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"Mumbai is a completely crazy city. The chaos in it is already unbearable": Interview with director "The Mumbai photographer" - Walla! culture

2020-01-25T21:16:03.663Z

A few years after the hit Lunchbox hit, director Rich Bertha returns with another indie film of the kind we're not used to seeing, and this time a romantic drama about cross-class love. In the interview, he tells ...



"Mumbai is a completely crazy city. The chaos in it is already unbearable": Interview with director "The Mumbai photographer"

A few years after the hit Lunchbox hit, director Rich Bertha returns with another indie film of the kind we're not used to seeing, and this time a romantic drama about cross-class love. In the interview, he talks about the impossible filming in Mumbai and what he learned from Robert Redford

"Mumbai is a completely crazy city. The chaos in it is already unbearable": Interview with director "The Mumbai photographer"

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Indian director Rich Batra broke out seven years ago thanks to the Lunchbox, which proved that cinema in his country is not just Bollywood, and has had a dizzying international success - in real time, distributors of the Cannes Film market have quarreled over the right to buy it Because the deal paid off for them. Thanks to this bounce, he subsequently directed two English-speaking and star-studded films, "Sense of End" and "Man and Woman at Night," and last year returned to his homeland to create "The Photographer from Mumbai," which came up this weekend, about a year after his premiere in the frame Berlin Festival.

As its name implies, the film is about a photographer wandering the streets of the vast Indian city, and a passing photographer and bystander. Meeting someone like this, which is customary to say a good-looking girl, lights a lightbulb in his mind - he'll show pictures of her to his grandmother, who has long been pressuring him to marry, and tell her that they are a couple, which gets her off his back. Although the grandmother is happy with the picture, she wants to meet the fictitious fiancé, and her request makes the scam more complex.

"It's a fairytale story that can't really happen," says the director in an interview with Walla! Culture for the release of the film in Israel. "He is a low-class Muslim and is a middle-class Hindu. In reality, he would film her, she would pay him and so it was over. In the film, he manages to locate her and she agrees to impersonate his fiancee and continue to meet with him - something that would never happen. So when I was working with the photographer on the artistic style of the film, we designed it as a painting, like a story, because it's a fantasy. "

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"In reality, there is no chance that a poor and Hindu Muslim with money will meet." From "The Photographer from Mumbai" (Photo: PR)

The photographer from Mumbai (Photo: Cinema Lev, PR)

Still, you photographed it at the real scene - Mumbai. To some extent, you could even say that the movie is a love letter to the city.

"I don't live in India anymore, but in New York, but I went back to a homeland to film the film, and sometimes anyone who comes from outside sees the city differently, which is only conducive. I love everything in this city. It's absolutely crazy."

How much has it changed?

"Very. Well, because the whole world is changing, and for specific reasons. It's more Western, more consumerist, much hotter, and much denser. When we shot Lunchbox, it was much easier. This time, the chaos was almost unbearable. The scenes that take place in the taxi, we initially tried to shoot at the location but we just spent two days in vain and we ended up filming them in the studio. "

The film has scenes that take place near the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, one of the earliest terrorist attacks in 2008.

"I was in the city at the time and there was complete hysteria. I called everyone I know to check if he was okay. When I was filming there, I didn't think about the terrorist attack. I focused on the story I wanted to tell and the characters."

The opposite of Bollywood. From "The Photographer from Mumbai" (Photo: PR)

The photographer from Mumbai (Photo: Cinema Lev, PR)

The actress who plays the grandmother, Froka Jaffer, 86, and it's actually her first big role that makes her well known in the international arena as well.

"Yes, this is an actress who started late, in the 1980s, and then retired very quickly before returning to business early last decade. I remembered her from her first roles and went to visit her in the town where she lives to offer her the job. She was surprised by the offer, but very happy From her and enjoyed the experience. "

When you introduce yourself to the world as a director of Indian cinema, do you feel you have to overcome the stigma that Indian films always feature songs and dances?

"Most Indian films really are like that. It has always been and is like this now. When the Lunchbox came out, many people were surprised, but its success proved that there was room for such Indian films as well."

At 86, star. From "The Photographer from Mumbai" (Photo: PR)

The photographer from Mumbai (Photo: Cinema Lev, PR)

What memories do you have of the wonderful Lunchbox journey around the world?

"I've traveled to a lot of places with him, and it's always been interesting to see how people in different countries react to it. The more specific, the more universal it is, because people take the specific things and inherit them for themselves. It is often talked about that things get lost in translation - but in fact, even if there are cultural gaps, nothing is really lost, you just see it differently. "

You directed "Man and Woman at Night," one of the first Netflix films to feature at the Venice Festival and starring two renowned actors - Robert Redford and Jane Fonda. What was it like to work with them?

"It was a great experience. We had a long rehearsal period, where the three of us spent in our room alone. Both are very kind and very generous.

From India to Netflix. Rich Batra (Photo: Image Bank)

Rich Batra (Photo: GettyImages)

Source: walla

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