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Rediff News  All News  » Movies » 'I think I'm a mediocre director'

'I think I'm a mediocre director'

February 07, 2007 11:44 IST

Director Madhur Bhandarkar enjoys a serious reputation among his masala brethren.

Madhur caught up with rediff readers for a chat on Traffic Signal, Page 3 and his journey into filmmaking. Here's what went on:

hussain asked, hey madhur jee
Madhur Bhandarkar answers, Hi, How are you. This is Madhur Bhandarkar. I am delighted to be here to answer your questions.

ron asked, sir are you hindu,punjabi,jain or gujrati please sir do reply
Madhur Bhandarkar answers, I am an Indian first and then a Hindu.

darkndusky asked, I loved Page 3 and am looking forward to Traffic signal. It must be a grt movie if not a commercial success. PPl like Atul Kulkarni and Sandhya Mridul, Konkona were grt in Page 3. U shd make a romantic one with Konkona and Atul sometime. They look good together.
Madhur Bhandarkar answers, Right now I am busy with other projects. If i get a good subject for Konkana and Atul, i will definitely make it. Both are good movies. Page 3 did well at box office and so is traffic signal doing.

Mahesh asked, I am Mahesh Pandit, I am Amrita Rao Fried. I have fantastic Story, Song & Script now those are going to Sensor Board. I work so hard & i know this is the best story. I ask only one question to You. Can you get chance to me? I like only professional work only
Madhur Bhandarkar answers, I always make films on my own subjects. The germ of the idea of the script is always my own. its difficult to give perspective for someone else's script

deepu asked, i like your husky smile
Madhur Bhandarkar answers, Thank you so much. It's Madhur smile...

pra4 asked, How do you react when film critics label your film a flop. Let me give e.g of Traffic signal film critics have labelled it a flop , cinegoers reject Traffic signal. Now i'm thinking whether to watch or not. ? Please advise your comments please.
Madhur Bhandarkar answers, All my films have mixed reactions from the criticis. there were critics who gave one and one and a half star to films like page 3 , chandni bar and acorporate. as a cinegoes you should see the film which is doing good business at the boxoffice.

dolly asked, how is life with a new addition in family???
Madhur Bhandarkar answers, Its great. Its lovely to have a daughter. like they say daughter is close to father. i spend maximum time with her.

shahid asked, hi madhur how about making a film with king khan
Madhur Bhandarkar answers, Shahrukh is a good actor. I like his energy levels. If i have a good script i will like to work with him.

rakesh asked, hi Madhur, what inspires u
Madhur Bhandarkar answers, The reality of life.

akki asked, Hello Madhur, I happen to watch Traffic Signal...I felt u have repeated the elements of your previous films like page 3, chandni bar , satta n high society sex thriven, gays, money power we know all was a revelation in early 2000s now pretty much all know about it...think bout it...might help u in FASHION.
Madhur Bhandarkar answers, I dont thinki have repeated myself. traffic signal is a new concept, new idea. people have said its an eye opener film. Being a triology to corporate and page 3, i deliberatbly had elements of previous films in thsi

Fazila asked, its my BIRTHDAY:d:d
Madhur Bhandarkar answers, Hi Fazila, happy birthday

nisha1 asked, hi..i've seen u on zee cinestars...who do u truly feel will win the show?
Madhur Bhandarkar answers, Right now its difficult to guage. there are many talented contestants, it will take another 2 weeks to know who will win.

sweetie asked, Hi madhur, i really like ur style of film making .I wud like to know what will b ur next film subject?
Madhur Bhandarkar answers, I am working on a film called Fashion. I am still writin the script.

saif asked, hi madhu u did a good job !!! keep it up always
Madhur Bhandarkar answers, Thank you so much.

havind asked, The film has a number of characters like beggars, drug addicts, money collectors, sellers etc. But Konkona's character is the most provocative of all that of a prostitute called Noorie who solicits customers at night at the traffic signal. Is it true that you insisted Konkona to do the role?
Madhur Bhandarkar answers, Yes it was very difficult. Initially she thought that the garrish make up, loud clothes was too much for her. she thought she will not be able to carry it off. but she did a commendable job. i am very happyu wioth the feedback i got.

Madhur Bhandarkar on the sets of Traffic SignalAbraham asked, Hi Mr.Madhur, i am a great fan of u, i really surprise how u make all these films. Corporate was really a film which should be nominated to oscars
Madhur Bhandarkar answers, Thanks a lot. Well i get different ideas. there are so many things in real life which i think should be portrayed on celluloid

Priya asked, Wht do u want to convey by the TRAFFICE SIGNAL???
Madhur Bhandarkar answers, I want to convey about the day to day life of people inside and outside the car, about the industry and the fraternity around the signal.

