Churning one solid film after another, Phantom Films has, over the years, gained the trust of audience and earned a standing in the industry, but its member and filmmaker Vikas Bahl says that even today they struggle to convince people to fund their projects.
The latest film under the banner is Raj Kummar Rao-starrer Trapped, and citing its example Vikas said that it’s never easy to get such movies made.
“Funding of such films is never easy. And it should not be easy. You should go all out and convince people that you can do different stuff. We love the challenge. There are days of frustration when we think, ‘Why aren’t we getting funds?’ But that pushes us to make bigger and better stuff and constantly do the cinema that works. It is a battle, which has been there and will stay, and it is an interesting one,” Vikas said.
The filmmaker interacted with the media at the trailer launch of Trapped. The company, which has become a house of sorts for non-conventional cinema, might give an impression that it is far from quintessential Bollywood song-and-dance films but Vikas believes that songs will never be an obstruction in storytelling if it is done correctly.
From Udaan to Raman Raghav, films made under the banner have the trademark of powerful stories told in a relatable and compelling way, and for being low on commercial elements, they are often compared to international content.
Disagreeing with this comparison, Vikas said that universality of a good story is not affected by other elements.
“I have songs in my films. I am all for songs. A lot of international films have a lot of songs. Music is a very crucial part of making films and conveying the message you want to convey. So, we need to tell better stories and tell them well, whether with songs or songs and running-behind-trees, doesn’t matter. So, I don’t believe that the day we stop making songs is when we will start making films like international cinema,” he said.
Talking about Trapped, Vikas heaped praise on the survival drama and Raj Kummar.
“I have watched the film five-six times. I love it. The first time I watched it, by the time it ended, I was standing on my bed and jumping with excitement. Raj Kummar is the best actor we have today. I love the way he chooses his scripts and doesn’t care what others think about them. He gives his life to his films,” said Vikas, who directed Raj Kummar in Queen.