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04-10-2009, 02:04 PM #1
There is no method to my madness: Deepa Mehta
Known for her daring choice of subjects in filmmaking, director Deepa Mehta has now taken up yet another challenge that of adapting Salman Rushdie's 'Midnight's Children' into a film.
The Booker prize winning title by Rushdie incorporates ambiguous themes of 'magic realism,' said to be almost impossible to be portrayed on the visual medium.
But that has not deterred the director who in her own words "loves challenges" and took the project because of its formidable nature.
"There is no method to my madness. I love challenges and adapting 'Midnight's Children' is a challenge for me but it is very fascinating at the same time," Mehta told PTI in an interview.
The director said that the idea of making a film on the famous book came out of the blue.
"I read the book during the 80's when it first came out and I loved it but I never thought of making a movie on it at that time. I wanted to work with Salman for a long time and once told him 'Let's work together' and that's how it began," Mehta said.
'Midnight's Children' depicts the incidents before and after the independence and the partition of India through the eyes of protagonist Saleem Sinai, whose birthday coincides with the birth of independent India on August 15, 1947.
The Canada-based filmmaker, who has explored partition in '1947-Earth' said she was floored by the book.
"I love magic realism and Rushdie," Mehta said adding that she was taking the job of adapting the book seriously.
"It is not easy adapting a book like 'Midnight's Children'. A film takes two years of a director's life. If I choose to make a film, I really have to care about the subject passionately because I am talking about committing a good two years of my life," the director, famous for her trilogy -- Fire', 'Earth' and 'Water' said.
The filmmaker, known for her realistic films, seems to have taken to the concept of magic realism' as Mehta has incorporated aspects of mythology in her latest film 'Videsh', which released in India recently.
The internationally renowned filmmaker will co-write the script with Rushdie.
"Salman and myself will write it together. We start working on it in June and we will be done by August. It is real fun and I am very excited."
Interestingly, Mehta has also planned a role for the author in the film.
"Salman is going to act in the film, he has got a role in it, a very interesting one, he plays the palmist, the soothsayer," said Mehta adding, "He is a good actor, so it will be fun."
Mehta who has previously collaborated with Bapsi Sidwa on her film 'Earth', which was an adaptation of the latter's book 'The Icecandy Man', said she was lucky to have worked with authors she admires.
And when asked who amongst the two was more difficult to work with, Mehta said, "I wish I knew. I guess I have been lucky because both of them are very good friends besides being amazing authors."
The director, who is always on the look out for fascinating stories, also expressed a desire to work with Amitav Ghosh.
"I loved 'Sea of Poppies. What a book," said Mehta.
When asked whether she was planning to adapt the book her reply was, "If I get lucky. Let us see."
Mehta is also working on a film based on the 1914 'Komagatamaru incident' with Akshay Kumar in the lead.