Madhur Bhandarkar's Directorial Rollercoaster
Movies high on drama, aesthetically juxtaposed with reality and fiction – that’s what Madhur Bhandarkar’s signature style has been for the past 11 years. This veteran director, who has a plethora of awards in his kitty, including National Awards, is known for his hard-hitting narratives wrapped in pretty packaging. From Rangeela to Fashion to Heroine, it has been quite an eventful journey. “It has been the most beautiful journey of my life. I have learnt a lot, had my phoenix moment and my time under the sun, but there’s no time to sit back and mull over things. I am here to make a cinema, which is my passion and I shall continue to do that. The day I stop making cinema, I know I’ll stop thinking,” he tells us.
True to what he believes, he is all prepped up for his next big release, Heroine. Overwhelmed with the response his film’s first trailer and poster got, he says, “Surprisingly, I was trending on Twitter that night. I was speechless! It is bigger than ever before.”
Where some people were all praises for the director and his hard work, there were few who were drawing an uncanny resemblance to other films like The Dirty Picture, but no matter what he has stood firm and pointed out that it’s not fair to compare. “The Dirty Picture was a brilliant film, but was set in the ’80s and was based on one person’s life. Heroine was a modern-day story of a superstar played by Kareena Kapoor. The tracks of the stories are not similar. Also, I am not concentrating on one film industry, but rather an essence of all the film industries!”
After wrapping up the film in exactly 80 days, he is currently busy with the promotions and thus, not working on any other project. Quiz him on whether his films are realistic or fiction and he shoots back, “Realistic with no direct resemblance to a particular individual. The day I make a film inspired by one person, I will say it.” Of course, the man does a lot of research for the film he’s making at that point in time. “Most of the jobs require research in their respective fields. You must have also done some research for this interview or at least a Google search if nothing else,” he says with a smile.
With a thumbs up in the past from critics, is the director once again queuing up for a National Award, we wonder. “It is very humbling that the Government of India has found me befitting for awards. It is an honour, but not my agenda. I make films, rather my kind of films, to entertain the audience,” he states openly. That apart, he doesn’t care much about the ‘A’ certificate his films get. In fact, he states that Heroine is a bold film and the Censor Board has done their job efficiently.
Let’s not forget, a film has no stance without its actors. Madhur found his heroine in Kareena Kapoor and he firmly believes she was destined to play the character of Mahi. “She is one of the finest actresses the industry has today”, he cuts in, and “she is hassle-free and spontaneous when it comes to working.” He doesn’t stop here. With Halkat Jawani being the talk of tinsel town, he adds, “Kareena is a good dancer and she gets the grasp of steps very quickly. Also, Halkat Jawani is not an item song in the film. It is a performance by Mahi Arora (Kareena’s character) at an award function.”
Fashion was about a supermodel, while Heroine is about a superstar. They seem to be pretty similar, but he begs to differ and maintains, “Both the industries have a lot of difference and that is something you will be able to notice better after the release of my film.” “I always wanted to make a film on my industry and this concept (Heroine) took shape as soon as my writers and I had time to devote to it,” he shares.
Madhur Bhandarkar is a filmmaker who has made his niche by treating films with a realistic approach, but at the end when we try to throw a Karan Johar-type question at him asking him to choose between Corporate, Page 3, Fashion or Heroine, he laughs and finishes our tête-à-tête by saying, “Guide, Dev Anand Saab's Guide.”