Sketching politics

Amrita Prasad
Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Anubhav Sinha, director of Abhi Toh Party Shuru Hui Hai, speaks of his film, how it can be perceived differently by every individual and the future of content-oriented cinema in India

If one had to describe Anubhav Sinha based on his films — Tum Bin, Dus, and Ra.One — it would be ‘cool’. If one goes by his real life appearance, he’s someone who has the quirkiest collection of t-shirts. When we caught up with the filmmaker in Lucknow during the shoot of his film Abhi Toh Party Shuru Hui Hai, he gave us a peek into the vision behind it. 

Anubhav, along with Sony Pictures Networks Productions, has collaborated with 12 actors — Saurabh Shukla, Pankaj Tripathi, Vinay Pathak, Pavan Malhotra, Divya Dutta, Kumud Mishra, Manoj Pahwa, Richa Chadha, Dilip Prabhavalkar, Cyrus Broacha, Prateik Babbar and Shriya Pilgaonkar for the political satire. 

After a long day of shoot, when the director finally sat down for an interview with ST, he said that his film is a funny take on corruption and strife for power, but in reality we are a corrupt country. 

“The film deals with corruption in an interesting and hilarious way, but we have to agree that corruption is deep-rooted in our country,” says Anubhav adding that politics is a complex thing, and hence he leaves it to his audience to decide if they found it political or funny. 

“Everytime you watch a film or any piece of art for that matter, you will relate to it in a unique manner — depending on your ideologies. Politics has many layers, although the treatment of the film is humorous, depending on how political you are or what political ideologies you believe in, you’ll derive your own conclusions,” asserts Anubhav who also directed Gulaab Gang. 

The story of Abhi To Party... is extremely dear to the director who finished writing it in one go.
According to Anubhav, the USP of the film is its cast which comprises some veteran actors and a few young talented artists. “Each one of them laughed their lungs out when they read the script for the first time which was a sign that the final product will be funny,” he adds. When asked if it was difficult to manage such a huge cast, he says that he had great faith in them.

The exposure to world cinema now is tremendous and thanks to platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, the type of content people wish to watch is also changing. When asked if the shift in the medium poses a threat to the big screen, Anubhav says that the growing mediums will only provide new avenues and platforms for artists. “Although the medium influences the audience, big screens and cinema will never cease to attract film lovers. It all boils down to content and as long as you keep making good cinema, people will continue to watch it,” he believes.

His film has actors who do not fit into the conventional ‘hero’ category and the subject is quite niche. The director says that people often ask him ‘who is the hero of the film?’ “Last year, a lot of small films did well and it is a sign that there is a change in the perception of a hero. There’s no denying that the conventional heroes and masala films will continue to rule Bollywood, but a good cinema and a good script will always find its audience,” he says. 

Anubhav is also gearing up for the release of Mulk, starring Rishi Kapoor, Rajat Kapur, Taapsee Pannu and Prateik Babbar.

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