One of the budding filmmakers in Bollywood, who debuted with Michael starring Naseeruddin Shah and telly series Yudh, Ribhu Dasgupta is back with the much talked about film of this year — Te3n starring Amitabh Bachchan, Vidya Balan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui. He talks to SANGEETA YADAV about making an adaptation of a popular international film and his experience
- Is your upcoming movie Te3n loosely based on the Korean film Montage?
The film is a work of complete fiction and we’ve taken rights for an international film and made it for the Indian audience. But I’ll not name the film on which Te3n is based on. I’ll leave that for the audience to find out on its release day otherwise it will spoil the impact.
- How did the story shape up?
The writers of the film Suresh Nair and Bijesh Jayarajan along with Sujoy & I worked together and broke the script into different acts. We’ve changed a lot of things from the original film. It took us eight months to adapt & write it for Indian sensibilities.
- With exemplary actors like Amitabh Bachchan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Vidya Balan, do you think it’s going to be an actor driven movie and that will pull a lot of audience?
Whoever is part of the making of the film, whether it’s an actor or director, everybody is trying to tell a story. Everything boils down to content and performance. It’s not the one thing which drives the film. The popularity of the film is based on all the aspect and not just how big the actors and producers are.
- It is the first Hindi film for which the doors of the Victorian-era Writers’ Buildings have been opened for shooting…
It’s a historically iconic building in Kolkata and shooting at Writer’s Buildings is first-of-its-kind. The film starts with a sequence that has been shot at this place. The West Bengal Government supported us through and through be it making an exemption for us to shoot at this place for four days or shooting the entire film on the busy streets of Kolkata. Shooting there was really fun because we knew that this is the first time that an opportunity given to us and we wanted to make the most of it.
- Were Amitabh Bachchan, Vidya Balan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui your first choice?
We’ve written the script keeping in mind Amitabh sir and Nawazuddin. Big B, who portrays the journey of a grandfather John Biswas to seek justice, didn’t took much time to say yes to the film. For Nawaz’s character, we wanted to have an actor who have not done something like this before. Nawaz fitted the bill perfectly. You’ll find a different Nawaz who is very calm and quiet in this film. Vidya came much later after the script was finalised.
- What’s the story behind 20–year-old scooter which was driven by Big B?
We got the scooter from our car vendor who got it from Sujit Sur. He was not aware of the fact that Amitabh sir is going to drive it throughout the film. He is now decided to treasure it as it is priceless now.
- What has been your observation about the kind of actors Amitabh Bachchan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Vidya Balan are?
Nawaz does effortless acting and you’ll never see him acting. He just does it so naturally and that’s his unique quality. He makes sure you look at him with the strength of his acting. Vidya is an outstanding person and one of the finest actresses in the country right now. She is very easy going, positive and full of energy.
With Amitabh sir, I had directed him in Yudh series on TV. He is a director’s actor as he eagerly wants to know what the director is thinking. With so much of knowledge and the kind of effort he put into acting, it’s outstanding. His great quality is that till the film is not done, he is thinking about the character. That not only brings out the best in the actor but also helps the makers to improve with every shot.
- Apart from Sujoy Ghosh, this film has five other producers and five production houses. Do you think the trend of having multi-producer and production houses backing the film is going to expand in India?
That’s the best way to do films now. At the end of the day when best mind meet, it’ll only help the film better itself. This concept has been there in the West from a long time with the big or decent budget Hollywood film. Good that we are getting there as the load is distributed.
- Your TV show Yudh was not received well by the audience. What was the reason?
The experience doing the show for the TV was superb. I got to work with Mr Bachchan for the first time. The feedback of the TV viewing audience was not so great but online it was liked by a lot of people. In fact, people have watched Yudh more on online than those who watched it on TV in India.
(The article was published in the Pioneer Newspaper – http://www.dailypioneer.com/sunday-edition/sunday-pioneer/backpack/best-way-to-do-a-film-is-with-multi-producers.html).