Danuska Da Gama I NT BUZZ
Nitin Kakkar’s debut film Filmistaan won him the best feature film award. His second film Ram Singh Charlie being screened at the 46th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) was well received as well.
The film revolves around Raam Singh who impersonates Charlie Chaplin in a travelling circus. He has always lived the life of an artist. However, unexpectedly, he is thrown into a bigger circus where he is faced with the challenge of juggling between the role of a father and that of a performer.
Nitin says that several scenes in the movie are a reflection of his life and the people he has encountered. “There’s a part of me in all the characters or the people in my life. I don’t judge them but I develop a character.”
Still unconvinced as to whether his film will reach the masses, for Nitin it is faith in a story that is translated into a film. All that the director can do he says is simply hope that the audience will accept and connect with the film.
While this seems like taking on a huge risk, the business of filmmaking, he says, is that of taking risks. “While making a story no filmmaker thinks the audience will love the film. That is simply over confidence. We might make big claims, but the reality and fact is we don’t know what will happen once the film releases,” says Nitin. He maintains that simply because audience reaction cannot be perceived beforehand it is not reason enough for someone to not to make a film.
Not knowing what he wants to do next, Nitin’s only aim lies in making good films. While he finds it difficult to pinpoint the exact kind or type of film he will make he just prefers learning on the go, which he believes will help inspire him for his future projects. “I don’t plan a lot. I want to make good films. And good films for me are those which touch the soul.”
On being asked whether he enjoys being a film director in the age of digital media, Nitin disagrees: “I think I should have been a film director in the bygone era, in the 70s and 80s, because I am a very old school guy.” At the same time he doesn’t deny that the opportunities that are available now are plenty as compared to the 70s and 80s. He goes on to say: “Filmmaking a tricky today; you want to reach out to people which leads to corrupting the art.”
Nitin dislikes the term ‘Bollywood’ saying it doesn’t hold much meaning for him. “We can have our identity too.” That’s the possible reason why directors like him are experimenting with unconventional ideas, placing more emphasis on content rather than a star cast, changing the meaning of Indian Cinema.
Experimenting with ideas has always been around and the 70s and 80s saw some fantastic films being made, he says, only then these were termed parallel cinema and today is referred to as Indian cinema. On a concluding note he says that the audience is indeed opening up to a wide range of ideas but the depth found in cinema of previous years is getting lost somewhere as we progress. “Earlier it was about character, now it is about personality.”