National-award-winning director Hansal Mehta, who has made the upcoming film ‘CityLights’, says he only understands the grammar of realistic cinema and aims at telling true stories.
‘CityLights’, releasing this Friday, stars actor Rajkummar Rao and debutant Patralekha in lead roles. It is a story of migrant workers from Rajasthan, who come to Mumbai in search of a better living.
“I don’t understand anything other than real cinema. I try to keep the stories as true as they can be,” the director said.
Mehta’s last film ‘Shahid’ was based on the life of lawyer Shahid Azmi, who was assassinated in Mumbai in 2010.
The director said ‘CityLights’ is a story of human emotions and the journey of the film was emotional for him.
“It is a special film and I take great pride in it. The film affected me so much that I don’t know what I will do after it is released,” he told reporters here yesterday.
Producer Mahesh Bhatt said that ‘CityLights’ brings back the kind of cinema he directed in 1990s and 1980s.
“Hansal Mehta helped me revive the cinema of ‘Zakhm’ and ‘Saransh’… We will now kickstart that stream which ran dry. Hence the success of ‘CityLights’ is very important for us,” said Bhatt.
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Mehta’s film is an official adaptation of British-Filipino movie ‘Metro Manila’ but there are differences between the two movies as the director has not watched the 2014 film, which was Britain’s entry to the Oscars.
“Rajkummar and I have not watched the movie so there are bound to be some differences. For instance, the scene where Rajkummar is drunk was conceptualised on the spot,” he said.
The director feels Metro Manila’s is the story of India where thousands of people move to big cities to fulfil their dreams and in that process go too far.
“I feel such a story was not told to people in a long, long time and I felt the need to make the film,” said Mehta, adding his biggest challenge was to make it relatable.