Director Sudipto Sarkar teams up with Jimmy Shergill to direct Operation Mayfair in London
Operation Mayfair, a thriller, highlights gaslighting, and growing up with psychological abuse and trauma.
The Kolkata boy, who directed Om and Subhasree in Prem Ki Bujhini in 2016, is all set with his two back-to-back thrillers, Operation Mayfair and Victor. Shot in London, director Sudipto Sarkar says that he tried to showcase a multicultural Britain through Operation Mayfair, with diversity and changing paradigm of today’s society where people from all backgrounds co-exist. The film also highlights gaslighting, and growing up with psychological abuse and trauma. We speak to the director in detail about his Hindi debut.
What made you shift to Hindi films?
I have been working as an Ad filmmaker for 20 years and am also involved in film production in the UK. So directing feature films was a natural progression. I have lived in the multicultural society of London for some years now so always wanted to tell stories of the struggle, hope and success of this crossover generation. I wanted to showcase the Indian diaspora and how they have broken through the glass ceiling in international society. Making my films in Hindi is an obvious choice because of the proximity and attachment I have to my Indian origin and upbringing.
From a romantic movie to two back-to-back thrillers. Why so?
I want to make films with good content and variety. I directed Prem Ki Bujhini a romantic comedy as I felt attracted to the story and its characters. I like watching thrillers and reading crime novels so naturally, I was drawn to direct thrillers and directed Operation Mayfair and Victor. I don’t want to get a type cast in doing only one type of film as the theme and content are more important for me than the genre.
Do you feel establishing thrillers or making it a superhit is easier than romantic movies?
I feel if a film has an interesting storyline and is presented well it can appeal to the viewers. And success at the box office will follow. The budget constraints and technicality don’t matter beyond a point as be it thrillers or romantic movies both have equal appeal to cinema lovers if it connects with the audience. With the global reach of OTT, storylines and cinema are not country-specific anymore so all can enjoy it.
Why Jimmy Shergill?
I always wished to cast Jimmy Shergill for the role of Amar Singh (the protagonist). I wanted someone to play the character’s maturity, and vulnerability and be at ease as a London police detective and I felt Jimmy will be the perfect fit. He was the only actor I had to send the script to and he came back the next day saying he read the script in one go and liked the story. Jimmy Shergill has a good fan following across India and internationally and I am hopeful this will help bring success to the film.
Share a few background stories from the shoot.
We were one of the first Hindi films to shoot in London just as the world was opening up from the Covid Lockdown. So the filming had restrictions but also it had the joy of working again after the traumas of Covid. We filmed in London on July 19, 2022, at 40 degrees Celsius, which was declared the hottest day in the UK history.
What is there in the pipeline?
I am finishing post-production for another thriller that I have directed called Victor starring Amit Sadh, Shahab Ali, Aahana Kumra and Juggy D. It’s a heist film set in the UK. This will release soon. I am working on the development stages of two more thrillers.