Asked if he feels that the industry lacks good screeplay writers, he said: “Oh, completely. Writers are not even recognised for their work. I don’t see any genuine writing talent coming here. No one comes to our cinema specially to be a screenplay writer,” Nambiar said.
Excerpts from the interview:
Q. After the stunning ‘Shaitaan’ you seem to be again addressing your cinema to the angst of the urban youth.
A. Yes, that theme does seem to resonate in my second film. Otherwise in ‘David’ I’ve moved as far away as possible from ‘Shaitaan’. I don’t want to be seen as any particular kind of filmmaker. I want to be known as a filmmaker who selects different genres.
Q. How did you pick on a format where we get three stories about three characters named ‘David’?
A. I was looking at other ideas. Then the idea of tying together three stories with three different characters in different spaces came up. That’s how it started. The allusion to the Biblical David & Goliath is prevalent all through the film. Each David in my film is fighting his own Goliath.
Q. Episodic films don’t generally work for Hindi audiences.
A. It’s episodic, yes. It jumps from one narrative to another. But ‘David’ is finally one cohesive film. The three stories finally converge. Initially there was resistance to my idea. Aisi filmein aayee nahin hai to chalne ke chances kam hai (Such films are made rarely so the chances of them doing well on the box-office are less). The first thing the producers wanted to know is, how do the three stories come together?
Q. How did you pick stories that resonate in the present even when set in the past?
A. I am a big fan of drama. I love drama as a genre. ‘Shaitaan’ with all its contemporary thrusts still had an emotional core to it. ‘David’ too has a high emotional quotient. Even though it is a gangster story it has a heart-core of drama. And that’s what interested me.
Q. Which of the three segments of ‘David’ is your favourite?
A. They are my triplets. But if you insist that I pick one then it would have to be the Mumbai story with Vinay Virmani because that is where the genesis of ‘David’ started.
Q. What made you select Vinay Virmani?
A. Vinay auditioned for me. And that was it. He was excellent. I hope this film does good things for him because he has worked really hard on his character.
Q. Do you feel there’s a serious dearth of screenplay writers in our cinema?
A. Oh, completely. Writers are not even recognised for their work. I don’t see any genuine writing talent coming here. No one comes to our cinema specially to be a screenplay writer.
Q. Do you feel there is enough freedom of expression for filmmakers in this country?
A. Not at all. We have a censor board. But its authority is now superseded by other self-appointed sectors of censorship. Then what is the point of having the Central Board Of Film Certification? If the censor board tells me to get rid of something I’d argue with them and try to convince them. But what do we do when the protests come from outside the official censor board?
Q. Two of your songs in ‘David’ have been under a moral microscope?
A. There are so many dirty vulgar songs around. There can’t be separate rules for different filmmakers.
Q. Your two films so far are dark and edgy. How about a comedy ?
A. That’s what I am doing next. I am writing a comedy right now. However, the story featuring Vikram and Tabu in ‘David’ has a lot of humour.
Q. I believe you are a fantastic mimic.
A. Yes, that fun side will come out next. But for now, I am just days away from ‘David’. Though I am confident about my film I am still curious to know what reaction I’ll get from the audience.