Rensil D’Silva didn’t really take the failure of his debut film to heart. After Kurbaan (2009), the writer in him (scripted Rang De Basanti, Aks) just moved on. He went back to his comfort space – doing ad campaigns, movie scripts (Student of the Year) besides writing the Indian version of the 24 series. It’s only much later that he actually thought about making his second film – Ungli, produced by Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions. “I was really waiting for an inspirational subject. I lived with that idea for a while and only then the movie started taking form,” says D’Silva.
Slow and steady
With an ensemble starcast featuring Sanjay Dutt, Emraan Hashmi, Randeep Hooda, Kangana Ranaut and Neha Dhupia, the movie, made on a huge budget, is supposedly taking forever to make. “We started the film last November but in January, Sanjay Dutt’s arrest was a major set back. We were out of action only for three months,” offers the director, adding that juggling the dates of the actors was another issue. Considering the unusual casting, did he write the script keeping them in mind? “I never write a script keeping actors in mind. That’s a bit of a cheat,” he says. D’Silva swears by the professionalism of his young actors who believe in rehearsals. And what about his fall-out with leading lady, Kangana Ranaut, on the sets? “It’s all media created. We just had a difference of opinion while discussing a particular scene,” he laughs.
Agrees actor Neha Dhupia, who essays a ‘real investigative journalist’ in the film, “He is definitely one of the most talented directors I have worked with.”
No mindless journey
By his own admission, the debacle of Kurbaan didn’t affect his enthusiasm to make films he believes in. So without divulging much about the film, he says Ungli is a thriller with a social edge – “I like to say something about the world. In Bollywood, we like to escape from reality, think illogically and make masala entertainers. That’s why my film on radical Islamic issues bombed. We don’t want politicalideological debates in our films.”
With Ungli as well, he is not ready to bend his ideologies for box office gains. “It’s obviously a movie with a message and comments on our current socio-political scenario. At the age of 70, I hope I would have at least 10 good films to be proud of,” he confides.
D’Silva is looking forward to directing the 24 series, which he thinks will change the face of Indian television. Penning three to four screenplays a year he says, it’s creatively stimulating to write scripts for different directors as it helps him to explore varied genres.
“Working with different minds gives you a better perceptive,” he concludes. Ungli is scheduled to release in October.