Hansal Mehta: My films considered different as they have a story

Director Hansal Mehta says that his films are considered different as he tries to convey a story in his films, while other regular films do not have one.

"I try to convey a story, sometimes my films are considered different because usually our regular films do not have a story. So when there are stories, you start considering it as different," Hansal said at the Kashish Film Festival.

Hansal Mehta
Hansal Mehta

While Hansal has directed conventional thrillers like "Woodstock Villa" and "Raakh" as well a drama like "Dil Pe Mat Le Yaar!!" and a sex comedy like "Yeh Kya Ho Raha Hai?", his last three films "Shahid", "Citylights" and "Aligarh" put him in a defferent legue and were critically acclaimed.

While "Shahid" won the National Award, "Aligarh" won awards at numerous international festivals.

But his latest offerings did not set the box-office on fire.

About box office collections of his latest offbeat films, he said, "As a filmmaker I cannot be sad about this fact. I try to make the film with full honesty and present it to the audience. We can just try. If the audience does not go in big numbers and does not give the film box-office numbers, then I feel that somewhere more than the film it is the audience's failure."

About the personal angle to his stories rather than politicising the issues, Hansal said, "When Apurva (Asrani) was writing the film (Aligarh), both of us, whether it was 'Shahid', 'Citylights' or the previous works, the approach was always to place the personal above the political. Political is the backdrop; just the atmosphere.

"Unless I don't invest personally into a story, I cannot empathise with the struggle with the political upheavals that create this tremendous life for people like Professor Siras," he added.

Manoj Bajpayee played the real-life character of Professor Siras in "Aligarh", which has been tremendously appreciated.

"This is I think by far Manoj Bajpayee's finest performance. It is perhaps one of the finest performances of this year. Definitely it was a difficult character.

"Difficult in the sense, my brief to him was: 'you're a lonely man'. To portray loneliness, to actually be in that space without the support of dialogues or too many props, without any physical activity, to just be in that stillness and yet create such immense empathy, that is a triumph, that's a great actor at work," Hansal added.

"Aligarh" also starred Rajkummar Rao.

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