Kabir Sadanand confident about directorial debut
He is candid enough to admit that his directorial debut is a love story and that love stories are seldom different.
By Subhash K. Jha, IANS
Kabir Sadanand, director of "Popcorn Khao! Mast Ho Jao" that hits the screens Friday, is however quick to defend the wacky title of the film.
"It was a new set-up, new director and actors. I had to have a wacky title with an immediate recall value," Kabir, whose performances in "Charas" and "Chameli" are still fresh in our minds, told IANS.
"Also, the title goes well with the film's ideology. Life is short and don't let it bog you down. The message doesn't hit you hard. I never try to lecture. It tells the young to get up, dust their butt and move on if they fall.
"I believe life is too short and we should enjoy it. I wanted my characters to convey that enjoyment.
"People ask me how my film is different from other love stories. But you can't be different in a love story. From the day the genre was invented, two people have been in love and there're forces that don't want them to be happy together. It happened in 'Mughal-e-Azam', it happens in 'Popcorn Khao...' Not that I'm comparing the two. But my film is about love and other dreams.
"It starts in college and then takes the characters five years onwards. The dialogues are as normal as they can get, though my characters don't speak in the 'MTV' tone. Sorry, I'm not there. Why ape the Americans in our language?"
The actor-turned-director admits he enjoys direction more than acting right now.
"I've these two huge fans right now - me and myself. Let's hope others join in. Of course, I'll continue to act. But I'll direct more films. I'm writing two scripts right now. One script takes love beyond teenagers. The other script addresses itself to various shapes, sizes and weights of love."
It has been easier for Kabir to prove himself as a director than it was as an actor.
"Pritish Nandy and his daughter Rongita have been absolutely amazing. If I can I'd want to make all my films for them. Not for a second did they make me feel I was a newcomer. They always treated 'Popcorn...' as 'our' film. As an actor I've been shabbily treated sometimes. It taught me how to behave with people on my set. No one was called, 'Hey, yellow shirt!' on my set."
Initially Kabir wanted to make his directorial debut with a one-room action thriller called "Maazi". "But Pritish Nandy Communications (PNC) wanted me to make something lighter. But please, 'Popcorn...' isn't another 'Jhankar Beats'."
Kabir said the film had to be made with newcomers. "And the search was on. Nandy met my leading man, Akshay Kapoor, when he was doing a Broadway play in LA and expressed a desire to be in Hindi films. He's an experienced actor. He remains in character throughout.
"As for Tanisha, I decided on her when I saw her at an awards ceremony. She was bubbly and jumpy on her own. But when her mom and sister Kajol joined her she became a different person altogether. That's my character. I was warned against taking her. But I'm glad I didn't listen to people. She's so good in my film. She was so disciplined, it was unbelievable."
There're eight films scheduled for release this week. Kabir isn't daunted.
"I guess with the multiplexes around, everyone gets to have his or her say. The films being released are either rehashed or dubbed. I think mine is the most sensible and watchable film of the lot.
"Okay, I've taken cinematic liberties. But I've always questioned everything I've done 10 times. My film is for the young. But it isn't immature. It's about being in and out of love and falling in love all over again at 30."
Kabir shyly admits there's a strong autobiographical element in his film. He grew up with his childhood sweetheart and finally married her.
"It's inevitable that you gather incidents from your life for the first film, so audiences can relate to it. I wonder what my wife sees in me. I've a weird sense of humour and a very short temper. I guess she still likes me. I wouldn't have become a filmmaker without her support and encouragement."