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01-16-2013, 09:44 AM #1
- Join Date
- Sep 2011
Yuva, not Kahaani, swung the focus back on Bengal: Neeraj Pandey
He enjoyed being a Kolkata boy. Neeraj Pandey on his plans to work with Prosenjit Chatterjee and more.
After A Wednesday!, it is Special Chabbis. Aren't you getting stereotyped in this genre?
It's not that I am only fascinated with suspense and thriller. I want to do other things as well. One script is ready which is on relationships. Then there's another, which is a black comedy. My first script was a love story, but it never got made. My second was a romcom, and well, that too never saw the light of the day. A Wednesday! was my fourth project, which clicked. It's not like I am leading my life; it's more like my life is leading me.
Do we expect your signature twist in this film too?
The film is not just about a heist, but why it is conceptualized and how it is turned into action. Lots of situations have been explored. About having a twist, it's a different kind of film and it has an altogether different telling.
We hear you are trying to get Prosenjit for next production — Bhitu?
We are in talks with him, but nothing has been finalized as yet. We are considering a few other actors as well, but it doesn't make any sense to take names unless it is confirmed. It's not that only after watching Shanghai I decided to work with him. I try to follow the Bengali films that are being made and I am friends with both Prosenjit and Jeet. We have been contemplating on doing a project together for quite some time. My director has finished his recce and we will sit together now. The film will go on the floors in the next few months. Bhitu is going to be an out-and-out psychological thriller. As for the confirmation on the cast, you will have to be a bit more patient.
Why a Bengali film?
Well, I don't know if it's right in a very commercial sense, but I really loved the story. The work has to be wrapped up within a given budget; we are not planning a big-budget film. Given the right people working with us and with proper resources, this should be a good movie.
Is it following Kahaani's success that people are showing interest in Bengal?
If you take that line, I would say the credit goes to Mani Ratnam for shooting Yuva in Kolkata. You know, there are times when you get tired of working in and around Mumbai. And Kolkata is a really interesting place. True, it was really well captured in Kahaani. Even for Special Chabbis, I have shot the winter scenes in the city. We shot at Burrabazar, Dum Dum airport, Howrah station et al. But we managed to keep it discreet and nothing dramatic happened.
You grew up in the city before shifting base to Mumbai. Now when you come back, what changes do you see?
I loved being a Kolkata boy. But now, I stay here only for a few days — too little to figure out the changes. It will be really unfair for me to comment. However, I really wish the city's infrastructure was better. Travelling to and fro from the hotel gets on my nerves.
You are also producing a film on cross-border love. What do you feel about the sudden turn of events?
The point is very simple. You can't live with a neighbour like Pakistan and expect to lead a secure life. We have to think our future generations and the legacy we will leave behind for them. It is our duty to make peace with our neighbours. Unless we achieve that, we will not move ahead. But the LOC incident is really tragic and nothing can condone such atrocity. We cannot ignore such incidents, but we must look at the deeper aspect as well.
01-16-2013, 03:34 PM #2