Post Kadak Singh's success, filmmaker Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury shares the details of his next 3  Hindi films 

Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury opens up about his future projects 
Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury
Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury

His third Hindi film, Kadak Singh (an OTT original), has surpassed 75 million minutes of viewing in the first weekend itself and is trending number one on Zee5. He is all set to lay his hands on a Bengali film after 8-9 years of his last release, Buno Haansh, besides three other Hindi big-ticket films that will go on floors early next year. But his busy schedule doesn't prevent filmmaker Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury from stealing some ‘me’ time and seeking pleasure in simple things. As we enjoyed a laidback brunch at The Tollygunge Club, Aniruddha -- fondly called Tony by his close friends and industry colleagues -- takes us through his work calendar in 2024 and tells us why he chooses to handle one project at a time.

Kadak Singh is trending big time, did you expect this kind of response?

I got so many calls and messages from across the world. It was a lot of hard work and all of us believe in the story. It is not your typical song and dance film – it has its own merits, drama and genre and we are happy that it is resonating with the viewers.

How did you conceive that film?

It was in 2016 that Wizcraft’s Viraf Sarkari came to me with a story. I usually work with my own script except two films that were based on Sunil Ganguly’s Dui Nari Hath e Tarabari and Samaresh Majumdar’s Buno Hans. I always want to make films out of what touches me personally, or the little things that I observe or feel. There is not even in a moment in my films that I fake.

There was a line in Viraf’s story centering around a father-daughter confrontation that touched me deeply. We took that line from that story and slowly built a script around it by incorporating whatever I observe around me. Like life, Kadak Singh too had an organic growth with all things good, bad, ugly, painful, hurtful and joyful. I know the moments and characters in this film too well. I know women like Jaya’s Naina or the nurse played by Parvati. They exist all around us in real life. There is a story in each one of us which we neglect instead of nurturing. So, in essence, Kadak Singh is a slice of life told on screen.

How was it working with Pankaj Tripathi?

He is superb and understands what a director wants from him. We developed a good bonding and he took the film somewhere so exciting with his performance. Not only Pankaj, but my entire cast elevated the scenes.

Did you always see Jaya Ahsan playing Kadak Singh’s Naina?

I wanted to do a film with Jaya for the longest time. When I created Naina, I needed an actress who is quiet, dignified, has depth, sadness and kindness in her eyes, and Jaya seemed to be the ideal choice.

Despite praises coming from your well-wishers in other parts of the world, your industry colleagues here are strangely quiet on social media. Does it hurt?

Liking or disliking a film is a very personal choice and I can’t interfere there. Also, I have reached a stage in life where I have risen above all the hurt and take life as it comes. But yes, I got a call from Dev after he watched the trailer, Shiboprosad Mukherjee called me, Arindam Sil called me and composer Prabuddha Banerjee too called.

Your upcoming projects?

One big budget Hindi film produced by Ajay Kapoor will go on floors. It’s a mature and responsible love story of a couple in their mid-30s. The second one is a Hindi movie produced by one of the top-3 houses in Bollywood. There’s yet another one, a tale of humanity with the war in the background. It is based on a book written by contemporary author Kunal Basu.

Besides these three Hindi films, I am surely doing a Bengali film within 2-3 months that I have co-written with scientist and novelist Sakya Bhattacharya. It’s a relationship tale of two adults and a kid and I have thought of Jaya Ahsan and Saswata Chatterjee in the lead. There might be a web series on a global scale on the anvil too.

What inspires you?

Life inspires me. I make films out of the moments that touch me. I believe a raga a day keeps your worries away and I make it a point to make phone calls to 2-3 people I love or I met recently. I celebrate life. As a director I want to believe in whatever I do. If I don’t love a story, I can’t make it -- I don’t need to compromise at this stage of my life. I envy only two kinds of people -- one who can sing or play any musical instrument well, and one who can cook well.

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