Free Press Journal

More than pressure, working with Madhuri Dixit was a prodigious responsibility: Bucket List director Tejas Deoskar


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Sanctified with a crisp speech and an ingenious filmmaker Tejas Prabha Vijay Deoskar is one man who witnessed his long-cherished moment of working with Madhuri Dixit Nene come to life.  A journey of self-evolution, ‘Bucket List’ will strike a chord with each one of us

For all the dhak-dhak girl fans out there, a summery treat is coming your way soon with the release of Madhuri Dixit Nene-starrer “Bucket List”. A film about self-discovery and the adventurous roller-coaster ride of accomplishing the bucket list, this movie is for everyone. A trained architect and a passionate filmmaker Tejas Deoskar takes us through the enigmatic journey of filmmaking and spills a few beans about his plans. Over to Tejas…

What is Bucket List all about?

There has been homogeneous whir about ‘Bucket List’ in the media for quite some time now, however, we are yet to kick-start official promotions. We all have our bucket list of unfulfilled wishes, which helps us set a goal in life. This movie is a reminder of achieving those things and ticking them off the list with motivation. When your focus is on point you can achieve what you desire for and these bucket lists help you in narrowing down your goals and take a little effort to help accomplish them.

How was it working with Madhuri Dixit Nene?

For me working with Madhuri was long cherished dream. She is certainly a filmmaker’s delight for she is grounded, has a warm personality, easy going and is a thorough professional.

Was it difficult convince her to be a part of the film?

The story was with me for approximately two years in basic level. We narrated the same to a few close friends who gave us an honest and fair review of the story. After which we worked on the precision and compactness of the story and once the story reached the point of justified narration we approached Madhuri who instantly liked it and asked for a written script.

The second phase of the journey began when we started writing the script and made five versions of it in accordance with seeking reviews from friends and colleagues. We gave ourselves span of six weeks to work on the final script. We took a final call after the fifth version and approached her with the finished script.

Did you feel any pressure while working with her?

More than pressure, it was a prodigious responsibility to ensure that things are being done in transcendence. Since she is a mega star who is coming all the way from Bollywood the execution and perception of production needed to be maintained. The overall functioning in Bollywood is quite different on varied aspects and hence we ensured to maintain the same over here. We took care of the necessary things and ensured to keep the production on point erasing any whiff for complaints.

Was Madhuri always the first choice for the film?
Yes, Madhuri was always the first choice for the movie for I had drafted the character keeping her in mind. Her simplicity is what adds a spark to the character thereby connecting with the viewer.

What if she were to say no?

I would have waited as she was the only one I had thought about while working on the story. There was no second option.

The movie trailer showcases two Madhuri’s. One, a dedicated housewife and the other who enjoys the adventures of life. Are they two different characters or does she goe through a transition of self-evolution?

That in itself is the crux of the movie which the audience needs to experience. We are at times unaware about another side to us and this movie showcases the transition of the character. As Helen Keller has put it that “A woman is like a tea bag, you cannot tell how strong she is, until you put her in hot water.” We all need that triggering moment to embark on a journey of self-realisation.

What motivated you to direct this story?

A germ of an idea gets surrounded by a story which visually starts building up into a film. A small incident was reported in a newspaper which triggered the idea for the story and rest, as they say, is history.

How can a common woman relate to this story?

Irrespective of gender bias, any common person can instantly relate with the story. This is a film about our everyday life and our bucket list is what adds spice to our monotonous lives. We don different hats on an everyday basis and witness people doing the same so in one or the other way we are all aiming to tick off our bucket lists. The film promises to gift you the much-needed slice of life. We witness these people around us and hence relate to each character in one way or other.

How did you come into the field of direction? How has your journey been so far?

I am a trained architect but a filmmaker by passion. Amidst the learning stages, I got exposed to the blend of music and technology which is a pivotal element of filmmaking. This amalgamation of being artistic and techno-savvy is where I began my journey into filmmaking. I started making short stories which were well received by the audience. After this, I moved to Mumbai and ventured into making feature films. I kept writing stories and pitching it to people from the industry.

There is a fine line between making of short films and feature films. There is a commercial angle attached to feature films wherein we need to understand the pulse of the audience. While with short stories you have the liberty of showing them what you want to. This liberty does not come handy when it comes to feature films for this is where we have to plan a holistic approach.

One unique characteristic with which Madhuri manages to add spark to her character?

She has an apt concoction of Saadgi and simplicity. The transition through which the character goes is what we experience in our day today life which has been perfectly portrayed by her. This I feel is the USP with which the audience is able to relate to the character. As an actor par excellence, she has given complete justice to her character. She is like water in a way that she has blended with the character making it livelier. Her acting aura is unique and she is absolutely non-pretentious.

The film has a stellar star cast. How was it working with all of them?

I am falling short of words to illustrate this amazing experience. To tell it in precise words, everybody put together is 250 years of cinematic experience. Each one of them was thoroughly professional and gave their 100 percent to the film.

Are you planning more films with Madhuri?

A gazillion opportunities and I would be always on my toes to work with her. However, I would also love to work with other actors and explore different film genres. I have a few films that I am currently working on and in addition to this we, under the banner of Blue Mustang productions are producing a film as well. Ashok Subhedar and Aarti Subhedar of Blue Mustang have been a strong pillar of support throughout the making of Bucket List. The film was primarily initiated by them and they played a major role in building the project.

Did you feel any difference while directing ‘Bucket List’ and your other films?

No two fingers are alike and the same applies to films and hence there can be no comparison on that front. The realm of experience on each film is solitary. However, the scale of this film is different which is why the experience is unparalleled. This movie is a milestone not just in Marathi cinema but in Indian cinema. I am glad to be a part of this historical landmark. We will soon get into the publicity aspect of the film along with interacting with the viewers to get their opinions about the movie.

What next on your list?

For now, my hands are full as I am primarily concentrating on this film and a few other projects. I have a few things in the pipeline, which I will reveal soon.