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Wanted Kanu to include a disc number in ‘Titli': Dibakar

Dibakar Banerjee

New Delhi : A hit song is one of the best ways to promote a film and no one knows it better than Dibakar Banerjee but he could not convince director Kanu Behl to include one in their upcoming project “Titli”.

The director-producer has always included a hit number in all his films right from his debut “Khosla Ka Ghosla” to “Byomkesh Bakshy” and he thought something like this will make his job as a producer easier in “Titli”, which is slated to release on October 30.

“I have always put a hit song in every film of mine right from ‘Khosla Ka Ghosla’. It is difficult to promote a film if you don’t have a song like this. The funny thing is that ‘Titli’ has a very high intense disc sequence. I told Kanu ‘Why don’t you put a song there? I will get some marketing’. I was a ‘pakka’ producer, I wanted a song to market the movie but Kanu refused,” Dibakar told PTI.

Behl, who co-wrote Dibakar’s “Love Sex Aur Dhokha”, marks his directorial debut with the film. It has already done well in the international film festivals since its premiere at Cannes in the Un Certain Regard Category.

The “Shanghai” helmer says it was not an easy decision for him to back “Titli” because producing is a huge responsibility.

“It is a very hard-hitting film. Also, I think that just like ‘Love Sex Aur Dhokha’, it is very accessible and simple. The brilliance of Kanu’s film is that it has managed to say something very profound without seeming so.”

Behl was planning to make another film before “Titli” happened. The director abandoned that story despite investing
a lot of time in it. Dibakar thinks that one of the tracks can still be salvaged for a movie.

“It was a multi-narrative track with four characters. I could not connect to the story except for one track. I know Kanu and myself and the similarities that we have. We did not know these characters intimately enough to say something interesting. They seemed typical Bollywood characters which were realistic on the surface. However, I think there is still a fascinating story in one of the tracks.”

Kanu’s film, about a family of car-jackers shows the darker and disturbing side of Delhi, a city which has been Dibakar’s muse in films like “Khosla Ka Ghosla”, “Oye Lucky Lucky Oye” or “Love Sex Aur Dhokha”.

“That’s the Delhi I grew up in. I remember the Delhi of ’80s as a boy and a teenager, Dehli of ’90s as a young man who was working. My views and memory of Delhi reflect in my stories.

“Kanu is about 8-year younger and he has followed up with his own version of the same narrative. ‘Titli’ has a realistic style where the details and nuances of the life and characters are important for the successful telling of the story. So, Delhi is a huge tool in that.”

The dark world that the film presents is somewhat similar to “Love Sex Aur Dhokha” but Dibakar says it is completely different in narrative and technique.

“There is no similarity in the technique. It is probably because the characters are from the hinterlands of Delhi. They are low middle class and have a certain idiom and certain way of talking. Also, film’s central characters are young people grappling with life and LSD was also about young people.”

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