The Bejoy Nambiar Interview: Dulquer Salmaan is a delight to work with

In an interview with Deepa Antony, director Bejoy Nambiar talks extensively about his upcoming release Solo, and working with Dulquer Salmaan

I was in love with films by Padmarajan sir and MT Vasudevan Nair sir! I used to always watch their movies in VCR. I fell in love with cinema watching these films.

Born and brought up in Mumbai, the self confessed movie-buff in Bejoy Nambiar grew up on a staple of Malayalam movies. Yet, the five movies old director is making his debut in Malayalam as the writer-director of Solo. As Solo gears up for a worldwide release in Malayalam and Tamil on the 5th of October Bejoy finds time to talks up about Solo, DQ and his film-making.

  • First things first, all the best for Solo! Tell us something about the film.
  • Well, it’s like an anthology of four stories. There are two love stories and two stories of rage. The stories are connected to the theme of panchabhootas (mythical elements) - earth, fire, water and wind. You’ll find that time is also a constant in the stories.
  • In David we got to see three men named David from different backgrounds converging into a story. Is Solo similar to it in any way?
  • No… David had three men connected by destiny. This is not at all like that! Here Dulquer (Salmaan) plays four different characters- Rudra, Siva, Shekhar and Trilok representing each element- in four different stories.
  • Be it in Shaitan or Wazir, you are known to write and direct thrillers and handle dark content with ease. What should we expect from Solo?
  • (laughs) See, Solo is an anthology. So you’ll find multiple genres in it. It’s going to be a multi-layer film that the viewers will get to pick and choose what they like from it. As I said, there are two stories of love and two of rage. So hopefully everyone will get what they like out of it!
  • The music of Solo has also caught some attention. You’ve roped in a lot of indie bands.
  • Yes, we’ve roped in Masala Coffee, Filter Coffee, Thaikkudam Bridge, Agam etc. and also other musicians because we wanted each story to have distinct and different sound to it.

 

  • How was it directing Dulquer Salmaan?
  • Oh, he’s an enormous bundle of talent! I had a ball working with him. He was very dedicated to his work and was an absolute delight to work with. We’ve developed a very special friendship between us which I will always cherish. And I only have this film to thank for it.
  • What took you so long to make a film in Malayalam?
  • I actually started off my career in Malayalam! For my first short film I worked with Mohanlal. Of course, it was a silent film. But after that I made another short film with Madhu sir and Thilakan sir. But it’s still unreleased.
  • When did you decide that you wanted to make films?
  • I don’t know… this was something I’ve always wanted to do! Making movies was something I always knew I wanted to do!
  • Growing up who were your favorites from the Malayalam film industry?
  • I was in love with films by Padmarajan sir and MT (Vasudevan Nair) sir! I used to always watch their movies in VCR. I fell in love with cinema watching these films.
  • In all your film, thrillers seem to be your forte. Have you thought of trying other genres?
  • Yes, thrillers seem to come naturally to me. But comedy is something I want to try some day. Comedy is definitely on the cards.
  • You’ve hardly ever directed somebody else’s script. Why is it so?
  • It’s easier for me that way. Wazir is the only cinema I directed that wasn’t my script. It works best for me to direct my own storys. Actually, I have too many stories of my own to tell before I start directing somebody else’s script! (laughs)
  • You’ve made movies in Hindi, Tamil and now in Malayalam. As a film-maker what is the difference you find working in these industries?
  • One major advantage I find in Malayalam industry is the discipline. When it comes to work, the artists and technicians in Malayalam have a kind of protocol of time. In Hindi I take a year to make a film. But here I can get it done in a matter of 4-5 months. That I enjoy!
  • You’ve worked with Mani Ratnam extensively. How is your experience with him?
  • Working with Mani (Ratnam) sir is always exciting! It’s like going back to school. I owe him my filmmaking skills. Every time he calls me to work it’s an absolute pleasure.
  • Do you cater to the mainstream viewers or otherwise?
  • (laughs) Why wouldn’t I want the mainstream viewers to watch my film! See, I believe that the lines are blurring between mainstream and parallel cinema. In a time an age when a movie like Thondimuthalum driksakshiyum is a hit, tide is definitely gravitating towards content driven cinema. And that a good thing, isn’t it?
  • So, what are your parting remarks to us about Solo?
  • Well, Solo is a genuine and sincere attempt to do a different film in mainstream cinema. It was a huge challenge that we took up and I’m really curious how the Malayalam viewers receive it. I hope you guys love it as much as we do!

Busy making the final lap preparations for a worldwide release of Solo in Malayalam and Tamil Bejoy Nambiar ends the conversation only after asking us to call him back after watching the movie. With confidence ringing in his voice the ace filmmaker is still curious about how the Malayali viewers will take to him.

CONVERSATION byDeepa Antony

04 Oct 2017 | 03:31 PM