Director Tigmanshu Dhulia, one of the better exponents of the gangster genre in Bollywood, has given us violent yet entertaining films like Paan Singh Tomar, Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster and Bullet Raja. He also occasionally dabbles in acting, playing important roles in Gangs of Wasseypur and Zero, among other films.
He took a detour from his usual track to direct a relationship drama, Out of Love, his second project with Hotstar, after Criminal Justice. Based on the theme of infidelity in a marriage, it features Rasika Dugal and Purab Kohli in the lead roles. The director says the 5-part series is nothing like the kind of films and shows he makes or watches.
"Personally, I don’t watch shows like these – based on relationships and stuff. I don’t enjoy them. The material was new for me. It was a challenge and it pushed me as an artist. Out of Love is an adult relationship drama, but it has been shot like a thriller. Instead of just shooting two talking heads, I thought of doing it differently," he said.
“I am not 24 anymore, I am 52 now, kab tak main wohi bandook aur goli chalwata rahoonga. I ask myself, till when will you continue making all that? Grow up, handle a mature subject. It’s like my own realisation that I need to evolve as a director,” he added.
Out of Love is the official Indian adaptation of BBC’s Dr Foster and has been shot in Coonoor, Tamil Nadu. Tigmanshu explains how the setting of a story is far more important while making a web series than it is in a movie.
“We thought of setting it in a hill station, Coonoor, where people know each other. There isn’t much to do, there are barbecues and parties happening, people playing bridge. I had to create that mood. In the web world, you have to focus more on the setting of the story. In a movie, you just need the story to progress. On the web, while exploring a character, you also have to explore the time, the place and its culture. Successful shows around the world, like Narcos and Peaky Blinders, always establish a strong setting,” he said.
This is the second time that he’s making an adaptation of a foreign show. Criminal Justice, starring Vikrant Massey and Jackie Shroff, was also an official adaptation of a BBC show.
“It’s easier to make an adaptation that creating an original, I won’t deny that. The basic plot is in place, you know where the story is going. The changes you do are according to the cultural milieu. There are those directors who have made a career out of copying. But people like us when we make an adaptation, we try to do a better job than the original,” he said.
Besides directing shows, he has also acted in the series Rangbaaz. He says the digital world gives him the liberty to work with much less pressure than that of making and releasing a movie in theatres.
“The advantage of working on a web series is that there is less pressure on you. In case of films, more than the making, the pressure is to get it released in theatres. All the fights happen when you have to release a film, all sorts of troubles come up at that point. If you don’t have a big star cast, you won’t get shows or good showtimes. You have to spend a lot more on marketing a movie. In case of the web, you don’t have to deal with the pressure of casting stars, you can work with new actors. The art of storytelling is also new on the web and I am really enjoying it,” he concludes.
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