How Can You Pay Hair and Make Up People More Than Writers? Asks Shakun Batra
In this episode of Film-maker Friday, Shakun Batra talks about why writers should be taken care of in the Hindi film industry.
Shakun Batra in conversation with Priyanka Sinha Jha for Film-maker Friday.
Shakun Batra, who features prominently on the list of Bollywood’s most promising young directors, is delighted that things are looking up for writers with the onset of the minimum remuneration move that has been proposed recently by Screenwriter’s Association.
“How can you pay hair, make-up and wardrobe more than the writer of the film?” he quizzes with incredulity. It’s so hard to write a good script, he adds and this move, if followed in right earnest will encourage more people to have writing as a sustainable career.
Better known as the guys who gave us Kapoor & Sons, an unpredictable family drama with sterling performances by Rishi Kapoor, Ratna Pathak Shah, Rajat Kapoor, Siddharth Malhotra and Alia Bhatt, Batra is a bit under the weather when we meet up for Film-Maker Fridays. Not that it prevents him from sharing some intricate details about the film and his showbiz journey.
Kapoor & Sons, for those who came in late, when it released in 2016 created quite a stir. And with good reasons—it had several remarkable firsts to it. For starters, it was a mainstream film that completely normalised homosexuality in a tale of two brothers and their family living in the picturesque Kunoor. It also had the good-looking leading man—Pakistani actor Fawad Khan—play a gay man, a role which had been rejected by several leading actors.
Khan, however, liked the script instantly and came on board and eventually the film catapulted him to dizzying heights as a good actor. While he was pitching the script, Batra, during narrations would not reveal the fact about one of the two brothers being gay, giving everyone the impression that he was attempting a remake of Saajan starring Salman Khan and Sanjay Dutt.
“I wasn’t even sure if this film would get made,” he recalls. The catchy name, he says came from producer Karan Johar, who he assures is very good with film titles and hooklines. Auntyji get up and dance, the song in Shakun’s first film was in fact, given by Karan Johar.
One of the challenges for him was to create a flavour different from all pre-existing family films. “How do I create chaos that is real and chaos that we are used to as families,” says Batra of the toughest part about the film. But of course, he tided over it with an exceptional script he co-wrote with friend Ayesha Devitre, his creative collaborator.
To find out more about Batra’s adventures in filmland, watch the new episode of Film-Maker Fridays here:
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