When Rock On was released in 2008, it marked a milestone in Farhan Akhar’s film career as director Dil Chahta Hai made his acting debut in the film. Not only Farhan, the film also changed the fate of director Abhishek Kapoor. Abhishek, who began his acting career in the 1990s and eventually directed a film by Sohail Khan in the early 2000s, has found a new lease on life with the musical and has not looked back since. In the following years, Abhishek has directed films such as Kai Po Che, Fitoor, Kedarnath and is now looking forward to the release of Ayushmann Khurrana and Vaani Kapoor, starring Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui.
Prior to the release of Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui, Abhishek spoke to indianexpress.com about his film journey so far, what his failures have taught him and why music plays an important role in his films. Looking back on his filmography, it is quite obvious that no director’s film is the same – if one is about a Hindi-Muslim love story set in a natural disaster, the other is about the friendship between three boys in the midst of growing political tensions. Abhishek explained that he does not like to be repeated in his films and believes that once he has finished a film, he “closes the door” on the subject. “Other filmmakers may have a stamp on which you know this person is making his / her films in a certain way, but in my case, every time I find a new subject, I enter it as an absolute debut,” he said.
Abhishek Kapoor also talked about the leap he made after the musical success of Rock On, as his next work was set in a completely different space. Based on Chetan Bhagat’s book The 3 Mistakes of My Life, Kai Po Che was placed in a world that had nothing in common with the elite world of Rock On. “It was not the same world. Of course, it was about friendship, but it was a completely different setting, a different texture. ” Abhishek shares with every film he works on, he wants to focus on the idea that lies at the heart of this story more than anything else. “This idea is the most important thing,” he added. Abhishek said that even with Fitoor (which was an adaptation of Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations) and after Kedarnath, he tried to tell completely different stories. He said confidently, “I personally feel there is no resemblance between the director who made Kai Po Che, Kedarnath or Rock On.”
In the many films he has made, it has not all been a huge success and Abhishek acknowledges the ebbs and flows of his journey. “What your failure teaches you, your success will never teach you,” he said, remembering the time when Fitoor did not love the box office as much as he expected. The director shared that the first weekend is the most difficult, but after the first Monday the learning process begins. But despite the fact that the film medium depends heavily on the elements of the box office, Abhishek does not believe in examining the trends that operate in the box office, while completing the idea for his next work. “I do not look at the funds, I do not look at anything other than my relationship with the idea,” he shared.
When asked how he completes his ideas, Abhishek Kapoor explained that it is the human connection to the core of the idea that attracts him. “People are interested in people. The scenery and everything else can be designed. ” Abhishek said that once he has the basic idea, he begins to pursue it to turn it into history, but he makes sure that he “does not deviate from the basic idea” at any stage.
Another essential part of his writing scene is the inclusion of music, which probably explains why the music albums of all his films had some separate tracks, which is quite rare given the current music scene. The director said that when he writes the film, he has a melody reference bank that likes to contrast his script. But when it comes to finalizing melodies, it does not agree with the concept of popularity. “I can not buy the kind (approach) of the mainstream music video ki yeh gaana chalta hai toh yeh gaana daal do (this kind of music works, so let’s use it). I’m not against having songs in my movie, but just having mainstream chatpata songs that sound like the previous song, which also sounds like another song, which sounds like another song again for familiarization. “I want people to come to an unknown place with my film.” For Abhishek, the songs are another tool that helps to tell the story of the film with its unique style.
Abhishek Kapoor’s journey as a director is still in progress and with Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui, the director has launched a new chapter in his filmography. The film hits theaters on December 10.
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