The man-without-a-mobile-phone is probably one of the few filmmakers in the country who makes money from theatre. In fact, that is what enables him to continue making movies
Rajat Kapoor’s next film, Ankhon Dekhi, releases in March. A story about a 55-year-old man who, one fine day, decides to stop believing things unless he sees them for himself, the film will be a typical Rajat Kapoor film — funny and ironic.
“Ankhon Dekhi is a bit philosophical, moving, funny. A man who chooses not to believe what anyone tells him unless he can actually see it can be quite a difficult man. What the film will show, apart from his story, is how his family is affected by him,” says Kapoor, trying to explain the storyline, possibly without giving too much away.
How does one even get inspired to make such a film, we ask? “Everything comes from experience, does it not? We often question what truth really is and do we believe it? Haven’t you ever asked why you should you take what others say for granted? Ankhon Dekhi is just a manifestation of all our thoughts,” Kapoor explains. That and similar incidents that surround joint families fascinated Kapoor enough to make the film.
In fact, that’s how the filmmaker and theatre-person works, which probably explains why he’s made only five films in 11 years; he writes all the time, drawing ideas in from life and what’s around him. Some might go on to become a possible script. “I share them with friends and wait for their feedback. They might ask me to kill it or we work on them even further and something might emerge from there. You see, mainstream cinema doesn’t interest me at all and I like to make movies with stories that interest me. Our films don’t exactly rake in money because they aren’t made like that,” he adds.
In fact, he’s mighty impressed that he’s actually made these many films in the last decade or so. “Frankly, I didn’t think I would be able to. Money is important and the fact that I have been able to make these many films is a big deal. I am quite grateful for it,” he says.
And where does theatre fit into all of this? “Sometime back I was telling Sanjana Kapoor that the two plays, Hamlet and Nothing Like Lear has made enough money for the group. It’s because I make money from theatre that I can make films!”
Story text and image courtesy DNA