For film­maker Meghna Gulzar, the choice of projects is not based on gen­res; it’s the story that grabs her

Hindustan Times (Gurugram) - City - - FRONT PAGE - Yashika Mathur ■

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.




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