Director Rajesh Mapuskar opens up about his Marathi debut film "Ventilator" which recently got screened at the Jio MAMI 18th Mumbai Film Festival with Star.

Rajesh Mapuskar’s debut Marathi feature Ventilator is showing at the Jio MAMI 18th Mumbai Film Festival with Star. We speak to the director on working with Priyanka Chopra’s ‘Purple Pebble Pictures’ and more.

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How did the idea of Ventilator come about?

The idea came from real life incidents. It’s a very personal story about a family in crisis, based on my own family and others’ families as well. I’ve watched many families take care of an ailing relative, and sometimes how families behave and talk is very shocking. I wanted to explore the layers of emotions surrounding a situation like this.

You’ve worked on films such as 3 Idiots and Munna Bhai before as an associate director. How have your past experiences shaped your role as director in your Marathi debut?

Yes, Vidhu Vinod Chopra was amazing to work with and so was Rajkumar Hirani, who is a good friend. He works so hard, and never leaves any stone unturned to get the work done, which is incredible. And Vinod sir has really shown me the power of believing in a story and telling it honestly.

For this film, you’ve worked with a lot of eminent Marathi theatre and film actors. Tell us about the experience.

I’m lucky that I could bring actors of this calibre together on one platform for a film. As a director, this made my work so easy. They got into the skin of the character so effortlessly, and their performances were outstanding. Working with them has been an incredible joyride for me.

What was your experience of working with Priyanka Chopra’s Purple Pebble Pictures like?

It is their first Marathi production, and one of its first productions overall, in fact. I told Priyanka about the script when we met, and it just clicked instantly – it was like this film was destined to happen.

While she is not here in Mumbai right now, her mother (Madhu Chopra) is around. They’ve both been so involved and emotionally connected to the film. Priyanka is amazing, she’s always calling and making sure everything is on track, and following up.

What do you hope to make audiences feel after watching this film?

I hope that it makes them think about their family a little differently, and makes them want to reconnect with them. We all have issues with our family members that we don’t address for months and years; I hope that seeing this film encourages some of these issues to be ventilated.

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Ventilator is a very personal story about a family in crisis : Rajesh
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pandolin