In Devashish Makhija’s Bhonsle, actor Manoj Bajpayee plays a terminally-ill cop who feels betrayed by the system. In real life, during the film’s making, Bajpayee was fighting a system that has been unfair to unconventional cinema but the actor did not give up.
After the film premiered at 20th Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival with Star, the actor-director duo spoke about the struggle behind Bhonsle.
“It’s not about fight, it’s about what you want to do with yourself. I don’t call it a fight or a struggle. I like the entire struggle to get a film made, to a part of something that I love. With Devashish’s film, I never thought it was a struggle to get it made,” Manoj Bajpayee said.
When they realised they weren’t getting any financial backing, Bajpayee and Makhija decided to collaborate on short film Taandav (2016).
“When we realised nothing was happening, we thought of making a short film. So, we had started shooting for a short film. So, the process is not miserable. It’s fun for me. It’s fun when you are talking to five people and you think they could be your producers but further in the conversation you realise that it’s going nowhere and they would run away,” the actor said.
In his over two decade-long career, Bajapyee has learnt not to take rejections to heart. The actor said he, instead, tries to understand why a producer says no to him.
“That’s his money. If he doesn’t want to put it in my conviction, it’s fine. Then you pursue other people. That’s the process. It’s a process I don’t get tired of. It’s a difficult world. In a country which is dominated by numbers, when you are making a film like Bhonsle, you know it’s a long road ahead,” he said adding that the team’s real test will begin when they focus on the film’s theatrical release.
Producer by Indie Muviz, which also produced Taanda, Bhosnle is expected to arrive in theaters next year.