Director Janaki Vishwanathan on her latest, Yeh Hai Bakrapur, with a four-legged protagonist named Shahrukh
Janaki Vishwanathan’s next film, Yeh Hai Bakrapur, has a goat as its protagonist. Yes, you read that right. Vishwanathan, who bagged two National Awards for her 2001 debut, Kutty, also has two Tamil films (Kanavu Mei Pada Vaendum, 2004, and Om Obama, 2011) and several documentaries to her credit. With Yeh Hai Bakrapur, her first Bollywood movie, the former journalist insists on being true to her style of filmmaking—which highlights social issues.More from her:
Yeh Hai Bakrapur is a socio-political satire.
The goat is the superstar, along with a little boy, a barber and the boy’s family. The movie was shot on a mountain range between Maharashtra and Karnataka. It is a Hindi film and though I cannot read and write Hindi very well, I can speak it well. I have a Tamil film coming up, which will also release this year.
I would like to try a thriller, with action, drama and comedy—but in my style.
I have tried a serious film and a light-hearted film (Yeh Hai Bakrapur). Next up, a romantic movie.
I divide cinema into formula and non-formula.
All movies are commercial because people invest money to get the audience to watch it. Even if I take up a topic that’s been attempted earlier, I’d do it differently. I think Yeh Hai Bakrapur is mainstream.
Every movie addresses an issue.
Every story has something to do with your surroundings or personal experience. It is up to a director whether he wants to dilute the subject or stay focussed. As a director, I like to retain my focus so the audience takes away something. I like movies like Peepli Live and Welcome to Sajjanpur.
Film festivals are when your peers appreciate you and ‘box office’ is when the audience enjoys your movies.
For me, I want appreciation from both.
I’d like to work with Irrfan Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui. I also admire Tabu a lot.
I love filmmakers like Alfonso Cuaron, Guy Ritchie and Quentin Tarantino. I think they make movies that are a combination of style and philosophy. I enjoyed the work of Satyajit Ray.
Yeh Hai Bakrapur is scheduled to release on April 25.
— Mrinalini Sundar