‘Shamshera,’ directed by Karan Malhotra and starring Ranbir Kapoor, Vaani Kapoor, and Sanjay Dutt, has finally made its way to theaters today. The story centers on a dacoit tribe fighting for independence against the British during the 1800s.
He is best known for one of his most notable films, Agneepath (2012), starring Hrithik Roshan. The film was a remake of Mukul Anand’s action drama of the same name from 1990. His second project, Brothers, which starred Akshay Kumar and Sidharth Malhotra, was the Hindi version of the American sport drama film Warrior from 2011.
On his return to the silver screen with Shamshera, Karan Malhotra discusses the challenges the film faced after the lockdown. Moreover, he said that it was a dream come true for him to work with Ranbir in Shamshera.
What has been the most challenging aspect of making a periodic film as a filmmaker?
One of the most challenging aspects of making a period film is staying true to its essence and particularly to its origin. Shamshera is a fictional drama, so we conducted extensive research on the cultural history of that particular time in an effort to make our fictional characters seem authentic and relevant in terms of that specific period. I am grateful for the response we received for the teaser and trailer, which shows that our conviction is paying off.
Ranbir came up with the idea of playing the role of the father and son in the film Shamshera. So, do you think that changed the whole trajectory of the film? Further, how was your experience working with him?
Yes, it was Ranbir’s idea. At first, we did not think of him for the role of Shamshera, but as soon as he offered himself that role, in some way things started to move in the right direction. Additionally, we conducted numerous look tests and dialogue sessions to make sure that he is enough convincing not only to himself, but also to us, so that he could be the best version of himself in Shamshera.
And, it is a dream come true to work with Ranbir in Shamshera. Now that I have seen the film, I have realised that there is no better choice than Ranbir Kapoor to those play both roles in the film.
I think Shamshera’s shooting was finished right at the edge when the Covid-19 just hit the country. How difficult was it to complete the post-production work on this film?
Yes, that is right, we finished principal photography right before the lockdown hit the country, and after that, we were left with the basic editing of the film as well as the VFX.
As the offices were not functioning during the lockdown, so the VFX artists were working from their homes, set ups were arranged in their houses, then at the editor’s home as well as at my house so that we could remotely continue to work and create the most impressive effects for Shamshera. It was a new experience because we had never worked from home for VFX or for any film’s editing. I believe we had the opportunity to nurture Shamshera as much as it deserved so that it could become the best version of itself.
Filmmaking requires a lot of expertise and patience, as one has to deal with everything all around, so what keeps you motivated as a filmmaker?
I feel that I am the luckiest man on the earth because I work in a profession that I simply love to death; making movies and being on a film set is my safe haven. Fortunately, my wife also works in the film industry as a writer. We are both passionate about our work. Once a story grabs our attention, we have no turning back. We can work tirelessly on it. We aim to make that story as real as possible, no matter what it takes. Moreover, if you are deeply passionate about something so strongly, believe me, you will succeed by hook or crook.
In your opinion, where do you see the film industry going in the next three years?
To be honest with you, it is going in the right direction. Our audiences today have myriad options for entertainment, so it is time to be a step ahead of what we are showing them. I hope that we will make the right kinds of films. I am sure we will accomplish that collectively.
Should filmmakers be original and try something new, or should they adopt a classic and safe cinematic style?
In my opinion, there is no such thing as a “safe film” or any such concept as a “safe cinematic style”; no film is safe. Every film is a product of a passion, so an enormous risk is involved in it. The bottom line is that whether it is an original or an elaborate screenplay, they are all risky undertakings. All you can do is give your best and hope for the best. By the end of the day, that is what is really important.
by Cindrella Daryani