Making films is not just about money: Shoojit Sircar

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    » Making films is not just about money: Shoojit Sircar

    What is your much-speculated film, Madras Cafe, all
    about?
    Madras Cafe is about an intelligence officer from the
    Army who is appointed by the RAW to do some operations in Jaffna, which is
    reeling under civil war. There, he discovers a bigger controversy. So, you
    could say this is conspiracy espionage in the backdrop of the Lankan war. The
    crux of the story is how it affects the officer’s life.

    Director Shoojit Sarcar’s
    upcoming film, Madras Cafe, is about an intelligence officer on an operation
    in Jaffna

    You’ve known John
    Abraham as producer of Vicky Donor. How is he as an actor?
    In
    Madras Café, John is more a character than hero. He had to lose a lot of
    weight and tone himself down. We made him wear many full-sleeved shirts so
    his physique doesn’t stand out in a crowd. John knew about the subject and
    was politically aware, too. There is a lot of scope for him to perform in the
    film. He has been criticised for not being able to act, but he has performed
    really well in Madras Cafe. You will see a new John in the
    film.

    In Rockstar, Nargis was praised for
    her looks but not her acting skills. And you have cast her as a journalist in
    your film…
    I was looking for somebody to fit the look of a
    foreign war correspondent — an Indian girl who works abroad and has an
    accent. I have already worked with her in a commercial much before Rockstar.
    Imtiaz Ali took her in his film after watching that commercial. When I met
    her and told her about this role, she was sceptical and asked me whether I
    was sure of casting her. I think half the work is done if the casting is
    right. After this film, I don’t think there will be any comparison with her
    work in Rockstar.

    You often say that content
    is king. Do you feel today’s cinema lacks content?
    No, in fact
    in the last two or three years, Indian cinema has evolved. Most films
    concentrate more on content. Last year, people thronged to theatres to watch
    films such as Paan Singh Tomar, Gangs of Wasseypur, Vicky Donor, Barfi! and
    Kahaani. Apart from potboilers, people are watching content-driven films,
    too.

    Even actors are slowly coming to terms with the fact that
    faffing around in films cannot work anymore. Finally, it’s the content that
    speaks.

    You’ve worked with Amitabh Bachchan
    in Shoebite and are now making a documentary on him. Tell us about
    that.
    Yes, I have spent a lot of time with him. It is not
    really a documentary, but more like a memoir. I will showcase my time spent
    with him. It will take a long time to make it into a potential
    film-cum-memoir.

    Before making Madras Cafe,
    you made Shoebite with Amitabh Bachchan but it’s still lying in the cans.
    Does that still bother you?
    Yes, that will always bother me
    because that’s my child, too. I feel that the producers have disrespected me
    and my artistes, especially Bachchan. For us, making films is not just about
    money, but also about emotions and hard work.

    You’ve repeatedly worked with John, Bachchan and writer Juhi
    Chaturvedi. Do you prefer associating with people and taking them
    ahead?
    Yes, I do. I don’t think of myself as a Bollywood guy,
    as I still don’t know too many people in Mumbai. I’m not inside any circle.
    I’m still an outsider. I love to be with my small team of friends. In a place
    like Bollywood, it’s difficult to find friends because it’s such an ambitious
    place. 

    Via: Entertainment

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