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Pursuit of Happiness

Filmmaker Bhavna Talwar’s work station is interesting. Vintage benches and tables are teamed with contemporary sofas.

Filmmaker Bhavna Talwar about her next movie Happi

Filmmaker Bhavna Talwar’s work station is interesting. Vintage benches and tables are teamed with contemporary sofas. Coffee mugs and teapots on the window ledge are juxtaposed with posters of Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita and her own Dharm. Then there is the office dog Captain,a Pomeranian named after Captain Jack Sparrow,that she picked up from outside a cinema where she had gone to watch Pirates of the Caribbean.

As Talwar,36,takes us to her editing room to show us the first promo of Happi ,she explains the spelling,“That is how the character played by Pankaj Kapur,spells his name in the movie.”

The promo begins with the track Zindagi khwab hai,a popular song of yesteryear. “ The central character Happi is very fond of old Hindi melodies and sings this particular song at a Parsi restaurant in the movie.” While the film is shot mainly in south Mumbai,she says it will be relevant to every big city. “In big cities we are too busy to even greet each other. Happi asks you take one step back and enjoy the little pleasures of life,” she smiles. And Kapur,she says,has brought the character to life. “I have learnt so much from him in all these years.”

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Talwar’s first brush with fame came with the critically acclaimed Dharm which also starred Kapur. With Happi,she also turns scriptwriter: “I had written the script many years ago but it was very basic and I had to work on it to make it more Chaplinesque.”

In 2007,she opposed the selection of Eklavya over Dharm as India’s official entry to the Oscars. “I was taken aback by the selection process. I am glad I raised my voice,because the very next year Taare Zameen Par was nominated,and this was a film all Indians were proud of,” she says.

As Captain does restless laps of the room and then settles on Talwar’s lap,the filmmaker reminisces: “Although I have mainly been brought up in Mumbai,I was always taken around by my parents to all parts of the country. And it is these little experiences that I translate on to the big screen.”

First published on: 04-03-2010 at 11:51:03 pm
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