Writer, director, producer and an ad-film maker, what Dibakar Banerjee enjoys the most about his work is the diversity that it brings along. Not ready to choose one role over the other, the two-time National Award winner for films Khosla Ka Ghosla (2006), Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! (2008), Banerjee is happy that he is able to do all these different things in life. With his Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar ready for release this Friday, he opens up on a life lived full.
How has been the journey in the industry?
I just feel lucky that I am alive and I am glad to be making films now. I am grateful.
Your film Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar took a lot of time to release. Must’ve been a difficult phase for you as a filmmaker to see your film not releasing?
I am used to it. My first film as a director was Khosla Ka Ghosla. It was released two-and-a-half years after it was made.
Is Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar a mainstream film? Do you think the days of categorising films are gone?
I have been out of all categories for the last 14 years. I think I am permanently uncategorisable. Having said that I want my film to be more profitable but I don’t know how to do that. I just know how to make films.
How was it directing Arjun Kapoor and Parineeti Chopra?
Parineeti and I argued endlessly on Sandeep (Pari’s character) and I learnt a lot. She is a very strong willed and combative individual who needs her own answers. And I hugely enjoy confrontations on the creative front, so that was the high- point of our combined work on SAPF. For Arjun, he changed himself for Pinky (his character’s name)— the dialect training, boot camp with the cops, workshops, the endless rehearsals and discussions around the script with me.
The film has many outdoor sequences. Do you think shooting before the pandemic was a blessing?
I am happy that the film is releasing now because when we watch this, it’s like something that we can’t show right now, something that we can’t shoot right now. It’s glimpses of what was pre-Covid.
Do you agree that audiences have changed and if yes, what are the reasons for that change?
Right from my first film, I have been told that the audience is changing. Over the last 14 years, I have been making films keeping in mind that the audience is changing. And I live and go on making films with the hope that the audience will change.
Looking at your career, any mistakes you can pinpoint and would like to undo?
My life actually is a series of mistakes and I just can’t undo one mistake. Which is why I am here, what I am doing, I am fine. — TNS