'The lovemaking scene in Kurbaan was necessary'
But the filmmaker claims he's not as he has got 18 years experience as an ad-man. Plus scripting films like Aks, Rang De Basanti and Mani Ratnam's upcoming film Raavan, must have helped calm the nerves a bit.
Nervous or no, Rensil's directorial debut Kurbaan is generating a lot of buzz for it's terrorism theme and it's real-life romantic pairing of Saif-Kareena.
Here's what the filmmaker has to say of his experience when he got to chat with his fans on Tuesday. For those who missed the chat, here's a recap.
RENSIL says, Hello folks, I'm Rensil and we're logged on to rediff chat!
Ameet asked, After joining Ogilvy my one dream came true & now the second is to meet you.
RENSIL answers, Thank you.
ty asked, Hiii.... this is your first time directing a movie... were you nervous?
RENSIL answers, Yeah it is my first time and I wasn't nervous at all because I have over ten years of ad filmmaking behind me.
srajkumar asked, How did u shoot this movie?
RENSIL answers, Bravely, I hope
mjk asked, Hello, it's mentioned that you are an ad man... which ads, man?
RENSIL answers, McDonalds, Perk, Ulta Perk, Anand Rathi, and plenty of work for rediff since I spent four years in the agency. Mont Blanc and Ruchi/Nutrela spots on air are also mine.
hello asked, did you really script mani ratnam's movie?
RENSIL answers, I have been working with Mani on three scripts over the last two years. Lajo was one of them. We have another untitled screenplay that Mani should begin next year. And I have helped him on Ravaan.
mani asked, Hi, what can you tell us about Raavan?
RENSIL answers, Ravaan is a contemporary update on the myth set in today's times. But the characters and the plot line don't change very dramatically from the original.
zmxkasldxa asked, Hello there, Why did you zero on Kareena and Saif for Kurbaan?
RENSIL answers, Because Saif and Kareena fitted the roles I had written. Also they are fabulous actors, easy to get along with and they responded very strongly to the script. I think now when I view the final cut of the film there could be no other actors who could have played these protagonists.
Shabnam Al Fatwani asked, Hello Rensil, how was it working with a real life couple on reel life???
RENSIL answers, I don't think there was any difference as such. I responded to them more as actors than as a couple. It did help in the more intimate scenes though because I think Indian actors always have difficulty with intimacy on the big screen. It just made things easy. Apart from that the advantage of working with a couple like them is that they are foodies. So my evening dinners were ensured!
Image: A scene from Kurbaan
'I have never thought of Saif as feminine'
RENSIL answers, Kareena's is the more author-backed role and she has performed it fabulously. Saif has a harder role and a western style of performance. So there are more silences in his performance. Vivek has the most dramatic role of all and I think after Company and Saathiya this will be his finest performance.
goodie asked, Namaste Rensil, Tell me something about your movie?
RENSIL answers, It's a mix of many things. It's an intense romance, a thriller with some really suspenseful moments. And it's also got political comment. It deals with Islamic terrorism and impact of Islam on the West.
meena asked, must say Saif's feminine looks have been camouflaged well with the french bearded look. Was it your idea?
RENSIL answers, I have never thought of Saif as feminine. In fact he is all bad in the film, beard or not. After the film you won't ever think of him as anything but macho, meena
Glen asked, hi rensil, do u belong to a family from a bollywood background.. if no kudos to u sir!!
RENSIL answers, No I don't! I think being from a Bollywood family has its positives and negatives. You get the first break but you come under greater scrutiny. But thanks anyway.
Ameet asked, Can u tell me Sir how does you think such creative ideas of writing a script
RENSIL answers, Well, I guess a musician gets up in the morning with music in his head, I get up with scripts in my head. It's not as much effort as you think. I guess it's just a gift. You cannot be taught writing. You just either have it or don't. So I love to take the credit but actually its just fate and dumb luck.
prakash asked, hello sir , what is the main moto to take Kareena as well as Saif...its publicity stunt r actually story need them
RENSIL answers, It's not a publicity stunt for sure. A publicity stunt can run over two or three days not over 91 days of what was a very rigorous and demanding shoot. I had to have actors who could perform; whether they were in a relationship or not was inconsequential. I am never motivated by the PR stunts. Its getting the story right that propels me.
Sanjuu asked, Congratulations on completing your first movie! hope its excellent and that it also does well commercially ! Why did you decide to turn director and not just stick to Script writing ?
RENSIL answers, Because when you write and direct a story, you have complete control. There have been many occasions where I have seen directors not do my screenplays justice. This is not always the case but it happens. When you write and direct, I believe you minimise the risk of things going wrong. And of course the money is better.
