Article 370 Director On Film Being Called 'Propaganda': You Can’t Fool Indian Audience | EXCLUSIVE

In an exclusive interaction, National Award-winning director Aditya Suhas Jambhale spoke about the success of his latest release Article 37. He also reacted to some labelling his political drama as "propaganda." Read the excerpts here!
Article 370 Director Aditya Suhas Jambhale On Its Success: It Is Just Unbelievable - EXCLUSIVE

Article 370 Director Aditya Suhas Jambhale On Its Success: It Is Just Unbelievable - EXCLUSIVE

National Award-winning director Aditya Suhas Jambhale has plenty to be happy about. His directorial Article 370 has crossed the success line. Just how far it goes depends on the whims of the box office. In the meanwhile, Jambhale is steadfast in his optimism in this exclusive interview.
In this era of box office uncertainties, your film Article 37O is a success... How does that make you feel?
It's amazing. The audience reactions in the theatres, the emotions, the slogans, the claps, whistles, just makes me emotional as a Hindustani. I am truly grateful to the audience and the entire team which supported me. Having my debut as a theatrical release and then to get this kind of response and reactions is just unbelievable. But having said that, I also would like to say I dreamt about this. During the time I worked on this film, I did believe this might happen one day and the destiny was kind enough. Jai hind!
Were you aware that the theme had the potential to be a success or did you just tell the story that you had to?
When I was making the film I was true and loyal to my vision. I never tried thinking about what audience would like nor did I make any calculations. Because I think as a filmmaker that is not the right approach. I told this story the way it excited me in my soul and heart. Lots of people told me that the audience is not ready for a political action thriller but I always believed if told with full conviction and correct intent the film will be received well.
How much research work did this project entail and how much time did the research take?
Research in the film took around five months. The biggest challenge was to get information from different scattered resources, because none of it was in public domain. We spoke to some investigative journalists, and other sources as well. After compiling all the events, dates and significant pointers, we started connecting the dots and the picture became crystal clear. By the end of it we ourselves felt like we had become the investigative journalists.
Were you prepared that a section of people would call Article 370 pro-government propaganda and how do you respond to that criticism?
The day I started work on this film I knew these allegations will follow. But I frankly don't think about it anymore. I think the film and the craft need to answer these type of allegations it. To add to this, I honestly believe Indian audiences are smart and very well aware of a filmmaker’s intentions. You can’t fool the Indian audience, they will watch the film and form their opinion based on what they see and feel.
You seem fully convinced in what you were doing?
I truly believe that Kashmir was, is and will always be part of India, and the mission to abrogate Article 370 is one of the most intelligent and successful missions ever carried out in the Indian history. I was emotional when the decision had taken place on 5 August 2019. Thus I made the film with very clear intentions of projecting the truth. Once I finish a film it is the audience's property. For me, the important thing is to be satisfied as a filmmaker. I did justice with the film and remained true and loyal to the vision I set out for myself. Now when people get emotional and react to the film in theatres, that makes me happy, humble and immensely grateful that despite my young age and despite this being my first film, people are showing it with love and support.
How did you hit on the formula whereby end product was both entertaining and informative?
I am big fan of western political thrillers and I always felt in India there weren't any references for such kind of a film. So it was a challenge in the first place. The only mantra I followed was, go with what my heart says, and don't get into calculations. The original material on the table and the research already had the drama. I had to recognise and identify it and thereafter cinematically present it. In this, every department deserves the credit. The treatment was the core for this kind of a film. If the treatment is interesting, then the drama is bound to connect with the audience. I would like to mention the editor of this film Shiv Panicker who deserves a great deal of credit. Not to forget the music by Shashwat Sachdev. Overall the entire team believed in the drama, no one ever doubted it. That was the key I guess.
Tell me about the cast...were these your first choices?
Me, producer Aditya Dhar, casting director Mukesh Chhabra and writer Monal Thakkar all were always collectively involved in taking the casting decisions. With regards to all the politicians we went through rigorous sessions till we finally boiled down to final choices. Mukesh Chhabra was instrumental in this as we had very little time to lock the cast. We literally locked the entire cast in a month. With regards to characters Rajeshwari and Zooni, it was a unanimous decision and a clear-cut pick to cast Priyamani and Yami Gautam Dhar. Somewhere we always knew they would amazingly complement each other on the screen.
Your next film?
My next film titled Baramulla is a supernatural action thriller set in Kashmir. It has Manav Kaul and Bhasha Sumbli in the lead roles. Ironically that was actually my first film which will release after my second film (Article 370). The genre of this film is again very different. It has horror, action, drama and supernatural concepts yet it still has references to true incidents linked with it. Manav Kaul plays a cop working in the J&K Police in this film. We have never seen Kashmir linked with horror and supernatural elements before. Baramulla will do it for the first time in Indian cinema.
Your closing thoughts?
I am thankful to my producers Aditya and Lokesh Dhar who believed in Article 370 and backed the entire crew to make this film.
End of Article
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