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‘420 IPC’ director Manish Gupta unties the film’s intricate knots

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Manish Gupta’s crime film ‘420 IPC’ starring Vinay Pathak, Ranvir Shorey and Gul Panag which released recently has been garnering a positive response for its narrative style driven through the intricacies of the Indian Penal Code.

Manish, whose credits include films like ‘The Stoneman Murders’ (writer and director), ‘Sarkar’ (writer) and ‘Section 375’ (writer), recently spoke with IANS and unravelled what went into the making of a film that explores the layers of courtroom proceedings in a financial fraud case.

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Explaining the germ of ‘420 IPC’, he says, “I’d got the idea for ‘420 IPC’ during the three years of extensive research that I’d carried out for my previous courtroom drama ‘Section 375’ during which I came across court procedures involved in economic offence cases – which I found to be an unexplored premise for a film.”

He adds, “Carrying out further research, I discovered that people with upper economic status and a high pedigree of intelligence and education are involved in economic crimes. So the court proceedings involve more brain work, thus lending a more cerebral premise for a film.”

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Manish himself took the onus of the film’s research as he says, “There was no research team. I carried out the research personally and singlehandedly by attending numerous court hearings and interviewing lawyers, court staff members, policemen, etc. I’d already done a heavy amount of research for ‘Section 375’, so I had a lot of basic research material already with me.”

Commenting on the value that his lead actors Vinay and Ranvir add to the film, he mentions, “Vinay and Ranvir infuse a lot of believability into the narrative. Both are brilliant actors which goes without saying but at the same time, both have the ability to absorb their characters so well that the viewer sees a real person, rather than an actor.”

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Probe him if there were a lot of improvisations on the sets, he quips, “Not really, because my scripts are usually written with great clarity. In ‘420 IPC’, as in all my films, since I was the director as well as the screenplay and dialogue writer, so while writing, I’d already directed the film on paper.”

Looking at his filmography, one can easily say that the filmmaker-writer has a knack for grey stories and characters. Explaining his fascination with grey shades, he furnishes the closing answer, “In reality, no person is completely good or bad. All human beings possess good and bad qualities, although to varying degrees. That’s exactly what I depict in my films.”

–By Akshay Acharya

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