'Bambai Meri Jaan' director Shujaat Saudgar: The underworld is an exciting theme

24 August,2023 07:24 AM IST |  Mumbai  |  Mohar Basu

Bambai Meri Jaan director Shujaat Saudagar says a new perspective is key when telling underworld stories

Kay Kay Menon

Bambai Meri Jaan, which went on floors in early 2020 and was shot intermittently through the pandemic, has had a tumultuous journey to fruition. Starring Kay Kay Menon and Avinash Tiwary, the Amazon Prime Video offering is based on S Hussain Zaidi's book Dongri to Dubai and will take the audience back to Mumbai's mafia world of the '90s. Director Shujaat Saudagar is relieved and excited in equal measure as he looks forward to its release.

"The underworld is an exciting theme, and every story has a different perspective. The key is to honour the essence of the genre while bringing newer, never-seen-before elements," says Saudagar. Usually, projects that have a long journey to release are the hardest on directors. Saudagar kept himself busy by producing the Manoj Bajpayee-led Gulmohar, and directing The Underbug.

Director Shujaat Saudagar

The upcoming horror film, starring Ali Fazal and Hussain Dalal, tells the story of two rioters who take refuge in an abandoned house, amid sectarian violence on the eve of India's Independence Day. "The most difficult part of the writing process was to keep the narrative engaging because the story deals with just two characters," says the director.

The idea germinated from the pandemic, shares Saudagar, adding that he made the actors adopt an interesting process during the film's making. "We were living in troubled times, no one knew where the world was headed. For this film, I asked both my actors to write their own set of dialogues. I did so because I wanted to know what was going on in their minds during this troubled time. Then, we all went through each other's notes and started formulating the dialogues together."

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