Kaabil director Sanjay Gupta is keen to make a superhero film
The filmmaker who has been busy helping his wife relaunch her designer label talks to Indulge about his films, relationship with Sanjay Dutt and why he wants to make a superhero film
Designer Anuradha Gupta is making ‘a comeback’ with a collection of embroidered shrugs, dresses and tunics. At least, that ’s what her husband, Sanjay Gupta says. “I know how stars hate to use the word ‘comeback’.... So I won’t call it a ‘comeback’ collection,” rejoins Anuradha, in response to her filmmaker husband’s comment. It’s this lighthearted repartee that is the likely secret of their successful marriage. Sanjay who seems to have taken a break after his last film Kaabil (that entered the 100-crore club) has been busy with the relaunch of his wife’s label, Anuradha.
Butterflies in her stomach
Anuradha, who is getting back to work as a designer after eight years (she was busy with motherhood), was in Raintree last week to present her new collection of pret wear. “I made four pieces and showed them to Sanjay earlier in March, and he said, ‘wow! this is fantastic.’ That was the first push for me to get back to work,” says the designer who is inspired by butterflies, peacocks and chandeliers.
Even as she explains how her husband has been encouraging, Sanjay underplays his role saying, “She is very good at what she does. She has a subtle style that’s not over the top.”
The Mani magic
The classy, understated style is also something that is reflected in Sanjay’s productions. From his first film Aatish: Feel the Fire, then Kaante, Musafir, Zinda and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s comeback film, Jazbaa, to Kaabil, his films have always been visually sharp and technically advanced and on par with international standards.
However, Sanjay has a different viewpoint, “The style in my films came from Indian filmmakers. I watched Mani Ratnam’s Nayakan (1987) by chance, with subtitles, and I was completely blown away. I was like, can we make an Indian film like this? Around the same time, I watched Parinda, and I keenly followed another emerging filmmaker, Mukul Anand, who made Hum — the point that I understood was that cinema has to be larger than life.” Most of Sanjay’s films have been massive productions with colossal yet minimalist sets, technically advanced lighting and editing, and enviable casts that at most times included Sanjay Dutt.
Sanju by his side
Talking about his relationship with Sanjay Dutt, whom he calls ‘Sanju,’ the filmmaker gets quite candid. “Most actors would come onboard only when the script was completely written. If I didn’t have an actor with me, the producer wouldn’t pay, and there was no guarantee of the film taking off. But if I had an actor who said, ‘I am doing it, go write the script;’ there was a sense of loyalty and attachment. I shared this strong relationship with Sanju,” reveals the filmmaker who cast the actor in 10 of his 17 films.
For many years, Sanjay Gupta and Sanjay Dutt were considered synonymous in the industry. “I made my first film with him,” says the director, adding, “He was always late and was indisciplined. But I was the only director he was scared of because he could never give me an excuse, I knew everything about him, from where he was a night before to why he was late for the shoot.” When asked if he would work
with Sanju again, the filmmaker chooses his words carefully. “If I have to make something with him, it has to be magical. What he is doing today is not what I want to make. He deserves much better,” declares the filmmaker who is currently working on two scripts.
Superhero in the pipeline?
The director’s next move is to make a complete family film. Since he has made too many anti-hero films, Sanjay wants to make a movie that his son will be proud about. “He can’t go to school and talk about a Kaabil, Jazbaa or Shootout at Wadala. Now my focus is to make a superhero film,” says the director who has been reading a lot of graphic novels lately to draw inspiration for his project. So when asked if that superhero film could be Krrish 4, since the grapevine is abuzz that he could be directing it, he says, “Rakesh Roshan is the best person to answer that. But yes, I certainly want to make a superhero film.”