Even though not many may know about Ranjit Tiwari at this moment, the fact is certain that, with the release of his directorial debut film Lucknow Central, he will surely become a household name. If the response to the film’s trailer is anything to go by, then, it won’t be wrong to say that Ranjit Tiwari and the whole team of Lucknow Central are sitting on a goldmine with the film. The film’s hero Farhan Akhtar terms him as the ‘name to watch out for’.


Satish Sundaresan of KoiMoi caught up with Lucknow Central’s director Ranjit Tiwari for an interview. Here are the excerpts:

Ranjit, while your film Lucknow Central is up for release, there is already a ‘copy’ of the film which has already been released in the form of Qaidi Band. How do you react to that?
Frankly speaking, I haven’t seen the film. That’s why I cannot comment anything about it. All that I can say is that from what I could gather from the trailer, maybe from the outset, both the films look similar, but the story and the narrative of both the films are different. My film is about the hopes and aspirations of the character played by Farhan Akhtar. The film is about his dream and the path that he takes to achieve the same.

“Even during my struggling days, I never got cynical about failure”- Ranjit Tiwari
“Even During My Struggling Days, I Never Got Cynical About Failure”- Ranjit Tiwari

Was Farhan Akhtar your first choice to play the lead role?
Yes. Undoubtedly!

Hypothetically, had Farhan refused your film or did not have the required dates, who would have been your immediate choice?
All I can say is that I had written the script keeping Farhan Akhtar in mind. Not just him, all the other actors said yes to the film in just one hearing/narration. As far as Farhan not doing the film for whatever reason, I never think it that way. I am an extremely optimistic guy and I always believe my hard work. Even during my struggling days, I never got cynical about failure.

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What was it about Diana Penty that you thought that she could be a part of the hard hitting subject?
I feel that she is a natural actor and extremely expressive in whatever she does and speaks. At no point will you feel that she is not a part of the world that I have created with all the actors, who are very heartland actors.

Will it be right to call your film a musical film?
Well, music does play the role of a catalyst in the film, but, it’s not a musical film. It’s an escape film. Music is just a medium.

What does ‘role’ music play in the film?
All the songs in the film have a certain kind of storytelling to it. It adds to the film’s narrative in a big way.

What was the kind of research that went behind making the film?
A lot. When I was researching for the film, I went to the jail to meet the inmates. That’s when I realized that many criminals were not hardened; some of them are purely victims of circumstances. I’ve seen a lot of jails in the country, which are working hard to reform inmates. The reason being, post their sentence, they deserve a second chance in life.

Qaidi Band and your film are releasing within a time gap of three weeks. Don’t you feel that the audience will get a feeling of ‘been there, seen that’?
As I told you before if you see the trailers of both the films, they are extremely different from each other. Qaidi Band was about fighting for justice, whereas the path that we have adopted with our film is way totally different from that film. The journey that both the films have taken is totally different.

Have you or have you not seen the film Qaidi Band?
No. I have not.

Was that a conscious decision of not seeing Qaidi Band?
Not really. Since I was busy with my film’s shooting, I have not been able to catch up with many of the recent film releases.

Earlier, you had worked as an Assistant Director in many films. Were there any mistakes which you did not want to repeat as a director?
Be it an Assistant Director or a director, the process of film making is the same for both of them. Nobody wants to make a bad film at the end of the day, although the process of film making on both the fronts are different.

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