We've Got Used to Seeing Every Film Through the Same Lens, Says Vikramaditya Motwane
On a cloudy monsoon kind of a day in Mumbai, it’s work as usual at Vikramaditya Motwane’s office in Aram Nagar. His team is quietly working away, a few pet canines milling to and fro while the director completes some casting work on an upcoming project. Varun Grover, who has made quite a name for himself as a writer of great hinterland stories joins in and we are all relieved that the rain gods have opted for a gentle drizzle on the day of our shoot instead of a thunderous downpour.
In the course of conversation that follows, it is inevitable that Sacred Games Season 2 comes up, what with the huge excitement around its second season.
However, as is customary on Film-maker Fridays conversations, we cover a lot of ground starting from the major influences that shaped the two gentlemen as creative people to whether they think the web series version of Sacred Games is better than Vikram Chandra’s novel that it is based on!
A fun fact about how they meandered into the movies-Motwane, an alumni of Mithibai College recalls that it was his mother, a production manager to documentary film-maker Shukla Das, who introduced him to the workings of the entertainment industry. In the early days though on- the- set proceedings would bore him and his sister to tears.
“She would take us to the sets and me and my sister would hate it. ‘Yaar kya kar rahe hain log? Pachaas baar kyun kar rahe hain? I don’t want to be a part of this,’ ” recalls Motwane with a smile. As fate would have it, their views changed soon enough. It was a while later when his mother asked Motwane and his friends for assisting her on a TV show that he realised that he had an affinity for the editing room.
Grover on the other hand grew up far from Mumbai in Dehradun, Lucknow and Benaras, mesmerised by the greats of Hindi literature such as ShriLal Shukla, Hari Shankar Parsai, Sharad Joshi, Manohar Shyam Joshi, Uday Prakash, besides being a fan of Manto and Amrita Pritam.
What both Motwane and Grover had in common though was the transformative power of Hindi commercial cinema which they grew up watching. It was only later in life that they discovered the charms of Quentin Tarantino, Trainspotting and French new wave cinema in particular.
Their own films—Udaan which Motwane directed and Masaan that Grover wrote — are a distillation of very varied pop-culture experiences. Although the films didn’t swing massive box office numbers, they went on to earn acclaim and honours at Cannes Film Festival and a pride of a place in Hindi cinema ever since on account of a new style of storytelling.
In this episode of Film-Maker Fridays, we get to know the new-age content creators and their process a lot better, so watch the video for more details: