Director Anubhav Sinha talks about his upcoming film Mulk 

The director says Mulk is a significant film, not just for him, but also for India

Ayesha Tabassum Published :  09th July 2018 03:49 PM   |   Published :   |  09th July 2018 03:49 PM
Mulk Movie Stills

A still from the upcoming film Mulk

The first time Anubhav Sinha released a still from his upcoming film Mulk, on Twitter, stating that this is the most important film of his career, it created a buzz in the industry and among his fans. 

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The striking image of an aged Rishi Kapoor, as a Muslim, and a stern Taapsee Pannu as an advocate, generated curiosity in everyone’s minds. This was back in May. Now, as Anubhav’s team released the first teaser of the film online and continues to release more film stills, everyone is waiting for Mulk’s release in August. “Mulk is about what the country should be, that’s all I will say right now,” says the director. “Essentially, it is a story of a family through which one explores present day situations and how one tries to deal with it from today’s perspective. It’s a social thriller, a social courtroom drama about our society,” he adds choosing his words carefully. 

Though Mulk has other seasoned actors like Ashutosh Rana, Rajat Kapoor, Manoj Pahwa and Neena Gupta, it is Rishi Kapoor and Taapsee who seem to be the faces of the film. It is said that Anubhav had only these two actors in mind even when he started penning the script. “I am happy they agreed to be part of the film. 

Taapsee plays an upright lawyer who fights for justice. Rishi has been playing different roles in recent times, this role too happens to be very different from the other Muslim characters he has played. 
It is very unique and he has played it very well,” says the director being very discreet, not giving away 
much of what to expect.

Big party
Even as he prepares for Mulk’s big release, Anubhav has wrapped up shooting for his other political satire, a comedy, Abhi Toh Party Shuru Hui Hai that stars a huge ensemble cast. From Saurabh Shukla, Pankaj Tripathi, Vinay Pathak, Pavan Malhotra, Divya Dutta, Kumud Mishra, Manoj Pahwa, Richa Chadha to Dilip Prabhavalkar and Cyrus Broacha, the director has gathered a motley group of the experienced actors from the industry.

Even younger actors such as Prateik Babbar and Shriya Pilagaonkar are part of this huge production. “There are these many characters in the film and I wanted the best for each of these roles. I hadn’t realised the cast would be this large till they came for the first reading session and when I saw them together in one room, I realised it would be a blast to work with them and it did turn out that way,” he says. 

Though Anubhav has chosen to work with mostly veteran actors in these two upcoming projects, the fact that he has given a break to many new faces in his earlier films cannot be ignored. Be it his Tum Bin films and other projects where many newcomers have been given important roles, the filmmaker says it is something he does deliberately. “I get very challenged by the amount of energy these newcomers bring to the sets. Whether it is their first film or first music video, they want to give it their all. That keeps me on my toes to match that energy and I want to do my best, so I get very excited to work with new talent,” he offers.

Talking about the industry, Anubhav says there have been a lot of changes. He says everything is a lot more organised now and everyone has specific roles to play in film production which makes everything easier. “It has helped in many ways. I was able to complete Mulk in 27 days and Abhi Toh Party Shuru Hui Hai in 34 days. It wouldn’t have been possible earlier. It’s a fantastic change and everything is a lot more cost and time efficient,” says Anubhav whose last biggest commercial production was Ra.One. 

Riding the tiger
With all its special visual effects, a sci-fi storyline and Shah Rukh Khan as the hero, the film will remain a landmark in the history of Indian cinema. “Making Ra.One was like riding a tiger. You had to be on top of the tiger, you had to go with the stride, you had no choice. That film was a ferocious tiger. It had special effects, it had Shah Rukh Khan, it had a huge budget and it was riding on a whole lot of expectations from the audience. I will for sure attempt it again. But right now, I am surrounded by a lot of other stories like Mulk that need to be told, these have been living inside me and troubling me,” he says. 

In addition to his films, Anubhav who had started his career direc-ting music videos has gone back to 
it with a new series titled 5 Shades of Love. These are apparently inspired by the American film 50 Shades of Grey. Anubhav concludes saying, “Yes, I have been shooting some very interesting music videos. I shot a few in London recently and will be shooting more. They could be termed as ‘50 Shades of Grey’ in the Indian context in terms of erotica but are nowhere close to what the original songs could 
have been.”