MUMBAI: A scriptwriter’s vision is different from a director’s or a producer’s and writers often struggle to retain the essence of their works, says filmmaker Kiran Rao, adding she too had to fight to protect her “Dhobi Ghat” script.
“Often scriptwriters don’t have a choice when they give their script to a director or a producer. They are forced to helplessly see it getting changed in whatever way the director or producer wants it to be. I had to fight with Aamir (Aamir Khan) to protect my script, but thankfully, I got it made the way I wanted to,” said Rao, who is married to the superstar, at the ongoing Osian’s Cine-fan Film Festival.
“Aamir kept suggesting that ‘this’ could be added ‘that’ can be added. I had to fight with him to protect my script,” she added.
[pullquote_left]Aamir kept suggesting that ‘this’ could be added ‘that’ can be added. I had to fight with him to protect my script.[/pullquote_left] But at the same time she feels when changes are made, scripts both lose and gain. “The changes might turn out to be better than the way the scriptwriter might have thought while penning it down. You take an imaginary scenario and you give it a physical form – at a place, with an actor, at a particular time of day, mood etc. There is a certain touch that a scene gets that wouldn’t necessarily be what you had written,” she added.
Rao, who not only directed but also scripted “Dhobi Ghat” – that Aamir produced – expanded on this by pointing to her own learning experience. “All filmmakers feel that their film gets a different life. When I was filming, I felt I was aiming for something, but I wasn’t quite getting what I had in mind. That’s where I struggled. But I got used to it and began to enjoy it too,” she said.
Another pitfall was an actor surpassing a writer’s imagination. How does one deal with this? “You struggle to protect what you are writing, when it comes to the feel of the script.”
Currently penning another story, she is unsure if she would ever be able to direct someone else’s script. “‘Dhobi Ghat’ was my first film; before that I wasn’t even sure if I would be able to write something like this… I enjoy the process of writing, but I have to say I avoid it. Unless anyone writes something wonderful, I don’t see myself making something that someone else has written,” she said. [pullquote_right]You struggle to protect what you are writing, when it comes to the feel of the script.[/pullquote_right]
She is also into production with Aamir and they have told beautiful stories in “Peepli Live” and adult comedy “Delhi Belly”. Their next is “Talaash”. One should not try to experiment just for the sake of being different and waste a producer’s money, Kiran said. “I think it’s important to make a film that one feels honest about. If it breaks the rules, no problem, as long as you don’t do it with the sole intention of breaking the rules. If you have that intention, then don’t put anybody’s tons of money to it and expect everybody to play along with your experiment. It is important to challenge yourself, but you have to be aware,” she added.
Asked how run-of-the-mill concepts are avoided, Rao said: “We genuinely take scripts that we like and they happen to be different. I suppose we get excited by something new. We only make films that we enjoy and that’s why I suppose it turns out to be different.”