Director Feroz Abbas Khan says his return to Bollywood after seven years was not premediated
AS India gears up for its longest election ever, Bollywood is ready with a political satire. Directed by Feroz Abbas Khan, Dekh Tamasha Dekh is about a man’s search for his identity, which takes viewers through an India that’s impossible to understand—where the bizzare is normal and chaos is cause for celebration; where religion is funnier than comedy shows and politics scarier then horror movies. Khan, who is well known for films like Gandhi, My Father and Tumhari Amrita, is back in Bollywood after seven years (he’d stayed away to focus on theatre). He talks to us about his movie and more:
How absurd is your movies?
It is about a poor man who dies accidentaly. The search for his religious identity leads to bizzare and absurd reactions. Finally, when his identity is revealed, you’re stunned. I believe a very important story of India lies in this true incident.
The movie seems apt for this season, with elections round the corner.
I did not make the movie keeping the elections in mind. But when it was announced, it all fell into place. It is a social and political satire that is funny and thought-provoking.This film is perhaps a response of the civil society to engage the political class in real issues.They seem to just distract us with empty promises.
How have you been able to allocate time for theatre?
However busy I am with movies, theatre is my abode. My home. My plays are being performed regularly in India and abroad. I will be doing an original play in Hindi very soon.It’s the kind of work I have been waiting to do for a long time.
How do you select genres?
I don’t go out looking for comic or serious subjects.I instinctively get drawn to an idea and it slowly grows on me. Then it reaches a point where it has to be realised as a film.While Gandhi, My Father had a serious tone, Dekh Tamasha Dekh is a satire. I like love stories, too. My next film will be in that genre.
Tell us about the last movie you enjoyed and your Oscar pick?
I loved Queen. And though I did not watch all the Oscar movies, my favourite is 12 Years A Slave.
Dekh Tamasha Dekh is releasing on April 18.
— Mrinalini Sundar