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Exclusive: Madhur Bhandarkar talks about ‘Indu Sarkar’ controversies and future plans

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Madhur Bhandarkar speaks to Shubharna Mukerji Shu about his upcoming film based, controversies and future plans

A two-time National Award winner, Madhur Bhandarkar has always been associated with hard-hitting cinema, Indu Sarkar seems like he is back doing what he does best – shocking his audience with ‘realism’! Excerpts from the interview.

Indu Sarkar has taken the industry by storm, it is really as if the Madhur Bhandarkar we all have enjoyed watching is back…


What storm are you talking about? There has been no storm. I am glad that the audience has liked the trailers so far. It is not often that we see a film based in that era. For me, it was the most important thing in the film to get that era correct. I always wanted to make a film based on the 70s. There is not much been written about how the emergency affected people either, so it was something that just fit so perfectly that I went for it.

But you already have the censor board’s blessings! When everyone around the world is cursing their stringent ways, did it not come as a surprise to you?

I don’t have the certificate yet. The Board only passed the trailer without cuts because no name has been mentioned in there. It was as simple as that, they have had no basis on which they can object. We will see how the board takes to the film, even then I don’t think there will be a problem.

It has been a while since we have seen a Madhur Bhandarkar films in all its gore and glory – can we say you are back with vengeance?

I kept making the films I thought I would have enjoyed seeing as an audience. There is no a single filmmaker or even actor for that matter who has only giving hits in his career. Flops are as much a part of the industry. There have been times when the critics have not really enthused about my film but it has gone on to pick awards after awards.

There are so many who came to me and told me that ‘Chandani Bar’ was a very depressing film, it was how I had interpreted the story. Some might find it sad, some realistic, some might not even like it – but I know how to do my work and I will continue to do it. I only ensure that no one associated with my film goes into a loss. Even the films which have done mediocre business have earned money for the distributors.

How did you manage that?

Indu Sarkar for instance has been made in a budget that big films have for the costumes alone. It is not like I have cut corners anywhere, where the look or the feel of the film is concerned. I have made the film exactly how I wanted to make it, and also ensured that the budgets are not going haywire!

Your credibility in the industry is as much amongst distributors as it is amongst actors…

Yes, it is true that many of the actors who have worked with me have actually said that their best work has been with me. It gives me a lot of happiness hearing that of course. Be it Tabu, Priyanka, Kangana… I have been associated with their career’s best.

That’s indisputable. And now you are working with Neil Nitin Mukesh again…

Neil and I have had a wonderful time working together for ‘Jail’. Everyone will agree it was Neil’s best performance ever. Since then we have been in touch, trying to get something that will be at par with what we did in Jail. It was really amazing to see him transform so wonderfully for this role. He has really worked a lot on his look and his mannerisms in the film. It is amazing what he has done in this film. Tell us some anecdotes about transforming Neil for the film, the rehearsals would have been really interesting!

We didn’t do any workshops or rehearsals. Kirti (Kulhari) kept asking me if there should be any workshops, etc., but I really think it is a waste of time because more than half of the time, what the actors rehearse and what is canned is nowhere close. Why waste that time and lose the spontaneity too.

Speaking of Kirti, how was it working with her….

You will have to wait and watch to see how she worked in the film. It is definitely one of her best performance. She has been under appreciated for the kind of work she has put in… she is one of the finest actresses we have amongst us today.

After Indu… do you already have something else in the pipeline?

Yes of course, there are many stories I have yet to say but I am not telling you anything right now. To think in all these years no one ever thought of making a film on the Emergency, which is good for me. There are many subjects that I feel strongly about, I will take it one by one!