Over the past decade, film-maker Rajat Kapoor has found a niche for himself in Bollywood, writing and directing movies that rely more on unusual plots than glamorous movie stars.
His latest film, “Ankhon Dekhi”, has actor Sanjay Mishra playing a man who refuses to believe anything that he hasn’t experienced himself. The film opens in Indian cinemas on Friday.
Kapoor, 53, spoke to Reuters about “Ankhon Dekhi” and why he doesn’t work with Bollywood movie stars.
How did the film come about?
The idea was very simple. It was that a man decides ‘I will not believe anything I have not experienced’. It is the journey of a man who one day decides that the only truth is the truth of his experience. It happens to us all the time. If you have heard about a particular dish, or a person before you have tasted it or met them, your idea of them has already been coloured. But when you experience it for yourself, you might find it is not as you had thought it would be. “Ankhon Dekhi” doesn’t mean just trusting your eyes, but your experience.
How do you make a film based on such an ambiguous premise?
This was the starting point. For two-three years, the idea was hanging in my head. I have always wanted to make a film on a joint family. Then it became a story of this family and how it comes apart thanks to the lead character Bauji’s madness and obsession. I grew up in a joint family and it’s been a great desire to make a film in that setting. For me, it’s nostalgia. My father’s family had six brothers and two sisters. So we had uncles, aunts, cousins, everyone. All of “Ankhon Dekhi” has at least 20 people in each frame.