Interacting with the students, Vishal Bhardwaj added, “What better way to start off the Masterclass than with Shakespeare?” Vishal Bhardwaj used this analogy to great effect in his fun and useful talk on some of the unique issues with regards to filmmaking.
He also encouraged students to express themselves without limiting their imagination to cater to the worldly things and said, “Artists are like spring. No matter how much you compress them, they will bounce back and they will be better than before. It is important to retaliate when our freedom of expression is challenged.” He continued, “I had to complete my trilogy of making movies based on Shakespeare’s plays and I was confused between Kings Lear and Hamlet. However, I found the sexual conflict between mother and son very attractive and in Basharat Peer’s book “The Curfew” I found a perfect place to put my ideas and make a film out of it.”
As Vishal Bhardwaj pointed out, the movie itself was far grittier and more character-driven than its reputation suggests, and it highlighted the solid filmmaking that has been overshadowed by years of urban-culture punch lines. He also mentioned how he finds the dark side of human nature a powerful compeller. He delved into the music aspect of his movies and said, “I became a director as I wanted to employ myself as a music director. I am from 80’s when ‘shayaris’ were used as a medium of communication. I am a great fan of Mehdi Hassan sahib and that’s why his ‘shayaris’ remain an integral part of my movies.”
His advice to students was, “We shouldn’t just aim for ‘Don’t make me think’, but also embrace ‘Make me think’. Our job is not to eliminate complexity from the films, but to make them uncomplicated. We should have the guts to explore the unknown areas as it is our responsibility as filmmakers to enlighten the audience about social subjects.”
He concluded the session by revealing to the audience that he will be doing the music score for the ‘Broadway’ remake of Mira Nair’s Monsoon Wedding.
Meghna Ghai Puri, President, WWI said, “It was an invigorating discussion between two colleagues and great writer and filmmaker, Anjum Rajabali and Vishal Bhardwaj. Students have learnt a lot today from this thought-provoking filmmaker.”