Swaroop Kanchi, the maker of the critically-acclaimed film Bengaloored, is on the verge of releasing of his Hindi flick Yeh Dil Ramta Jogi. “Bengaloored was well-received and got rave reviews, but the one thing that bothered me was that we couldn’t reach out to as many people as we wanted. As the film was in English, we could not release it in many smaller cities. So we made a conscious attempt this time around to make a movie for the masses.”
Swaroop stars as Kaalidas in the movie alongside Cajole Kapoor, Rageswari Mahanta and Sunil Kumar Palwal. Swaroop’s role is that of a taxi driver who feels lost in the big concrete world and dreams of a better life where he is accepted, loved and perhaps, even respected. Explaining his journey in the movie, Swaroop says, “In every city, there are people who don’t belong there. Who don’t get to experience the finer things the world has to offer. The film revolves around one such social outcast taxi driver Kaalidas who wants a normal life, but doesn’t really know how to go about it. But no dream is too big for him and no love is forbidden.”
The film is set in Bangalore. But here, unlike Bengaloored, the city itself is not so much in focus. “People and their dreams are,” he adds.
Swaroop confesses that the film was inspired by many nobodies. “I was inspired by lonesome people who I have met around the world who have nothing to look forward to in life, no friends or family, nothing to lose. Near my office, there was a man who used to drive up everyday, park his taxi, get down and have lunch on the pavement alone. He would just sit there, listen to music till the evening and then drive away. I never saw him talking on the phone or socialising with anyone. I realised that this was his life. This really moved me, because deep down, I felt we were not very different, though I have all the things that he doesn’t,” he says.
Yeh Dil... opens in theatres this week, and to start with it will be screened in Bangalore, Kolkata, Ludhiana and some parts of North India. Swaroop hopes to take the film to international film festivals. Apart from being the director of the film, he debuts as a music director with Yeh Dil... the score of which is a cocktail of classical, rock and dubstep tunes.
As an independent filmmaker, Swaroop had to go through his share of obstacles. “We never have enough money to make things work and since we are working with Bollywood actors, things can get mighty expensive. The dual role of directing and playing the lead character was also very challenging,” he adds.