Engaging the Supernaturalhttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/pune/engaging-the-supernatural/

Engaging the Supernatural

After the success of Anumati,award-winning director Gajendra Ahire talks of venturing into a new genre with his next film

His movies pan more than half-a-dozen genres. From euthanasia and talkies to murder and relationships,noted filmmaker Gajendra Ahire has done it all. After the success of his film Anumati,which won his leading man,veteran actor Vikram Gokhale,the National Award for Best Actor alongside actor Irrfan Khan,Ahire is ready with his new film Anvatt — a supernatural thriller.

“I had touched all the major genres in films,except a few. With Anvatt,I have covered the remaining as well,” says Ahire,who has directed over 40 films in the last decade. The word “anvatt” literally means “unique”. Set in the ’70s,Anvatt is a supernatural drama and features Adinath Kothare and Urmila Kanetkar in lead roles. “I wanted a classically good-looking hero. Since the story demands some intimate scenes as well,I chose Adinath and Urmila,a real-life couple,” says Ahire about the cast. The film also features Makrand Anaspure,Kishor Kadam,Vibhavari Deshpande and Bhargavi Chirmule.

Ahire,who has also written the screenplay for the film,says the team had taken special care to make sure that the film stays true to its “period” look. “The costumes and art direction had to be very carefully planned. Our set designer Eknath Kadam did a fantastic job with the look of the film,” he says.

To add to the vintage charm of the film,Ahire — in a first-of-its-kind initiative — has used hit Marathi numbers by noted musician Pandit Hridaynath Mangeshkar in the film. Acclaimed musicians Shankar,Ehsaan and Loy have revisited the classics and rendered them a unique twist. The trio has also composed music for the film under Mangeshkar’s guidance. “Beloved old tunes and songs give the film a vintage charm,” says Ahire.


Ask him about the challenges he faced during the making of Anvatt,and Ahire says,“The first and foremost thought in my mind during the film’s making was that it should be entertaining to the believers of supernatural as well as those who are critical of it. At the end of the day,I think I have been able to make an entertaining film.”

With bushels of critical acclaim and scores of awards under his belt,does Ahire want to venture into Bollywood? He says,“I would love to direct a Hindi film but I want to do sensible cinema,not the kind of action-comedies and over-the-top stuff that is being churned out these days. I have been getting a trickle of offers over the years,but nothing has excited me so far.”