After much anticipation, Sidharth Malhotra and Rashmika Mandanna’s first on-screen collaboration, Mission Majnu, is finally released on Netflix. In an exclusive conversation with Bollywood Hungama, debutante director Shantanu Bagchi spoke about the making of the film, the experience of working with the star cast and much more. Interestingly, Shantanu took a tour down memory lane and gave a sneak peek into his journey of becoming a film director.
EXCLUSIVE: Shantanu Bagchi shares struggles of debutante director; says, “Don’t get absolutely full creative control”
The debutante director asserted, “It actually has a logical progression. I used to work as a child actor with (Satyajit) Ray. I remember meeting him when I was maybe five, or six years old. But later on, I was interested in visuals. So, I was always interested in filmmaking. So then, from there when I came to Bombay, of course, one cannot expect to get a feature easily. I thought that I’ll try my hand at advertising. That way I’ll be making films and will stay close to it.”
He further added, “And then I started making television commercials. Then of course, when I was going to a lot of scripts to make a film. And I was not liking any one of them. So this script came to me and I liked it. And fortunately, it happened. And that’s how I’m here.”
Speaking of the challenges of a first-time director, Shantanu said, “When you’re a first-time director, you don’t get absolutely full creative control. So that is one of the things, which was challenging. And also, when you’re working with strangers, they take a bit of time to start having faith in you. Everybody wants to do a job, but you don’t know the director and he’s a first-time director. So, it will take a bit of time for people to relate to you, and having faith and understanding that you have a vision for this project. So, other things I think everybody has to go through. And I had my share”.
He went on to say, “I was fortunate, Sidharth Malhotra was a wonderful man to work with, and has been tremendously helpful. And Ronnie Screwvala has been outstanding wherever guidance is required, where any help is required. And Garima Mehta, one of the producers, has been absolutely wonderful. And they were challenging days, and she was there, next to me, so I just finished the film. So overall, it was some wonderful things, some challenging things, which is what one has to go through, but I have these few people around me who are very good and supportive.”
Coming back to his film, Mission Majnu released on Netflix on January 20.
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