Ashish asked, Hi madhur..this is the first time im in chat with a celebrity...if im somewhr wrong do correct me...neways i was listening to one of the interview of yours whr you struggled a lot to come into this industry..earlier you used to deliver cd's and cassettes to celebrity houses and later on u became assistant and now a director and a producer is this all true...if yes put some more light into it
Madhur Bhandarkar answers, I used to run a video cassete library. I come from a middle class family. I struggled a long way to come here. Then I assisted RGV. then later without any support of a godfather or big star i started making my own films

Rosh asked, Caught your movie first day 2nd show. I'd disagree if somebody said it's not as good as Page 3. Traffic Signal has almost the same set of good performers, similar style of narration, an innovative plot… I think why people prefer Page 3 is for the same reason why page 3 of the newspaper has more readers than all the other pages put together. Glamour and boardroom drama will have more takers than poverty and squalor. Your comments?
Madhur Bhandarkar answers, Every genre of film has its own takers and audience. but saying that glamour has more takers is not true.

shailendra asked, i like movie traffice signal..tell me ur openion and whts experience.
Madhur Bhandarkar answers, I am happy that you liked the film. i am happy that People are looking for innovative cinema and like my kind of cinema which is a genre in itself.

deepak asked, Hi Madhur...So when your next Hindi Movie will appear.
Madhur Bhandarkar answers, I plan to take 2-3 months break. Let me enjoy the success. Then i will think.

Avinash asked, Madhur who do u think is the best actor in b'wood today?
Madhur Bhandarkar answers, There are lots, hrithik, shahrukh, aamir abhishek all are talented

shilpa asked, hi madhur,have you decided to make the films only on real issue?and you done good job once again in the traffic signal .
Madhur Bhandarkar answers, It depends on subject to subject. My films are neither arty nor commericial. they take a middle path and at the same time they entertain also.

pratiti asked, hi madhur ,this is pratiti from kolkata.i havnt seen traffic signal bt wat i feel from the trailer that it isnt the story everywere in india.its mostly a mumbai based its nice that u put every culture in ur priority make a muvi on the hectic corporate culture of big cities like bangalore ,which is nt much related to ur previous work like must include the hassels faced by a person in this corporate life and how he/she becums too mechanical and looses his social life hampers alot.i am a victim .this my request as i feel u no to put the things straight
Madhur Bhandarkar answers, I have already madeone film on the corporate world. but in future if something comes up i will look into this aspectalso.

Vasant asked, Hi Madhu I am Vasant from Pune..... So how do you feel now after completing the triology...and I want to know about your next project...
Madhur Bhandarkar answers, Hi Vasant, i feel great as people have appreciated all the film -page 3, corporate and traffic. Through these films i have portrayed all 3 strataof society

Prasad asked, Hello Madhur, Any upcoming project in Marathi ?
Madhur Bhandarkar answers, Right now nothing. but i would love to make a film in Marathi. I will make it biligual -Marathi and hindi.

Ch asked, Hi....How can one imagine so many short stories in one film and too on a Traffic Signal....
Madhur Bhandarkar answers, Traffic Signal is a slice of life. I have seen it on signals, got first hand information from people,that is why it is so convinving, sharp and real.

Akky asked, hi madhur ... just thought i'll let you know that u have had the guts to bring alternate ideas to mainstream cinema and make people appreciate it. They love it or they Hate it .. but main thing is you are able to make an impact. KUDOS TO YOU FOR THAT. some day I hope to work with you
Madhur Bhandarkar answers, Thanks you for the compliment. I am happy that cinegoers like you who have encouraged my cinema to complete my triology and make it a sucess

sajid asked, Hi Madhur, what you like to say about Traffic Signal iz it commercial or Its an Message film
Madhur Bhandarkar answers, sajid, its a jelling of both. cant say commerical because i am an experimental film maker not a commercial one. but still my movies getcommericial successat the box office.

Kaps asked, AAN was a gud film thogh it flopped .....all yr films have been critically acclaimed ..but none of them have been huge money spinners...then y do u always tend to ignore AAN .i have heard u so many times ...talking Satta, Pag3 Chandni, Corporate ,i think it was a gud film y do u never talkn abt it n always ignore it ..ANy plans to direct a film with big actors like u did in AAN
Madhur Bhandarkar answers, IT is not deliberate that i skip talking about AAn. it is just over allwhenever i talk about my cinema, lot of people dismiss it. media does not want to know aboutit. but a lot of people like you alsolikedit

Vasant asked, Hi Madhur Vasant Once I am giving you the Plot for your next movie...The plot is related to farmers who are taking their life...just make a movie showing how lenders are exploting farmers...and how plitician are playing there role in the whole episode and what they are doing...when the farmers are dying ....and how builders are taking advantage of all these things...Please don't forget to mention my name...
Madhur Bhandarkar answers, i think its a vital issue. As of now i am working on two other subjects. but i will definitely think about this

Sridhar asked, Hi Madhur, how real shud real cinema be for u? Wud there be a dnager for u to be swept in the darker shades of cinema like a notable director has? Have u thought abt using more subtlety in ur cinema, while retaining the punch?
Madhur Bhandarkar answers, Yes defintely i see to it that i dont get carried away with the commercialism in the film movies are always subtle, underplayed and the characters are next door types.

