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Sunday, December 15, 2002
Lead Article

Weaving a web of magic with Makdee

Music composer-turned-director Vishal Bharadwaj
Music composer- turned-director Vishal Bharadwaj

FROM composing music to directing a film, Vishal Bharadwaj has come a long way. With Makdee, he casts a magical web.

He calls Gulzar his guru. And much like the latter, Vishal Bharadwaj believes in making films that stand apart. The debutant director, whose Makdee has won rave reviews, speaks about his choice of Shabana to play the witch, passion for cricket and his association with Gulzar.

You were a successful right-arm spinner and batsman. Would you say filmdomís gain is cricketís loss?

Not really. Though I have played for my state, Uttar Pradesh, I left playing cricket at that level long ago. Now, I only play to give my son company. But cricket has taught me to be sportive and not to give up till the end. I have applied that attitude in my life and my work. So in a way I am playing cricket even at work. (laughs).

 


Shabana Azmi in the role of a witch is a major highlight of Makdee
Shabana Azmi in the role of a witch is a major highlight of Makdee

Whom would you count as your favourite cricketer?

I have more than one hero. I adore Dilip Vengsarkar and Sunil Gavaskar. Brian Lara is also one of my favourites!

You have given the music for Gulzarís films Maachis and Hu Tu Tu, while he has written the lyrics for your film Makdee. You seem to enjoy a rich association with Gulzar. Comment.

I canít elaborate on that. Itís a really good relationship. We vibe well at work and even otherwise. He has inspired me in every manner, right from the way he leads his life to making films, to writing poetry and short stories.

Shabana Azmi in the role of the witch seems to be one of the major highlights of Makdee. Was it difficult convincing her to play the part?

I narrated the story to her on the sets of Godmother. She liked it and immediately agreed to do it, and that too for free. She could probably foresee the meat that the role had.

Was she your first choice?

Yeah. She was my first and last choice.

How did Shabana cope with the elaborate make-up?

The audience wouldnít have enjoyed the film unless they believed that the witch was for real. And for that, the make-up had to look real and convincing. That is why we went in for heavy make-up, despite shortage of funds. Shabana sat through patiently for hours while each make-up was tried and tested on her.

With so many films for children abroad like the Harry Potter series and animation films, do you think the Indian market is lagging behind?

Hollywood makes so many childrenís films which are huge box-office successes even in India. So, itís not that we donít have the market for childrenís films in our country. We just donít make films for our kids.

What has been creatively more satisfying ó composing music or directing a film?

Both have been satisfying on different levels. Music is food for the soul, while film-making is the soul. As a film-maker you call the shots! I have already decided on my next project.

What are your passions, apart from music, film and cricket?

Nowadays, I play tennis too.

ó Leisure Media News

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