I’m a bit of both – methodical and spontaneous as a director – Bejoy Nambiar
Experimenting with out of the box ideas seems to be synonymous with this filmmaker. Being just two films young, he has been accredited and applauded for creating cinema which has a certain outstanding flair. From his directorial debut Shaitan to the recently released David, director Bejoy Nambiar has proved that he is not one to tread the conventional lines of storytelling and will continue to surprise his audiences with avant-garde filmmaking.
In a tete a tete with Pandolin he shares his journey of making a film with special reference to ‘David’, a story about three different people set three different places in three different eras and finally coming together as one cohesive film.
[pullquote_right]The approach for David was mainly like I was doing three different films, so it was quite challenging working with so many people at the same time and then to get it all together and make it one cohesive whole.[/pullquote_right]
A true incident that Bejoy read in a newspaper article sparked off the idea for David. ” That story idea merged with the other story ideas I was working on. I had this one big idea of making a film on three different characters in three different spaces in time, but with the same name,” says the talented filmmaker on his second directorial venture.
“It was a conscious decision to have a father – son layer in every story. Each story has the father – son angle but in a different context,” he adds.
Did you know? The film was initially titled Michael but since the rights to the title were with Anurag they changed it to David.
On quizzing him as to why he chose to make a bilingual, Bejoy says, “When I cast Vikram sir, we realised that there was a huge potential in trying to tap the South Indian market as well. So before we went on the floors to shoot, we decided to rewrite some bits in Tamil so that the story makes sense in Tamil as well. Then we did fresh casting for the Tamil version and then approached it as a bilingual.”
Was it challenging to shoot bilingually? “Yes it was very challenging to shoot in two languages simultaneously. Also we shot only two of the stories and didn’t choose the Neil Nitin Mukesh story because I didn’t think that it would work in Tamil, hence kept that out.”
He has made two films – Shaitan and David, both of which boast of casting that is spot – on. How does he choose the perfect actors? When I’m working on a script. I have an idea of the kind of actors I would want to cast in particular roles. Like while writing the London part, Neil Nitin Mukesh was definitely one of the people I strongly considered.
From working with fresh faces in Shaitan to a highly experienced cast in David was a learning experience for me as well as I was working with such a multi- talented cast. It was a new thing for me too and I’ve learnt a lot doing David.
Working with an ensemble cast also has its challenges. The approach for David was mainly like I was doing three different films, so it was quite challenging working with so many people at the same time and then to get it all together and make it one cohesive whole. Throughout you have it keep it in mind that it has to connect to the bigger picture so in that sense it was very difficult putting it all together .
Working with three different cinematographers on one film, each part having a distinct look, what was his experience like? “Since we were treating the 3 parts as three different films it was not difficult to work with three different cinematographers and get them to interpret the vision. Each cinematographer brought in his own sensibilities.”
Bejoy’s films are remembered for their brilliant background score and music. “I use a lot of music in my films. I let the music drive my stories. As I’m writing itself, I try and gather a lot of songs. Ive worked with around 8 – 9 music directors on David.”
When prodded about whether he is methodical or spontaneous as a director, Bejoy says with a laugh, “I think I’m a mix of both.”
After fast – paced movies like Shaitan and David what can we expect next ” With David just being done, I haven’t yet decided what I’m going to do next. You’ll have to wait and watch,” says the maverick director.