Director Manish Tiwary's new film 'Issaq' is an adaptation of William Shakespeare's classic Romeo and Juliet. Set in Benaras, the film is a modern take on the tragedy. Amyra Dastur is playing Prateik Babbar's love interest in 'Issaq'. 'Issaq' is also going to feature Ravi Kishan, Prashant Narayanan and Rajeshwari Sachdev in pivotal roles. Director Manish Tiwary joined IBNLive readers for an interaction on his movie 'Issaq'.
Q. Why you have choosen Varanasi for shooting? Asked by: Nishant
A. Banaras provided the old world order and provided the necessary feudal set up that Romeo and Juliet is set in. Being my nanihaal, I know the place well, so that helped. MT
Q. Why did you chose Prateik for this film? Asked by: Nishant
A. I offered Prateik the role about 3 years ago post an audition. It is the director's instinct that guides me through the entire casting process.
Q. Hello Manish!! Though I am 23, Being a film critic/short film maker and an actor, I felt the promos of Issaq to be quite introspective and 'to the point'. Looking at the teasers, one could (atleast I cud) catch hold of the rusty and desi flavor imbibed in the movie. Kudos for that. Chemistry between Prateik and newbie Amyra was catchy enough. Was there any chance of taking in an established actress or you wanted a fresher? Asked by: Sandeep Rao
A. Thanks for liking the trailers. The new girl, Amyra was cast as the film needed a young, headstrong girl with a great screen presence. Amyra had these elements. A few established names were tested. It does credit to the producers as well to back a rank, newcomer for the lead role.
Q. Why Romeo and Juliet and not a fresh story? Asked by: kirti
A. After 'Dil Dosti' Etc, I wanted to try reinvent a 'done to death' story of Bollywood. Turn this quintessential cliche on its head; and have a tongue-in-cheek rendition to this story while absorbing everything that Shakespeare's text had to offer.
Q. I personally feel, you are a film maker who dares to be different and bring out a newness with each of your films. 'Dil Dosti' Etc being a fine example (leaving alone the trade side of matters). What is your upcoming celluloid all about? In case someone wants to be part of your next project (which I badly wanna :), how to reach you? Asked by: Sandeep Rao
A. Thanks. You can send your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org And all the best.
Q. Few critics conveyed that 'Issaq' loses it's plot, reasons being the lengthy run time and few sub plots offered in the tale. Your view on them? And I just wanna know, if given a chance, would there be anything you shall want to modify or chance pertaining to 'Issaq'? Asked by: Sandeep Rao
A. We are very happy with the adaptation aspects of 'Issaq'. You will appreciate how just about every character has a spin, every event is layered and most of all has become the tale of the land. I feel 'Issaq' is a good stand alone film, but if you were to read the Bard's text, your appreciation for the adaptation and sub plots will only be better.
Q. The movie was not meant for category A audience? was commercial motives in mind, letting Shakespeare take a bit of rest? Asked by: sundar1950in
A. 'Issaq' has a popular tilt in its treatment, this is deliberate but you should also notice the 'tongue-in-cheek' approach to this 'popular' format I chose. As I said, you will only appreciate the film more if you know Shakespeare's text - and I mean know it not through your 'Qayamat Se Qayamat tak' or 'Bobby', but the actual Romeo and Juliet - and see how the film absorbs them all.
Q. If you could give 3 important pointers to a first time filmmaker, what would they be? Asked by: Sunil
A. Have a story, a point of view and a way to tell it.
Q. What are upcoming movies? Asked by: Himanshu
A. Something very different from 'Dil Dosti' and 'Issaq'. Perhaps a comedy!
Q. One actor you wish to work with? Asked by: Sunil
A. There are some good actors around. But I go for actors who suit the role.
Q. Which movie you enjoyed the most while directing? Asked by: bina
A. Both 'Dil Dosti' and 'Issaq' came with their own challenges. It is indescribable happiness to see words getting translated into shots, shots into scenes and scenes into a film. Reminds you of Tarkovsky who called film-making as sculpting time.
Q. Please share some tricks to write a film script? Asked by: Jyoti
A. My guru at Cambridge said, you could write your PhD on the chair you are sitting on! So there is a story everywhere. A tip? Find how that story will end.
Q. How was your experience working with Amyra Dastur and Prateik Babbar? Asked by: Anu
Q. Any movie you wished you would have made it? Asked by: Vikas
A. 'Postmaster' by Satyajit Ray
Q. Who is your favourite director of all time? Asked by: Deepak
A. Ray, again.
Q. Prateik's earlier reputation of acting seems to have suffered on this. Was this role not suited for him? Asked by: sundar1950in
A. Do you mean Prateik earlier reputation hurts my film? I signed him on when some of his ill received films were not out. As I said, it does credit to Issaq's producers to back my vision of lead roles. If anything, Prateik is rock solid in 'Issaq'. He tackles a multi-faceted role of a man who opts out of violence for love with conviction. Watch 'Issaq'!
Q. If not a director what would you be? Asked by: fatima
A. Either a senior consultant at the United Nations or a Lecturer in Political/ Economy abroad (the jobs I left to pursue cinema in India).
Q. Your favourite song in the movie? Asked by: Jyoti
A. Don't you know a director is not supposed to make a choice of his favourite scene, actors, songs from his own movie? :) They are all his babies.
Q. Why choose direction? Did you take any formal training in direction? Asked by: kirti
A. Directing films is like painting a huge canvas or writing a musical piece with stories that reflect the times we live in. Directors get to tell stories their own way, and that's very satisfying. I never studied film direction formally. I ran a film society at my University; and made short films.
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