ALL MY STORIES HAVE HAD A SOCIETAL CONNECT: MEGHNA GULZAR
For filmmaker Meghna Gulzar, the choice of projects is not based on genres; it’s the story that grabs her
For the Raazi filmmaker, the choice of projects is not
based on genres; it’s all about the story
Filmmaker Meghna Gulzar picked unique narratives — inspired from true incidents — for her films Talvaar (2015) and Raazi. However, Meghna says that not just these two but all of her films have been connected to or inspired from certain societal situations.
Meghna says, “Even when I was making a film like Filhaal (2002) which spoke of surrogacy, I was talking about a story of getting a second wife or a prostitute, if your wife could not conceive a child. My film was making a social statement without the sloganeering. Similarly, with Just Married (2007), it was an exploration of two people, who are put into an arranged marriage. For me the connect between the society I have lived in and the stories I tell, has always existed.”
Meghna has announced a film on the late military officer Sam Manekshaw and a web series on police officer Rakesh Maria. Have, as a filmmaker, thrillers started to interest her more ? “It’s not interest, because it’s not that I was not interested in the subjects I was making earlier. What I see is the shift [of interest] in genre from fiction to the true life. It’s just that the subjects have got grittier,” she says.
However, it is only after her 2015 film Talvar and this year’s Raazi, both of which were thrillers, that she emerged as a ‘successful’ filmmaker, and now her work is often associated with the genre. While many would like to typecast her as a director best fit for this genre, she feels otherwise.
“I don’t subscribe to that idea, because I also have a film on Sam Manekshaw which is not a thriller from any angle. I also have the subject on acid survivor Lakshmi Agarwal, which is also not a thriller. So, it’s not the genre that I look at, and there is no strategy here but it’s the story that grabs me,” says the filmmaker.
“Even in [Rakesh] Maria’s case, it fascinates me that this is a man who has lived through gang wars, dons, underworld and terrorism! That chronology of crimes that he has seen in his career is what I find fascinating. So, that’s my approach, not that it’s a thriller or I want to be associated with a thriller,” she signs off.
What I see is my shift of interest in genre, from fiction to true life. And, my subjects have got grittier.