JOSEPH asked, R U CONFIDENT THAT UR FLIM WILL DO WELL AT THE BOX OFFICE
RENSIL answers, I am confident about the film. One can never say about the box office. There have been great films that have tanked at the box office and really crappy ones which succeed. I guess beyond a point you have to let go and let the audience give you their verdict.
james asked, Does Qurbaan & Fanaah depicts same story line
RENSIL answers, Not at all.
prakash asked, hav u ever b4 done a movie with dharma production
RENSIL answers, No. this is my first film with Dharma.
Image: A scene from Kurbaan
'I've taken every precaution to portray Islam in the best light possible'
RENSIL answers, I think everyone has plans of working with Rahman. The question is does he have plans of working with us?
prakash asked, in Kurbaan WHO HAS GIVEN KURBANI
RENSIL answers, Nice try. You'll have to go see the movie.
mukulveena asked, hello rensil...what do you think is the right time to write a film - like should the idea come organically or should one sit with the idea of writing writing a film..?
RENSIL answers, I think it all starts with the idea. Once you have a great idea you have the excitement to write the script and the screenplay. You cannot jumpstart the process just because you need to write a film. But yes I think discipline is vital for a writer. You have to carve out at least two hours a day to write. Sometimes the pages will be good, sometimes bad, sometimes ugly.
Abbas asked, Sir, what u ay?Are u able to handle such a sensitive topic jehaad ina avery sensible manner without hurting sentiments of any community...
RENSIL answers, Abbas, it's very hard for a person to know if he's sensible. I mean you can take every precaution and there are still people out there -- especially in a country like India -- who will feel he has hurt their feelings. We live in an age of increasing intolerance. So I don't' know the right answer to that. However every precaution has been taken by me to portray Islam in the best light possible.
dan asked, What is Kurbaan's USP
RENSIL answers, The story and the performances.
sm asked, Hi Rensil, Whose role imortant in this film, either Kareena or Saif or Vivek?
RENSIL answers, That's a tough one. I can't really say. All three roles need each other to make the story work. That's not a politically correct answer. That's just the truth. For that matter, Kirron Kher and Omji too have roles that are indispensable as does Dia Mirza.
dan asked, Congrats on the wonderfully impactful music of Kurbaan. How did you zero-in on Salim-Sulaiman as music composers for the movie
RENSIL answers, It's a thriller. And they are the best guys in the business for an exciting background score, which a genre like this needs. Karan and I also felt that they compose wonderful melodies so I guess we didn't have to look any further. And the songs before you prove they were the right choice.
SAKI asked, Directing a 2 minute ad must be much different from directing a 2 hour movie. How did you adjust to this
RENSIL answers, I don't think there is anything different between an ad and a movie except duration. Both of them deal with ideas and communication. It just so happens that one deals with compression while the other deals with expansion. So I have never had a difficulty switching between both.
Image: A scene from Kurbaan
'Vivek will knock everyone's socks off'
RENSIL answers, Aamir Khan and Mr Amitabh Bachchan.
kaarti asked, Hi Rensil, Don't you think that by making movies on terrorism you are glorify that thing. How does it going to effect the youth when they see their idols such negative roles.
RENSIL answers, By that logic you can't make a film. Someone has to be negative so that the other person is positive. Whether it be a film on terrorism, war or even a period epic. This is very conventional logic that movies only glorify. I believe movies communicate. They also change the world in which you live in some small way. And you need actors to play these different roles.
Abbas asked, Besides thsi I saw the Promo, and I think that aftr this movie Vivek Oberoi will be back in action, looks like he has made his presence felt even in trailors
RENSIL answers, Yeah I think I can safely say that Vivek will knock everyone's socks off with this role. He's given it his all right from learning an accent to performing in some pretty heavy duty action sequences.
uma asked, Did u sign VIVEK OBEROI inspired by his stelling performance in "SHOOTOUT"
RENSIL answers, I havent seen Shootout. I am a big fan of Company though. I always wanted to work with him after watching the film.
sanjeev asked, was it necesary to give hot seen between saif and kareena.. in this film.. or its a trump card to publish the film
RENSIL answers, Yes it was necessary to do a love making scene (not a hot scene) because that's an integral part of the film. There was no move to include the scene just for commercial reasons.
dan asked, With many young and talented storytellers such as you making their way into bollywood, what do you predict the future of film-making in the hindi film industry. Are we going to move away from cliched subjects to more novel concepts. RENSIL answers, Firstly, thank you for calling me talented. And I really don't know the answer to your question on a broader level because audiences taste dictate the films that get made. If you guys pay only for good cinema, good cinema will get made. If you want to see the formula, the formula will get made. Filmmakers however young and talented cannot push against the tide beyond a point. So the power is really in your hands.
arvind asked, i have written down a script how can i show it to you
RENSIL answers, I rarely read scripts by other writers simply because at some later stage if I make a film with a scene or a plot that's even vaguely similar I find myself open to charges of plagiarism. Much as I like to help young writers, I also like to steer clear of such controversies. But maybe you can call me after the first week of December and we can talk
javed asked, Hi Rensil, how different is Kurbaan from other films on terrorism?
