EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Vishal Bhardwaj remembers Irrfan Khan: ‘When I see good cinema I miss him’
Irrfan Khan and Vishal Bhardwaj have earlier collaborated on Maqbool, 7 Khoon Maaf and Haider.
In a recent conversation with Pinkvilla, acclaimed filmmaker Vishal Bhardwaj remembered the late actor Irrfan Khan. They have earlier collaborated on the 2004 crime-drama Maqbool, 7 Khoon Maaf in 2011, on 2014’s political action thriller - Haider, and on Vishal’s 2015 production - Talvar. “You miss Irrfan in every film. Every film I see, I make, when I see good cinema I miss Irrfan. That is the biggest loss, personal loss to me, and I think for the whole industry,” says Vishal Bhardwaj.
The filmmaker is presently promoting his son Aasmaan Bhardwaj’s directorial debut, which is headlined by Arjun Kapoor, Naseeruddin Shah, Tabu, Konkona Sensharma, Kumud Mishra, Radhika Madan and Shardul Bhardwaj. Meanwhile, Vishal and his movie’s leading man Arjun Kapoor opens up on the present state of the film industry, and what we have learnt from last year.
Arjun Kapoor on present state of cinema
“It's definitely a new phase, it's a new audience, a new audience’s thought process - they are far more educated in different kinds of content, and different ways of watching material. It's not only the big screen anymore. The taste has been altered by being at home, and their way of consuming entertainment has changed. But principally it's also what we were making, we have to adapt and change because our audience has improved. Also, somewhere we have to give more credit that our audience is sensible and intelligent. I think Kuttey is that kind of film,” says Arjun Kapoor.
The actor states that in every profession one has to keep learning. “In our profession even more so because stakes are getting higher. It is very expensive to make films, it is very expensive for people to come and watch films. So you are dealing in an environment where stakes are getting higher because of what is happening in the world. The reality is that life is expensive, so you have to give people the bang for their buck. But you have to also know your audience. I think we somewhere are slightly disconnected from our audience now because there has been a disconnect because of the last two years - as people were not coming to theatres but were watching content at their homes,” says Kapoor.
He elaborates, “So we have to absorb it and it will take some time. We have to be very honest about it and we have to do better. Which I think no filmmaker is ever denying the fact that we are trying to do better, but you also as an audience have to look within and say what do you want to watch. Sometimes we always think that yeh daal do, yeh kar lo. We are perhaps may be stuck in a bit of a trap of appeasing everybody, and are not being pure to the audience that you want to actually connect with. So perhaps we will clean up the riff-raff and make more centred films, and more stories which deserve to be told. It’s a very overrated term ‘Content’ - but the fact is kahaani honi chahiye na film mein.”
Arjun Kapoor further explains, “At least I would be able to narrate it to someone, or maybe give a synopsis which has a beginning, middle and an end. With us sometimes what happens is we have a good idea, but maybe the story is left behind. So we are learning. The quality of writing, and the efforts to make sincere films - it will happen. I do believe I am a very positive person when the film industry is concerned because we have made some amazing films. You cannot take that away from the good work that we have done. It’s a testing phase to learn again, and adapt again, and I am sure we will - it’s just a matter of time.”
Vishal Bhardwaj shares his take
Vishal Bhardwaj feels that we have still not understood what’s happening to us. “It will take time, and after four or five years we will be able to understand what happened and why it happened. Because the way Covid has affected us socially, our social behaviour has changed. So it will take a little more time to understand because it’s not just that good films are working, people are also going for bad films, and sometimes are not going for good films. It’s very strange. That’s why I went to see a few films to know why this film has worked. I thought it would be a good film, but when I went to watch it - I won’t name it - I was so disappointed. If this is the kind of film that is working in theatres then definitely we don’t know what’s happening right now. We all are in that phase, where we don’t know what’s happening,” the filmmaker signs off.
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