We wanted to get people talking
Vishal Bhardwaj, the writer of Talvar, and Priti Sahani, the film’s producer, talk about what went into the making of the real life docu-drama on the Aarushi Talwar murder mystery case.
As producers, this is the first time you have worked together, how was the experience?
VB : Priti is an excellent producer with a nuanced eye for the medium. She approached me wanting to make a movie based on true events, I gave her the script of Talvar. She called a day after, and said, “Let’s do it!”
PS: Vishal is one of the most collaborative and openminded creative talent in the industry. He is very inclusive. This subject could not have been handled so well if it was not for him.
Priti, as a producer, did you find it challenging to take a project of this scale considering it was such a high-profile case?
PS : It’s a high-profile case. We had to be very careful in handling it, and we didn’t want to sensationalise it. It’s hard to find that balance, because we have not made a film in this space. The other big challenge was in presenting it, because most people had strong opinions about the case. So while presenting it, we had the difficult task of not alienating the audience and still challenging their pre-conceived notions.
What kind of research did you undertake before you started the project?
VB : We did extensive research. We met all the concerned parties – the first CBI team, the parents and the second CBI team. We worked hard to find the actual locations to replicate on screen. Meghna (Gulzar; director) also poured over a lot of information in the public domain.
Are you happy with the response to the film?
VB : The response has exceeded our expectation. We wanted people to engage in a conversation, and the movie has been successful at that. The movie has been critically acclaimed and has become one of the most important films of the year.
It’s a high-profile case. We had to be very careful in handling it, and we didn’t want to sensationalise it
Priti Sahani, producer