Filmmaker Shubhashish Bhutiani says three generations are trying to find their own path to achieve redemption in his film Mukti Bhawan, a meditative drama about death and salvation. The 25-year-old director, who made his feature film debut with the critically-acclaimed movie featuring Adil Hussain and Lalit Behl in lead roles, says the story is about three ideologies, rather than one.
“What I was really trying to talk about was the ‘mukti’ (redemption) of three generations. The head of the family, the old man in the house wants to come to this Mukti Bhawan – (a halfway house in Varanasi for people at the fag end of their lives). But the story is more about the three generations,”Bhutiani told PTI in an interview here.
The film revolves around an overworked son forced to accompany his old father, who is in search of salvation in Varanasi.
“There’s the father, the son and the granddaughter. Every generation is seeking their own salvation. In Hindi, the word ‘mukti’ might mean salvation for some. But for different people, ‘mukti’ will have different meanings.”
The young director says he decided to shoot the film in Varanasi because it is a city where death is an integral part
of the fabric.
“It may seem morbid to us. But seeing dead bodies floating around yields a nonchalant, natural air to the imagery of Varanasi. I think it is an interesting cultural aspect of the city. They continue leading their lives despite being surrounded by death,” he says.
The film was showcased at India Habitat Centre recently. Mukti Bhawan received a special mention for direction in a feature film at the 2017 National Film Awards. Bhutiani, however, says awards are fringe benefits and not really the goal while making a movie.
“I’m really grateful and happy. But when one embarks upon the journey of a film, one does not really think about accolades. You are just concentrating on telling your story in the best possible way,” Shubhashish says.