Director- Producer Hansal Mehta talks to Deccan Chronicle about his upcoming web series Bose Dead/Alive, Simran’s failure, debutant director Pulkit, working with Rajkummar Rao yet again and more. Excerpts:
By each film you grow as a director, how do you maintain this?
I just love making films and that love just grows each time. It is about how much you love your work and when you work with people like Rajkummar who are equally passionate so you naturally grow. There are so many good stories to tell.
How did the idea of Bose come to you?
Bose is actually the brain chilld of Ekta Kapoor. She and her development team worked on it for nearly 18 months. They wrote a brilliant story. Raj was cast before I came on board as a creative producer. Doing something like Bose was very challenging for me. Bose sort of completes the vision that what actually underwent in his life back then during Independence. I feel his story should be told and we have told in a very contemporary manner.
So is it a biography?
It is definitely a biopic but post 1945 no one really knows that what happened to Bose. So it is also about the research theories of his disappearance. A lot of primary material came from a book India’s biggest cover up by Anuj Dhar and other source material. The tagline ‘A man, A legend, A mystery’ actually covers everything. I would call it a thriller.
Are the characters around Bose real or fictional?
When you dramatise someone’s life, you are compressing it. When you try to do it, the composite characters come out while keeping the real essence of persons’s life alive.
How did it go with debut director Pulkit?
My son actually recommended his name. When I got this responsibility, I was asked to choose the director. I met Pulkit and connected instantly. Somewhere I feel an younger version of me in him. I saw him on the sets, he was very calm, has a perspective, very clear what he wants. He is a very very good talent.
What is happening on the film front?
We are waiting for the release of Omerta which is early next year. We are very excited about it since it is a different thing this time we have explored. There is no protagonist; it is rather a story of an antagonist. There are lots of projects and offers on which I am working. They are in a pre-mature stage.
Did Simran’s failure affect you?
As a creative person, I should be satisfied with what I did. Box office is a very fickle place and the entire year has taught us that. I believe the entire pressure is on the weekend especially on Fridays. We have to re-look the business and revenue model in a more holistic way. Most of the bog films didn’t work because of the dependence over the weekend. We overestimate the weekends. In the times, where digital media is so strong, people watch it according to their availability. You can’t depend on just three days.
Watch Bose Dead/Alive trailer here:
The web series will be streaming on ALT Balaji App from November 20....