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Actor Adil Hussain, who has featured in Bollywood as well as international movies, including the Oscar-winning film “Life of Pi”, says inferior copies of Hollywood or European films shouldn’t set trends in India. He suggests that filmmakers in the country should make “truly Indian films”. “I hope making films on Indian society becomes a trend… making films in India about the typical Indian household with a deeper meaning and layers instead of following the masala trend of the TV industry and Bollywood. It means that when we look at the Indian social fabric, we have to go deeper into it rather than touching the superficial situations,” Adil told IANS.
Talking about his short film, Chutney, presented by Royal Stag Barrel Select Large Short Films that provides a platform to aspiring directors to establish themselves in the industry, Adil said: “It was mostly shot in old Delhi and Gurgaon. Tisca Chopra is the writer and producer of the film. She is a dear friend. She sent the script to me and I loved the ‘Indianness’ of the story. It is about the typical Indian family without any cover-up or trying to be pretentious.”
It’s not his first short film. Having featured in shorts like “Azaad” and “Bandhi”, he is familiar with the medium and is quite fond of it. “The advantage of doing a short film is that it is made in a few days and, secondly, the financial stakes are less as compared to feature films. I get to do roles that feature films, especially commercial ones, would not offer me. You do a short film mostly to depict a story which will most probably never be touched by the commercial establishments or production houses. More complex characters and relationships are explored,” said Adil, whose films “Sunrise” and “Parched” have their scripts archived at the library of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences at Beverly Hills, California.
On being asked if he would like to make a short film one day, he said, “Yes, I would love to. But the desire to make it is one thing and being able to pen down something from my heart is another. It is a huge responsibility to make a film. I find it a monumental task because it is easy for me to go act, come back and not worry about it. But making a film… you have to write, deal with actors’ dates and egos, location problems, find a way to show it to people and then take criticism. I guess I am a bit lazy to do all that.”
Still, the “English Vinglish” actor says he has stories in mind that he would like to share with the audience. “One story has been stuck with me since the last 20 years. It’s about an elephant and a man. It’s at the scripting level. I had given it to a few scriptwriters but whatever I got… the first draft did not match with the vision that I have. I feel I need to sit down and write it myself. I need to put down my vision first and then hire a scriptwriter who will understand what I am looking for. It’s a beautiful and heart-wrenching story of an elephant and a man and their relationship. But it’s not ‘Haathi Mere Saathi’. It is set in Assam,” said the actor, who hails from the northeastern state.