Mumbai Saga was Written Much Before This Recent Spurt of Intolerance, Says Director Sanjay Gupta
Lately, several bollywood movies based on true events have faced criticism online for hurting public sentiments, but director sanjay gupta, whose recently released movie, the mumbai saga, is reportedly inspired by the lives of the Late gangster Amar Naik and his brother Ashwin Naik, are undeterred by all the ruckus. Gupta, best known for directing such films as Kaante, Shoutout at Lokhandwala, and Kaabil, has said that he never attempts to make political statements through his films, adding that he had written the script for the Mumbai Saga long before this “recent outbreak of intolerance”. ”.
Spanning a decade and a bit from the mid-1980s to 1995,
the mumbai saga stars john abraham as menacing gangster amartya rao and emraan hashmi as encounter specialist vijay savarkar. The film also features Mahesh Manjrekar, Suniel Shetty, Rohit Roy, Gulshan Grover, Prateik Babbar, Kajal Aggarwal, Anjana Sukhani, Sameer Soni, and Amole Gupte in key roles.
In this interaction, Gupta talked to us about how he feels about his mumbai directorial saga finally hitting theaters, his fascination with making big events, and whether fans can expect an all-female gangster actor from him.
The movie is finally released in theaters after a long wait, so what’s the feeling right now?
I am feeling great anxiety because these are not ordinary times. nobody can predict what is going to happen; whether people will come or not. daily lockdown restrictions are increasing in different cities which means that we are losing our afternoon and evening shows and those are the main shows where the maximum crowd comes to see the movies. I made the film that I set out to make and I am very happy with it. but my only concern is if the audience will leave their homes to go to the theaters.
Are you concerned about the movie’s box office receipts considering most theaters are operating at only 50 percent occupancy?
When we announced the release date for our movie, we knew that theaters were only allowed 50% occupancy and we were mentally prepared for that.
You have a fascination for the ensemble cast, but do you find it easy to keep the entire cast happy?
Most of mumbai saga cast members are my friends and trust me a lot and it is my responsibility not to let down their faith. except for emraan and prateik, i have worked with all of them before and it has been a very long association. Suniel Shetty and Gulshan Grover have cameo appearances in the film, but I made sure that, even in that limited screen time, they were memorable.
Of all your characters, which was the most fun to write?
I had a blast writing the characters of john and emraan. It will be very difficult for me to choose between the two. but writing both characters has been very satisfying creatively.
mumbai saga is inspired by a series of real events. At a time when stories based on true events are coming under scrutiny, how did you approach exploring this topic? were you conscious while writing the script?
not at all. because I wrote this script about seven or eight years ago. I polished and finished it later, but it was written long before this recent outbreak of intolerance. So, I didn’t have any of this on my mind. in any case, I do not get into provocations. I have never tried to make political statements or send social messages through my films. I am very transparent in that sense that I make movies to entertain.
All the movies you’ve done lately have been pretty big in terms of scale and scope. what keeps you engaged? what is it that keeps you excited as you are on your way to making and releasing a film of this scale?
That’s my movie. those are the kind of movies I enjoy making. I’ve been making movies for over two and a half decades, so the point is that I constantly need to up my game and evolve as a filmmaker and find new and different ways to tell my stories and move forward. and most importantly, stay relevant. that’s the biggest motivating factor.
what do you do when writer’s block hits?
The main thing for any filmmaker is to constantly watch what’s in the news or the book you’re reading or the movie you’re watching. that’s how you feed the beast in you and as long as you do, it will automatically manifest itself in what you write. Also, I haven’t really faced writer’s block as such so far.
is there a big gap between the movie you make in your head and the movie that is made?
in fact, there is absolutely no gap. when I’m about to start a movie, I always save a narrative for my producing partners, marketing executives, and studio executives. I narrate the whole script and I do it personally. I don’t like my writers or anyone else to do it and they always tell me ‘sir imagine dekh li’. I practically stick to a certain vision that I have and that I also share before I start shooting the movie. I know precisely what it will look like or what the locations or clothing will be.
could fans expect an all-female gangster flick from sanjay gupta?
one hundred percent! in fact, I would love to do that. I’m just waiting for the correct script to come along as we know we’ve never had female led gangsters in india. you never say never.
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