March 24, 2006 15:22 IST
Once known to take long gaps -- four years on an average -- between films, filmmaker Vidhu Vinod Chopra is now on a roll and appears to have a release every year.
"It's just that I took a long time to write the films and they are releasing now, he says. "It takes time to write a good story. When it has been written, I'm off to make the film."
So is he going the Factory way of regularly churning out movies? Chopra rubbishes the question: "I can never start a production house producing five films year after year because that's not me. I prefer to set out from home at noon, and do things my way."
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The director is currently excited about his forthcoming films, Eklavya and the sequel to Munnabhai [Images] MBBS. "I cannot make films if I cannot relate to the story," he adds. "Filmmaking is all about telling a good story. Some people first think of profits, then the story. I cannot think that way. I spent about five years writing Eklavya, and about two years to write Munnabhai Part II."
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But isn't it true that the sequel is called Munnabhai Meets Mahatma? Chopra explains, "That is a tentative title. I prefer to call it Munnabhai Part II now." Does it feature Mahatma Gandhi [Images]? "Yes. There is a character called Mahatma Gandhi, but I will not reveal anything more."
The director seems more forthcoming about Eklavya. He says it is the story of a royal gardner, and has Amitabh Bachchan [Images] playing the lead. But he clarifies that the story has nothing to do with the mythological story of Dronacharya and his student, Eklavya. "It is a two-hour film and took me five years to write. I cannot tell you the story in five minutes. I can only say it is not a boring art film. It is entertaining, but it deals with what is right and wrong."
Chopra has formed a sort of bond with his Parineeta [Images] cast -- Sanjay Dutt [Images], Saif Ali Khan [Images] and Vidya Balan [Images] -- as he is repeats them again in his forthcoming films. "I don't have many friends," he says. "So, whenever I get close to people while making a film, I repeat them in my movies. I am comfortable that way."