Business as usual

FORWARD MARCH: Madhur Bhandarkar.  

Madhur Bhandarkar's next film explores the underbelly of the corporate world.

A lot of people dissuaded me when I made `Page 3.' But it worked.

Film-maker Madhur Bhandarkar is on a mission — that of completing his trilogy and making it successful at that. After the surprise hit `Page 3,' he has almost wound up his next film, `Corporate,' and is doing the pre-production work for `Signal,' the last film of the trilogy. It's tough to keep up the tempo through three films, "A lot of people dissuaded me when I made `Page 3.' But it worked. Some people liked it, while others differed. Similarly, my next two projects are hard hitting movies that mirror day-to-day happenings around us."

Real life incidents

He says that `Corporate' is culled out of real life incidents but does take some cinematic liberties. "People ask me if the story has been inspired by the Ambani brothers. No, my film tries to explore the underbelly of the corporate world, the one-upmanship between two companies and how it takes a toll on the employees. The film is a result of six months of research and meeting with business journalists and CEOs." The film stars Bipasha Basu and Minisha Lamba, besides having singers Vasundhara Das and Kailash Kher in key roles.

Male protagonist

The stories in his films — `Chandni Bar,' `Satta,' `Page 3,' and Corporate — have been told through women protagonists. "It wasn't a pre-meditated move. It's just that these stories shaped up much better when centred on women. But `Signal' will have a male protagonist," he says. While `Page 3' won a National Award, Bhandarkar admits that he is disappointed that some popular awards announced recently gave the film a miss. "I don't indulge in lobbying. Perhaps that's why my film didn't win many awards. Nevertheless, I am proud of having won a National Award for the film."`Signal,' he says, has dark humour and shows the stark disparity between people from different walks of life who meet at a traffic signal. "All my films have reflected the life around us. If you are a keen observer, you find that there are a number of stories around you that need to be told."Talk about the infamous Preeti Jain incident, and Bhandarkar says, "I don't need to fear when there is no element of truth in those accusations. Of course, I am now wary of casting newcomers who knock at my doors. A casting agency does the work for me. From selling videos door-to-door to making movies, it's been a journey backed by hard work. My family and my work have kept me going."SANGEETHA DEVI K