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    Feb 2010


    Default Mangesh Hadawale auditioned 11,800 kids for his movie Dekh Indian Circus

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    Half of the month Mangesh Hadwale spends in his village in Maharashtra farming. The other half of the month is spent in Mumbai in the role of a filmmaker. A lot of his own experiences as a creative artiste torn between what he calls the “glossy excesses” of the city and village have gone into the making of his second film Dekh Indian Circus.

    Says the director, “I was once at a museum when I saw a woman with two children. She bought the tickets for the children and didn’t go inside with them. So I presumed in my head that the woman could only afford tickets for the children. That’s how Dekh Indian Circus was born. Of course, later I came to know that the woman accompanying the two children was their maidservant and she had stayed outside the museum for a rendezvous with her lover. But what stayed in my mind was the screenplay that I had devised when I first saw the woman with the two children.”

    The two kids, Virendra Singh Rathod and Sohani Roza, were put through four months of workshop to get a hang of their roles.

    Mangesh Hawadwale’s Dekh Indian Circus was not easy to make. The film was shot in a village some kilometers from Jaisalmer under extremely grueling circumstances.

    “The temperature would fall to minus-2 in the night and rise to above 40 degrees in the daytime. We couldn’t take child actors from Mumbai. We had to get locals to play Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Tanishtha Chaterrjee’s son and daughter. In my first film Tingya also the child actor Sharad Geokar was actually from the shepherds’ community.”

    For Dekh Indian Circus Mangesh looked high and low for the kids. “We auditioned 11,800 kids and finally found the boy in Jaisalmer and the girl in Pokhra. It wasn’t only about finding kids who could act. They had to look like siblings and their parents’ children.”

    Mangesh who earlier directed the National award-winning Marathi film Tingya, is deeply concerned by the rampant consumerism in the villages. “There is so much absurdity and illogicality in the so-called development that has taken in the villages. Families don’t have proper drinking water. But they own four cell phones. What do they do with these phones? Whom do they call? I see a kind of circus of the grotesque unfolding in our society. The elections bring out that circus-like atmosphere in every constituency. You see that circus as a metaphor in my film Dekh Indian Circus.”

    Mangesh wanted to cast Imtiaz Ali in the lead. “He has a certain male beauty about him which is not the kind of beauty that Ranbir Kapoor possesses. I though Imtiaz’s height and gaunt personality would render itself well the rural Rajasthani setting. But then he declined saying he was no actor. I am glad Nawazuddin Siddiqui did the role finally.”

    The director who “thinks like a farmer” in his cinema hopes Dekh Indian Circus would get the same audience as Paan Singh Tomar, Delh Belly, Pyaar Ka Punchnaama, Tere Bin Laden and Vicky Donor.

    “There is an audience for a film that addresses itself to issues that touch the grassroots of the Indian middleclass.” Says Mangesh confidently.



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