Adapting a book is always a challenge: Abhishek Kapoor

Abhishek Kapoor is still basking in the warmth his latest release Kai Po Che has received from the audiences and critics alike. Incidentally, the director’s next is also based on a book -- a novel penned by Charles Dickens. And thanks to his last film, Gattu has become an unlikely candidate to be invited at the upcoming annual South Asian advertising festival in Goa. Before embarking on his journey, we caught up with him to know more about his moviemaking style and the economics in Bollywood.

Abhishek Kapoor

After Chetan Bhagat, your next film is based on Charles Dickens’ work. What is the difficult part about adaptations?
Adapating a book for the big screen is always a challenge because you have to add your own inputs as well. You can’t rely on literature alone. For instance, half of Kai Po Che has filmi elements that weren’t originally in the book. Speaking of Dickens’ Great Expectations, several films have already been made on the same, so my plan is to do something different and exciting.

So the whole idea is to make people watch something different?
Absolutely! We need to up our standards. At the end of the day, the slightly more intelligent films represent us on the global platform. That’s also where the money lies. We can’t be complacent with our rupees when dollars, the pounds and the euros are up for grabs. As of now, we seem to be dreaming very small.

Speaking of money, what’s your opinion on the elite Rs 100 crore-club?
Let’s just say that the films who joined this so-called club can do far better than they are presently doing. Why not Rs 300 or say, a Rs 500 crore club? There’s no lack of audience in our country or on this planet, for that matter. We just need to tap into them.

What do you think is driving the change in popular cinema?
To me, all that is happening in the Hindi film industry boils down to the rise of multiplex. The more the multiplexes, the more the audiences. This in turn provides space to those who are ready to enjoy sensible cinema. I’m not saying that the mass entertainment films won’t work because they are indeed doing great business too. The multiplex culture is also creating an avenue for an edgier kind of films.

How has life changed after Kai Po Che’s success?
It feels good to know that something I’ve worked on so hard for about four years has ultimately been appreciated. But I have to go back to the grind of sharing stories and filmmaking. I can’t get carried away by the positive feedback. There are many more films to come. In fact, Rock On!! was more life-altering for me because it was the first time my work was really noticed.

And what’s happening with Rock On 2?
I’m not very keen on blindly cashing in on the original film’s success. Besides, it’s been more than five years since so it’s not about creating a sequel either. In fact, we haven’t decided to name it Rock On 2 yet. Having said that, the work on its script is ongoing.

You started as an actor. Do you see yourself going back to acting anytime soon?
As of now, I’m just engrossed in the scripts I’m working on. But if something really exciting comes along, I might say yes.

And who are the actors you’d like to direct?
It has to be Amitabh Bachchan. He already has such a huge filmography -- not to mention the stature -- that contributing even a small volume to his work would be a challenge as well as an honour. Amongst the younger lot, Hrithik Roshan is someone I’d love to direct because he gives more than his 100 per cent to his craft.  

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