life for small farmers. It’s a tragedy that in our country the anndata (the provider - farmer) dies for lack of ann (hunger). I feel that when people from big cities will come to villages, things will improve and the problems of villagers and villages will get highlighted. Unfortunately, people only talk about them during elections, when farmers revolt or some tragedy strikes,” he said.

The ‘idyllic reawakening’ came after he conceived the story of ‘Article 15’ and began visiting villages for reconnaissance.

“I am completely in love with villages and it’s sure that in the years to come, I will make a house somewhere…where, that I don’t know! I have even started asking about the rates and other logistics as it’s surely a costly affair,” he said.

Anubhav Sinha during the shoot of Article 15 on the outskirts of Lucknow. ( Sourced )

Slowly more films are being shot in villages — ‘Manjhi’, ‘Haramkhor’, Satish Kaushik’s ‘Kitaab’, and now this. So, does he see films shifting to villages?

“I wish that films about villagers’ problems and happiness are made. It’s a different issue that films are not made for them nor do they have cinema halls to see it,” he said.

Sinha feels Bollywood has a herd mentality. “Many years back, most films were been shot in foreign locales. Currently, the trend is of films set in small towns. So, if a few films set in a village backdrop become successful, then it can become a trend of sorts too. We believe in making carbon copy of successes,” he said smiling.

Taking about ‘Article 15’ which stars Ayushmann Khurrana and others, he said, “My film is set in a small tehsil and a village. It’s a fictitious place. It’s an investigative drama in which the audience is also being investigated. #investigatewithin. I can’t get into the details of the film but this is my most ambitious film so far – in terms of scale. It’s a delight to work with such a good bunch of actors.”

He has decided to make two films in a year and his next film will also be set in UP but not in Lucknow. “Probably Noida,” he said.

Basking in the success of ‘Mulk’, he said that the film gave him a lot of love and respect. And, now he is reaping its dividends with nominations in award ceremonies.

The filmmaker has taken a big shift from foreign locales, action, slow-mo shots and romantic scores to realistic cinema. ‘Mulk’, upcoming political satire ‘Abhi To Party Shuru Hui Hai’ and now investigative drama ‘Article-15’!

“Ayushman has asked me multiple times ‘Did you really make those films?’ I don’t know what was the trigger or is this the real me. But I feel a person changes with times. Probably, earlier, my definition of success was different! I started like this with ‘Shikast’ and ‘Sea Hawks’ for TV and then moved on to music videos and commercial cinema. But, those who know me for long, say that ‘tu yah hi hai asliyat main jo beech main bhatak gaya tha’ (this is the real you who got lost in between)!

“These are more liberating films…you are not bound by any dictation…you are just going by heart! There we were working on a formula and here it’s a matter of the heart.”

First Published: Mar 29, 2019 15:47 IST