‘No film is an end game in itself’

Celebrated film-maker Shekhar Kapur was in Mumbai, recently. Vickey Lalwani caught up with him for a free-wheeling chat.

Shekhar Kapoor feels despite technical finesse, Bollywood lacks original themes
Shekhar Kapoor feels despite technical finesse, Bollywood lacks original themes

What brings you to Mumbai?

Nothing special. I just wanted to take a break before moving on with the challenges in life. I had also to sort out some legal matters here. So it’s a business-cum-pleasure trip.

What have you been busy with, lately?

Not just busy. I have been obsessed with the making of my next film, which I just completed a few days back. It is a sequel to my last film Elizabeth.

Are there any Oscar aspirations for the sequel to Elizabeth?

Is there pressure to replicate that kind of critical acclaim?
I don’t like the pressure of Oscars. Or anything else. No film is an end game in itself. It is a continuing process of exploration of that which most reverberates in yourself. And the assumption is that what reverberates in you is fundamentally what is going on the subconscious of your audience as well. For that reason it is really important for me, as a communicator, to be continually sensitive to everything around myself. To be open to all stimuli. To not protect yourself at all, but to be sensitive to everything around you, whatever the emotional cost of that might be.

What is Golden Age about?

It is the search for the Divine. It is our struggle between our mortal, human, earthed self, and the need to break that tie and experience interconnectedness as the Elizabethans put it, or formlessness as the Buddhists put it. It is also about the struggle between fundamentalism and tolerance.

How did you go about making the film?

Well, I had a bound script. So, half the battle was won. I then assembled the cast and crew and shot from start to finish in 65 days. People in the business were surprised. From here, I will go to Bangalore and then Malaysia for a few days. After that, I will start with the post-production work.

We heard you are branching out into another area of entertainment?

I have formed a comic book company. Unbelievable and fictional characters have always fascinated me. I thought the best way to create them was through comics, which enjoy high readership in India.

When will we see you directing a Hindi film now?

I am aware of my origins in Hindi films. I have kept in touch with Hindi films, courtesy DVDs.

Any film you saw recently?

I saw Dhoom 2 and was swayed by the technical finesse that Hindi films have come up with. They are almost on a par with international standards. The only thing I find lacking in them is the lack of good and original subjects. And mark my words, India has an international star in Hrithik Roshan.

When did you last meet your uncle, Dev Anand?

Six months ago. But I keep a track of all his work. I wish him the very best. He still has the excitement and enthusiasm that a newcomer director would exude.

How do you see 2007 for the world of films?

I see it as a bright year, with rapid strides being made in every aspect of film-making. And I hope to be a part of all the surprises that are in store (laughs). — TWF