Thursday, June 20, 2024

In India, it all works out in the end: Mira Nair


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“I am a fierce desi,” says filmmaker Mira Nair, as you ask her what made her participate in the just concluded IFFI (International Film Festival of India, Goa) even as most Bollywood A-listers cold shouldered it, and with alacrity brushes off the ‘ma’am’ tag. “Don’t call me ma’am. It makes me sound like the Miranda House hostel warden or something,” she says.

Mira’s film, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, was screened there – and she’s quite “charged” with the way people have responded. “We in India are not very exultant, or effusive with praises – if we don’t like something, everyone will know, but if we do, well…” she laughs, adding, “But the people whom I have run into here, who have seen the movie at other festivals, they’ve been pretty effusive. And yes, I’ve been with this film to most festivals – Venice was good, then Toronto and Doha. But I was sure I wanted to come here, because this is our own international festival. I wanted to meet my colleagues, and feel the, how do I say, ‘Indianness’ of India – see, here we are, at the business centre of a five-star, but there is no landline here, so how could I have spoken to you? But we have the intent, and so, somehow, we will talk, you know it will work out, because here, at the end, it all works out fine. And with IFFI, there’s this insider joke that always cracks us all up – it’s always in an ‘iffy’ situation. But there I was, jet-lagged and all, and I had left behind all my jewellery in Delhi, so was hoping people don’t notice that, or see me, and see my film instead,” says Mira, as she also cracks up into loud laughter.

She has big plans for the movie – and will bring the cast to India. So, can we once again see Liev Schreiber, Kate Hudson and Keifer Sutherland, here in Delhi? “See, again, we are trying to get as many of the cast members here as possible, but this film has about eight A-listers, so not all of them, but we are working on it,” says Mira, playing it safe.

And no, she doesn’t see any issues cropping up over its release in the Indian subcontinent. “The distributors of both the countries were with me during the festival rounds, and they have gauged the reactions, and so, no, there should be no issues,” says Mira, who says she’s now planning to spend more time in India – Delhi particularly.

“My life’s changed since my son went to university. And I see it changing some more.

We did the whole post production of this film in India – and now, I am actually going to spend more time here. I’d like to get back with old friends, spend time in Delhi,” says Mira. (Agencies)


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