Studying at SCM Sophia has been a tough but exciting journey right from the day go. Having the best professors from the industry training us in the craft and making us perfect has been the highlight, apart from all the interesting assignments of course. One such assignment was Mountain One-Interview a Celebrity assigned to us by Jerry Pinto, professor for journalism.
It was a scramble to find, contact and finally get a celebrity to agree to talk for the interview.
Here is my attempt at scaling the first mountain.
06th November 2020
Times are unusual, the days are a blur, and on one such day, I had the opportunity to interview Mr. N. Chandra, director of the famed ‘Tezaab’ (1988). We connected over a Zoom call, owing it to the Covid-19 pandemic. Mr. Chandra is sitting at a desk, clad in a white kurta, a trophy with ’23 years of Tezaab’ embellished on it rests behind him. He smiles, a beaming grin, as I ask him my first question, was cinema his first choice, first love? He was a passive film goer, he enjoyed watching them, he begins, but the thought of making films never crossed his mind. It was when he dropped out of college, and was unemployed that his father asked him to come work as a film editor at the Film Center in Tardeo, Mumbai.
However, Mr. Chandra knew for sure he wanted to make a film of his own, when he was working with Bapu, a director from the South Indian film industry.
Talking about the journey of his first film, he says that it was impossible to get producers to fund his film. He gives all credit to his wife, who supported him when he sold her jewellery and their house along with his friend to kickstart his career. Still on the topic of his first film, ‘Ankush’, I ask why he chose to show a realistic point of view in his movies. He elaborates, saying that any film one makes, of any genre, they must always incorporate their personal experiences in the film for it to turn out authentic. A film won’t be a film without realism and also, humour, Mr. Chandra tells me.
Continuing our talk on films, he says, according to him, film remakes should be avoided. For every movie has a charm that catered to the era that it was made in, and in remaking, somewhere, that charm is lost to the quirks of the current time, speaking particularly for his films.
My next question alarms him a little. What would you do if someone came to you asking to remake ‘Tezaab’?
I would tell them, please don’t. Just like how ‘Mughal – e – Azam’ cannot be remade again today, to keep its charisma intact, he says, ‘Tezaab’ too, wouldn’t be the same. They would want to remake ‘Tezaab’ and they would end up making something completely different. Same goes for sequels, he asserts. Stretching out a film for a sequel makes no sense because when a movie is made, its story ends there.
Before concluding our talk, I ask him about the actors he worked with in Tezaab, he smiles widely, telling me, that, over time, people grow and change. It has been a great journey looking at them do just that. On that note, I tell him about how I enjoyed watching Tezaab as a teenager, and how surreal it was to interview the one who made it. I thank him for his time, and end our Zoom call.