Murder he Wrote

Writer-director Manish Gupta,33,says he’s always found Bollywood’s song-and-dance routines inexplicable...

Written by Debesh Banerjee | Published:February 27, 2009 11:16 pm

Director Manish Gupta prefers subjects with dark undertones

Writer-director Manish Gupta,33,says he’s always found Bollywood’s song-and-dance routines inexplicable. So,why an item number in his debut film Stoneman Murders? “One has to bow to commercial interests,” states Gupta with an embarrassed smile.

The scriptwriter of thrillers like Sarkar (2005) and D,Gupta’s film is a gripping fact-fiction account on the serial murders that occurred in Mumbai in 1983. Researched from old news clippings,Gupta’s unusual style of filmmaking has got him several interesting reviews .Ever since Gupta got his first break in Ram Gopal Varma’s D (2005) as scriptwriter,he decided that the happy family entertainer wasn’t his scene. He gravitated towards subjects with dark undertones.

Growing up in Mumbai,Gupta loved films that delved into the human psyche like Silence of the Lambs,Hannibal and Seven. In Bollywood,he began looking up to Ram Gopal Varma for inspiration. “Once I saw Company (2002),I knew I had to work with RGV. It took me one-and-a-half years to meet him. Ever since,he has been a father figure,” says Gupta,a mechanical engineer who assisted his father in his cargo equipments business for six years before joining films.

The idea for Stoneman… was born years ago. Gupta finished the script in May 2007,after two months of research,but lacked funds to start shooting. After the film’s moderate success,he is now convinced there is more room for thrillers in Bollywood. Dial Gupta for a murder plot.

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