Kaminey [see Photos | Videos | Songs]
Vishal, almost all your films were acclaimed critically but did not meet with commercial success, how hopeful are you this time with Kaminey?
Well, my intention of making film is not that only selective people get to see my film. Every filmmaker hopes and wishes for this that his film is seen by one and all, but it really becomes difficult for few of us to leave and discard our sensibility. The most difficult thing is of making a film with your sensibility, which is entertaining and sensitive both at the same time. This time too I have tried again.
How important is success to you?
Well, to be very honest success is not that important to me. Filmmaking is more like an art and I see every film as a literary piece of work. A film is basically an amalgamation of various facets of life so in a way success does not really matters to me, but at the same time whatever work we do, we all strive to get that appreciation from people.
There are so many characters in the film with unique names; do you think the fame that Langda Tyagi got in Omkara would come this time too to these characters?
Well, there are many characters in the script of Kaminey and out of them some 10 to 12 characters are very important to the plot. They have their own stories and they have their own tracks, apart from it there are sub tracks too of these characters and Guddu, Sweety and Charlie are caught up among them. It′s important for me to make them familiar and introduce them to the audience. As far as the fame part is concerned, some five or six characters might just succeed this time.
The film also looks like a cross between a Guy Ritchie and a Tarantino film, what′s your take on it?
Yes, there is a mood in this film, which is similar to such films. The sensibility of the people you just mentioned is there in the film. I love both of them but at the same time there is me also in the film.
Are you disappointed that Kaminey has been given an A certificate?
Yes, to tell you the truth I am very disappointed but now the feeling is slowly settling down because I cannot do anything about it. When the time had come to grant us a certificate, there was surely a mention of Ghajini about which Censor Board has said that they had committed a mistake in granting it a UA certificate instead of A. I feel that injustice has been done to this film. It′s important at this stage that Censor Board should now come up with a rating system, as U, UA and A category are very ambiguous. There is a huge difference in the sensibility of a five-year-old kid and a 15-year-old guy. They had problem with the language of the film but the fact is that there is no abuse in the film. Post Omkara, a label had stuck on me that most of my films have this curse words in them and people were actually scared that Kaminey will have plenty of such word but the fact is that it has no gaali in it. The violence, which has been shown in the film, is a very comic book sort of violence. Amidst all these I got to know of one thing that our Information and Broadcasting ministry is trying to introduce a bill in the Parliament about censor guidelines but it has not moved even an inch. Let me also inform you that the Censor Board also raised an objection on the name of a city. The lead character in the film is from Pilibhit, they informed me that it′s a controversial constituency and so we have to opt for a fictitious name. I had no other option but to resort to Barabanki.
Talking about Dhan ta nan, how did you manage to convert it into a full-fledged song?
I think Dhan ta nan has become a part of our daily lives. This in the format of a background score was used so much in that era. The tone actually depicts a moment of thrill or action, which is on its way. When we were kids we used this term a lot and it has till date remained with us. Even today, when one is narrating a ghost story, he or she begins with the same sound effect. We are basically filmi people who live and breathe cinema. Dhan ta nan is also the spirit of the film.
Kaminey is also a caper thriller, which has never been tried before in Indian cinema, please tell us more.
Yes, that′s true. It′s a new genre for Indian cinema and Shahid has given a great performance and he is looking so new in the film. Beside Shahid there are also some 50 to 60 other characters in the film and some five to six them are absolutely new to the screen. I think the energy of the film is going to be very infectious. The mood of the film is very dark but the film is not a dark film per se. It has been shot in real lanes and locales of Mumbai. It was shot during the monsoon last year. It′s a very realistic film; yet it′s also a very big fantasy.
Why did you title your film as Kaminey, it sounds bit abusive.
I disagree with your statement. Kaminey is not at all an abusive term. Dharam Ji has been pouting the same dialogue for so many years. I have instructed one of my assistant directors to assemble all the Kamine words that have been used in films till date. I distinctly remember that Gulzar Saab had used the term in his film Ijazat. In one of the scenes Anuradha Patel is giving a massage to Naseeruddin Shah′s legs and he all of a sudden tells her that tum bahut badi kaminee ho. The dialogue so appealed to me that it′s difficult for me to describe in words. I only thought that how effectively Gulzar Ji had used the term. It was just mind blowing. So it′s all about how we use this term. The word has different meanings when it′s used in different contexts. Sometimes it′s used in a loving way while on some occasion it′s also used in a very mean way. The film shows mean side of all the characters except one. When I met Gulzar Saab and informed him that Kaminey would be the title of my next film. He immediately gave his consent and also told me that we will also do a song around it. Right now the perspective towards the title has changed but initially it was very shocking.
You have also worked on the diction of Priyanka, please tell us more.
Yes, we have worked on Priyanka′s diction as well. The pairing of Shahid and Priyanka was done with an intention that they look fresh together. Priyanka is playing a Marathi woman in the film and she has done a fantastic job. She speaks Marathi and before coming on to the sets she used to do her homework with near perfection.
Finally, what was the idea behind your lead character lisping and stammering?
Well, it was the basic characterization of the film. It was the first idea that came to me when I planned this caper, which involves twin brothers. The effort was only to differentiate and bring the fun element in the film.
Thanks a lot.