By: Mohnish Singh
Celebrated filmmaker Shekhar Kapur, the director of such classics as Masoom, Mr India, and the Elizabeth series, has had successful parallel careers in India and Hollywood. He has returned to film direction after a gap of 16 years with the British romantic comedy What’s Love Got To Do With It? The film features Shabana Azmi, Emma Thompson, Lily James, Shazad Latif, and Sajal Aly on its ensemble cast.
When asked about staying relevant for so many years, Kapur told PTI, “I make my movies from my heart. Storytelling is an emotional idea. As long as that emotion is relevant, the movie is relevant.”
Kapur said his new film, which released in India last week, is being liked in different territories as viewers can identify themselves in the story.
“Storytelling is about being human. You, as a filmmaker, have to tell me, as an audience, my story, wherever I exist in the world. That’s what we try to do. And that’s why people are liking What’s Love Got To Do With It? because it feels like it’s their movie.”
Asked about the longevity of his 1983 family drama Masoom and 1987’s sci-fi film Mr India“, the director said he has never let a genre confine him.
“I’ve never limited myself to genres. Life exists in a film. Do not let the genre define you, don’t let it confine you. Within a genre, there is life. Like, if I can recognise myself in your science fiction film, then I’ll go see it, otherwise, why will I go? Just to see visual effects? Nobody goes to see visual effects, they go to see themselves,” he said.
Similarly, his focus was to bring a childlike innocence to Mr India, the Anil Kapoor-Sridevi starrer drama about an orphan who finds his scientist father’s secret formula that grants him invisibility.
“I was making Mr India for children. I used to have an 11-year-old boy, an imaginary mini-Shekhar, sitting next to me. Every time I shot; I would ask him ‘what do you think?’ I was constantly having a conversation with my 11-year-old self when I was making Mr India and it was fun. So, I think the innocence and the joy of making that film can be seen,” he said.