Filmmaker Rohit Mittal’s mockumentary (film in which fictional events are presented in documentary style to create a parody) titled Autohead was in the news for being selected in BiFan film festival. We got chatting with this director to know more about it.
What is Autohead all about?
Autohead is a 100-minute mockumentary. It is about a crew that follows this notorious auto rickshaw driver Narayan and as they dig deeper into his life, they discover his mad side and his sexual frustrations. Narayan wants to clean the society and is doing that by killing people. It is his way of doing things. He has a rough taste in women and cinema. Autohead is all about this character that seems to be normal when the movie begins but soon he can be isolated from other auto drivers. All of this leads to a terrible end.
Why did you choose Narayan as your protagonist?
Basically, I just wanted to do a character study of a destructive mind in a repressive society. At the same time, I wanted to show Narayan’s side in the sense that for him killing is fine to cleanse the society. This character is frustrated and this frustration leads to madness.I wanted to explore the so-called social realist filmmakers in India who make movies on the lower strata of society and wanted to question their point of view. I am also questioning the camera crew (media) through this film — if they have the right intentions and what they want from the auto driver Narayan.
Why is he sexually frustrated?
In my film, the character’s sexual frustration comes out. It’s also because we live in a sexually repressed society. And there is a general frustration in bigger cities with all the advertisements that either sells sex or the idea of sex that makes one more frustrated as one always looks for more. And maybe it’s also some kind of sickness of the character. You can link this mental sickness to the hyper-sexuality that exists in our society.
Have you met any such auto drivers?
I have travelled in auto rickshaws all my life and have met many different kinds of auto drivers. Yes, I did take some behavioural details. But this character I wrote is a mix of my point of view, my surrounding and the character study I wanted to do of a mind that a lot of people might think is sick. I am trying to see if my point of view can be accepted through this character or people would still think of him as a psycho or a sick criminal.
The trailer shows a scene where Narayan talk about satisfying a woman physically in detail. Worried the censor board may snip it out?
Not as of now. We are still in the process of applying. I don’t think we will face major censorship issues because we have just used rough language but there are no hyper-violent scenes. We have used some shrewd language because it was the demand of the film. Censorship is like free advertisement for the government. It should not be there at all. You make a film that completely comes from within. Cutting a scene actually takes away the essence of the movie.
Your film got rave reviews at Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival and your lead actor Deepak Sampat got the best actor award. Any comments?
It felt amazing. People loved the movie.It has boosted me up. I hope I get the same reaction in India too. I have been told that people have not seen such a film before. Talking about Deepak, he is a very dedicated, focused and hardworking actor. You know there are only a few people whose soul is that of an actor. And I think Deepak is one of them.
When will we be able to watch Autohead?
We are working for it. The film will be out for the audience by the end of this year. We are going for a theatrical release.