Heartland stories are the new trend in Bollywood, but director Sharat Katariya says it’s something the industry should be wary of.
Sharat is credited with Dum Laga Ke Haisha (2015) and Sui Dhaga: Made in India (2018), both of which were set against the backdrop of small towns. The director, in a group interview on the sidelines of FICCI Frames, said the new trend has now made caricatures of out of real people.
“We have already gotten into a trap. Now it’s a template. The small town and their people have become caricatures of real people, which is not nice.
“In Dum Laga Ke Haisha, the town wasn’t important. It was about an uneducated guy, who was going through his problems of dealing with an overweight girl. That’s how the story came to me. That’s why I set it in a town where these things matter,” he added.
The director said through his films, however, he is not trying to promote the culture of a place but people, who are underprivileged and whose stories aren’t given the importance they deserve.
“Sui Dhaga also came from that place. Whenever I used to go for movie trials, I used to take my domestic help sometimes and I used to see how uncomfortable they are in places where there are rich people.
“When I used to ask them to go to the buffet and take food, they used to say they’re fine and wouldn’t even eat. I thought how scared they are in this space. I knew I had to tell a story where poor people come to a rich man’s place and how they deal with it,” he said.
“Stories come with their own rules and regulations and settings. You can’t impose or dictate those things. When something excites you, you go for it. It can be based anywhere. I have stories but there is no temptation to set them there. The only temptation is to write stories you feel strongly for. Currently, I’m writing and I’m still in that process. Nothing is figured out yet. I’m working on multiple ideas but don’t know which one will materialise,” he concluded.