Madhur Bhandarkar on his memories of the Yerawada prison that formed a crucial part of his research for Jail that releases tomorrow
Not many filmmakers are capable of making commercial films on serious subjects like the one he chooses and still walk away with three national awards. Madhur Bhandarkar is one of the few directors whose films fetch appreciation from the critics as well as success at the box office. His latest film Jail is all set to release tomorrow and like for all his films,Bhandarkar did extensive research on the subject before starting the project. Three jails in the country Thane Jail,Dehradun Jail and Yerwada Jail-provided Bhandarkar with the background he needed after he visited all of them early this year.
Yerawada and Thane Jail helped me a lot to choose proper locations for the film. Its very difficult to make any perception about something like a prison until and unless you have visited one or you were a part of it. Once I visited these places,my thoughts got clarity and then I was sure how am I going to make my film, says the director who is all praises for Yerawada jail authorities for the support and information they provided him with. “They were very supportive and were the major source of information on how the jail inmates are kept,what kind of atmosphere is there in jail,their rules and regulations. Incidently,it was from the Yerawada jail from where I hired jail clothes and utensils for the shoot of the movie. We wanted to keep everything real in the movie, says Bhandarkar.
Elaborating on the terms used in the jail,he recalls,The time permitted for mulakaat at Yerawada jail is 30 minutes and there is a special area for the meeting.” According to Bhandarkar this mulakaat time span was too less to know the inmates in detail. However,he says it helped him to know a lot of them and the glimpses of mulakaat have been incorporated in the film.
Bhandarkar recollects meeting this person who was in jail for stabbing his girlfriend. I must say most of the cases I came across in the jail were impulsive murderers. I hardly met any person who had planned a crime or indulged in a cold blooded murder, he says adding how he was surprised to know that many among them were well educated and settled in their respective lives. This research he says helped him a lot and made his directions clear in making Jail.
Having studied three jails in detail,Bhandarkar says that he has tried his best to get the look of the Yerawada jail in the film,which was shot in a jail set that was made in Karjat. I still remember Mugdha kept telling me that I never felt that I havent visited jail before. The sets were so real that everyone felt that they were trapped in jail for 45 days in Karjat, he says.