RENSIL answers, I am so sick of this word 'different'. Every director congratulates himself on being different. Why don't you go out there and see it. I am sure you won't be disappointed.
Image: A scene from Kurbaan
'I think great films should be left alone'
RENSIL answers, I have always loved Shyamalan [M Night]. He is the cinematic equivalent of one of my favourite writers Stephen King. And since he likes the supernatural and twists and turns in his plot, I am always intrigued whenever he comes out with a film. I believe has his own voice and method of storytelling which is so different from anything coming out of Hollywood, which is great.
iwalkfree asked, are u anti-establishment in your thinking?
RENSIL answers, Not really. But I think films should engage head and heart. They should also provoke thought and debate whenever possible.
nitish_sap asked, HI There, Could you let m know whos your favourite hollywood director
RENSIL answers, Steven Spielberg
mukulveena asked, but how do u gather yourself to write a film or a topic that has already been done on screen many times - coz sometimes one does come to think that what good it is if the idea is already been done on film..like if New York or some other film is very near in topic to Kurbaan...how do u gather urself to write on it...
RENSIL answers, I think there are two very clear departments in filmmaking -- story and screenplay. Story is the premise/idea and the screenplay is a set of ideas that take the story forward. Two films can have similar stories or worlds but very different screenplays. Let me give you an example: Schindler's List and Life is Beautiful -- both deal with the Holocaust and the gassing of Jews but they play out in completely different manners. When you look at them finally you will see two completely different products and it won't occur to you that they have anything in common except the backdrop.
raju12 asked, I AM 28 YEARS. I WANT TO JOIN FILM INDUSTRY.. HOW CAN I JOIN SIR...
RENSIL answers, Depends what you want to join as. You'll need two things: talent and perseverance. Maybe more perseverance than talent. And today there are a host of new young people joining the industry in various fields. So there is no reason why you shouldn't succeed.
Maynil asked, hi rensil! ur name sound very SRILANKAN..r u from there?
RENSIL answers, There are D'Silvas in India too! Just hit Goa or Mangalore.
mssoft asked, Hi Did u was a part of Lagaan team
RENSIL answers, No, I wasn't.
fuzail asked, hi,i will surely watch the movie sir, bcoz i still remember the story of rang de basanti.
RENSIL answers, Thank you. Hope you like it.
Maynil asked, whats ur next project rensil?
RENSIL answers, I have two screenplays that I will choose from. I'd like to see the response to Kurbaan first before making a choice.
Sanjuu asked, What was the inspiration for Kurbaan? Was it a newspaper article or a novel or just something that made you want to present a story on the state of muslims in todays world woven around a love story?
RENSIL answers, Karan told me the story late one evening and asked me if I'd like to write it. I loved the story and began writing it over the next year. I loved it so much in fact that he told me to go ahead and direct it. That's how Kurbaan came to be.
kkkkk asked, WAT R UR PREVIOUS MOVIES AND WATS SPECIAL IN KURBAAN COMPARE TO OTHER
RENSIL answers, Aks, Rang De Basanti and now Kurbaan. While I was a writer on the first two, this time I've directed it too.
dan asked, Do u believe that the producer should have more creative control of their movies rather than just being moneybags since directors often tend to become overconfident of their products. To what extent did Karan Johar provide creative inputs, if any, for your movie.
RENSIL answers, I can't speak about all producers in general. I just feel that the creative people should do the creating and the people with the money should do the financing. But Karan is rare in the fact that he's a writer, a director in his own right. And a very successful one, at that. He's also a great bouncing board for anyone who's directing. So I guess he's one of the few creative producers we have in the genuine sense of that title. I am not so sure about the others.
rsh asked, Whats your take on remakes
RENSIL answers, I think great films should be left alone. Unless a director or a writer has a new and unique point of view on the works of the old masters and masterpieces they shouldn't attempt it. A lot of the times remakes are a way to earn better box office by cashing in on the original. If you go in with this attitude you will fail invariably.
RENSIL says, That's all folks. Thank you for chatting. Please go and watch the film.
Image: Rensil D'Silva
Photographs: Rajesh Karkera