Anubhav Sinha, the director in the hotseat in this episode of Film-Maker Fridays is alternately chuffed and relieved as he should be. Article 15, his film outing earlier this year about the prevalence of caste system in post-modern India opened to glowing reviews. And deservedly so. The story about a young IPS officer Ayan Ranjan, who on a posting in the dusty hinterland of Uttar Pradesh finds himself investigating a crime that is difficult to establish because of the oppressive caste system.
Having come close on the heels of his film Mulk, about an Indian Muslim family with a family member suspected to have terror links it has established Sinha as a ‘cerebral’ film-maker. The love and respect he received for Mulk, encouraged him to direct and produce Article 15 which he wrote before Mulk, reveals the director.
Given Sinha’s history—a maker of masala films like Tum Bin, Dus or Ra.One, his recent turn towards films with a powerful and socially relevant cinema has surprised the industry and critics alike.
Sinha, however, is quite amused with the incredulous reactions that Mulk and Article 15 have fetched him.
“I was very uncomfortable when I was making Dus and Cash and Ra.One. People would meet me and say ‘it seems like someone else has made those films’. You are not that same person. So I got very disconcerted about it. Most film-makers I know and admire, they make films which reflect their personalities. All I know is that I was this person even when I was making Dus and Cash and Ra.One, Tathastu and Aapko Pehle Kahin Dekha Hai. Maybe that was not my best comfort zone until I got very restless about a story, which I thought I must tell, which was Mulk,” reasons Sinha.
He is however not in the least derisive of commercial cinema which he acknowledges is a lot more difficult to pull off. “What Rohit Shetty does is way more challenging and difficult than making Article 15 or Mulk,” he says.
There’s quite evidently a lot more to the director and his creative process than we know. Watch this episode of Film-Maker Fridays to find out more about director Anubhav Sinha.