Bryan asked, Hi Madhur, I'm an indian settled in the UK and find your movies quite interesting.. but I find most movies quite negative in the way they potray indian society and would like to see more movies which show the positive side of the progress we have made since the 90s and accepting globalization
Madhur Bhandarkar answers, there are all aspects of life in the country. i do agree that i show the darker side but i think i am contributing to show the mirror tothe society. but if i get a positive subject i will like to make it also.

POTYA BHAI asked, madhurremember this name u kept for atul kulkarni in chandni bar..i just loved that..u also look good,,why dont u direct urselfin a lead role...
Madhur Bhandarkar answers, I am a very bad actor, too conscious to be in front of the camera. i better stick to what i am good at. asked, Hey Madhur, Are you doing any movie with Baba films or Pooja films
Madhur Bhandarkar answers, No

rajiv asked, Dear Madhur, The media has been cruel to you this time opining that its a flop. Is it???
Madhur Bhandarkar answers, media has been cruel sometimes, and good sometimes. they have mixed reactions.

Pulkit asked,  hi sir , 150th time i am asking you replyi really liked the movie n i wud be greatful to you if u make much more realistic films? what next can we expect from u sir i want you to make a film on reservations in colleges? plz
Madhur Bhandarkar answers, Its a nice subject, will need lotof research , m busy with other stories right now.

Madhur Bhandarkartraffic1 asked, What the hell is konkona doing in Traffic Signal? she is a prostitute, so??
Madhur Bhandarkar answers, She plays a very strong character of the street walker, her emotional journey and a soft corner for a drug addictg played by ranvir shorey.

shraddha asked, hi why u think tht traffic signal will b hit? why? wht's new in it?
Madhur Bhandarkar answers, its a new concept and it is a perspective of what happens on a traffic signal. its an eye opener. already people have started liking the film.

vics asked, from where u got the idea...any special incidence?
Madhur Bhandarkar answers, i walk to siddhivinayak temple every tuesday for the last 9 years. on the way i used to observe people on the signals, under the bridge and i gotmy idea while going for the worship

chintawarmahesh asked, Hi my name is Mahesh fm Mumbai. Dont you think so , the topics covered by your films are attarcting perticular class of the society and not the masses.
Madhur Bhandarkar answers, That is not true. My films have a universal appeal

Pulkit asked, i can help u for inputs regarding the reservations in colleges? Plz sir!!! make a film on this my email
Madhur Bhandarkar answers, ok thanks.

amogh asked, hi madhur. what are the prospects for a software engineer to make a career in the film industry?
Madhur Bhandarkar answers, As good as that of anyone else. Its a lotof hard work.

pkd asked, Mr Bhanderkar, the subject you choose needs to changed, go for something which is for common man, seen your page3, corporate etc but too complicated for the new generation, otherwise you are a fair-good director.
Madhur Bhandarkar answers, I think i am mediocre not fair-good director. Ialways try to experiment with different subjects and every film people have different opinions. you may hate my film or love them but you cant ignore my films.

bhowmick asked, Madhurji why ur scripts are different from other director?
Madhur Bhandarkar answers, i always try to get diff aspectsof like. my films are \not filmy. they are real. that perhaps makes me different.

digs asked, this is my umpteenth try to get an answer from you sir...please acknowledge yaar...Hi Madhur – Hey man! I am your BIG fan. I'm working in Singapore. Inspite of a nice job, I am very much interested in acting. I have done some plays in college and outside college. If I want to work with any director is you. Your films have that X- factor and are so reality based and true in nature and I feel that you can make anyone click overnight…the hardwork that you put in is so visible in your films. Kudos to you…! Keep up the good work! If you feel that you have a role for your forthcoming projects for me do drop me a line at – also what projects currently you are working on? Please enlighten the junta…
Madhur Bhandarkar answers, thansk for the compliment. i am very happy that you like my films. i am happy that the audience has given green signal to traffic signal.

Bharat asked, Hi Madhur, In your films so far, you have featured the murky world existing in the society in general, be it the world of dance bars in Chandni Bar or the corporate world in Corporate. Do you have any plans to make a film on the political establishment in the country?
Madhur Bhandarkar answers, i have already made a film on murky side of politics with raveena tandon. the film was satta which had atul kulkarni also. it was highly acclaim,ed by critics but that time itdd not do well at the box office. it is one of my favourite films tilldate/

Jinesh asked, U said traffic signal is the last picture in the triology .... which triology u are talking about and why u formed it like a trilogy,by the way u are an exceptional director ...please collect all the compliments
Madhur Bhandarkar answers, when i was doing research for page 3, the idea of corporate world came to me as a lot of corporate are in the page 3 fold. and while walkign to siddhivinaayk i got idea of traffic signal. i made this trilogy to showcase different strata of society.

@rajeshpathe asked, Where from you graduated???
Madhur Bhandarkar answers, I am not a graduate. I learn from the field of life, hardwork and struggle.

Madhur Bhandarkar says, Thanks a lot everyone. Do watch TRaffic Signal. Thanks for your time.