Mogra Phulala has been a beautiful journey: Shrabani
Director Shrabani Deodhar on working with actor Swapnil Joshi and making a simple, realistic film
Director Shrabani Deodhar is known for her seamless story telling and vision. Her film, Lapandav (1993), won her the National Award. From then on she proceeded to make more meaningful cinema. However, film-making took a back seat when she lost her husband Debu Deodhar, a veteran cinematographer in 2010. Shrabani then headed a popular television channel. Creativity was happening while at work, but she was missing being on set and making films.
Shrabani says, “My passion for making films was still alive and very strong. During this time, I met Arjun Singgh Baran and Kartik Nishandar and Swapnil joshi. I must have bounced at least 20-30 stories. But we were not excited with them. I wanted to make a simple film, which had emotions and yet suited to commercial values.”
The idea of Mogra Phulala was to make a film with a difference, not a run-of-the-mill, and completely character driven one. Shrabani adds, “I wanted to tap Swapnil’s potential in a different way. Everyone has seen him in larger-than-life characters, getting off helicopters and always being uber rich. I wanted to show people the real Swapnil, where he is this simple Maharashtrian boy, who adores his parents and leads a simple life.”
The film tells the story of a mother-son bond and also has a parallel love story. Shrabani shares that anything in excess is dangerous and the story highlights the same. It took her one year to write the script and scenes after the idea was approved. “I did not want to make a film for the sake of it. Hence, I took my time. Every character has a back story and a reason to be in the film. It took me some time to get the texture right of the film.”
The film is not larger-than-life, having said that she adds that it is not like a documentary either. “I wanted to tell a natural story with an organic flow. There is humour too. I wanted to juxtapose humour and emotion, which I believe has come out well.”
Mogra Phulala also stars actor Sai Deodhar, who is Shrabani’s daughter. Sai, as Shrabani puts it, has the best of both parents. “She is methodical, has a great sense of storytelling, her vision is just like her father, unmatched.”
She adds that Arjun and Kartik have been supportive through the process and that is always a plus for a director. “When you have producers who stand by you, it makes the entire shooting schedule stress free and easy,” she concludes.