In our first part award winning filmmaker Rahul Mittra spoke at length on how he is finding solace, peace & happiness in this gloomy cloud of uncertainly and danger due to the Corona Covid –19 scare by gyming (exercising) his mind gaining control and coming close to consciousness and attaining inner energy. In the second part filmmaker Rahul Mittra speaks from heart about his journey from a Chandigarh born child till now, how cinema fascinated him, his much talked about friendship with Sanjay Dutt, lessons learnt and what makes him pin high hopes on TORBAAZ, MARD, ANJAAN etc.
What is the position of TORBAAZ?
The shoot of TORBAAZ is done. It’s ready for post production and as soon as things get into normalcy, within 2 months we will release it. It’s a special film for all of us. Sanjay Dutt, Raju Chadha, me and the director Girish Malik. It got delayed as we all wanted to have a realistic movie and it’s quite an emotional journey. It was a learning experience to shoot in Kyrgyzstan. Permission, crew, weather, cold it needed authenticity so the delay. The movie revolves around child suicide bombers in Afghanistan and also stars Nargis Fakhri.
You and Sanjay Dutt share a special bond, please share something on this?
Sanjay Dutt is like an elder brother, a friend. He is a pure soul. I am not the one who can be seduced or manipulated. Tell me honestly on my face am worst I won’t mind. But please no playing games with me. I seek purity in relationships and Sanjay Dutt has a pure heart. During TORBAAZ we needed someone who could emote with eyes it’s a beautifully emotional film. So we met and in couple of meetings we both realized that his is beyond a producer actor relationship. We both are Punjabi and we speak in Punjabi. My sir name gives an impression that I am Bong (Bengali) but Mittra’s are Punjabi also. Anyways, that comes later. We have bonded on human level as we believe in organic relationship. Nothing is pretentious, no dikhava (show off). People have their opinion about Sanjay and I over the time have developed my own opinion about him and he formed his opinion about me and we have jelled on fondness for each other having common threads like fun, entertainment, honesty. It’s rare to find genuine relationship in this industry. People connect for projects, movie etc but here our bonding is organic developed on humanitarian grounds. He has not changed; I am also the same when I entered Mumbai. During this lockdown we call each other after every second day. Kya kiya, kya dekha, aacha Fauda khatam ho gaya ab kya, how is parjaeyji, baache kaise hai, paaji miltein hai lockdown ke baad.
Who else part from Sanjay Dutt are your best friends?
Raju Chadha ji is the person I trust and am in regular touch with. He is a genuine person no airs even after being a business tycoon. Randeep Hooda is a good friend, nice guy very dedicated, Arjun Rampal is also a good friend with whom I am in regular touch on phone during this lockdown.
So was cinema a passion you dreamt to be a part of this industry?
I have said earlier, never believed in destination. For a person born in Amritsar and brought up in Chandigarh. My father was an IAS officer, he died in a helicopter crash, I was 15. On average we watched 1 movie a month in theatre named Piccadily & K.C. MAA, AMAR AKBAR ANTHONY I use to watch those multi starrers. I remember watching MAA as a 5 year old and coming out crying. I never went for pop corn, ice cream as kids of my age use to do. The emotions affected me. From journalism, healthcare, tourism, IT, Business Consulting before becoming a filmmaker. I have made emotional investment with people. Watched the life of actors/stars closely, got technical knowhow from studios etc. I am not a product of cinema but a product of life. My movies have multiple characters inspired from life. God has been kind and I have just followed my instincts.
How you cope with failure especially when something like SAHEB BIWI AUR GANGSTER 3 starring your favorite Sanjay Dutt fails at the box office?
Taken it on my stride, tried to put the best foot forward at that time but didn’t work. Looking back, I did a job for 2500. There was a time when I didn’t have enough money for my child’s medical. I came in this Industry in 2010 and till now around 14 – 15 movies have gone through me. I got studios backing me very early. I have made two trilogy – SAHEB BIWI AUR GANGSTER, SARKAR. Worked with Mr. Bachchan, Sanjay Dutt, Irrfan Khan etc. Its gone, now it’s time to look forward, high hopes on MARD, TORBAAZ and the supernatural thriller ANJAAN starring Arjun Rampal.
What makes MARD special?
This can become the highlight of Randeep Hooda’s career. It’s a quirky desi take on fifty shades of grey in a way with a twist. It has a rural setting and it’s something unique. The script is locked. As things get normal the leading lady will be finalized and it will go on floors.
Any plan for Digital/OTT platforms
My journey already started with CABRET. I have explored different genres on silver screen; I have a supernatural thriller ANJAAN starring Arjun Rampal also in the pipeline. Digital is the future and you will be hearing good news soon.
Stay safe, stay at home, take this lockdown as an opportunity to find inner peace and strengthen your resolve. The detachment will make you better human if taken seriously. Help people if possible. Listen to the silent signals given by nature. Detachment is a key for your further attachment to the soul.