Pune gave me the story idea for Mumbai Pune Mumbai: Satish Rajwade
Director Satish Rajwade on how why he loves Pune and why he enjoys the fact that Swapnil Joshi and Mukta Barve trouble him
Director-writer Satish Rajwade is making history with the first third instalment ever made in Marathi cinema. His franchise, Mumbai Pune Mumbai, first released in 2010, followed by the sequel in 2015. The coming-of-age love story is now ready with its third part. The Aapla Manus director shares how Pune played an integral part in making Mumbai Pune Mumbai, how his lead actors Swapnil Joshi and Mukta Barve trouble him and why he was never skeptical of making the first thrid sequel in Marathi.
You have worked with Mukta Barve on several projects before and this is your third with Swapnil. How would you describe your equation with them?
They trouble me a lot, but I love it. And, I believe this is the byproduct of this film. Their leg-pulling keeps me going. It is so exciting to be working with them. I have always forwarded them a plot before writing the script for the second and third part. And, they have been very vocal about their opinions. They do give their suggestions and I do welcome. As actors, they are outstanding and as people they haven’t changed. They keep disturbing me and pulling my leg, and that is the best thing.
When sequels are made, we generally see a change in cast and crew. However, you guys have been constant. Has it gotten comfortable or stagnant?
Around 95% of the team is the same, including the production unity, spot boys, make-up artistes and even actors. There may have been additions but no substractions. We have been shooting with the same people for the past seven years. And, it hasn’t become stagnant because these people are so critical about themselves and others. They call a spade a spade. They have outrightly rejected my ideas in the past. And, I am glad they did that.
The film has some great, intriguing shots of the city. What about Pune do you enjoy the most?
Honestly, Pune has given me some outstanding work in my professional life. Yes, it is getting crowded but it is not losing its piece. It has some cinematic energy with its defocus images, pastel colours and scenic locations. My connect with Pune is very strong. It gave me Mumbai Pune Mumbai and I will always be grateful. The fact that this story can happen was prompted in the city itself. I was returning to Mumbai from Pune late in the night. I opted for a private cab and a lady approached if she could accompany. I requested her to take the bus for safety reasons. On my way, I got thinking, what if I wasn’t married, what if she got into the cab and we got talking, or exchanged numbers? What would happen. That’s how the story idea germinated.
Were you skeptical at any point?
No, the fear will always be there, but that is the case in all films. If my XYZ film did well, and I am making ABC next, then I want it to do well too. Here, yes I had an additional responsibility but I wasn’t skeptical simply because we are portraying a progression and that can be indicated by our love songs in the film.