He is the romantic czar who has brilliantly captured the nuances of love effortlessly on screen for ages. He is definitely the one director who understands the audience pulse oh-so-well. He is a maverick, he is Imtiaz Ali.
Just prior to his big magnum opus release, Koimoi caught up with Imtiaz for a fun, frothy chat on hitting the Highway! Excerpts:
Your film Highway was screened at the Berlin Film Festival. Did you make the film keeping the film festivals in mind?
I haven’t ever got this chance before with all the films that I have done. I haven’t made Highway for the festivals but for our audience. We will just go and try and have fun there and get back here and tell people how it was because I am not at all experienced about film festivals and how the entire procedure happens. Honestly, people should like the film I feel more than any festival because they are spending their money on us and our future in the industry is decided by them.
You shot the entire film in a truck which is a first of its kind. How was the experience?
It was a very fresh experience where we visited places which are very difficult to visit otherwise. Each of those places have retained their heritage and culture much more than a city has, for instance! So when we say Highway, it is not the modern fashioned highway, it’s the older highways where we had old fashioned towers.
Not just that, the entire Highway team had to go through a variety of weather deters and situations in the film. Was the shoot challenging?
I feel once you submit to the fact that no matter whatever the condition be, I will shoot, I will try to do my best, as far as actors are concerned or the entire unit, that frame of mind that you get into makes it a lot easier. Everything becomes an opportunity and nothing is a big problem. I think I knew that the only people who would want to be a part of this film, are people who are not looking for comfort as much as they are looking for an adventure! With this pack of people, it was very easy to shoot and nothing was easy to shoot.
Highway took almost 15 years to be made. Why did it take so much time?
I feel some food is better cooked in slow fire. Highway is somewhat like that. It is just that some things take time. It is not about the cast as I haven’t had to wait for the cast too much but its more to do with the story being ready. I tried making it but failed so now I am happy the way the film has finally shaped up.