Maroon’s filmmaker Pulkit talks about the film. He says, the film, an idea was there with him for a few years but I was not sure to write and make it. Read On!
You mentioned meeting a man in an asylum who thought his wife is alive even though he had murdered her. How did that trigger the idea for Maroon?
Maroon, as an idea was there with me for a few years but I was not sure to write and make it. When I met Manav Kaul at NFDC’s (National Film Development Corporation of India) Film Bazaar in Goa, he advised me to write something which is different from what we see. That inspired me the most. I came back to Mumbai and wrote the screenplay in 12 days. I was doing some case study with one of my friends and we went to many rehabs and asylums. I remember meeting a guy in an asylum in Virar, Mumbai, who was accused of killing his wife. He used to hallucinate and talk to his wife. It’s the most dangerous thing the mind can do. And then I realised that the trauma of your past can haunt you.
Being a writer, director and actor himself, what did Kaul bring to the table?
I first noticed Manav in Hansal Mehta’s Citylights. I instantly had this urge to work with him. I later got to know that he is a well-known writer and director. I wrote Maroon for Manav. He was never an option for me but the choice. When I narrated the story to him, he hugged me and said, ‘Lets do it’. He was always there to hear me again and again, gave his opinion but never forced it.
How challenging was it to shoot the entire film in one bungalow?
We shot continuously for 15 days and it was very hectic specially for the crew. In India, we are not used to working under such circumstances where you have to be on your toes all the time. I was worried about the obvious restrictions of shooting a single location film as there can’t be visual breaks for the audiences. Also from the camera point of view, the space for taking shots was also not enough.
In such a film, it’s the treatment which matters the most. I’ve kept it very ambiguous and claustrophobic, so that the viewers are always there in the film. Also selecting right crew members for a subject like this is also very important.
More than a mystery, Maroon is the exploration of a professor’s mind.
I never wanted to make a whodunit. The original idea was to show what mind goes through after committing a crime, especially when you’re not a criminal by profession. This aspect attracted me because when I tried thinking like the professor, I found it too dark and complicated. That was the point when I decided to explore the mind.
Were you concerned about the film’s commercial success?
If I say no, then I would be lying. You can’t take money from the producer and make whatever you want to without caring for the returns. I am concerned about the commercial success. But when I say this, I mean that I’ve not made any compromises while making it. I believe that the time is changing, If you believe in your story and it is narrated well, success will follow.
You mentioned that you are drawn to dark subjects. Why?
I was born in Bihar and the reports I read every morning in newspapers were these crime stories. While in boarding school, I kept reading crime novels and thrillers. Over the years, my love for these subjects became more and more prominent.