Master of Spiceshttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/chandigarh/master-of-spices/

Master of Spices

After winding up a month-long shooting schedule of his new ‘masala’ film,Besharam,in Chandigarh,Abhinav Kashyap takes time out for a quick chat.

After winding up a month-long shooting schedule of his new ‘masala’ film,Besharam,in Chandigarh,Abhinav Kashyap takes time out for a quick chat.

Entertainment is the key,and writer-director Abhinav Kashyap plans his films around it. The agenda is simple — to deliver “paisa vasool cinema”. “It could be anything,provided it has all the movie masala,the one Dabangg had,” says the director,busy with his next project,Besharam.

After shooting for over a month in Chandigarh,Kashyap finally takes a breather and agrees for a quick chat. “I would say Besharam is Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge-meets-Dabangg,” he says,reluctant to divulge any further details about the film. Kashyap says the film is inspired from an incident that took place in Rajeev Barnwal’s life. Barnwal is incidentally the co-writer and lyricist of the film.

“Something happened with him,he shared his story and I got interested. We added more elements and characters to it and within a year,we were ready with the script,” says Kashyap. Writing,he feels,is an ongoing process. “It’s a factory that produces soaps by the hour,” he adds.

Set in Delhi and Chandigarh,Kashyap’s story has Ranbir Kapoor in the lead with Indo-Australian actor and Bharatanatyam dancer Pallavi Sharda featuring opposite him. While Sharda came through auditions,Ranbir was the first and only choice. “He stands right at the top. He is critically acclaimed,commercially successful,extremely nice and pretty affordable,” Kashyap says. “Audiences come to see stars,and if you want the film to do well,they are needed,” says Kashyap,going on to add that heroines come in second in this chain of demand. “We are a hero-obsessed nation with a male-dominated audience,” he says. That said,Kashyap doesn’t discount the fact that things are changing.

A youthful love story,Besharam has Ranbir playing a car thief while Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Kapoor play cops. It is for the first time the three Kapoors have been signed together. “Rishi was there from the start,and I feel he is one star who has accepted his age with dignity and made a fabulous second comeback after being a leading man for 25 years,” says Kashyap,adding how Rishi never played a policeman in his career. Including Neetu was an after-thought,and Kashyap roped her in eagerly by changing one of the male characters to female. “She will steal the limelight,” he says.

As a filmmaker,Kashyap believes he is a creator and not a consumer of entertainment. His own critic,he prefers to live in the present and does not agree with art house cinema,for it offers “no solutions or entertainment”. It’s films by Raju Hirani,Anurag Kashyap,Anurag Basu and Zoya Akhtar that he likes. And yes,he did see Dabangg 2.

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“Indian cinema has limited popular genres — family and friendship. And in lust,consumerism,materialism and western influences,love is missing,and I want to revive that with Besharam,” he says. The film releases on October 2 this year.