Mumbai: A highly informative masterclass by filmmakers Rahul Rawail and Imtiaz Ali was held on the contemporary filmmakers of different generations at the ongoing 50th edition of International Film Festival of India (IFFI).
Imtiaz Ali interviewed filmmaker Rahul Rawail saying that interviewing the filmmaker that has inspired him is a dream come true moment for him.
Imtiaz also played clips of Arjun and Dacait for the audiences before Rawail discussed those scenes and the memories attached with those films.
For film Dacait, Rahul Rawail met Phoolan Devi who described the environment and the places where dacoits live. In fact, Phoolan Devi suggested the character that was played by Paresh Rawal in the film.
For Arjun, Rawail said they (Javed Akhtar and him) had read a story about two warring gangs. “One night after me and Javed Sahab went to our hotel rooms, Javed Sahab called me in the middle of the night…He has written the entire script in just 3 hours on paper chits. That’s how the journey of Arjun started”
“The whole set was a set built from scratch but with buses, auto-rickshaws passing by in the frames, it all looked like real locations. We even had hired a bus to pass from the frame in the middle of the shots.” He informed.
Filmmaker Rahul Rawail told Imtiaz, "I really think your best film was Socha Na Tha…All your films have travel on how to take the characters on the journey…”
On this Imtiaz responded saying, “Sir, all my films have travel because I am inspired by the films that you made, J P Dutta made…The films were shot outside Mumbai. It inspired me to go there.”
When Rahul Rawail commented that Imtiaz got away with Saif Ali Khan playing Rishi Kapoor in Flashback which is amazing, It was seamless, Imtiaz said, “People just like to believe. I am from a small town, Jamshedpur. People go to the cinema to believe and enjoy. That audience don’t go in there to challenge anything. All they want is to be entertained and to be taken on a journey.”
You learn while watching films and understand what other people have done. There were incidences in Arjun where Sunny Deol cried but he didn’t cry the way he should at that point of time but what Imtiaz has done in his films, that is commendable.”
When I was watching Highway, it brought back the memories of Betaab.
Imtiaz intervened saying that is because the film was shot in the same terrain where Betaab was shot. In fact, if you go to Pahalgam, there is a place called Betaab Valley and Highway was shot at a place very close to Betaab Valley.
“When I made Love Story, Amjad Khan was Gabbar Singh and I wanted to cast him for the role of a funny constable, people called me crazy but he fit the role.” Rahul Rawail shared.
When pointed out, how all the male protagonists have cried in Imtiaz’s films contrary to the popular belief that men don’t cry…Imtiaz said, “It is said that cinema is aspirational; we say cinema lets you do whatever you can’t do in the real life. Being a guy, I have never been able to cry at least when I was a young man… my mother used to call me heartless... as a joke….Maybe because of certain aspiration that I might have had to come to that level of catharsis…I feel that most good things in life are facilitated by women…The only way one could reach that stage is because of that softness or certain love that only a woman is capable of giving I think and I might be biased. I am very fascinated by all kinds of women, I was guilty to admit is earlier but I am old enough now to say that on a stage. I find them very beautiful, sensitive and provocative,” Imtiaz said.