Human suffering and survival in anti-Covid-19 lockdown in India documented: Madhur Bhandarkar

Madhur Bhandarkar. Image credit Avishek Mitra-IBNS

IBNS: Celebrated filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar, known for films like Page 3, Fashion, dealt with the first anti-coronavirus lockdown in his upcoming film India Lockdown, which releases digitally on Dec 2. On the sidelines of the film’s special screening in Kolkata on Monday, Madhur speaks to India Blooms correspondent Souvik Ghosh

Q. You have experienced financial constraints very early in your life, so did you have an extra-emotional connection with the film, which narrates people’s ordeal during the Covid-19 lockdown?

A. I have always made films that have touched human hearts. India Lockdown is one of the films that show the suffering of all people globally during the lockdown. Whatever has been depicted in the film is derived from real-life experiences during the first lockdown, which lasted for 21 days. The film tells the story of mankind’s suffering and survival.

Q. What made you choose this subject? Is it because lockdown is an experience everyone could relate to?

A. I felt lockdown should be documented so that future generations or children could refer to it and know it years later. Four strata of people have been depicted in the film.

Q.  What was the thought process behind the casting?

A. I felt all my actors are talented. I always wanted to cast actors who suit the roles. They were brilliant in the film. There is no point in the film where a character will seem a misfit. Every character is relatable.

Q. The central government was blamed by some quarters for some human sufferings which stemmed from the lockdown. Were you careful in depicting them?

A. No, no, we are just showing the human spirit and survival during the lockdown. We were concentrating on the first 21-30 days of lockdown. The film starts with a positive note in 2019 followed by the lockdown.

Q. Your first-ever earnings came from the selling of video cassettes. How do you see the change in the medium over the years, especially with the boom of OTT post-lockdown?

A. I think the blur between the theatres and OTT will fade very soon because a huge number of people are watching films online. We should not underestimate OTT. But film magic will not diminish. Theatres and OTT will co-exist together.

(Images by Avishek Mitra/IBNS)