This Will End In Murder – When stories come to life
Can stories come to life? Producer Mukund Sanghi’s English psychological noir This Will End in Murder poses this question to it’s audience. The film directed by Tushar Raheja sees a famous author’s plans to discuss possible climaxes of his forthcoming novel turn into a crime scene when his characters
The psychological thriller was part of the recently concluded Film Bazaar in Goa. Back with happy news of selling his film in the world market, Sanghi talks about how their film, which stars celebrated actor Victor Banerjee and is shot completely in black and white, is a class apart from all the conventional independent films.
What is the film about?
The film is about the eternal question – ‘Who am I?’ What if the societal elements of parenting, teaching, law are an elaborate set-up? What if I am a pawn in this set-up? These questions, are, however, dealt with in the movie through an elaborate, thrilling con-game which carefully strips off layers within layers.
How did the script come to you? And why did you decide on producing it?
The film’s director Tushar Raheja and I share a common interest in the theme of ‘identity’. We are both passionate about films by (Christopher) Nolan and The Wachowskis. When Tushar began writing this script, which began as a novel, I knew I had to make this film. When I read the script, I was sure that this wasn’t going to be an ordinary independent film. For me, it was an instant classic.
Was it a creative decision to make the film in a black and white palette? What are the challenges the team faced?
(Shooting in) Black and White was a careful aesthetic choice that arose naturally out of the noir elements in the script. The main challenge was to keep the budget low. The story is very grand and could easily have been made into a big sci-fi production. But the only brief we gave Tushar was to contain the story in two rooms. This was a massive challenge – to deal with an almost epic subject within the constraints of two rooms – but Tushar responded positively and played up the claustrophobia of the trapped, doomed characters.
It’s a black and white, English film meant for niche audience. Who would you say is your target audience?
I come from an engineering background. At IIT Delhi and Columbia, where I studied, we lapped up such mind-bending movies with religious enthusiasm. So we are sure that the market for such a film is huge – right from teenagers in high schools to grad students in campuses to young professionals. The film has a stellar cast – Victor Banerjee in a unique avatar – and stellar performances. We are confident that it will connect with audiences around the world.
Going forward, what is your marketing strategy for the film?
For India, the marketing plan has to wait as the film is still doing the rounds at international festivals and markets. We have just closed deals in China and Africa. Because the film is in English, and the market is not just India but the whole world, we will have to carefully assess our entry into India.
How was the experience at Film Bazaar 2016?
We sold the film in Berlin at the EFM, so our only aim at the Bazaar was to connect with Indian filmmakers and let them know about the film.