Despite being an ace Bollywood fashion designer it took Vikram Phadnis almost 12 years to fulfil his dream. From budget constrains to location permission it has been a surreal experience for the debutant director. The title Hrudyantar means change of heart, which is what the film is based on. “It is a journey of a father, mother and their daughter. It is an emotional and eye opening journey of the entire family,” describes Phadnis. Excerpts from the interview
Why did you shift from designing to filmmaking?
I haven’t shifted, I haven’t given up designing. I don’t think I will ever be able to give it up, I just wanted to direct a film. I don’t know after this if I will do it again and what will be my next project.
How has the journey been, from the time you conceptualised the idea to now the film which on the big screen?
It has been a roller-coaster ride. Eventually my dream did come true. I don’t know how many dreams go fulfilled but I directed my first film and years later I have managed to do it.
As a first-time director was it your intention to make a film that leaves an impact on the society versus a masala film?
Yes, I did want to make an impactful film. It is a film about a family and their journey, it is a very hard hitting film and very dramatic. It is not based on fashion and dance but it is a commercial film, just that it is not a comedy film.
While filming did you ever feel lost or unsure about any aspect of filmmaking?
No, I had a great technical team and great star cast in place, so everything more or less fell into place while filming. But I have realised that it is very important for a debutant director to have a great technical team.
As a successful designer for some of the top Bollywood actors, why didn’t you approach them to star in your movie and make a Hindi film?
I wanted to make a Hindi film, but it didn’t happen. I am happy that the film is in Marathi. There were many issues like locations permission and budget constraints, so I didn’t want to go haywire on anything so I ended up making a Marathi film. Also, I wanted to shoot abroad as a Hindi film but it was not taking off. So commercially speaking it was not viable so I ended up making a Marathi film.
Who has been the biggest support for you throughout this process?
Hrithik Roshan, he was the most supportive in this film. Even Shiamak Davar, Farah Khan and Maniesh Paul have been very helpful through the whole thing.
How important was Hrithik’s cameo in the film?
If Hrithik would have said no to it, then the film would not have been possible. I couldn’t just cast Salman or Aamir or anybody and make this film. Hrithik saying yes was the most beautiful part of the film, he realised the importance of Hrithik Roshan in the movie.
Was it specially written for Hrithik?
No, no it was not written for him. But there was a need for Hrithik in the film. The beauty about this movie is that he plays Hrithik Roshan.
Recently, your contemporary Rohit Bal bought up the debate of plagiarism which runs rampant in the fashion industry. What is your take on that?
In India, we don’t have a proper copyright law. In a creative medium, this is bound to happen, but it should not. Some people say that it is just an inspiration, but to each one its own.
Do you think the high prices of the garments give way to more plagiarism, as many people can’t afford it but still want to wear your designs?
No, people come to me because I am well priced and I have practical clothing.