Another common link among most of Shoojit Sircar’s films, apart from a fun take on bodily functions, is the fact that the premise of his films has been based in different parts of Delhi. Shoojit’s fondness for the national capital – a place that he has fond memories of growing up in, has made him feature different parts of Delhi in his films such as Piku, Vicky Donor, Pink and October.
The talented film director, best known for telling unconventional stories, however admits that he had to step into the shoes of a Producer, not by choice but by compulsion. While speaking at the session, Shoojit said, “Around the time that we were working on Vicky Donor, the film industry experienced an influx of corporates and big studios. When we approached these studios with Vicky Donor, they thought it’d be a sleazy C Grade film. The studios didn’t have any faith in the film. Similarly, when we were ready with Piku, people branded it as being a Bengali film. Questions were raised on ‘How can an Indian superstar have a constipation problem?’ I told my producer Ronnie (Screwvala) that we need to put a full stop to this somewhere and decided that we do it ourselves. The frustration nudged me to get into production.”
When asked if the success of Vicky Donor and its impact made his life easier for his other films, Shoojit dismissed the notion and said, “No, it didn’t. As a film when I’m approaching a subject, it is a blind game that I’m playing. It’s a territory that you cannot be sure about. I don’t make films for an audience. First I have to like my film. What or how the audience feels is not in my control. The ‘Consumer is the King’ only when the Box Office works. When a person is ill, he remembers the doctor…after recovering, the doctor is forgotten,” quipped Shoojit, while adding, “If I start thinking of an audience I wouldn’t be able to make a film in the way I want to tell my story. The audience is the last thing that has ever crept in my mind.”
The ‘out of the box’ producer – director also spoke elaborately about the films that inspire him. While referring to films by Satyajit Ray and Tapan Sinha, Shoojit confessed that he finds himself to be ‘quite mediocre’, while adding that he aspires produce work of the level of the aforementioned stalwarts. He further added, “I have also grown up watching films like Deewar and Madhumati. But somewhere the set pattern of our films has polluted our creative mind to a certain extent. We need to go beyond the commercial stereotypes of item numbers and over the top melodrama.”
A passionate footballer himself, Shoojit has been playing with the idea of a football related film, but the lack of a ‘personal connect’ has been the dissuading factor. However, the director declared that a sports film is definitely on the cards.